Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation


During the month of July Bass Pro Shops nationwide will be collecting donations for conservation. Each $2.00 donation made to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in the month of July 2011 will get you one entry into the RMEF drawing for your chance to win some sensational prizes. Listing of prizes will be available in July.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to ensure the future of
elk, other wildlife and their habitat.

In support of this mission the Elk Foundation is committed to: Conserving, restoring and enhancing natural habitats; Promoting the sound management of wild, free-ranging elk, which may be hunted or otherwise enjoyed; Fostering cooperation among federal, state, tribal and private organizations and individuals in wildlife management and habitat conservation; and Educating members and the public about habitat conservation, the value of hunting, hunting ethics and wildlife management.

Acres Protected and Enhanced
More than 5.9 million acres

Number of Acres Opened or Secured for Public Access for Hunting and Other
Outdoor Recreation More than 626,000 acres opened and secured

Become a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk foundation today and help preserve wildlife and their habitat.


Win a Q5 MLB Boat!

                                                                                      Win this Boat!



2012 Fall Hunting Classic!


2012 Fall Hunting Classic Event

August 3-19

This year we will have Vendor Booths. They will be here August 3-5

National Pros will be here from August 3-5 and the pros are TBA.

Local Pro's will be giving Seminars  on a variety of hunting topics.

Bass Pro Shops Next Generation Weekend: 
August 17-19

Kids Crafts
Picture U

More Details to Come, Stay Tuned


“Connecting People to Great Traditions”


“Connecting People to Great Traditions” Natural Resources Night Out Celebrated at Richmond Flying Squirrels Game July 20th

Come join The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia,  Bass Pro Shops, Responsive Management and VDGIF at the Richmond Flying Squirrels vs. Akron Aeros baseball game on Friday evening July 20, 2012 at 7:05pm at The Diamond.

“Connecting People to Great Traditions” Natural Resources Night Out will celebrate the great outdoors through educational venues, on-the-field games, fan interactions, giveaways for all and more. It is also "sleepover night on the field" for the Scouts so the celebration gets even bigger! You don't want to miss this game with the introduction of the VDGIF's newest Wildlife K9 Units and The Floating Fishing School which is a new pontoon boat sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and featured exhibits from Law Enforcement, Boating Safety, Hunter Education, Outdoor Report free subscription sign up, and much more. Also, Bass Pro Shops is providing 2,000 Kevin Van Dam fishing lures as a giveaway to fans attending the game.

So, "Let's root, root, root for the home team, If they don't win it's a shame. For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out, if we don't see you at the game!"  Let's show our spirit and support those great American traditions like fishing, hunting and baseball! Visit the Richmond Flying Squirrels website for tickets or contact Tom Wilcox,  at 804-367-6892 or for event details.


Summertime Fishin'

    The month of June marks the transition from spring fishing to summer fishing. Anglers must adjust their tackle and technique in order to keep up with warm weather pelagics.

    With the spring weather behind us, Virginia anglers are greeted by warmer weather as they begin to prepare for the summer species that will call our waters home. One of these species includes the powerful, great tasting, and majestic Blackfin Tuna. The Blackfin is the smallest fish in the tuna family.  They can grow up to 39 inches and weigh up to 46lbs. These powerful pelagic offer anglers a great fight on light tackle. Anglers don’t usually target these “footballs” as they are called.  Instead, they are usually caught by trolling and/or live baiting on the surface.  These agile swimmers are known to propel themselves out of the water in order to engage bait, and follow it up with a strong fight. Pound for pound they provide a strong fight that can keep an angler busy for a while. 

    Reports on the reef have shown increasing numbers of King Mackerel passing by and munching on baits. The King Mackerel is a migratory species that can be found along the Atlantic Coast of the America’s. This voracious eater sports rows of razor sharp teeth, and supreme agility. Kite fishermen have reported King Mackerel skyrocketing up to 15 feet in the air after taking their bait. These speedsters are known for their drag-screaming runs.  Anglers who target them add a 3-4ft piece of wire leader in order to prevent them from chewing through their lines. These fish are opportunistic.  They can be targeted by trolling deep diving lures such as the Rapala Magnum or by drifting live baits on the surface, preferably done with a fishing kite, or a combination of both can be done by slow trolling live baits from fishing kites.

