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Our best fishing package is that we make in the famous Palena area, this is one of the two most untouched region of Chilean Patagonia, you can imagine how is everything there, and of course that you have in mind when you think in Chile and Patagonia, its fishing. The operating zone for this program is the southern part of Palena province, and the “Malito Lodge” is strategically located to optimize your time at all the best fishing spots of Patagonia. This one week program allows for coverage of a vast area of trout fishing locations and each within just a maximum of 1 1/2 hours driving time from the lodge. The fishing here is predominantly done with dry flies. Though, there are some places that are equally productive using wet flies or streamers, such as places that are frequented by big migratory trout or salmon. The species of this region are predominantly rainbows and browns, and there are even places where the beautiful brook char (Fontinalis Salvelinos) can be caught. Although it is not unusual to catch salmon, we are more focused on trout fishing as this is an area globally recognized as one of the very best trout fishing destinations. There are a lot of possibilities in terms of difficulty levels, varying from places for expert fishermen who seek out very shy trout, to places for beginners in rivers with abundant populations of less shy trout, from resident to migratory, from small brook trout to big lake and river trout. This zone, which is characterized for its offer of perhaps the best dry fly fishing in the continent, could also be very productive using small nymphs using droppers (hanging flies), wet, streamers or even sometimes using eggs patterns depending on the location. In some areas big dries are used, such as terrestrials imitating grasshoppers and beetles, and in others fishing with dragonflies is more successful. The average size of the trout caught on dry fly is without doubt world class, difficult to beat anywhere in the world.  Read more



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Two weeks ago, I returned to my favorite region, the Yelcho River and lake basin. This is an extraordinary area of southern Chile, and not just for its beautiful scenery and its endless forests and glaciers, but also for its incredible fishing. It is perhaps one of the very best fishing spots in the world. The issue here is how and with whom to go. It is not easy to get to Yelcho — there are usually few services and they are fewer still after the Chaiten volcano eruption. Today, its almost a totally unpopulated and isolated place. 

On my recent trip, I could see that the fishing is like always. The quality of the fishing is beyond the imagination. Its posible to fish for Atlantic salmon, Chinook, Cohos, Brook trout, Rainbow trout, Steelheads, resident Rainbow, Sea-run Brown trout, and freshwater resident Brown trout.

You can fish will all kinds of flies: the incredible micro-nymphs in droppers, very small dries, terrestrial imitations, large flying insects, imitation Puyes, almonds, Pancoras, shrimp — a little bit of everything. It all depends on the place, but in reality its not easy to discern where, with what and when to fish. The rivers are fast flowing and with some dangerous white water sections or treacherous rapids. We recommend that you travel there on a program with trained or accredited outfitters that are knowledgeable about the region.

In the photo below, a small sample, a tremendous trout caught by Luigi, an Italian friend. While Luigi is not an expert fisherman, he managed to get this beautiful, 30 or more inches rainbow fish in Lake Yelcho. The trout fought very hard. Luigi had to almost close the brake, backing and running at various times, before his amazing surprise. He gave a fierce contest, trying as always to avoid the unnecessary fight, then soon after returned the fish to the water.  Still, it took almost 20 minutes to bring it to the boat to get this photo.

 

The Yelcho watershed has a lot of places to go: from the Futaleufu River, mountain lakes, and the lake and river of Yelcho of course, to a lot of very small rivers with excellent dry fly fishing, such as, among others, Malito, Espolon, Palena and Verde.

This is one of the most desolate regions of Chile, containing spectacular nature and flowing rivers from which its posible to drink waters pure like few places elsewhere. This is a region for those who look for the most pristine places on the planet. Without doubt, its also one of the places that all fly fishermen should know about if they seek something special, different, and rare.

Throughout my long past as a fisherman in Patagonia, I have caught a lot more like this one here, even bigger fish. I have had countless memorable experiences in my dear Yelcho. 

Photos by Francisco Castano

For most fishermen, there exists the idea that to fish for big trout you have to travel far. Most fishermen believe you need to seek out remote places very inaccessible, where only a lucky few can ever hope to arrive. 
 
The majority of the time it is true that its necessary to travel far to capture large fish or to enter protected places where most fishermen can’t arrive. But here in Puerto Varas, we have a River, located just a few kilometers outside the city. This river has excellent browns and within just a stretch of 4 kilometers it is possible to fish specimens that many have only dreamed of fishing. This is one of the rivers that escapes logic. You don’t have to travel far, rather you can get here very easily, and still capture good sized-fish along the entire river.
 
Look at the photo below at this magnificent brown trout that was captured by Hugo. This excellent day of fishing with him and his wife Claudia was especially entertaining. Just as I was telling the both of them that this river seems to always give up marvelous surprises the trout that you see in the photo here began to bite on his line. It was very funny, confirming my words just as I said them. It was exciting and heart-warming as we had already captured at least 15 trout that day, some very beautiful and of great size but none like the trophy from this moment. A divine moment.
 
