FD: How was this project born? Where does the name Kuntur come from?
Santiago: My name is Santiago Derendinger and I am the creator of Kuntur Fly Fishing. The name Kuntur means Condor (bird of prey) in the Quechua language and I thought it fits very well, especially because of the places where we operate.
The Kuntur project was born about 4 years ago from the idea of approaching fishing operations from another perspective. I am a fly-fishing guide and an instructor at the Andes Anglers School in Argentina, but above all I am an angler, and I have felt for some time that we had to give a twist to fly-fishing operations and try to generate different experiences in different places.
So, this crazy idea was born to take a 4X4 MOTORHOME ASSISTANCE TRUCK from the RALLY DAKAR and turn it into a Mobile Lodge. So far so good. Now we had to think about destinations, I wanted something never seen before and that would really surprise the public. "Something to blow your wig off," I thought. I started researching and focused on the Andes, specifically on Antofagasta de la Sierra in the middle of the Puna in the province of Catamarca. I had heard comments that at more than 4000 meters of altitude (above the sea) there were rivers with excellent trout fishing, so I organized a trip, loaded my equipment and left in search of that illusion. And so, this project was born, which after much work and effort became a reality.
FD: Please tell us more about the truck and its equipment.
The truck is a SCANIA P-420 4X4 converted into a Motorhome. It has capacity for 6 fishermen and has 2 floors. On the ground floor it has a room with a double bed, kitchen, a simple bathroom, another bathroom with shower, dining room, satellite TV, PlayStation, air conditioning and heating. Upstairs, it has 5 single beds with storage space for personal items, air conditioning and heating.
I always clarify to our clients that although the truck has all the comforts, we must understand that it is still A TRUCK.
FD: How is the fishing in the area you call Puna?
The experience of the Puna is called "Fly Fishing on the Moon", referring to the fact that it is like going fishing out of this planet. It is an absolutely incredible experience and, without fear of being wrong, I can say that it is different from all the fishing experiences that almost any fisherman has had. Fishing over 4000 meters above sea level for wild rainbow trout, in absolutely crystal clear waters, with all the sight fishing techniques, is already incredible, but that is only half of the experience.
I always say that it is experiential and that to understand it you have to go and feel what it is like to be there. The crater of the largest volcano in the world, the longest salt flat in the world, and the unique Pumice Field are just some of the attractions. It's a journey to the beginnings of the Earth. Fishing spots are surrounded by lava bombs the size of a building, mountains of all colors, an incredible fauna with more than 60 species of birds, foxes, South American ostriches or Ñandú, and the elegant vicuñas always attentive to us, distrustful but curious, make this experience absolutely revealing.
The Puna impacts you, reaches you deep down, fills your eyes with beauty and also mistreats you, but the reality is that in the end it always touches you in some way. If I could take everyone there to see its majesty, I would do it. I feel that everyone should go at least once in their lifetime and let themselves be caught by this magical place. In my opinion, this is the only way to understand that such a place exists on this planet.
FD: What about the Patagonia programs?
There is not much to say about Patagonia that has not already been said. It is undoubtedly one of the best destinations for fly fishing in the world. For this experience, we combine the adventure of going through carefully chosen routes, with the different environments that Patagonia offers; from the famous steppes to its millenary forests. In its waters we can find a great variety of species, among which brown, rainbow and fontinalis trout stand out.
Our aim is to make those who travel with us live experiences in a different way, to make them feel part of an adventure and return home with a feeling of fullness. Our RALLY DAKAR 4X4 MOTORHOME TRUCK allows our clients to live this fishing trip in a different way. Waking up next to the river with all the comforts that our mobile lodge offers, having breakfast in the middle of nature, fishing all day long, and when you return, enjoying the delicacies made by our Chef and the exclusive wines of our operation make this experience something totally innovative.
We have developed two fishing routes:
One in the beautiful rivers of northern Neuquén province, where lovers of dry flies and nymphs will make the most of the fishing days. Some of the rivers you can enjoy are Trocoman, Neuquén, Pichi Neuquén, Curamileo...
The other operation is to go in search of the "Great Trophy". Even if not all anglers will accept it, almost all of us who fish always have the illusion of lifting the trout of our lives from the depths. In this case, we started the adventure with 2 days of floating in one of the temples of fly fishing worldwide, the mythical Upper Limay River, and then we moved northwards towards the Province of Neuquén to fish, either wading or floating rivers such as Malleo, Chimehuín, Aluminé and Collón Curá.
Besides, we are developing new destinations that are a bomb. Keep an eye on the news!
FD: What do you want a client to take away from this experience?
All our efforts are aimed at making our client take home moments to treasure afterwards. We consider our company as a "happiness factory" and we are very aware that working with sensations is not easy, but we also know that we have been preparing for this for a long time.
FD: What else would you like the public to know before contacting you to live this cool experience?
Something to keep in mind is that beyond the programs we already have, our customers can contact us to develop together personalized trips to the destination they want.
More info about this great operation, right here: Kuntur Fly Fishing.
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