    With the transition to the warmer weather, it is important for anglers to check their equipment before heading out. Properly maintained reels, rods, and tackle will always provide anglers with the best chance at landing that trophy fish.

         Visit the Bass Pro Shops here in Ashland, VA to get prepared for summer time fishing!


Harry Robertson Blog from Canada

Ontario, Canada
Smallmouth Bass

    I just returned from a brief but rewarding trip to a lake to fish for Smallmouth Bass. I was invited by a friend from Louisiana to his rustic cabin on an island. Each day he would gather neighbors from surrounding islands and I would demonstrate the tackle I would use and what casts I would use. In the afternoon we would cruise the shoreline quietly using an electric motor while we searched for the luminous beds.
    The male fish on the beds average about a pound. The female spawning bass averaged three to five pounds! The males stay to guard the nest after the females lay the eggs and depart. The young fish are taught to fear larger predator fish when the male often charges through the young eating the slowest to respond to the threat.
     During June in this lake two hundred miles north of Toronto the bass spawn near the shoreline and alongside large boulders offshore. Their beds are easy to see since they fan out the silt exposing light colored gravel. The selection of a successful bed is where the cold northern lake waters warm first after ice-out.
    When we found a bed we would cut the motor off at about 50’ away and I would cast a popping bug directly over the bed. The fish are extremely protective of the nests. When anything appears to be a threat they rocket upward with a vicious strike. Or…they leave the nest and slowly rise, nose the fly then softly sip it in. This tends to be nerve racking and often I strike too soon!
There is one species that is a constant threat, the Rock Bass (Red Eye). They do not grow to more than 9” in these cold waters with the short growing season. These fish hang close by the nests and dart in for a snack on the fry while they are still swimming balled in the nesting area. They will hit the flies as well and are a bit of a disappointment when they win the race with a four pound Smallmouth to snatch the intrusive predator fly!
    I used an 8 wt. Gold Cup rod along with others with a 270o Reel on each. I used a Rio Gold line ending with a 6’ fluorocarbon leader. The rod performed well at short and long distance. The reel had a smooth start up when the drag system was working and accepted adjusted tension easily.
In three days of afternoon fishing I landed over 100 Smallmouths. I would think this method of fishing would appeal to many. There is a good selection of qualified outfitters in the area, Goggle, Ontario, Canada, Smallmouth Bass fishing.
    Other species that are available in this fertile area are Northern Pike and Lake Trout. These are available using fly, or spinning gear in the area I fished.






Zombie Supplies
















Zombie Supplies

Bass Pro Shops has a new line of Zombie products!  Here are some featured products that we have in stock.

Zombie Pepper Spray

pepper spray 
The fastest deploying and most compact key chain pepper spray, Saber Red Zombie Pepper Spray delivers great accuracy from its ergonomic Spitfire design. It sprays in any direction; straight on, from the hip, or over the shoulder. Quick Release design with detachable key chain allows immediate access to your defense spray. Lightweight at 0.16 ounces, one Zombie Pepper Spray canister holds approximately 8 bursts and reaches 6-8 feet in a cone spray pattern.

 Zombie Plano Ammo can
• Top access storage
• Over molded handle
• Holds up to six boxes of 12 gauge ammo
The Plano Zombie Max Ammo Can features top access storage and over molded handle. Holds up to six boxes of 12 gauge ammo. Color: Black. Exterior dimensions: 15" x 8" x 10"; interior dimensions: 12.5" x 6" x 8.5"

bulletsZombie Max Ammo
Shot Shells:
• Lightweight, high velocity, high performance shotshells
• Loaded with hard-hitting OO buckshot
• Certified Zombie Ammunition
   Hand Gun/ Centerfire:
• Lightweight, high velocity, high performance centerfire rounds
• Loaded with super-accurate, polymer-tipped Z-Max™ bullets
• Dramatic accuracy, ultra-flat trajectories, and devastating expansion - even in low velocity situations

• Novelty splattering gun targets add a bit of fun to shooting practice
• White halo forms around each bullet hole - plainly see each hit in between shots
• Full color 12'' x 18'' zombie image adds fun to practice



B.A.S.S Open Tournamnet Weigh-In

Check out the story on the tournament on the James River and the Weigh-In here at Bass Pro Shops! josh wagy


Food Drive at Bass Pro Shops!

