Testimonials

Our goal at First Cast Fly Fishing is not only meeting your needs, but surpassing them! If you feel that we have accomplished this goal, then please consider submitting a testimonial. You can post on Trip Advisor, or email to FCFF and we'll post it for you.  

Thank you very much and we hope to see you again in the near future!





Mark did a fantastic job of introducing my son to the sport of fly fishing with several hours of casting skill development ~ thorough, knowledgeable and superb instruction. I wouldn't hesitate to have Mark work as a guide on the river but NH's loss in CO'd gain.

K. MacGeorge Teaver. MN, USA. 







I just spent 3+ hours with Mark, working on my casting mechanics. Mark is a professional IFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor.  This guy knows his stuff and is able to articulate and demonstrate the intricacies of fly casting. Seeing myself on video really drives home the points he teaches. Mark's company FCFF also arranges fly fishing trips to Patagonia, Argentina.  A small group of us is going in December, 2017.  I would highly recommend Mark's services.  Plus, he's a nice guy. 

Bradford Geer.  New Hampshire, USA.


Our guided DIY programs are ideal for father-son fishing trips!

We are extremely proud and happy to create family moments like this!























Trip was excellent!  I could not have asked for more. Loved fishing with Mark's head guide. It was the first time after a fishing trip I actually found myself missing the guide. We really enjoyed him as a person not just a guide. He made it feel like we were fishing with him as buddies instead of just being guided around. In terms of fishing, he is a true maestro (master).  Please feel free to give my name to any potential customer who wants a reference and I will give you a glowing review.

S. Pickens and J. Pickens.  Georgia, USA. 


For a full day of fly casting instruction, we combined our 1X on-land with our 2X in-water casting class.  




























I always wanted to take a fly fishing lesson, but hesitated as it was very much out of my comfort zone when I contemplated doing so.  Mark was patient, kind, funny, and never made me feel intimidated. Breaking things down, using terms I understood, I had a blast today and feel confident that I can learn this.  Breathe, relax, feel your feet, have fun, fish!  Everyone should take a lesson and get in the water.  Good for the soul!

M. Cloutier.  Maine, USA.

What a fantastic day! My head is still spinning from all I learned and I still have a permagrin on my face from the fun we had! Thank you!!!

Jenn Gagnon.  Maine, USA. 


























We had an awesome three days floating the Junin de los Andes area with First Cast. Our guide, was as knowledgable and as good of a rower as any guide I have ever had, and he genuinely loved fishing and helping us hook into some big ones. One of the best aspects of First Cast is that everyone involved is really passionate about fly fishing, and that passion finds its way into their trips. Then there is the fact that the fishing is all you could dream of! Mark and his partner were also very helpful in planning the rest of our DIY trip in Argentina. Both are very communicative, which was incredibly helpful throughout the trip. I hope I can make it back down to Argentina to fish again, if I do, First Cast will be the first people to know!

B. Goodwin. Wisconsin, USA

























My guided DIY Patagonia experience was amazing. I feel sure that there would have been opportunities for bigger/more fish if the rivers hadn't been blown out. I fished the Chimehuin all 4 days. The first day in the stretch starting right in Junin de los Andes and drifting for about 8 miles, the next two doing the upper 22 mile stretch from the lake down to Junin, and the last with the kids repeating most of the first float. Mark's partner and head guide was amazing to work with and it was a blast fishing the fast section of the river on top. I must have made hundreds of casts both days, often times to pocket water where the fly was only there for a second. It was gratifying that he thought I was a good enough caster to do it. It was amazingly challenging, but that's a lot of what the joy of fly fishing is: if anyone could master it in a day, it wouldn't be worth pursuing. He went so far as to carry the kids on his back from the raft to shore so they wouldn't have to get their hiking boots wet. Amazing, and a great picture in my mind.
























The owner-host of Mark's private apartment was friendly, kind, solicitous and seemed genuinely concerned that the kids and I have a great time. The apartment worked well and we were exceedingly comfortable. After being on the road for 3 months, Norah was excited to be able to cook so we had a couple of lovely dinners in. Our host even went so far as to loan the kids a GPS so they could find the trail heads on some of the hikes they did.

I hope that my new acquaintances in Junin de los Andes think half as well of us as we did of them.

C. Driver.  Oregon, USA. 
























Had a great time.  Your guide was great!

J. Sullivan & C. Eberle.  Colorado, USA























Had a great time.  Your guide was great!

C. Eberle & J.Sullivan.  Colorado, USA. 


David and Chantel enjoying our guided DIY program in Junin de los Andes.
























My wife and I visited Junin de los Andes, Argentina in January 2017 for five days and had a fabulous experience! I planned this part of my month long visit to South America through First Cast Fly Fishing. Everything about this company is genuine and professional! The unique aspect of this company (besides the lower cost) is the true local experience you will have as opposed to a typical lodge experience most commonly advertised to people searching this type of Argentina adventure. I worked with Mark to plan the visit (extremely helpful) and enjoyed the company of the apartment manager and local guides the entire visit. The feeling we had departing Junin was the local people we worked with enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed them. 

We fished three days in a row on three different uniquely, beautiful rivers. The experience was priceless, the guides are hard working and knowledgeable, and truly let you test your skills to catch some amazing Trout! The only time we encountered too many people on the river was the one time we crossed paths with a lodge group (six people).

D. Ruddle. California, USA. 


Mrs. Leach catching Brown Trout on dry flies. 
























Doing the DIY fishing in Argentina Patagonia with arrangements through First Cast Fly Fishing was perfect for us. We have had a great time both fishing and 'touristing' with your guidance.

T. Leach.  Oregon, USA. 

Visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina?  Four hours from the airport, this could be you!

























Just a quick note of thanks to express my gratitude for arranging my BsAs Golden Dorado excursion. The greeting at the airport and transportation were solid.  The accommodations were totally fine, and most importantly the guide was terrific!  All in all, everything was wonderful!  Thanks again.

J. Hughes. California, USA.






























First of all I would like to say that I had a great time on Tuesday. I was very comfortable with you and enjoyed the company as well as the casting.  I look forward to doing it again.

I did the first practice since the lesson this morning. I set up a hula hoop with a 9 inch plate in the center and dropped a plate at 30’ and 40’ to mark my standing position. I actually found 40’ easier because  I could feel the line better. I practiced right and left handed and also some with my eyes closed. I had the best accuracy with my eyes closed. Strange.  For now, just getting in the hoop I consider good.

This is the first practice that I can recall doing where either some or the greater part of it didn’t contain trying to cast as far as I could. I have set some new goals and standards for my practice as a direct result of your influence and instruction: I will not cast further than I can cast accurately and without crashing the line down on the water. One of my priorities in taking the lesson was to learn why I was crashing and you answered that. 
  
R. Rosa. Kennebunkport, Maine. USA



I'm an expert fisherman but novice fly caster and have been "stuck" for 5 years both trying to self-teach and to pick up some basic instruction from fishing guides, videos, etcetera. I finally realized that I needed more focused help and found Mark when searching for instruction in my part of seacoast New Hampshire. 

Mark's approach was absolutely perfect for my needs. He focused on fundamentals, has a very organized approach and was patient, encouraging and incredibly helpful. He was also insightful enough to discern that even with the number of years that I had been trying to learn, a basic "level 1" class was the smart place for me to start. Most important, he gives results! At the end of 3 (VERY reasonably priced) hours of instruction I was hitting my casting target consistently and accurately, and the grin on my face was a huge testimonial to Mark's skills as a teacher
.

