“This fish looked just like the one you had a couple of days ago”

Paulo Hoffman: Some things just do not happen too often. One of these things is hooking an anadromous fish in the river in the same pool twice. However, that just happened the other week here on the Rio Grande, Argentina.

Every season at Kau Tapen Lodge starts with guide’s week, which is the week before the first clients arrive. It allows the guides to get relearn the river and fish it properly.  This season Paulo, of the Fly Fishing Nation, hooked and landed a 15 lb, colored-up angry sea-run brown trout. This particular fish must have been in the river for a few weeks, judging by its coloration.

Fishing was tough the first week, with only a few fish brought to hand. Incredibly, amongst these first few fish of the season was one 15-pound, colored up, angry sea-run brown trout landed by non-other than, Christiaan Pretorius. To be more specific, from the same pool, that Paulo had his 15-pounder just 5 days before.

“This fish looked just like the one you had a couple of days ago”, were one guide’s thoughts when getting back to the lodge. Comparing the two images side-by-side gave us even more confidence that the 2 catches were one and the same.

In my local trout fishery, it is not uncommon to get the same fish multiple times in the same spot. Residential browns tend to be very territorial after reaching a certain size/age and hardly ever leave their spot/pool. With migratory fish, it is a whole different ballgame. You don’t hear of many instances, where the same sea run brown is hooked twice at the same spot.  Later in the season in a different pool, that can happen quite frequently, but there is just not much evidence simply because it can be difficult to recognize or even pay attention to every fish landed.

Christiaan Pretorius: When you are in the fortunate position to spend a good amount of time on the water, you get to witness some pretty incredible moments, whether it be 40+ pound giant trevally eating bonefish at your feet or double hook ups on Indopacific Permit.

We had been traveling for the past couple of weeks around Argentina fishing some of the Nervous Waters fisheries. Our last stop was Kau Tapen for the very famous sea run brown trout fishery. This has been a lifelong dream of mine and I was super pumped to finally tick that box off my bucket list.
Being there the first week of the season, I didn’t really expect to encounter some of the big jawed, colored male fish that one normally finds later in the season. The guides had a couple of days to fish and familiarise themselves with the river before the first guests showed up to kick off the 2018 season.
One of the new guides at the lodge, Paulo Hoffman, managed to hook a really healthy male fish that had some color to him already. At first glance at the picture, I immediately said that is exactly what I am looking for.
Long story short, five days after Paolo netted that beautiful fish, I hooked up to a fish that to me looked very similar to Paolo’s. I was super stoked when Nanchi got the fish in the net and kept saying “that’s the one, that’s exactly what I was looking for”…I was pumped!
Arriving at the lodge that evening after the session we sat at the bar talking about the day when we decided to compare my fish with Paolo’s, only to realize that it was the same fish.
Paulo Hoffman is a member of The Fly Fishing Nation. He is an accomplished fishing guide having fished all over the globe. Follow his adventures @theflyfishingnation on Instagram.
Christiaan Pretorius is the Lodge Manager at Abaco Lodge in the Bahamas. The rest of the time he spends traveling the globe chasing his next trophy fish! For epic angling content, follow him on Instagram @christiaanpretorius!
Photos courtesy of Paulo Hoffman and Christiaan Pretorius