Let me start off clarifying I don't speak much Spanish and I'm not well traveled.  However, when Reed Ryan started talking about a trip he was hosting to Argentina last fall I quickly hopped on board.  Reed hosted a group of 7 guys down to Patagonia for Andes Drifters' trout portion of their operation in mid Febraury of this year.  I met up with Reed in Buenos Aires for the second half of his trip to pursue Golden Dorado in the Ibera Wetlands and Parana River.  I'll do my best to do this trip justice because it was the coolest experience of my life.  I often found myself wondering how I got there and felt guilty getting to experience such a world class fishing operation.  The food was unreal and the fishing even better.  So here we go..
As a young/single and extremely eligible man, I figured why not head down to Buenos Aires a few days early.  This was a surprisingly intimidating experience because my Spanish is shaddy at best.  I did very little planning for this but Reed helped me book an Airbnb in a safe area centrally located to a lot of night lift.  I managed to navigate my way around the city without getting in much trouble and happy to report I came out unscathed.  Buenos Aires is an incredible city that doesn't really get going until 12 am.  So much plant life and the city is alive with energy and culture..
Reed and I met up on a Saturday, had an amazing dinner in downtown Buenos Aires and took the first flight out Sunday morning to Corrientes.  Upon arrival in Corrientes, one of our guides, Lucas, picked us up at the airport and drove us to the lodge in Concepcion.  Lucas and I quickly got along when I found out he is a big Mac Miller fan, who happens to be my deceased first cousin.  From the second we arrived at Corrientes, the focus was on Golden Dorado.  The service impeccable..  
Our focus for the next 3 days is the Ibera Wetlands.  This area is home to the second largest wetland in the world which is over 5,000 square miles.  Andes Drifters has exclusive guiding access to the west side of the marsh in Concepcion and we did not see another angler during our 3 days fishing this area.  The Golden Dorado in this area are eager to eat both large streamers and top water poppers.  And they are explosive to say the least..
We spent 2 nights in the Concepcion lodge and then a night at "camp".  Camp is a small cabin in the middle of the marsh that gives you prime access to the best fishing.  And man oh man it's good.  The Andes Drifters crew spent the last 2 years exploring and digging a canal via flats boat that allows access to camp via boat.  There was also a great family that traveled to camp via horseback and brought all of our supplies.  This was the best I've ever eaten at a camp in my life.  A true lesson on world class service..
The final leg of the trip led us to the Parana River in Itati. 
 The Parana River is a whole different beast compared to the Ibera Wetlands.  It is a massive river and the fish are also a lot bigger.  However, they require more effort to catch.  The fishing here was entirely large streamers and my arm felt like it was going to fall off at the end of every day.  Without a doubt, these days were the hardest I have ever fished in my life. 
But the reward was worth it..
Lunches were lengthy and involved a nice bottle of red wine...followed by a 2 hour nap..
and we fished sunup to sundown..
I have to say my favorite part of the trip was our guide Carlos.  Carlos was with us from the start of the trip to the end.  Up at 5 am and guiding us until 9 pm.  He is a man that is truly obsessed with his craft and he is damn good at it.  I learned a lot from Carlos on this trip.  He was hyper focused on providing the best experience possible for Reed and I from sunup to sundown.  I hope to see him every year as long as I am healthy and able..
For more info on this unbelievable experience, go check out Andes Drifters Dorado combo program
Thanks for Listening! 
Ben McCormick 

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