E. Nash. Exeter, NH. USA



Tim (L) and Stephen (R)






























Had the pleasure of taking a 2-handed casting class with Mark Foley this morning. A friend and I have been fishing single-handed rods for many years but wanted to expand our repertoire by fishing switch rods. Mark was great to work with and took all the mystery out of learning two-handed casting principles and also showed us how we can apply all of the same techniques to improve our single handed casting. Mark's teaching style was a perfect match as he showed us how we could build on the basic roll-cast to slowly work our way into a half dozen or so spey casts, without bogging us down with un-necessary technical discussions or history lessons - he just taught us what we needed to know to be able to go out and fish! Very much a productive way to spend a morning, would highly recommend Mark as fly casting instructor at any level and can see how he would make an excellent guide as well!

T. Sheehy. Newburyport, MA.


I really enjoyed the two handed casting instruction, it will be a game changer when I am off to big waters this fall . As a single handed caster for over 45 years, I appreciated your instruction wasn’t right “from the manual of Skagit, spey or two handed casting”, but rather very individualized to my strengths, weaknesses, good and bad habits. Given I had my shoulder replaced last year, there were a few motion and strength limitations that you were able to find alternatives or solutions to. Thanks again, I will be in touch.

S. Murphy. Newburyport, MA. 







































"I consider myself to be with fishing buddies; not guides; muy amables y muy simpaticos. Your guides have been very sensitive to my needs (many needs), have worked indefatigably, and have genuinely changed my thinking about fishing. I must be the client from hell; clueless, ill-equipped and hapless. Your team has handled it with aplomb and great humor. These are the best guides I have ever had."

"Overall it was a fantastic trip for me principally due to two factors; the fishing was really good and your guides were the best guides I have ever met - by a country mile! Your guide had to work really hard with me. I'm not normally so hopelessly hapless but he managed to cope with everything including no cash, non functioning credit card, broken rod, broken wrist watch, inadequate equipment and a whole lot more. He was great fun to be with. He quickly realized that I'm not a good fisherman at all and was sensitive to my needs. I learned a huge amount in the time we spent together which will continue to affect my fishing from now on. Unfortunately I didn't see so much of your head guide, as he was busy with your (doubtless more accomplished) American clients.  But, when I did meet him, I very much enjoyed his company.  I can't find anything to fault you in your planning and organization of my trip. The accommodation were fine; it was pretty basic, but that's what I asked for and I'd rather be spending the money on the fishing anyway. The apartment owner was very kind and welcoming. After he discovered that I had broken my rod on the first morning he immediately lent me one of his for the rest of the week (although he never asked I paid him extra for this)."

J. Paxman.  Scotland



























Well I just wanted to drop you an e-mail to say thank you for the fantastic week I spent with you guys fishing for Trout and Golden Dorado. The fishing was great (apart from the Golden Dorado -- tough flood conditions) and the service I received before and while I was with you guys was impeccable and seamless.

Thanks, and I will definitely be seeing you again. If you are ever on the African continent please drop me a line if you need anything.

T. Karpinski.  South Africa
























In 2014, we had the good fortune of working with First Cast Fly Fishing during a visit to Patagonia Argentina. By the time we met Mark and learned about FCFF, we had already planned most of our trip to Patagonia. However, we were very interested in Mark's unique Do-It-Yourself approach to fishing and traveling Patagonia, something he has mastered through his own experience traveling the world. We re-arranged our plans to include some time with FCFF on our first visit to Patagonia.

Prior to our trip, Mark spent time with us via Skype to learn more about our interests in Patagonia. He then tailored a trip that provided us with the experience we imagined (and more), and was a perfect fit for our budget. While fly fishing was the focus of our trip, we were very grateful for the opportunity to learn more about Argentina and, specifically, Junin de los Andes. Mark was an incredible resource. We felt that our experience immersed us in the local culture in a way that cannot be accomplished through most travel "vendors." It was a very unique, authentic approach to experiencing Argentina. Our time with on the Rio Malleo was one of the highlights of our 2014 trip.

In early December, 2015, we returned to Patagonia. Once again, we worked with Mark to create a memorable experience. We spent three days with his guides on the Rio Chimehuin. Mark arranged every detail, including transportation from the airport, our floating/camping trip on the Chimehuin, and an amazing stay in the heart of Junin de los Andes, at one of his private apartments.

FCFF's guided DIY trips are a great way to experience Argentina (and other places). Mark has spent many years working and living in Patagonia. He and his team have created an extensive network of private lodging, guides, and other resources that help provide a unique, affordable experience for their clients.  


M. Ward.  Vermont, USA. 


Guided DIY Maine:  I think Leon caught +/- 20 wild fish per day
























I am a lucky guy.  I have traveled the world fishing – mostly to catch large fish.  I enjoy catching large fish, but for the past decade or so, I have been targeting wild fish – even if my catch is only eight inches long.   The one specie that I have yet to target was Brook Trout.  Lucky for me, I fished with Mark in Patagonia and told him that I wanted to fish Maine, for wild Brook Trout.  He said, “ fly into Boston, I’ll pick you up, and I’ll take you to Rangeley, Maine; the home of wild Brook Trout.”  

I spent four days in Rangeley, and it was one of the best fishing experiences of my life.  I stayed at his DIY lodge, which was affordable and comfortable.  He brought me to the fishing museum, which was one of the best I have ever seen.  But most importantly, working with his team of guides, we fished and caught lots of Brook Trout, ranging from six to twenty inches.  To be honest, when the fish are wild, the size does not matter – what matters is the experience.

A key memory of my fishing experience was how Mark's team taught me how to fish these waters – their ability to communicate so that you understand is a gift.  However, I must admit, some of their suggestions made me think twice.  In the end, I followed their advice and the results were impressive – he and his team of guides know how to fish these waters!  For an example: one night I was told to put on a dry-fly about the size of an orange (I am from Florida); I was told to cast it to an area that I would have passed by; for the next fifteen minutes I had the greatest joy an angler could possibly have.  

My experience in Maine was one of my best trips yet.  Whether in Argentina or Maine, I would highly recommend working with Mark and his team.  Their guided DIY fishing programs are the real deal.  

L. Grobaski. Orlando, FL. USA     


Guided DIY Rio Gallegos Sea Run Brown Trout

Hola Mark! I just wanted to drop you a line and say I just had the greatest day with First Cast. We had some food and drink at the end of the day and I got to meet some of his friends. It was an experience I will remember forever. 

Thanks 

A. Mutimer. British Columbia, Canada.


About 10 months ago, I met Nick Drinker.  I quickly learned that he had several bamboo rods that have been in his family for several generations; some of the rods needed repairs. So, off we went to visit our local bamboo rod expert, Fred Kretchman​ http://www.finebamboorods.com/Welcome_1.html
Fred told us that one of the rods was worth the time and effort to restore it.  Nick did not hesitate, he asked Fred to restore the rod (it's a family heirloom).  Fast forward to today; Nick invited me to go fishing with him. Post restoration, it was the first time he had used the bamboo rod. I had the pleasure of casting it. In all honesty, I have never roll cast a finer rod! 

After a long lay-off, Nick is just getting back into fly fishing; I am glad to help him and be part of this energy! 

Mark Foley, Owner and Head Guide, is outstanding.  Mark is very knowledgeable about fly-fishing; helpful, insightful, patient and fun to be with.  I would not hesitate to recommend him for guiding and/or teaching about fishing.  I look forward to someday going with him on one of his noted Patagonia fishing tours, but for now, he's tops as a guide and friend in New England.

N. Drinker.  Exeter, NH.  USA.




I have used many guides in my 30 year fly fishing career.  I have been abused by Florida guides and yelled at by New Zealand guides. All in all my experience has been good, however, this weekend in NH I experienced the best guide I have ever had. Mark instruction is gentle but very persistent and technical; he uses many props and physical demonstrations; he'll teach you how to best use your body so as to avoid injuries; he re-taught my wife how to cast a fly, and he corrected many mistakes I have accumulated over time. On the river Mark is not only patient, but he knows the fauna, flora, and the river's history. He told us about his winters in Argentina Patagonia, and we look forward to fishing with him there too!


