The Puyehue Volcanic eruption in May of 2011 caused many anglers to change their plans or avoid booking trips altogether to the Junin and San Martin de los Andes region in 2012. We were worried by the lack of flights and the overzealous reports but were confident that the ash wouldn’t cause more than just a seasons worth of bad publicity. We’re happy to report that flights to both Bariloche and San Martin are back to normal and those that fished in 2012 will tell you that the fish are healthy and strong as ever.
Most of the ash was deposited near the border with Chile and around the town of Villa la Angostura. The Caleufu, Traful and Filo Hue Hum Rivers were the most affected, and while some ash still remains on site, the rivers are full of healthy fish. Tributaries of the Collon Cura like the Malleo, Chimehuín, and Alumine didn’t receive any ash due to their locations north of San Martin de los Andes. The lower Collon Cura received some ash, but most was gone by late February and guests were able to enjoy the unique pancora crabs, willow worms, and the traditional minnow run. Today, all of our northern rivers are running clear, and the ash–like in most Andean eruptions–was non-toxic and is now acting like a fertilizer. The Andes Mountains, the beautiful valleys, the rivers that flow through them, and even the McCloud River strain of rainbows that swim in the rivers are all well adapted to handle volcanic eruptions. In fact, a good eruption every once and a while is healthy for the ecosystem and flora and fauna flourish. PRG North expects incredible fishing for 2013 with increased nutrients and already a good wet and cool winter. This is a season not to miss, and if you visit you’ll be curious what the fuss was all about to begin with!