One of the drawbacks of being a fly-fishing company based in the United States is that we can't always see how our products are received in other markets. We get reports and see sales figures, but until we actually set foot on the ground in other countries, a lot of that information seems transitive or ethereal. That is why we decided that a trip to South America was in order. Of course, it didn't hurt that the fishing was going to be top-notch. With a few fly rods, a lot of fly lines, and a bit of jet lag, SA's international sales manager Jeff Pierce and marketing manager John Van Vleet (that's me) set off on a whirlwind tour of Argentina and Chile.
The trip began in Buenos Aires, where we met with local legend Marcelo Morales. He showed us around Buenos Aires Anglers and gave us a one-word summary of what the Buenos Aires fly-fishing market is all about: DORADO. Neither Jeff or I had ever fished for dorado before, so in order to understand all the fervor, we headed out with guide Noel Pollak, Marcelo Morales, and Nicolas Schwint and Luis San Miguel from Fly Dreamers in search of gold. If anyone could lead us to the promised land, it would be these four.
We fished hard for two days, throwing streamers in the murky water of the delta area, tossing flies under overhanging limbs in all of the interconnecting canals, and even getting so close to Uruguay that we could almost check it off as another country we visited. Late in the afternoon on the first day, Jeff Pierce hooked into a beautifully colored dorado, golden from its head to the bend of its tail, where it picked up a shocking orange hue. One of Jeff's dream fish from the time he was a child, landing this monster was an absolute bucket-list moment for SA's international sales manager.
We instantly understood what all the dorado fever was all about and why a specialized line is necessary. (I can't give away all of our secrets, but let's just say you shouldn't be surprised if you see an SA dorado-specific line one of these days.)
From there, we travelled to Chile. Over the course of a week, we fished the Manihuales, the Maullin, and the Puelo rivers, getting a first-hand education on Chilean trout and salmon angling. From tossing huge foam-bodied beetle patterns on the Manihuales to swinging huge streamers on the Puelo, the fishing was amazing but the learning was invaluable.
At Scientific Anglers, we're fully committed to making the best fly lines, leaders, and tippet in the world—and that last word means a lot to us. Fly fishing is a worldwide sport, and as such, we will continue to modify and improve our products so that all of us will be able to go out, have fun, and catch more fish.