T. DeCoene. Stamford, CT. USA.




I arrived in Junin de Los Andes to fish with FCFF this December with only two days of previous fly fishing experience. I didn't stand much of a chance at catching fish without some serious help and I could not have asked for a better guide and instructor. I was in the middle of a trip through South America and heard that Junin de los Andes offers some of the best fly fishing in the world and was not disappointed. Being inexperienced, on a budget, and with limited time, I needed another option than the lodges that I found online. I stumbled upon First Cast Fly Fishing and Mark’s system could not have worked better for me. I spent three days with Mark and his assistant, as he not only guided me to the best spots, but gave me personal and thorough instruction. From the research I’ve done, I’m convinced that there is no other option in Patagonia to get this type of instruction and experience. 

Despite some hangups, it wasn’t long until we were catching some beautiful fish. The first morning we hit a gorgeous spot packed with active fish and lots of hatching flies. It was an open area with plenty of room to work on casting and fish were hitting one after the other, I missed the set on the first 18 or 19 fish, but finally got one and we were off. Over the next two days I caught gorgeous brown and rainbow trout and absorbed an incredible amount of information. Mark’s many years of experience, obvious skill, and laid back demeanor gave me confidence that I was getting the very best info out there. But the proof is in the fishing and we caught great fish and had some great battles. On the second day, Mark even had me casting off-handed and I was able to pull in a nice brown trout. 

Mark was professional and hospitable from start to finish. He helped me figure out a place to stay, food to eat, and what to do around Junin other than fish. But more than his professionalism and expertise, he’s simply a cool guy. He has lots of stories to tell and was interested in hearing mine, which made for a fun exchange. I was worried of showing up to Junin and feeling steamrolled as a beginner in one of the premier fishing spots in the world. But Mark and his assistant did a fantastic job of looking out for my interests and helping me take things one step at a time to squeeze everything out of the experience. I was wiped out after three full days of fishing, but thrilled at having experienced an incredible part of the continent in a very unique way. Looking forward to much more fishing in the future and hopefully, one day, another trip to Patagonia.

D. Dwight. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. USA


We caught a few and lost a few = pretty darn good for his 1st time nymphing.

Great teacher! I am a new fisherman, and brand new to fly fishing, and Mark was the perfect way to start. He took time on the phone when we first talked to figure out what I was looking for and planned a day of fishing that was just right for me. While we were in the river he was a great teacher and I left with lots of good technique to practice and skills to build on. My passion for fishing has only intensified and now I can't wait to get back to it. I would recommend Mark and First Cast Fly Fishing to anglers of any level. If you are brand new he can get you started and if you are more experienced, he can customize an adventure for you. He is great.

C. Jablonski. Dover, NH. USA

I have three strong passions: 1) triathlon 2) fly fishing and recently 3) photography (ok let's be honest if you really know me the list is too long for this post). Yesterday, I finally took a fly fishing casting lesson from Mark Foley a local New England guide.  Let me tell you that this was the best money ever spent on anything I have bought in fly fishing industry. Mark uses a donation fee structure as well, since his passion is connecting anglers.  Thanks Mark, awesome is all I can say.

J. Leach.  Durham, NH. USA

E.I. Fly Student = he now believes in the emotional intelligence approach!

How do I even begin to thank you and First Cast Fly Fishing for the instruction that I have been receiving this summer? For the first time, I feel confident on the water knowing that my casting is more crisp, accurate and efficient than it has ever been in my life. Your E.I. Fly casting curriculum has provided me with a systematic series of lessons and drills that built upon each other seamlessly. Coupled with your patient and logical teaching style, your program has brought my casting to a level I never thought possible. You are a gifted teacher and coach that has helped me transform from a fisherman to a FLY FISHERMAN. Thank you!

Keith Tode. Exeter,  NH. USA.

Jeremy (L) and Kyle (R), on top of Cerro Catedral, in San Carlos de Bariloche

After letting our amazing trip soak in, we want to take the time to thank you for putting it all together. 
Starting out, we had little expectations, other than fishing our brains out in the heart of Patagonia. Fishing with you and your partner, in and around Junin De Los Andes, was a great start to an incredible trip. You guys treated us like friends and provided great hospitality. 

We love to walk-wade, but drifting with your partner was definitely a highlight.  We had a dreamy itinerary consisting of multiple regions, national parks, camping and some culture. We couldn't have imagined the logistics of figuring out 6+ rivers and two countries, in under 10 days on our own. Your mix of DIY and guiding was exactly what we were looking for. The combination of your truck, local knowledge, and Spanish speaking skills, were clutch!

Thanks again for everything and we look forward to seeing you on the river soon.

Kyle and Jeremy.  New Hampshire, USA. 


David Ames, stalking trout in Patagonia.

I was referred to First Cast Fly Fishing by a fly shop owner in New Hampshire (Upper Valley Outfitters; www.uppervalleyoutfitters.com) who had heard about the do-it-yourself options Mark offers in Patagonia and thought I would appreciate them. In reading the introduction and a few entries in Mark's blog, I was impressed not only by the logistics of Mark's approach, but by the philosophy. Although I have been fly-fishing for about five years, I tend to take two or three multi-day trips a year rather than get out on the water on a consistent basis. So my skills are unrefined at best, and non-existent at worst. I tend to fish by brute force rather than delicate presentation, having success by covering large stretches of water rather than by out-smarting any of the more selective fish. Until now, I'd been satisfied by that approach; but over the course of my trip, Mark demonstrated some of the unique challenges I was missing, and made it evident that, through improving my casting and not being so quick to bypass certain river features, I could get even more out of my fishing experiences. 

My three consecutive days of walking and wading on the Malleo gave me the unique opportunity to both fish at my own pace and in my own style, and to receive periodic instruction that would enhance my experiences on this, and future trips. Mark allowed me to fish on my own, while at the same time providing insight on improvements I could make to my casting, presentation and target selection to catch more fish in more places. The instruction Mark provided was timely without being intrusive, and was focused as much on overall philosophy as it was on specific technique. I have a long way to go in terms of improving my mechanics, but these three days did more to set the direction I'll take my fishing in the future than any three before. There are fish in places I couldn't even imagine in the Malleo, and Mark knew how to find them. And the insight he provided throughout the trip will stick for many outings hereafter.


D.Ames. Quechee, VT and Bogata, Columbia


Francisco with a Chimehuin Trophy.

I have been dreaming about fishing in Patagonia for years. Trout fishing in January, when North America is frozen, was something I really wanted to experience. To say nothing of seeing country that's been described as what the West was like, a hundred years ago.  My buddy and I wondered if we could do a trip like this on our own, having never been there, neither of us Spanish speakers. I looked at lodges, but they are expensive, and seem to cater to larger groups. And then I heard of Mark Foley, and the do it yourself fishing he offers. When I saw Mark's presentation at our local library, I realized his services would be just right for us. His focus on walking and wading sounded like the perfect way to fish Patagonia--it's how we like to fish.Then my buddy decided that he couldn't make the trip, but no problem--with Mark, I had a way to travel to Patagonia by myself. 

Mark and I met,  and we talked about the different times to fish Argentina, and each season's pluses and minuses. He asked questions about my budget and time frame, and put together a proposal that reflected my preferences. We decided to begin in Junin, his home base, but also to travel south to Los Alerces National Park and into Chile. This customized, do it yourself trip included lots of wading plus some float trips too.