Food Drive  
    A recent study by Feeding America found that over 1,012,500 Virginians are considered "food insecure." This represents a 54% increase since 2006. A large number of these individuals are children, senior citizens, disabled adults, and the new face of hunger - individuals who have lost their jobs and are having problems making ends meet. Summertime is typically one of the most challenging times for food banks in Virginia, especially with the number of children who are out of school and do not have access to before and after school feeding programs.

    In response to this urgent need, Governor Bob McDonnell, The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks are joining efforts in 2012 to create the first Chamber of Commerce Challenge Food and Fund Drive -- a food and fund drive competition among all Virginia Chambers of Commerce, their member businesses, and state government offices. In this friendly competition, the Chamber or government office that raises the most pounds of food will be awarded a prestigious and highly coveted "Governor's Bowl" in the categories of small, medium, and large for Chamber offices and a special bowl for the top government office.

    gift cardBass Pro Shops in Ashland is getting involved in this great opportunity to make an impact on the community. Come by Bass Pro Shops in Ashland from May 28 to July 4 and drop off your donation of food to include canned meats and fish, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, hot and cold cereals, pasta, and rice, and enter a drawing each week for five weeks to win a $100 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card.  Please limit one entry per week.  Let’s come together and make a difference in our community.


Bass Pro Shops Summer Camp

Check out this video on this year's upcoming Summer Camp!


Summer Camp 2012

Family Summer Camp Dates and Times
Dates & Times: June 9 – July 15, Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Activities (Shooting Arcade, Ranges, Casting Targets, Free Photo)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5pm
Free Photo - Weekends only

Workshop Schedule
Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00-5:00pm
Tuesday seminar schedule                                 Thursday seminar schedule
1:00 Dogs in the Outdoors                                   1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation
2:00 Archery                                                             2:00 Bird Watching
3:00 Wildlife Exploration                                        3:00 Fishing
4:00 Camping                                                         4:00 Backyard Adventure
5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting                     5:00 Archery

Saturdays and Sundays
Saturday Seminar Schedule                              Sunday Seminar Schedule –
1:00 Fishing                                                          1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation
2:00 Camping                                                       2:00 Bird Watching
3:00 Wildlife Exploration                                     3:00 Fishing
4:00 Backyard Adventure                                    4:00 Dogs in the Outdoors
5:00 Archery                                                          5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting

Crafts- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4pm, Saturdays, Sundays, 1-4pm
the crafts schedule is as follows:
June 9, 10, 12 14 Decorate a Garden Pot to plant your seedling
June 16, 17, 19, 21 Paint a Wiggle Snake
June 23, 24, 26, 28 Make Your Own Catch a Fish Game
June 30, July 1, 3, 5 Paint a Bear Track
July 7, 8, July 10, 12 Stamp a Leather Wristband
July 14, 15 Paint a Birdhouse

S’mores- Saturdays only, 6-7pm

Boy Scout Merit Badge Class Schedule
Tuesdays and Thursday at 7pm

Tuesday, June 12 Fishing
Thursday, June 14 Rifle Shooting
Tuesday, June 19 Rifle Shooting
Thursday, June 21 Fishing
Tuesday, June 26 Fishing
Thursday, June 28 Rifle Shooting
Tuesday, July 3 Rifle Shooting
Thursday, July 5 Fishing
Tuesday, July 10 Fishing
Thursday, July 12 Rifle Shooting


More Fish

more fish

More Fish! Conservation Month
May 1 – 31, 2012

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has launched a multi-year campaign, called More Fish! The purpose of the campaign is to educate the general public regarding the perils facing our fish populations, to motivate people to donate to this cause, and to use the donations received to fund various initiatives around the country toward improving fish habitat, species health, and other conservation efforts in order for future generations to enjoy the sport of fishing.

