November 2019


At the edge of the world by Chad Shmukler

Images: Chad Shmukler and Earl Harper.  Words: Chad Shmukler. Tierra del Fuego, the windswept archipelago at the tip of South America, might rightly be called the edge of the world. Separated from the rest of the South American continent by the Straights of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego is the southernmost location on the entire globe one can reach without crossing the ship and sailor-swallowing Furious Fifties and making landfall on Antarctica. Split roughly down the middle, the western portions of Tierra del Fuego which border the Pacific Ocean belong to Chile, while the bulk of the eastern, Atlantic-facing lands are controlled by Argentina. The archipelago’s western reaches, predominated by small islands, are mostly mountainous, wet and sparsely inhabited. But the region’s largest island, which lies to its north and east and is separated from the rest of the archipelago by the Beagle Channel (named after the HMS Beagle, the vessel that carried Charles Darwin on his historic voyage of exploration) is a large, contiguous, semi-arid, mostly low-lying land mass. ABOVE Though Tierra del Fuego’s countless rivers and streams, which flow through austere landscapes and seemingly endless grasslands, first drew Chilean and Argentine settlers seeking to graze sheep and cattle, today they draw anglers from all over the globe, thanks to their well-held reputation as offering some of the finest trout fishing on the entire planet (photos: Earl Harper). ABOVE Despite the region’s extreme latitude, which keep Tierra del Fuego’s summers cooler than anywhere else on the South American continent, winters are relatively mild. As a result, the archipelago supports a diverse population of wildlife including these guanacos (a wild, close relative of the llama), fox, beaver, and almost 100 species of birds (photo: Chad Shmukler). View the rest of the story at Hatch Magazine

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Suinda Lodge: This luxury lodge in Argentina is a fisherman’s dream by Eliza Velk

Located in Argentina’s Corrientes Province overlooking the Paraná River, this newly constructed Suinda Lodge is a fisherman’s sanctuary. To offer fishing enthusiasts the trip of a lifetime, Frontiers International Travel has announced they will be taking over the deluxe seven-acre property as part of their new fishing expedition tours. The bucket list trip offers exceptional catch-and-release fishing for a diverse range of warm-water Argentine species including dorado, pirá pitá and pacú.                           While both fly fishers and conventional fishers are welcome, there is a limit to just eight guests per week. They will be accommodated in the lodge’s four air-conditioned suites, each with private bathrooms. The suites are all conveniently connected to the main dining hall by wooden footbridges. From there, it’s a short walk to the water. Inside, the wood-made rooms evoke a certain rustic charm yet offer a sense of luxury with their contemporary fittings and furniture. During the expedition, guests will also be provided with loan equipment including custom, comfort-enhanced skiffs specifically designed for fishing the Paraná. The days will typically start with an early morning fish before returning to the lodge at 10 am for a swim, lunch and drinks. Then after a mid-day siesta, boats will head back out around 4:30 pm and return at dusk. But don’t worry, you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner. An experienced team of chefs, trained in both classic and avant-garde culinary techniques, will be at the Suinda lodge to prepare every meal; meanwhile, you get to enjoy the open bar. Menus range from Argentine and international cuisine paired with famed Bodega Catena Zapata wines. Gourmet cuisine will feature Argentina’s famed beef and fine wines, traditional Asados (BBQs), and delicious desserts. And for moments when you’re feeling a […]

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Fly fishing in the Land of fire – by Evan Mcglinn

In the snow-capped Andes of nearby Chile, the Rio Grande flows through desolate lowland made up of sheep-farming estancias. There is little sign of man in this part of Argentina. Yet the remote locale features some of the largest brown trout in the world. Every fly fisherman owes a debt of gratitude to a troutloving Brit named John Goodall. He’s the chap who single handedly imported today’s massive sea-run brown trout into Argentina’s Rio Grande River in Tierra del Fuego. It’s a remote destination now so coveted by anglers that many are willing to endure 24 hours (or more) of travel just for a chance to cast to these brutes, which sometimes tip the scales at over 20 pounds. The river is responsible for five worldrecord brown trout—the largest being 35 pounds, 2 ounces caught in 1998. Fish ranging in size from 27 to 35 pounds are caught each season. Every week, 20-pound fish are caught and released. “You will probably catch more big fish in one week here than you will in your entire lifetime,” says Richard White, an avid angler from London who fished here in March. He confesses the biggest trout he ever caught back home was a little more than 8 pounds. Argentina’s Rio Grande River is responsible for five world-record brown trout— the largest being 35 pounds, 2 ounces caught in 1998 From Buenos Aires, fishermen typically fly three and a half hours on an Aerolíneas Argentinas flight to Ushuaia— the southernmost city in the world and a jumping-off spot for exploring Antarctica. From there it’s a four-hour car ride or a 35-minute hop via helicopter ($1,700/ three passengers), depending on which lodge they booked. The anglers coming here “are a very unique fishermen,” says Hank Ingram, a South American expert for travel outfitter Frontiers […]