I expected that Mark would show me beautiful rivers and great places to fish, and he did. You could spend a lifetime exploring the rivers around Junin. Patagonia's waters (and the country they flow through) are simply beautiful, and surpassed any expectations I had. It made me so happy to be in that unspoiled country. Even in January, high season there, in most places we never saw other anglers. I hoped to meet a lot of trout, including some big ones, and I did! What I didn't expect was how much I'd learn from fishing with Mark, and how this time would make me a better angler. He is a natural teacher, and he knows his home waters extremely well. I equally loved floating with Mark's partner Gustavou, who is an excellent guide, fisherman, and a great guy.

Nor did I expect all the ways Mark would introduce me to local food, customs, culture and people. If you only come to Patagonia to fish, you're missing half of the experience. We ate at places the locals eat, and the food was inexpensive and fantastic! I was amazed at how well we ate and drank, on such little money. Mark is an expert at finding the best places--whether that is to float a fly, chow on empanadas or gelato, or spend the night--whether camping or under a roof. With Mark's help, I got to see and experience the real Patagonia. And his facility with Spanish, and Argentine culture, provided a level of comfort and security, for a solo traveler like myself, that I really appreciated. When I had trouble connecting with my wife back home, he even let me use his laptop to write her.

I had an amazing time traveling around Patagonia with Mark, who's a great companion: he plans carefully, delights in showing you the places he's discovered, and is unflappable when things don't go exactly as planned. My three weeks in Patagonia were certainly the trip of a lifetime, and I relish the many adventures we had together.  I'm already wondering when I can return to Patagonia to fish with him again. This was a journey I will never forget, and I'm so grateful to Mark for making it possible. If you are dreaming of traveling to Patagonia, talk to Mark--you'll be glad you did.


Frank Clarkson. Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  USA

A wild Patagonia Rainbow, just over 24".  Caught a dry-dropper.  Congratulations Leigh...way to rep anglers from down-under fly fisherman!

Fishing with Mark was a great way to experience the best that Patagonian fly fishing has to offer. He has an extensive knowledge of the rivers and how to fish them. Rather than being tied to one location Mark offers the flexibility to fish how and where you want and to fish the most productive places at any time. Whether you prefer small streams or big Patagonian rivers, there is great fishing to be found in beautiful places.

Leigh Martin. Sydney, Australia. 



+/- 20", caught on a dry fly, with a TFO 4wt Finesse, and a no drag Orvis Battenkill Click-Pawl
= UPFC 2014 (Ultimate Patagonia Fight Club)

In November, I found Mark Foley’s blog on the internet. At first, I was a bit skeptical and confused about what a DIY walk and wade trip entailed, and if the trip was even possible due to such short notice. Thankfully, Mark was very easy to reach and work with over Skype, phone and email, and after a few conversations, I booked my fight and was set for 10 days of mid-December fishing in Patagonia.

The day I was due to fly out, my flight was delayed by 8 hours, meaning I missed my connecting flight to San Martin de los Andes. This was a stressful moment, but with swift and insightful help from Mark, I was able to figure out an alternative route that allowed me to fly into, and explore Bariloche for a night, and still arrive on time.

After a scenic, three hour bus ride from Bariloche to Junin de los Andes, I was greeted by Mark, and he promptly set me up with a habitable, affordable lodging, and got me a great rate exchange rate for pesos, and showed me where to buy delicious local food. Up until the trip, I have probably been fly fishing for about 7 months, (mostly nymph fishing around upstate NY, minutes from Cornell University,) and would consider myself a beginner. I was itching to fish, and Mark wanted to gauge my abilities, so we didn’t waste any time and hit up a local spot that evening. When Mark told me that there might be hundreds of fished lined up in this one run, I didn’t believe him at first. By the end, I knew he wasn’t kidding. I landed more than a few good trout, but lost more fish in a 5 hour session than I had hooked into all season in upstate NY.  It was the start to a good trip.

Mark planned to progressively challenge my abilities as a fly fisherman, and each day we fished spots that became increasingly difficult. These spots became increasingly attractive as well, due to both their beauty, and the amount and size of fish holding in them.  There were times where my lack of skills caused me (and I’m sure Mark was well) much headache, and frustration, but this continual pushing of my comfort zone as a fisherman, coupled with his ability to effectively teach with simple analogies, immensely improved my casting and fishing ability in the 10 days I spent with him. Mark also introduced me to the dry-dropper combo, and man was it deadly on the fish!

Aside from the fishing, Mark was very knowledgeable of local attractions in and out of Junin. I received the full Patagonia experience by visiting some local food and artist markets, and even had a Patagonia BBQ with a local family on Christmas Day.

All in all, the fishing was great, the weather was warm, and the beauty of Patagonia was jaw-dropping. Mark’s affordable, quality DIY service really made this trip a possibility for me. He’s knowledgeable of the area, and knows of spots that are relatively unfished (if that’s your desire). He’s really easy to get along with, and will do the best to make sure your fishing trip is unforgettable.

I know now what a DIY walk-wade fishing trip is all about....Affordable and 100% Fishing!

To read and see more about Kenton's adventure, please visit our Facebook page or www.firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com.ar/2014/01/diy-walk-wade-fly-fishing-patagonia.html

Kenton Chik.  Brooklyn, NY. USA

Johannes, from Munich, Germany.  The fish and smile says it all!  Johannes and David visited the 2nd week of December.  The fishing was out of this world.

In Munich, we have known each other since we were 6 years old. When we were young, we spent a lot of time fishing together during our days in school. As young adults, our studies (high school, college) began and we did not fish together, as much.  Here in Patagonia,  was the first time, after 7 years of no fishing,  that we were able to fish together again.  David was starting a business in Bogota, Columbia and I finished my masters in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  We were only 7,000 kilometers between each other, so before starting our careers, we decided to meet in Patagonia, and go fishing with First Cast Fly Fishing.

Only minutes after our first cast in Patagonia, we started landing many brown and rainbow trout (this did not change during the whole week of fishing). On the very first morning the first morning we caught three trophies; not counting dozens of good trout`s we lost during the fights.  Coming from Germany, we were surprised about the incredible strength of the wild trout in Patagonia. The quality and size of the fish have made our decision clear: “we will come again!" Among the trophies, there was several fish over 45cm, and two brown trout with 60cm, and almost 7pounds. What a fight! Never in my life had we caught fishes that big. Never in our life had we fished in rivers so beautiful, and so full of fish. Never in our life will we forget this trip!

This all was only possible thanks to First Cast Fly Fishing; DIY walk-wade program.  Mark's partner, and our guide, Gustavo, was born and raised in Argentina, and we believe he thinks like a trout. The smile on his face and the true happiness, when one of us caught a fish told everything. Passionate, patient and full of tips and tricks, both he and Mark made the fishing in Patagonia an experience of a lifetime. During one week, we evolved to highly successful fly fishermen. Thanks to Mark's hospitality and organization we stayed in an affordable, and safe apartment, next door. Both Mark and Gus, always made sure that we were not lacking anything.

If you like fishing, nature and good food, a fishing trip with First Cast Fly Fishing in Patagonia is a must.  We will come again for sure.  Muchas gracias and hasta pronto...Petri Heil!

To read and see more photos you are welcome to visit our Facebook page or: http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com.ar/2013/12/diy-fly-fishing-in-patagonia-argentina.html

Johannes Leicher.  Munich, Germany.


David Arnold, on the Chimehuin River, with a beautiful +/- 18' Brown Trout.  David is a beginner fly fisherman and with our instruction, and his ability to learn quickly, he was able to catch plenty of fish.  

Since we were both in South American, and before our careers would soon allow us not much leisure time, a “Patagonian reunion” seemed to be perfect opportunity to revive good old times, that we once enjoyed in Munich Germany. 

