A week ago, the last week of Sean’s mid-year vacation, I took him up to Cerro Buena Vista to seek out one of the many private trout lakes (ponds) for a bit of angling. Cloudy, misty, and cool enough that you needed a jacket was the weather on hand for the day.
We turned off at La Trinidad (about halfway to San José from San Isidro) and headed a couple of kilometers down into a small valley to Finca Los Prados, through pine forest and potato farms in blossom. Soon we were at the well-marked entrance. Rolling past a compact white wooden house, smoke billowing out from the chimney, we pulled up to a series of ponds and a bar-restaurant, which was closed up tight. Apparently, we’d come in the off-season.
I walked back up the road to the house and a smiling señora emerged to greet me. She said it was fine if we wanted to fish and she came down to open up shop. The restaurant is ample, rustic, and adorned with glossy color photos from scenic outdoor locales in Europe and Asia.
We had our own poles, but she supplied the bait, a large doughy glob with an odor of meat that's slightly gone off. The stuff truly glommed onto the hooks, didn’t fall apart in the water, and certainly whetted the appetite of the pond dwellers.
Of course, these ponds are stocked (they'd more accurately be called fish farms), and a self-respecting sportsman, had one been present, would have turned up his nose and departed for a wilder venue. Fortunately for us, we were not inhibited by such pretentiousness.
We plunked our light tackle into the spring water and we were soon rewarded with hard tugs from fat, sassy rainbow trout! These guys were no slouches; they put up a good fight.
Having not brought a hand net we had to tire out the larger ones in order to get them up the short bank without breaking the line or having them wriggle off the hook (in this case, the big ones did not get away). An aside: we fish barb-less when possible, which makes it easier on the fish when releasing the ones you don’t want.
After a couple of hours we’d landed ten fish and decided to call it a day. The señora gutted and cleaned them, charged us 15,000 colones for our 5 kilos of fresh fish and we contentedly returned to the highway and coasted back down the mountain to home. These were delicious fish, firm and flavorful, and plenty to share around to neighbors and friends. We look forward to a return trip.