Donate $2 to the “More Fish” campaign and enter a drawing for a chance to win a
$500 Bass Pro Shops gift card! 



Go Outdoors Event 2012

go outdoors


Free Outdoor Essential Classes and Kids Summer Kickoff Challenge

Springfield, Missouri—(May 1, 2012)—Ask any adult what they remember best about childhood and chances are they will recall riding their bikes, building forts and tree houses and generally playing outdoors until after dark.  Kids were connected—to each other, their family and the outdoors.  And, according to several studies, they were physically and emotionally healthier. Information taken from The Conservation Fund website at states that researchers suggest “that the decline in children’s health is linked, in part, to their growing disconnect from nature and outdoor activity.”
Much national attention is being paid to this dilemma—so much that in early 2011 a report entitled “America's Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations”  was released that was part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative.  It’s an effort to reconnect Americans to the outdoors. A separate report was produced based on "youth listening sessions" in which young people expressed a strong desire to spend time outdoors.

Bass Pro Shops has long recognized the short and long term benefits for kids and adults being involved in the outdoors.  Their National Go Outdoors Event was developed as a way to give families the opportunity to learn all of the outdoor skills needed to make their next outdoor adventure a great one and to reconnect with each other in the beauty of the great outdoors.  This year’s Bass Pro Shops Go Outdoors Event will take place at 55 store locations in the United States May 18th-28th.

Exciting free events at the stores could include canoe and kayak demonstrations, casting contests, rock climbing walls, GPS classes, kid’s crafts, outdoor skills workshops, Dutch oven cooking, outdoor survival training and much, much more. There’s even the opportunity to get a great FREE 4x6 Family Photo download. (Events will vary per store.  Please visit ((beginning May 7)) and select individual store location for events listing.)

The Go Outdoors event offers great Outdoor Essentials classes for adults May 18th - 20th .
Friday, May 18th :
• 6pm :  Hiking Basics --learn about the best equipment to use for a successful hike
• 7pm:  Campfire Cooking --discover a new way to prepare tasty, over-the-fire meals
• 8pm:  Kayaks & Canoes --find out how to select the best kayak or canoe for float trips

Saturday,May 19th:
• 1pm:  Life Jackets –learn about proper life jacket fit and how to choose the best one for your needs
• 2pm:  Inflatable Life Jackets –see how they work
• 3pm:  Camping Essentials –if you’re a beginner camper this is the class for you
• 4pm:  GPS Tips & Techniques –bring your GPS for hands-on advice
• 5pm:  Backpacking –discover the latest features and benefits of backpacking gear

Sunday, May 11th:
• 1pm:  Dutch Oven Cooking –learn tips and techniques using this delicious cooking method
• 2pm:  Inflatable Life Jackets –see how they work
• 3pm:  Tent Set-up --learn tent set-up and the importance of choosing the proper tent
• 4pm:  Smoker Tips & Techniques –learn the tips and techniques of smoker selection, food preparation and cooking

The Go Outdoors Event includes a “Summer Kickoff Challenge” with free weekend activities for kids Memorial Day weekend May 26th and 27th. From 11am to 4pm kids can learn how to set up a tent, compete in a sleeping bag race and enjoy a metal detector treasure hunt.  The first 100 kids in each store to complete the Summer Kickoff Challenge each day will receive a fun bug glider.  Kids will also be able to do a sand art craft from 12noon until 4pm Saturday, May 26th and paint a wooden insect craft Sunday, May 27th  (while supplies last; styles may vary).

Kids may also bring in their best wildlife photo for a chance to win the Summer Kickoff Photo Contest.  First place prize is a Bass Pro Shops 10x26 mm Compact Binoculars and a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card and Second Place winner receives a $20 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card.

 “One of the most exciting and invigorating places to go this summer is just beyond your front door,” said Larry Whiteley, Bass Pro Shops Manager of Communications.  “Bass Pro Shops is committed to helping adults and children across the nation put away their laptops, video games, and cell phones and head outdoors.  Whether it’s fishing, hiking through a local park, or simply laying on your lawn watching the stars at night, there are so many great things to do outdoors this summer.”