Soon after the first cast, the beautiful landscape and tranquility of Patagonian rivers allowed me to forget about the stresses of life. The trouts followed suite and forgot about cautious feeding. In the first hours, three trophy trouts promised the fly fishing trip of our lives. Under perfect conditions during the comfortably fresh morning and evening hours, we enjoyed extremely resourceful fishing waters and surrounding nature equally. In extended siestas and with a goodArgentinian Asado's, we became locals very quickly :)

For the Patagonia DIY walk-wade angler, in my opinion, Mark and Gus, are the fly fishing dream team of the Americas.  They were very eager to show us every tip and tricks, so that our fishing on the Malleo and Chimehuin waters was the best experience.  Thank you for an amazing fly fishing vacation.
David Arnold. Munich, Germany


http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20131015-NEWS-310150332


By 
EXETER — Mark Foley caught his first fish with a traditional fishing pole when he was just five-years-old.
It would take him 18 years to catch his first fish using a fly fishing rod. But when he did he was hooked.
"My first thought to myself was I get it. I know why people are passionate about this," Foley said. "Mentally it's as technical as chess. Spiritually it helps you relax and physically it helps you de-stress."
Foley, 45, of Exeter became so passionate about fly fishing that he founded First Cast Fly Fishing, with a commitment toward making the sport accessible to everyone who wants to learn, regardless of age or income. First Cast Fly Fishing offers community classes, private classes and occasional youth programs through area recreation departments and operates as a non-profit. There are no set rates for community classes and he asks people to pay what they can afford.
"I love to teach," he said. "I have a strong desire to share this with the community."
Foley's philosophy and approach to teaching and learning fly fishing is based on what he calls emotional intelligence.
"It's connecting the mind, the body and the spirit," he said. "And being kind to yourself because fly fishing is challenging, it is difficult, it is not something you can pick up immediately and be an expert."
Foley explains his concept of emotional intelligence as the student's ability to facilitate knowledge from their past experiences while managing their future expectations so that they can enjoy the intellectual process and experience of fly fishing in the present.
"It's just not about who catches the biggest fish," he said. "Sometimes it's about the day you spend on the water and how you feel."
One of Foley's students Keith Tode, of Exeter, said he found the mentor and instructor he'd been searching for when he connected with him. Tode took his first fly fishing class about 15 years ago through a traditional school program but that approach just didn't click for him. In the years that followed, he fished on his own, learning through experimentation and repetition, until he managed to find Foley.
"There is something special about learning from Exeter's local expert. Mark is obviously a world class fisherman that has guided around the globe, but what sets him apart is how he incorporates that experience into age and skill appropriate lessons and drills both on and off the water," Tode said. "He's the Pied Piper of New Hampshire fly fishing."
The Tode family arranged a family class with Foley that included Keith, his wife Jennifer and their 7-year-old daughter Merrill.
"He was able to explain things for the kids one minute, using fly swatters and a paint brush dipped in water, to get the way the casting arm movements should feel, and then turn towards the adults and explain it in a way where you weren't being talked down to," Jennifer Tode said. "I learned a tremendous amount in a short period of time. Mark is a funny and fantastic guy who obviously loves what he does and that is very contagious."
Foley feels that fly fishing can provide a way for people to be present and reconnect in the midst of the hectic pace of their daily lives.
"People are desperate to get back in touch with something," Foley said. "We're busy and we have to choose how to use the free time we have."
Jennifer Tode agreed.
"There was just something about the rhythm that is very calming," she said. "Even if I never catch a fish it is worth it to get out there and try."
Foley spends about four months each winter in Patagonia, a region located at the southern end of South America, where he leads fly fishing trips, teaches lessons and helps those interested with arranging fly fishing vacations. While in Exeter, he also acts as the advisor to the Phillips Exeter Academy Fly Fishing Club and serves as a board member for the Three River Stocking Association and Great Bay Trout Unlimited program.
Through the Great Bay Trout Unlimited program, he works to bring live trout into the classrooms of the elementary schools in Exeter. The program provides a cold water tank where students are able to observe eggs grow into trout, which they eventually release into area waters.
Foley is also teaching an introduction to fly tying class at Exeter Adult Education starting on Oct. 21.
Foley spends most of his time locally teaching though he does find time to fish for his own enjoyment. But he says that his desire to share the joy of fly fishing with others is what drives him.
"I don't do this to get rich. I'm not doing this for fame or Hollywood," he said. "I'm doing this because I really believe the world would be a better place if everyone could take a little bit of time to go fly fishing or learn how to fly fish."
For more information on First Cast Fly Fishing call 603-315-8800 or go towww.firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com or firstcastflyfishing@yahoo.com.

Julia = another happy customer

Dr. Marc Richman, I owe you a huge thanks for linking us up to Mark. That was invaluable. The trip was amazing and I am getting wistful thinking about it again.

Brief Recap:  

So, on the same day that you and Anna left to go home, I went to Coyhaique, Chile to meet up with my boyfriend, Jeffers. From there, we traveled by bus to Futaleufu, and then, since no buses were going over the Argentine border for 2 days, we paid a guy with a chicken coop truck to drive us to Esquel. In Esquel, we rented a car and drove to the Rio Rivadavia in Los Alerces national park. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been-- the water was so clear, and we could see the fish just sitting there. Jeffers said it was very "technical fishing," which possibly explains why we caught nothing. Put this one on your list! Also, there is a famous tributary right there that apparently contains massive fish, but it was dried up when we were there. 

From there we went to Bariloche and fished the Pichileufu, Traful and Limay, all on our own. For a novice like myself, it was not fruitful. Even for Jeffers, who knows what he's doing, it was pretty tough. But he managed to catch a land locked Atlantic salmon in the Traful;  after some struggle. I think I didn't catch anything, but I still enjoyed the scenery. 

We saved the best for last and spent a full week in San Martin de los Andes, which is where we hooked up with Mark. He took us out wading the Malleo on our first day, and we caught tons of fish. We did the Malleo on our own the next day (less successful). The following day, Jeffers and Mark went out alone and hiked up to some canyon on the Malleo, where Jeffers caught a ~ 28" brown trout. After realizing that we were faring MUCH better under guided supervision, we ponied up and booked Gustavou for our final day. We floated the Alumine and it was just the best day ever. You were right about Gustavou being such a good guide. He was great-- very patient and knowledgeable and calm. We caught tons of fish, and I nabbed the perca/rainbow/brown trifecta (the "grand slam"), as well as a 20" brown on the last cast of the day (also the biggest catch of the day). That was a really good way to end our trip!

I am really glad I got the intel on Mark Foley from you. He is running a very user-friendly operation down there, and for people like Jeffers and me who are on a budget, it was crucial in making our trip considerably more successful. I felt like we got away with a very good deal! If we had to do it again, I think we would stay in Junin, like you did. Also, it was nice to be down there at the very beginning of April because it was between tourist seasons and things were cheaper and less crowded.  Overall, it was probably the best trip of my life and definitely an adventure.



J. DeCiantis.  NYC, USA

To read more and view photos about Jeffers and Julia's adventure:
http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com/2013/04/patagonia-fly-fishing-from-new-york.html


Jeffers with a Malleo trophy

I’m not usually one to leave reviews – but my recent fishing experience with Mark (and Gustavo) was truly awesome.  And trust me, I was not paid to write this. 


So let me first start off by saying this: Before meeting Mark, I knew 2 ways of fly fishing down in Argentina.  You can stay at a lodge and pay at least $5000 per week (with little DIY walk-wade fishing options), or you can read up as much as you can, rent a car, and go off on your own.  Both are very fun – as I have experienced each. 


