Over the holidays, I spent two weeks in Ecuador visiting family. Poor planning on my part resulted in my bringing no fishing gear. I considered it for a while, but decided with the remotness of the landscape and it being my first time there with my wife, that I wouldnt risk broaching the subject of fishing.
Fast forward to the second day in Ecuador - I was browsing Instagram (check out my page addictedtoviseflies) and saw a post by Javier Guevara of Ecuador Fly Fishing (Insta page - ecuadorflyfishing). I'd been following this page for quite a while and decided to reach out to see what the possiblity was of getting a last minute day trip together! It was more of a speculative email than an expectant one, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quick response to the affirmative, that indeed, there was a guide in Quito who could take me fishing for a day. Bearing in mind that I'd no gear with me, this was no problem. So I got all the necessary details and shared my desires, booked the trip and waited 5 days with baited breath to fish for Andean Trout.
My guide, Daniel, picked my up promptly at 6am, for the couple hour drive deeper into the mountains to a remote village in the Cayambe-Coca Reserve. On the way we stopped for breakfast
This was the view from the road - Cayambe Volcano.
It was a great day for fishing, if a little bright. The journey further would take about 1.5 hours to the stream, along mountain roads, but the scenery, as you can see was spectacular!! The final atltitude was, I believe, somewhere in the 3500m range. But since I'd been there a week already, I was well aclimatized.
When we arrived at the village, Daniel too care of the fishing pass, i.e. permission from the locals, whom he knew well, to fish the stream from which they got their food. We tackled up and set off down stream from here to walk back upstream for the day.
Here to the right are hot springs.
From here on out, I'll let the pictures do the talking, other than to say, we caught about 50 fish (I shit you not), all wild rainbows. There was literally fish in every hole we dropped flies. We fished a combination of nymphs under an indicator and dry flies. The fish weren't huge, as you'll see, but one did come to hand that was pretty fat!
Trout don't live in ugly places.
The biggest catch of the day.
The honey hole - this fella above came out from behind the rock in the middle of the picture.
End of the day. My guide, Daniel, an impressive young guy. He let me fish with all his personal gear including his prized G Loomis NRX LP 4 wt. Thats a great rod, and on my want (not need) list!
All in all, for a very reasonable fee (plus tip to Daniel), I was chauffered to and from my door to a pristine stream, fed breakfast and lunch (chicken soup, followed by fried trout with rice - Yum) and expertly guided on a remote mountain stream by what a professional outfit in Ecuador Fly Fishing.
Javier also has a lodge close to Quito, and next time I'm down that way, I'll certainly be availing of the services of this top notch guide service!
Finally, on the way home, we went the "mountain pass" after obtaining permission (as pass) from the local folks. The views were again spectular, including this mountain lake!There were fish rising, but with it getting dark and the clouds descending rapidly, we drove on by.
I can't say it loud enough, but if you find yourself in Quito Ecuador (or are considering any of the other location Ecuador Fly Fishing offer guide trips too), you could do a whole lot worse than contact Javier Guevara and work with him to organize your trip. Mexico and Colombia are two of the other locations he offers trips to, and I know from speaking with him and seeing his Instagram page this week, thats he in Colombia right now hunting peacock bass!
Thanks Javier and Daniel for the experience of a lifetime!