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Help The Abaco Lodge Staff & Community. Bid to win a NW experience

The outpouring of concern and support from the angling community rally has been heartwarming. We want to thank everyone that has helped those on Abaco-but we need to do more. Nervous Waters is offering three different trips that have NO EXPIRATION DATE, and are TRANSFERABLE to friends/ family. The 3 winning bids of the auction will be donated to the staff of Abaco Lodge and the community of Abaco Island. How does it work? Program Descriptions: Program Description: Kau Tapen means “House of Fishing” in the Ona Language and here, at the heart of the Río Grande, are the best pools on the river. Anglers will fish either single- or two-handed rods to pursue the prized sea-run trout. From skating bombers through broad tail-outs and swing streamers across the river’s best beats to drifting nymphs against deep cut banks, anglers use an assortment of various methods to chase the trout that will haunt you for the rest of your days. Fish in the 15-pound range are common and 20 pounders are caught each week. Itinerary: Spend 7 nights and 6 days fishing @ Kautapen Lodge, located on the Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego. When: Season runs from January until April. Trips have no expiration date and are transferable to friends/family. Download Brochure – Kautapen Lodge Program description: For Dorado–planning a combo trip, increases your odds of catching more fish. You also broaden your fishing horizons, see new rivers, learn new techniques, and explore an array of prime dorado habitats. These trips are not only educational, but they’re also the makings of a true fishing adventure-with big tackle wrecking dorado lurking on every sandbar, and near every sunken log. Itinerary: Spend 1 night @ Delta Eco Lodge, 3 nights @ Suindá Lodge and 4 nights @ Pirá Lodge. When: Season runs from January until May. Trips have no expiration date and […]

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A letter from our CEO & Founder

Dear Friends, Family, Clients and All:   Being founder and CEO of Nervous Waters and her sister companies has been one of the greatest joys of my life and the best job I could have imagined. I wake up every morning looking forward to my day and I go to bed each night thinking about how to better please and serve our clients. However, on September 1st, a storm ravaged Abaco Island and its aftermath has resulted in all of us changing our daily jobs and lives to focus on those in need, especially geared towards the twelve families that work for us and many more that indirectly are part of Abaco lodge.Hurricane Dorian, as you likely know, leveled Abaco Island and has left thousands homeless in its wake. It totally destroyed our Abaco Lodge, which has been operating since 2008, and has traumatized our lodge staff-leaving twelve families without homes, without a school for their children, without clothes and without jobs. They must literally start over with nothing, but we will be there beside them through this long recovery process. Our loyal caretaker Cialin Dany lost his dear fiancee Alisha Liolli to the storm, leaving 2-year-old Evans without a mother. We are totally devastated by his loss, and are committed to making sure this family and the eleven others are well cared for until they can rebuild and we can rebuild the lodge so they can care for themselves again. While our Abaco Lodge “Go Fund Me” campaign (swiftly organized by our Bahamas partner Oliver White) has been very successful in raising funds for our lodge family, we anticipate the road ahead to be a long and a difficult one. We have already started to use those monies to provide for their urgent cash needs as they are being evacuated to […]

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Abaco Island update – Hurricane Dorian aftermath

Abaco Island in the Bahamas has been devastated by Hurricane Dorian, the strongest storm in recorded history to hit the Islands of the Bahamas. Abaco Lodge was completely destroyed but our family, friends, and staff are all accounted for. While the lodge and boats and other equipment are all insured, that is not the case for our family, friends, and staff on the island. Most lost everything and all lost something. Abaco Lodge has touched a lot of people over the years, and we hope you will help this community in this time of need. We will direct funds to the family, friends, and staff of Abaco Lodge and the community efforts at large. The community on Abaco will need our help to rebuild their lives, we are committed to the island and its people. Thanks to your generosity on the Gofundme campaign we are making this possible. We have been truly touched by the outpouring of support to date, and words cannot express our thanks for your generosity.  These people need our help and will for a long time. We believe the best way to help this community rebuild is to put money directly in the hands of those people that we know. A detailed accounting of how the funds are distributed will be provided.   About Abaco Lodge Abaco Lodge has been totally destroyed by Hurricane Dorian. Our sole focus currently is on our lodge staff and their families, as well as the greater community of Abaco island. We will keep our fishing community informed as time passes. Again, thanks for all your support. Our friends at Hatch Magazine wrote this article that gives a more detail description of the consequences of the storm. Thanks to Chad Shmukler for the support and Dan Zazworsky for the photos, and coverage of this event.