This is where the unique team of Mark and Gustavo come in.  They are providing a service that you can’t find anywhere else down there.  By unique, I mean Mark can pick you up in his truck and take you to GREAT DIY walk-wade fishing areas.  He gives you the exact info you need; flies, fish behavior, and fishy spots.  He then says simply “have at em”.  I was able to enjoy the adventure of exploring a river on foot, with a knowledgeable fishing buddy and a truck


One of my favorite characteristics of Mark is that he is game for anything.  Often, when we were driving, I would see a bend in the river that looked particularly enticing.  He would explain that the fish are small there, or that there is no room to cast etc, etc (he KNOWS these waters).  However, one time I pointed out a cool spot and asked him about it.  He replied “Yeah, hmmmm I have never fished that bend, not sure how to get down there, looks good doesn’t it…. want to give it a shot?”    Even if we had not gotten into many fish – which we did – I would still have loved the experience of scouting with someone who is open to explore…and who knows the area very well.  He also happens to be a fabulous fly fisherman with many tips to offer.  He was even prepared to drive down god knows how many hours to fish Jurassic Lake – just because I suggested it, and he thought it would be fun.    I didn’t have the time so we didn’t go, but who else would do that?


He is more than a knowledgeable fishing buddy with a vehicle.  For instance, I took my girlfriend (who is a beginner) out with Mark one day.  She wanted to learn how to fish, but she was very interested in learning about restaurants, where to exchange money, and which hostel hostels we should stay in.  He was of course easily able to answer these questions since he lives down there i.e. not some guide isolated within some fishing lodge.  I should also mention that his patience with her was saint like.    


Net net, I originally planned on fishing with him once – just to get some basic info – and to then go out on my own with a rented car.  To be sure, that is actually not a bad way to “use” Mark Foley: he gives you all the info you need and boom, you are out on your own the next day.  As it turns out, I had so much fun that first day that I fished with him 3 more days and did one float trip with his partner Gustavo.  Yes, Mark specializes in walk wading / exploring…but the beauty is – if you do want to float – he sets you up with his partner.  

Julia, Jeffers and Gus.

This brings me to the Gustavo.  An older friend ours had recently fished with him and made this ridiculous claim: “I have fished with over 500 guides and Gustavo is simply the best.”  I dismissed this of course, but it left me worried that Gustavo might be one of those GO HARD alpha male intensity guides.  Those dudes are okay at times when I want to fish hard, but I was with my girlfriend and hoping for a more relaxed float.   I was relieved when I quickly noticed his gentle, calm, self-effacing manner.  (but don’t let that fool you; he has a quiet confidence and the skill to back it up.)  Anyway, once I was able to get past my girlfriend’s serious crush on this strapping +50 year-old man, I began to realize that he really was among the very best.  He had a way of correcting my girlfriend’s casts and mending techniques, which was gentle, informative, and the opposite of berating.  And the instructions worked too.  I had spent many hours working on her casts in weeks prior, and so I sat there in amazement as she rolled out beautiful loops after listening to a few short instructions from Gustavo. This did not help my jealousy, but it was exciting to watch.  I don’t need to get into the fishing – we floated the Alumine that day – if only to say it was awesome.  Lot’s of hard fighting fish and never a dull moment.  Oh yeah, and Gustavo was able to get my girlfriend the biggest fish of the day on the last run.  I’ve never had such a perfect ending to a float trip.

The BIG ONE!

One more thing.   When Mark asked me what kind of fishing we wanted to do, I had the gall to say “I just want to catch a big one."  I have worked at a fly shop and I know that guides sometimes roll their eyes when a client says this.  Mark bit his tongue though.  And one day he took me way up the Malleo river…pointed to a pool, suggested some flies, and said our version of “good luck” which was “Don’t fuck up!”  Well, I some how nailed the cast and the mend…and I caught the biggest trout of my life.  Thanks Mark!  And thank you Gustavo!   I will be back!

A, Jeffers, Lyon.  NYC, USA.

To read more and view photos about Jeffers and Julia's adventure:
http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com/2013/04/patagonia-fly-fishing-from-new-york.html

"I was lucky to be part of the second group of fisherman to fish Kamchatka.  I have taken 75 fishing fly fishing trips around the world.  In my opinion, Gus is among the best three guides I have ever worked with.  The team work of Mark and Gus, is hard to beat!"  Dr. Marc Richman. Kittery, Maine. USA. 
Canadian, Dr. R. Hodgetts: Alumine Bow on the Dry.

Our Patagonian adventure started when Mark met my wife and me at the Bariloche airport.  It was to be more than just a fishing trip as we had discussed in e-mails preceding our trip.  We wanted a taste of Patagonian life to go along with some fishing.  Mark turned out to be a great tourist guide, a currency expert, a casting instructor (how to manage a 40 mph wind at your back and get the fly out over 80 feet to those browns cowering under the overhang on the other bank) and a language instructor.  We stopped at out-of–the-way markets, dined in local family-run restaurants, fished in rivers as clear as aquaria, enjoyed an asado (Argentine BBQ) on the banks of an incredible river that we had all to ourselves, spotted wild boars, guanacos, red deer and experienced wonderful fishing.  Whether it was walking and wading or floating, Mark knew the fishing spots and made the arrangements for us to get to the fish.  I had great dry-fly action as late as the second week in March followed by wonderful nymph fishing as the weather cooled off.  Riding around in the largest pickup in Argentina is comforting given the local driving habits, and Mark even threw in a blown voltage regulator 40 km up a gravel road in Los Alerces National Park for a truly novel experience.  Nothing phases this guy and he will introduce you to everything Patagonia has to offer.  Thanks Mark!

In addition, we would like to say something about Mark's partner/floating guide, Gustavou Sarthou. 

Evidently, it is illegal for Americans to guide/float in Patagonia, Argentina (except for Tierra del Fuego).  Mark told us that his partner/guide was an ex-olympic rower, former bank executive and bi-lingual speaker.  So, we were anxious to meet him and we are so very glad that we did because: Gustavo treated my wife and me to three great floats on the Alumine and Chimehuin Rivers just outside of Junin des los Andes this March (2013).  The fish came to big bushy dry flies all day on the Alumine and probably more than 7 were in the 18-20 inch class.  Gustavo positioned the boat so that I had an optimum shot at the shoreline despite the ever-present Patagonian wind.  It was fun because he speaks great English and we enjoyed the day thoroughly.  Gustavo also guided us on an overnight trip on the lower Chimehuin, one of the greatest float trips you could ever imagine.  Crystal clear water, class II to III rapids, incredible scenery and fish (mainly rainbows) to match. Having a boatman of his skill level was a real comfort as we bolted down complex rapids with the willows often brushing the raft.  The weather had cooled down considerably, so Gustavo recommended we go to a small nymph below the big dry.  And for two days I landed over 20 fish on the nymph, at least half in the 18-22 inch range.  At the bottom of one rapids, where we fished from the shore, I had a whale break my 8 lb test tippet as if it was a piece of dental floss.  Gustavo knows all the secret lies on these rivers and at the end of day three, he led us on a one kilometer trek to an isolated overflow pond full of big browns.  They did not oblige me with a bite but it was such an unforgettable way to end our time together.  Again, thank you Mark for creating a true Patagonia fishing/traveling experience!

Dr. R. Hodgetts.   Alberta, Canada.

To read more and view photos about Ross's adventure: http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com.ar/2013/03/from-canada-to-patagonia-2-weeks.html



Lower Chimehuin Brown

I am a 70 year old Swede DIY fisherman, now living in Brazil.  I have been traveling/fishing Patagonia for the past five years.  I still love to walk-wade, but I now find myself needing affordable float trips.  So, I did a Google search and found First Cast Fly Fishing.  I swapped emails with Mark, discussed details and pricing, and I soon found myself on the lower Chimehuin River, with my fishing buddy Mike (in photo above & below).  Mark's guide, Gustavou spoke English and provided excellent professional service and information.  We caught lots of fish during our two week stay in Junin de los Andes, but we caught the largest fish with Gustavou (seen above) on the lower Chimehuin River.  We plan to return next year and take more floats trips with Mark and Gustavou.  I would highly recommend First Cast Fly Fishing, as they provide the most affordable options for walk-wade day trips, float trips, and they can find you the most affordable housing.  See you next year!  