While at Bass Pro Shops, register to win the “Outdoor Maui Adventure”—a 7day, 6-night trip to Maui, Hawaii.  One National Grand Prize will be awarded to one winner and their guest who will win the Maui Jim® and The North Face® Adventure Package that also includes airfare, hotel and car rental.  The total combined approximate retail value of the prize is $5,667.  (No purchase necessary to enter or claim prize. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia and Canada ((excluding Quebec)) who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry.  All federal and other tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winner.  Sweepstakes begins on 5/18/12 and ends on 5/28/12.  See store for more details.)

Each store location will also select a First Place winner who will receive a gift package of one MasterBuilt Cookmaster propane smoker, one Pacific Bamboo BBQ tool set, one The North Face Terra 45 backpack, and one pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.  The total combined approximate retail value of the prize is over $500 (specific items are to be selected by Sponsor).

This year, commit to getting outdoors with your kids for all your health’s sake.  Visit Bass Pro Shops during the National Go Outdoors Event, interact with your family in the great outdoors and make some memories to last a lifetime.

About Bass Pro Shops Group:
Bass Pro Shops -58 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 112 million people annually; international catalog and internet retailing; American Rod & Gun wholesale division selling to over 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide; Outdoor World Incentives also selling Bass Pro Shops gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America and a restaurant division with 26 locations.
For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops store locations, products or special events, please visit  To request a free catalog call 1-800-BASS PRO.

Tracker Marine Group – Manufactures and sells Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly, and Mako boats through Bass Pro Shops retail stores and dealers worldwide. For more information go to

Resort Group – Big Cedar Lodge and other resort properties including restaurants and golf course. For more information go to,, or




2nd Annual Children's Hospital Fishing Tournament

Bass Pro Shops and The Virginia Bass Federation came together for the 2nd Annual Childrens Hospital Fishing Tournament and we helped raise $1,000 for The Childrens Hospital of Richmond. picture


Hanover County Article on Bass Pro Shops

Check out this article that put out on Bass Pro Shops in Ashland, Va.









 "Hanover is a great county to have a business in. They’re always asking, ‘What can we do to help your business?’ No one has failed me yet."

Greg Bulkley, General Manager, Bass Pro Shops

"Bass Pro Shops is continually rated as one of the nation's top outdoor retailers. Since its inception in 1971, the company has expanded across the United States and Canada, serving over 75 million people each year.


In 2008, Bass Pro Shops opened its 52nd location in Hanover. The 150,000-square-foot storefront is in the Winding Brook development at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Lewistown Road.

Each Bass Pro Shops store is unique, with merchandise and décor tailored to the “flavor and atmosphere” of the region it’s located in. The Hanover store is a tribute to Virginia’s diverse landscapes, its history and its culture. “Using more than 3,500 area artifacts, antiques, pictures, mounts and memorabilia, the store becomes a living museum of Virginia’s hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies” says the store’s Facebook Page.

In addition to hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, the store boasts a full-service restaurant, a general store, an archery range, an arcade and a marine and boat center.

fudgeThe Hanover County retail location has quickly become one of Bass Pro Shops most successful locations, significantly outperforming projected sales for the first three years.

Location is a key factor for Bass Pro Shops' success in Hanover. “We sit at the crossroads of two of the busiest interstates in the country,” says Greg Bulkley, General Manager. The store can easily be spotted from I-95.

The business environment in Hanover is exemplary, too.

“Hanover County is known for ease of doing business. The county will help anyone to be successful. They’re always asking, ‘What can we do to help your business?’”

Hanover has pro-business county administrators and legislation, and is very supportive of businesses looking to locate or expand here. Bulkley commends Hanover’s leaders, saying that they were with Bass Pro Shops every step of the way. “In other places, there’s always someone slowing you down. But not here in Hanover.”'


Check out the New Arrival



Bass Pro's Summer Camp is back!

summer camp













Family Summer Camp Dates and Times
At this time this is all the information that we have on Summer Camp but the event dates will be June 9-July 15. As soon as more information is given to us here at the store it will be put online and on our facebook. You dont want to miss this event!