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Abaco Lodge update – Support our community

While Hurricane Dorian passed in a matter of days, the devastation left in its wake will be with us for months or perhaps years. Our Abaco Lodge was lost in the storm. Abaco, Bahamas has been part of  Nervous Waters Family for nearly 10 years. Our thoughts are with all the people from Marsh Harbour community. The situation in Abaco has brought unprecedented damage and uncertainty to our friends, family, and staff on the ground. They have been displaced by the storm, and while international aid is beginning to appear on the island, we plan to support these folks in any way possible. Toward that end, we humbly ask for your help; see the details of the Go Fund Me campaign that will raise money to go directly to our Abaco families, so that they have shelter, food, and clean water while they attempt to rebuild on their island home. We have received literally hundreds of calls and messages, and please know that we greatly appreciate your concern and continued support. https://www.gofundme.com/f/abaco-lodge-hurricane-dorian-relief-efforts?rcid=r01-156752275055-5d411c73aba440a7&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

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Villa Maria Lodge – End of Season 2019

Another season has come and gone on the Rio Grande and as usual, the river taught us many lessons. The main theme of this season was the drought over the island – which in fact affected all of Patagonia.  By the end of December we saw the last rains of the summer and they restarted by mid march. This two and a half month period with almost no rain lead to very low river conditions. Probably the lowest I have seen it in 15 years. Those long,deep, and classic Villa Maria pools, like Barranca de Alen or Moneta, were moving very slowly. Low water conditions also leads to a rise in the water temperatures during the warmest hours of the day in summer, turning the fish torpid during these periods. Sub Antarctic fish, don’t really enjoy sub tropical temperatures! This mix of less-than-ideal conditions, forced us to pick very carefully the way and time we were going to fish every pool. The wind, sunlight, time of the day, cloud cover, water speed and angler skills and/or limitations are always things we have to have in mind, and mix them properly, to have a successful day. And trial and error is also part of the process But considering all this, the fishing was very satisfactory and steady along the season. Perhaps was not a year of big numbers but the big fish were around and we were able to catch them along the whole day, not just in the last light of the evening. The river delivered in a perfect manner and everybody enjoyed their fishing time in Rio Grande getting their glimpse at the trophy sea trout that can’t be found anywhere else in the planet. In fact, despite the river’s super low water level, we caught double the number of 20+lbs fish compared to the 2018 season. As tackle goes, low water conditions pushed us to use lighter tackle than usual for this lower stretch of the river. Shorter and not so heavy sink tips were a […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge Week 12: March 23-30, 2019

The second last week of the season is over and we had a full house! Some old friends came to visit us again: Roberto and Fran, as well as Martin and Theresa, all four from Argentina, and who have been coming here for many years now. Tom and Colman, who’s first time it was were keen fishermen and excited for a completely new fishing experience. Richard, who had fished the Rio Grande before, brought his good friend Gordon. Just as last year, the guys from Fly Fishing Nation hosted part of the week with Alex bringing along Daniel, both who were with the same week last year, as well as Fabrizio and Patrick, who were in for a great first Argentinian experience. Last but not least Toni, who came to follow this week’s anglers with his camera, conserving all these amazing experiences and images in motion pictures! After this exact week last year had been a complete blast, we were all looking forward to another great late season week! Last week’s push of water had already dropped to a large extend. However, the water was still colored and the visibility stayed knee- to thigh-deep all week – a dark tee. In my opinion the best color of water, that gives the fish enough clarity to fish smaller rubberleg nymphs/bugs, but at the same time is murky enough to fish a larger streamers or leeches with good confidence as well. Despite those very promising conditions, the first day started slowly, with only few fish landed during the first morning session. Everybody had to get used to the new environment and get warmed up with the casting. But already the evening brought some proper fish, amongst them a chunky 18 pounder for Gordon to take the pressure off of him. The fishing […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge Week 13: March 30 – April 6, 2019

The season comes to an end and the timing could not have been more perfect. During the last week, we had the very cool and interesting experience to host a full group of non-anglers, who stayed here for 2,5 days as part of a business meeting. Luckily, the conditions were still great – clear(ish) water and fairly stable & warm weather conditions. After a few hours of (spey)casting lessons, we tackled the river and already caught the first few fish. For us, this experience was just as exciting, as it probably was for them. Most of the group members had never fished before and it was amazing to see their progress on both, the mere casting and the understanding of the entire concept of fly fishing. Within those 2,5 days, we managed to bring everyone into fish, amongst them a few very good high-teen specimen and even one amazing fresh fish of 21 lbs – and it seemed like we might have even sparked the interested for a new passion at least for some of them. What an amazing experience for everyone and the excitement about every fish, no matter its size, was very humbling and refreshing!   As this fun group left on Tuesday morning, we welcomed the last group of anglers on Wednesday morning for the owner’s week with Nervous Water CEO Fernando alongside some good friends and guides from other Nervous Waters operations. Some of them stayed for only one or two days, some others until Sunday. However, while it had heavily rained on Monday and all the way through Tuesday night, the water had come up at least one foot on Wednesday morning. Both, the Rio Grande and the Menendez were quite murky and conditions were tricky. While the fishing was very tough on Wednesday and […]

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