Sture, Sweden  


Hi Mark, I am back in Sweeden and I am already missing Patagonia.  I must thank you for one of the best, if not the best float trips of my life...the lower Chimehuin was every thing you said it would be!  Also, I have been fly fishing for 35 years and in one day with your guide Gustavou, I learned how to read and fish Patagonia waters.  The next day, with Gustavou's advice, I walked the Chimehuin and landed fifteen rainbows weighing 2-4lbs, four browns weighing 2-4lbs and I lost a really big fish! Please thank Gustavou for me...he is an excellent guide and a really nice person.


Mike, Sweden

To read more about Mike's and Sture's adventure, please go to: http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com.ar/2013/03/chimehuin-river-lower-best-of-best.html


E.I. Fly™ client L.Leland with her first Rio Chimehuin Brown Trout.  Photo by FCFF.  


E.I. Fly™4X: Thanks so much for making the You Tube video for me!!! What a brilliant idea. You are awesome! Watching it tonight gave me a good laugh and brought back great memories of my casting lessons with you! We actually made time to go fishing in our own great state of Colorado this past weekend on the Arkansas River outside of Canon City. I got to put your good casting lessons to use before they get rusty....... as in "HELLO? IT'S FOR YOU!!!" I had a great day fishing and caught a fair number of Browns and a couple of Rainbows.... lots of fun! Thanks for all your help! You were the best teacher ever!

L. Leland.  A.K.A "Boca Brown"  Colorado, USA.


E.I. Fly™ client H.Brown with his first Russian River Sockeye Salmon on the fly. Photo by FCFF


E.I. Fly™1X & 4X:  "Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own." -- Nikos Kazantzakis

The above quotation sums up my experience as an  E.I. Fly™ student.  Mark is one of the most generous teachers I know.  His vast knowledge about fishing and the wilderness is only exceeded by his patience.   He is an inspirational teacher and a new friend.   


Thank you Mark for introducing me to the joy and wonder of fly-fishing, a lifelong adventure.   

H. Brown.  New Hampshire, USA.


E.I. Fly™ client H. Coder with BC King Salmon on the fly.  Photo by FCFF.

E.I. Fly™1X/2X/4X: From my fly fishing lessons, to full-blown trips to British Columbia, Alaska and Patagonia Argentina, words and photos can only begin to describe the amazing experiences I have had with First Cast Fly Fishing.

At first, I was pleased at how well FCFF listened to my personal needs. As a result, my British Columbia trip was a fisherman’s dream. I don’t know how they did it, but we always seemed to be in the right spot catching big fish. For example, at sunrise I found myself catching monstrous Salmon (King, Chum, Pink, Coho, Sockeye), and just before nightfall, we would dry fly fish small crystal clear streams for rainbows. I was so pleased with this experience that I approached FCFF to learn more about other destination trips.


Four months later, after my first trip with FCFF, I stepped off an airplane in Bariloche, Argentina (Northern Patagonia). I was blinded by beautiful mountains, entranced by Latin culture, and in awe of the massive turquoise lakes and crystal clear rivers. I soon discovered that fishing in Patagonia was challenging for a novice fisherman. But FCFF made sure that the level of challenge was exhilarating, not overwhelming. The end result was a progressively lower cast to catch ratio. Looking back, I can’t believe I stood in the shadow of a 12,300 ft snow-capped volcano catching fish in water that looked photo-shopped. FCFF seamlessly connected all the dots, i.e. transportation, equipment, lodging, food and fishing. All I had to worry about on this trip was fishing, taking pictures and enjoying the experience. Look no further, if you want the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, First Cast Fly Fishing will coordinate every detail, be it big or little. I’ve had three perfect trips with them and I plan to have many more!


H. Coder.  New Hampshire, USA.



E.I. Fly™ client B. Tiedeman with Coho Salmon on the fly.  Photo by FCFF.

E.I. Fly™1X & 4X:  Mark and I fished the Ibeck River, located in Cordova, Alaska, a particularly rainy and wet area. However, we had 4 days of picture perfect dry weather, great company and amazing fishing. In 4 days total, we landed some 40 silvers. One fish, in particular, stood out, a 32”, eighteen-pound silver caught on an 8-wt. fly rod. At first, I thought he was running from a bear, but soon realized he was running up and down the riverbank trying to land this big one. It was an amazing site to see Mark battle and land this fish. As for me, Mark showed me several fly-fishing tips, which allowed me to leave my spinning rod behind. In fact, with his guidance, I was able to pluck a large Coho from a pool littered with fallen trees...I have never done anything like this before. We both had a dandy time.


Mark certainly was a good resource for fly-fishing, and a gentleman in his demeanor. It was indeed a pleasure to fish with Mark Foley of First Cast Fly Fishing, and I would embrace another encounter to fish with him again.


B. Tiedeman. Anchorage, Alaska. USA.



E.I. Fly™ client D. Daly with a Argentina Brown on the fly.  Photo by FCFF. 

E.I. Fly™4X:  I have fly-fished Africa, Iceland, Mongolia, Costa Rica, northern California Sierras and northern Wisconsin (great lakes).  Most, if not all of my trips, were lodge/hotel family style trips. I have always loved these family trips and our accommodations, but I have always wanted to fish with friends on a D.I.Y. adventure trip. Fortunately for me, I have known Mark for over 20 years and I was well aware of his experiences in South America. Finally there was an opportunity, and I soon found myself on a First Cast Fly Fishing D.I.Y guided trip to Patagonia Argentina and Chile.


What I discovered was impressive. For 30 days, Mark was able to bring not only a fishing guides eye to the water, but he provided an invaluable cultural experience as well. For instance, he knew where and how to access the waters that only the locals know. At times, we fished the very same waters that lodge guest pay $5k per week! Some nights we camped on the water. While camping, I can remember Mark preparing delicious Argentine meats with a locally known sauce (by the way, it’s unbelievable!), empanadas and artesian cheese’s, all while sipping the best Malbec’s and viewing the Southern Cross. Off the water, he knew the roads, towns, hotels, restaurants and people like the back of his hand. I found myself surrounded by locals and loving every minute of it. In the end, I truly believe I had an authentic Patagonian experience, yet for 30 days, the cost of my trip was less than $5k!


For those considering a trip to Patagonia, whether you wish to stay at a lodge or a guided D.I.Y. trip, I highly recommend First Cast Fly Fishing. Mark, thank you for your hard work and I can’t wait for our next Patagonia adventure.


D. Daly.  California. USA


I took the E.I. Fly™1X beginner casting class with Quentin (a French exchange student). Mark has a practical approach to the art fly fishing.  He is a great instructor and makes learning easy!  I can't wait to get our on the water!

T. Piper.  New Market, NH.  USA

E.I. Fly™1X: Thanks again for an interesting and very useful learning experience.  Although I am not a natural, at least I now know what to practice.  You are an excellent teacher!


T. Foxall.  Lee, NH.  USA


E.I. Fly™1X: I wanted to thank you so much for your E.I. Fly 1X fly fishing lessons! I really appreciate your knowledge and teaching style, how you first provided me the big picture, having me get the feel of casting the rod, then showing me how it should look, and then explaining how to get there. I really appreciated how you explained to me how a person uses their whole body, and then broke it down into the individual parts, starting with my thumb, wrist, elbow and patiently having me practice each step before moving on to the next, and asking me questions so I had to think and figure out a few things, thereby helping me learn and remember better.  Thank you again for an enjoyable and interesting time – I think I’m now hooked!