March Fishing Report for Lake Anna

charlieCharlie Bowles- Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff





Johnny Morris Carbonlite Rods and Reels
BPS 100mph Gortex
Lowrance Electronics
Seaguar Fluorocarbon

When the water reaches the magic temperature of 55 degrees Bass will “stage” or move towards the shallower creeks and coves. During this period the Bass will “wake up” and get much more active than they have been in the winter. The lower end of the lake is going to warm before any other area. Dike 3, Valentine Cove, Levy Creek, Rockland Creek, and Dukes Creek will be great areas to concentrate your efforts. Use ½ ounce to ¾ ounce Spinnerbaits, 5” Jerkbaits, and ¼ ounce swimjigs and swimbaits. Don’t forget your favorite variety of finesse baits when the bite gets a little tougher or you are trying to follow up the other baits. I also like to use lizards and senko type baits on a Carolina rig. This technique allows you to cover a lot of water and detect changes in the bottom.

There are lots of  stripers in the Dike 3 area.  Many of the larger Stripers will be caught in the main rivers near Terrys run, S-turns, Christopher run, and Duck in hole creek. ¼ ounce to ½ ounce Swimbaits and Jerkbaits will be very productive in these areas. If you are a live bait fisherman use a shallow presentation during low light and overcast days. During bright sunlight go out to deeper feeding flats and use down lines.

Watch for Crappie to move to some of the 15 ft rock piles and bridge pilings later in the month. Use  2” pearl grubs and tubes and small and medium minnows. 


Big Cat Quest Challange Recap







Hansel Smollich



Hunter Tucker



Calvin Anthony



Candace Gough



Dean Irwin


Congratulations to the five overall winners of the Big Cat Quest Challenge held at Osborne Landing in Richmond, VA on March 17, 2012. This was an hourly tournament in which above and below weight is based on a one fish weigh-in.  

There were 158 entries this year, and we are very proud to have had 49 young anglers participate!  Anglers who participated came from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia. At the BCQ, all anglers 12yrs and younger fished for free. Some of the kids took home some serious cash. All young anglers who weighed-in received a Plano tackle box, in addition to cash prizes ranging from $20 to $100. The total cash payback including wildcards and payouts for the tournament was $13,370.

Tournament day was absolutely beautiful, with temperatures reaching into the low eighties with a five to eight mile per hour wind. The weather turned partly cloudy, and it was just the perfect day to be on the water or at the weigh-in, as several hundred people choose to do.

Special thanks to our friends at the Lily Pad for the use of their facility to conduct the polygraph test, and to the Richmond Virginia Bass Pro Shops for all their hospitality during the Friday night registration. The goody bags with BPS hats, water, stress fish and discount coupons for anglers were a very nice touch. Also, a very special thanks to Eric Huefner and Pete Coberly for providing hot dogs and drinks to all the anglers. The Richmond Bass Pro Shops store and staff are always first class!!!

The next stop for BCQ is the Big Cat Action in Columbus, Georgia. Southern Hospitality 2012 is shaping up to be an awesome BCQ year. We hope to see you there, and as always, “The Best is Yet to Come in 2012!!!”



April's Report

Harry Tierra del Fuego


I was greeted by a welcoming rush of balmy air as I exited the customs area in Buenos Aires, Argentina having left a mild but winter season in Virginia. It was the 17th of February. I had completed my first segment of my annual trip to host groups to Tierra del Fuego. I return for specific several weeks each year during the prime summer season at the Despedida Lodge on the Rio Grande River. I was returning for my fifteenth year to bring groups to fish the spawning run of the legendary Brown Trout there.

I enjoyed the ride into center city with the other fishers headed to a local hotel for the necessary overnight. We chatted about puffery reports broadcasted by E mails by lodges desperate to fill empty still spaces. This hype is normal and often is embellished overlooking the true conditions on stream. We all had other adventures completed since we had seen each other.

