Richard grew up in concrete canyons of Buenos Aires. As a teenager he vacationed on in Bariloche and fell in love with the small mountain town. He ordered a fiberglass fly rod from the states and taught himself to fly fishing walking the banks of the nearby Rio Limay. As his reputation as a fly angler grew, travelers looking for advice were directed to his doorstep and it wasn't long before his guiding career began. After four decades of guiding he is now one of a handful that are considered Barlioche's old-timers.
Jorge ditched the suits and offices of his Buenos Aires executive job to pursue his passion chasing fish. He opened a B&B in San Martin and brought his business acumen to the world of fly fishing. His foresight into angling revolutionized fly fishing in Patagonia from a boca trophy hunt to a sustainable country wide industry. Largely due to Jorge's foresight, rivers like the Rio Malleo and Rio Chimehuin have become staples of the Patagonia fly fishing experience. He hasn't stopped looking for the next great hotspot of Patagonian trout and recently opened the first lodge on the banks of the Medio section of the Limay River. Even running one of Patagonia's largest operations he's still on the water more often than not.
Reid Baker got hooked on fly fishing in college and decided to throw away his degree guiding in Colorado. He bugged out of spending a winter behind a fly shop register to pursue a dream of big trout in Patagonia. He went in with a buddy to buy a 1982 sedan on its last legs and started fishing across Northern Patagonia. His skill as an angler and personality make him as desirable as a guide as a travel companion and I look forward to every opportunity to fish with Reid. He's the guy that can always find the energy for one or twenty more casts at the end of the day when everyone else is content to zombie out. His infectious enthusiasm for fish kept me going further and harder than I could have alone and I owe some of my best fish to Reid's persistence.
As the Research Program Manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bozeman, Montana it's his job to know more about fish than a the fish crazy town of yahoos that call Bozeman home. And while Jim's job mainly deals with the efficacy of drugs used on fish for various reasons his research has also led him to figure out how to make them take a fly. As much time as he spends around fish you might think his enthusiasm for them might wane, but it seems to have the opposite effect. Few people I've fished with are as upbeat and optimistic with a fly rod in hand. It's hard not to have the time of your life fishing with Jim and his constant stream of hilarious fish babble. It's been said that the best fisherman is the one who has the most fun, if this is true it won't be long till Jim's induction into the hall of fame.
Living the dream sums up John's life. Retired from the corporate race in the twin cities he followed a life long dream and moved to Montana. He set up shop where he could pursue his two passion, skiing and fishing without too long of a drive. When he's not ski patrolling with college kids a third his age he's sneaking on to private ranches for shots at big trout. He has a unique ability not to take life to serious making him about the best fishing company one could ask for. John also has also mastered a second language, its somewhere between English and Spanish and understood by no one. Its spoken with such goodwill that more often than not it achieves the desired results.
Montana native and Co-founder of Patagonia River Guides Travis Smith has become a who's who in comtempory fly fishing circles. His company PRG has been instrumental in putting Central Patagonia on the fishing map. Before they entered the Patagonia scene most anglers had never heard of towns like Trevelin and Rio Pico. They are now sought after destinations for the quality of fish and guiding by Travis and the staff he and partner Rance Rathie have assembled. When not in Patagonia he still guides the Henry's Fork likely putting himself in an annual worldwide lead for most guide days the river. His easy style and knowledge of the rivers he works keeps his schedule full. He's also a shoe in for next mayor of Rio Pico if he ever chooses to run.
Banana grew up in the hey day of boca fishing on this home water the Rio Correntosso. He watched the seemingly endless supply of monster fish start to dwindle during the eighties. As a guide and a local fly shop owner the fish were his passion and his profession. Instead of giving up on the river and its fish he rallied the tiny local community around the cause to save the fish. With a local radio drive he raised money to create an artificial spawning facility and research station. He also undertook the tough task of changing the tropy fishing culture to one of catch and release sustainability. He started with the local school children making them a part of the fish's lifecyle. Banana's efforts are some of the first of its kind in Argentin where his passion and intelligent approach are a role model for future efforts.
Tucked back tight into a small slot of a valley at the base of Cerro Tronador, Lago Fonck is a retreat in every sense of the word. A lone cabin sits on the shore of the picturesque lake where naturalist, guide, and pro-bono park ranger Carlos Cowes calls home. He left the rush of life as a road engineer to take refuge at the remote lake south of Bariloche. He makes a living renting a small collection of skiffs and guiding the anglers that make the bumpy, muddy, and oft impassable road to the lake. Some years he is forced to pack his supplies on his back to stock the cabin in the spring the road is so bad. But for Carlos, a man who appreciates solitude and the value of effort, the long trudge with a heavy pack is not a burden.