G. McAndrews.  USA




Thank you for presenting your fly fishing Argentina slide-show to the Stratham 76'ers. Everyone was very impressed with the photography, as well as your story telling skills. You have lived a very adventurous life compared to 99.9% of Americans.  My compliments on living your dreams.  I am sure you communicate the importance of achieving personal goals to your younger fly fishing students.  Thank you again for a great presentation.


D. Swett, Stratham New Hampshire. USA 


To say 'thank you' for the most interesting program at the Stratham NH 76'ers meeting on April 17th.  Enclosed is a donation for your community youth programs.  We all enjoyed your presentation very much.


I. Goodrich, Stratham New Hampshire. USA



Fly Fishing Argentina Presentation

The April chapter meeting proved to be an eye-opening adventure to the big fish waters and dramatic scenery of Argentina. Exeter based Mark Foley of First Cast Fly Fishing guided the group the length of Argentina - from the subtropical north to high latitudes of southern Patagonia. All along the way, Mark shared his experiences, photos of challenging trout, salmon, and the golden dorado. 


Argentina is the world’s 8th largest country in area and is home to 40 million people. The average elevation of the Argentine Andes is 12,000 - 13,000 feet. Argentina’s northernmost point and Key West, Florida both lie 22 degrees from the Equator. Argentina’s territory in Tierra del Fuego, extends to 54 degrees south latitude. For comparison, Alaska’s panhandle begins at the same high latitude. Mark has fished many places around the world but has done most of his international fly fishing up and down Argentina’s 2,200+ mile length. 


Mark’s first stop on the Argentina tour was in search of a powerful warm water fish with a big head, a toothy mouth, qualifies for the Olympic high jump, and is a fighting fish that rewards the fly angler. The golden dorado is found in the Parana River, 600 miles upstream from Buenos Aires and in other watersheds of northern Argentina. Golden Dorado averages between 6 and 20+ pounds with the largest known to have weighed 69 pounds. Both the “small” dorados and the larger ones are acrobatic and aggressive - rewarding the fly angler willing to make the journey to their home waters. In Salta province in northwest Argentina near the Bolivian border is what Mark calls “Dorado Nirvana”. If you don’t know much about the golden dorado, it’s worth the time to find out about it. The Internet has lots of videos, photos, and stories - and books have been written too. 


Mark’s next set of adventures took the group to San Carlos de Bariloche. Bariloche is at the same southern latitude as central New Hampshire is north. A comfortable and safe city of 100,000, Bariloche claims to be the Tourist Capital of Patagonia. Fly anglers come here to fish for big browns in the Rio Limay. Less than 200 miles north in Neuquen Province is the Fly Fishing Capital of Argentina. The town of Junin de los Andes (nestled on the east slopes of the Andes near the Chilean/Argentine border) offers fly anglers abundant fishing opportunities on several large lakes, mountain rivers, and in Lanin National Park. The Alumine River is home to big rainbows and browns - which prefer big dry flies with droppers.In scenes reminiscent of the ethereal landscapes of the movie Avatar, the small Andean head water streams are clear with a light green cast enclosed by large arching branches of stream side trees. Here you can hook a sizable native trout that experiences very little fishing pressure. 


Our last journey took us another 700 miles to southern Patagonia. The open country resembles parts of the American West - except the trout that are here are sea run browns. And they are very large impressive fish. Mark noted that it gets more expensive the further south you go in Patagonia. There are fewer cities, towns, and people. It is a remote part of the world made famous by Magellan’s Strait. 


Since 1999 Mark has been fishing much of South America and has come to know much of it’s fly fishing waters. One year, Mark worked as a guide at a resort on the Rio Chemehuin. Although resorts are not inexpensive, Mark feels they are a value if you have only a week or so to spend. However, he has found if you have time, learn some Spanish, and ask around, you can fly fish, have nice accommodations like our B&B’s, and travel affordability in pursuit of your passion in friendly Argentina. It’s worth the trip. 


Mark, thanks and great presentation!


Basil W. Woods, Jr. Chapter.  Concord, New Hampshire   



L.Martin 1st Trout and 1st NH Brown Trout on a Dry-Fly.  Photo by FCFF


L.Martin 1st NH Brown Trout.  Photo by FCFF

E.I. Fly™1X & 4X:  I have lived along the Cocheco River in Dover, N.H., for three years now. On occasion, I heard there was good fishing in the water just behind my house. Between work, life, a new baby boy, and also being a beginner fly fisherman, I kept putting off fishing the river.  But recently, I grew tired of the all the fish talk and the unkempt promises I made with myself. So, I contacted a local guide (Mark Foley) and before I knew it, we were on the river catching fish!  Being a beginner, I was a bit unsure of my skills, but Mark helped me stay calm and focused.  He taught me how to read the water and how to make a not so perfect cast into a beautiful presentation.  I ended up catching three Brown Trout that ranged between 12"-16".  Like most folks, I have fished with bait/lures for 25 years; and have had lots of memorable experiences.  But, now I get it...catching my first fish on a fly rod was such an amazing RUSH!  I will never forget seeing the trout strike my dry fly. Mark is a great teacher and clearly loves what he does. Thanks Mark, and I can't wait to take your fly tying class. 

L. Martin.  Dover, New Hampshire. USA.



6 hours of fly casting, knot tying and fly tying with 9 boys from New Outlook Teen Center.  Photo by FCFF

We cannot thank you enough for all of the time and expertise you shared with our boys group. I have never seen that group of boys as quiet as they were on that day!  What a wonderful service you provide to our community.  


Thanks Mark.


S. Illingworth. Executive Director of New Outlook Teen Center.  Exeter, NH.  USA




E.I. Fly™1X lessons in NH = Yellowstone River Cut Throat.  Photo by M.Weand

E.I. Fly™1X:  Mark, thanks so much for making my first experience with fly fishing a great one!  Prior to working with you, I had never picked up a fly rod. Your teaching techniques (how you broke everything down so I could easily understand) was amazing and afforded me the opportunity to grasp the science and art behind fly casting. I really look forward to practicing the techniques you gave me, and I can't wait to apply them out on the water for years to come. 

M. Weand. Exeter, New Hampshire. USA


E.I. Fly™ Lessons via Dover Adult Learning Center.


I took the Beginner Fly Fishing class with Mark (FCCF) and enjoyed it tremendously.  Mark is very knowledgeable and experienced and easily explained technical fly fishing things to people who are novice level. He was more than willing to take the time for any questions and thoroughly explained things to all of us.  I recommend him and his class was very educational.

Jim Stevens.  Dover, New Hampshire. USA

E.I. Fly™ 4X Guiding a Three Rivers Stocking Association Donor

I had a spectacular day on the  Cocheco River  with Mark Foley, an amazing guide. What a beautiful, stunning waterway!  I felt like a 'sport' more than I would have liked, but who cares,  it's December 15th and I caught a great looking Brown Trout, and fished a water I never had.  Along the way,  I was  introduced to the president of TRSA,  Rick Hutchins.  To boot, I got some fresh air and exercise. An awesome day, just what I needed.  Thanks for all you do Three Rivers and First Cast Fly Fishing. 


J. Millar.  Weare New Hampshire.  USA


Peter's 1st Wooly Bugger!
What an honor to teach students the art of tying flies.  

I took the beginner  fly tying course offered by First Cast and hosted by the Dover Adult Learning Center.   The price was right, all the equipment was included, the location was convenient, and with a class size of five students, it was the perfect size for personal attention.  The course was well taught and Mark's attention to detail gave all of us an excellent introduction to the basics of fly tying.  We tied Wooly Buggers, Brassies, Gnats, Gurglers, and Elk Hair Caddis.  Now, I feel much more confident tying flies.   Thanks Mark for being such a great resource for our community.  


P. Bayko.  Dover, New Hampshire.  USA