We gathered in the lobby after freshening up and some members napping to go our choice of the many wonderful restaurants Buenos Aires has to offer. I suggested as always that all make it an early evening as we must again gather in the lobby at 4:00 A.M. the next morning, transfer to the domestic airport for a 5:00 A.M. flight to Rio Grande city 1500 miles to the south on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. Argentina is a very long country! Most enjoy a three hour nap on this segment.

Danny Lajous, the owner of Despedida Lodge had arranged for a small bus to transfer our group to the lodge. Our driver was welcoming and after checking to make sure all the luggage had arrived asked if anyone needed anything from town before we were to leave for the forty minute drive to the lodge. We went to a local super market that had a good supply of spirits and of course foodstuffs then we were off to the lodge! Spirits were high!

We continued towards the lodge through pasture like rolling small hills. During the journey where we some saw the many geese that had migrated in the south for their summer nesting and Guanacos, the camel family animal of the pampas. These graceful creatures are cousins to the Llama ,Vicuñas and Alpaca and have become a nuisance eating the grasses that the estancia (farm) owners want for the beef industry. Their invasive numbers have swollen as our Virginia Whitetail Deer population becoming a menace to safe driving and deleterious to home gardening. In this area of Argentina they have no predator.

When we arrived at the lodge Danny ushered us to the comfortable living room while the driver unloaded the bus stacking the luggage and rod cases in the vestibule of the lodge.

Danny was as animated as I ever seen him…downright giddy!  He made a huge mistake of talking non-stop about the successes of the week past, size and numbers of fish we dream about for the individual weeks. You know what is coming I feel sure.

But, he explained, the Rio Grande River is the lowest and coldest I have ever seen it in my thirty year of fishing the river. I was not aware that one of these conditions would impact the strike percentage…the cold. I found over the next ten days that a few degrees Centigrade as from 3 to 9 made an enormous difference. These fish are not feeding. In fact, their alimentary system has closed down as they entered the fresh water river for the more important activity of the spawn.

Spey and Switch rods 9 foot at a minimum with rare exception are the favorites for this river. They are easy for most than to fight the winds of the area with a single handed rod. I have never observed a situation personally where the two handed rod would make a difference in the strike numbers; however; I have observed when a fisher’s limited knowledge of the correct single handed cast was aided by the extended length of the two hander…somewhat like giving an aspirin to a dying man ( couldn’t resist this comparison )!

The methods of fishing sometimes called for skating Bombers, Stimulators and Wulff style dry flies across the bottom of the pools late afternoon. Also, the dead drift of Copper Johns, Princes, and  Hares Ear nymphs sometimes adorned with bead or cone heads. These were impossibility small flies. Size 16 and 18 were used successfully. Dropper rigs were popular producers with long Fluorocarbon leaders at a minimum of twelve feet.

The casting of large, articulating black and olive streamers, size 4 the last hour of the island’s extended sunset have always consistently been effective and were this season as well.

The fly lines one normally used this time of year here with sinking tips of 300 gr. and heavier were useless in all but few pools. Most were urged by guides to use floating lines and made individually effective in each pool by the adjustment of the terminal tackle .

The pools controlled by the lodge are named and assigned so that under normal conditions a participant will fish different waters every morning and afternoon of the week. These low water conditions caused adjustments to schedules as well as tackle.

The words you have read were about my arrival and the first of three weeks that I control each season. I returned to Richmond, Virginia in the United States on 3 March and shortly received an E from the lodge that the following week the river warmed ever so slightly and the fishing vastly improved, “you should have been here last week”. A list of clients had caught fish over 20 pounds with the top fish a lovely 25 bright chrome specimen.

Pools change, come and go each season, on this river’s serpentine route under the jurisdiction of ice flows, winds and the snow melt from the Andes within sight to the south. The river always has her nature’s armor but releases the bounty of fine sport to those who do their homework, have proper tackle and persevere. This location undoubtedly still reigns as the premier sea run Brown Trout fishery in the world.

If you have an interest in getting details concerning joining me on this adventure in 2013 I shall be booking between 16 February through 9 March on a Saturday to Saturday basis. I can be contacted on my Website:  )

Harry Robertson