Hugo, as soon as the fish bit, knew it was a big bug, and ran two or three times with backing. The first was terrible, and after 10 minutes we took a look and then captured the fish a few minutes afterwards. We did it hurrying up the fight to not tire the fish too much so it might recover as soon as possible. It was a risk but worth seeing as it recovered uneventfully. Perhaps under normal conditions it would have taken at least 15 to 20 minutes to bring it in, but we always try to prevent unnecessary suffering for the trout so that it may be returned safe and sound to the water in the shortest possible time.
 
The Puerto Varas area without doubt has many places nearby with good fishing, meeting all the requirements of demanding fishermen: varied types of fish, beautiful landscapes, volcanoes to look at, forests, and big national parks with pristine water. The city itself also has excellent services, including a casino, fine hotels and restaurants, rental car companies, in short, everything that the most demanding tourist would want.
 
Again, what a fantastic experience on the Maullin with Hugo. I hope to share many more such moments.

Last fishing trips

Last week we have been guiding one of our friends to the Noth Patagonia, exactly at the Yelcho and Futaleufu areas, I missed this area,  I could not go to there after Chaiten volcano erupted in April 2008. I could see that fishing didn’t change and is still one of the best trout fishing of the world.

This season we will return to do some trips to there, also we’ll work in Coyhaique area once again, that allows us to offer simply the best of our country…

That week in Yelcho we could see how the first hatches brought trout to the surface, Luigi could feel what is to catch rainbows and steelheads using invisible dries…that’s fine fishing…Tight lines my friends.

Patagonia is full of excellent rivers, lakes, and spring creeks that make this place of the planet a famous and prodigal land for fly fishing, this land is well known by fly fishermen that come as far as from Europe and North America, they fly over seas with the sole idea of making their dreams of fishing  a reality of dreams.  I now want to describe one of the many rivers of Patagonia, this water flow is called by us  “the winner” because most of the time gives so good fishing that its fishing is not easy to surpass.

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It’s a small river that goes through mountains and parts of Pampas and Andean valleys of the Patagonia. This stream is well known by some of the guides, and unknown by most anglers what allows to this river to remain relatively untouched, safe, and with wild population of trout that almost don’t know hooks. Half of population is rainbow and half brown trout, although when a big fish appears normally is a brown. Average of fish can be 14 inches some days more, and average of captures is over 25 per day. Not bad!!  Otherwise, you think when you see the river that size would not be over 10 inches, what is not true, average is 14 inches, also you think is not a river where there are an abundant population of trout, but in the stream exists a really abundant population of healthy trout. And finally is normal to think that is not possible to find a big trout over there, that is another mistake, possible per day you catch two good brown that can be over 22 inches.   

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Most of the people that fished the river thought that trout here are not selective or easy to catch, this is not exactly what describe the behaviors of the fish here, they are selective trout, just that is not easy to understand. Fishing is great nymphing, using a correct technique for nymphs they take maybe double of flies than any other, of course  if the election of the fly is correct. So to select a correct nymph for the day takes you to a great success, the average of captures can increase from 25 to 55 or more trout during the day. Most of the days can be very productive with small mayflies nymphs as pheasant tails, cooper Johns or some other special nymphs,  hook size could be 16 to 20, using indicator and correct split-shots can make a big difference. But if someone is not good with nymphs, also there is the chance of good food from the riverside is going into the stream, in January a lot of terrestrial are flying around the water, they fall down into the water inciting trout to go close to the surface, they use to be hiding under a log chasing any insect that fall onto the surface. And if you think that’s all, nothing farther to the reality, in the evenning  is common that trout that were selective taking nymphs in the morning, and even afternoon, they become in selective fish for dries,  just the cherry that adorns the Cake. At the end of the day colored rainbows love to take small Mayflies like caddies and parachute Light Cahills or blue dun or some special mayflies for the river.   

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A fly fishermen dream made reality, quality of fishing is the word that identify Chilean Patagonia, this river is just one of the hundred rivers that the area offers for world class fly fishing.  Tight lines in Patagonia, we wait for you to show the wonders of this lost land located in the edge of the world, but well known by its nature and wild fishing.   

 

 

 

This way of fly fishing begins to be used at the 1.800s by atlantic salmon fly fishermen in Scotland,  it begans in the river that gives the name to the rods. Nowadays this technique is used by few, but the number of people that is beginning to discover its advantages is growing up.

After last progress of fly fishing as sport or outdoor activity ocurred in the last 30 years maybe more, I think  there are many fly anglers that have a pending task. Something that is important of considering, it’s not for nothing, many and me included think that a complete fly fisherman must learn each technique that this discipline offers, maybe some would not think exactly same, but definitively and this is a common thought, to be a consummate fly fisher it imposes to accept this challenge of dominating this and each technique of fly fishing.   

Some of the things that would change the mentality are some of the reasons that are taking more fly anglers to learn Spey casting. First one,  you are able to cover a lot more water, interesting…!!! second one, you don’t need to make a backcast, this is a considerable help when even you fish low cut banks with some buches behind, or high cut banks, or simply when you fish with a forest behind; and finally and not less importat, many or most Spey casters get generally much less fatigue.

To be introduced in the Spey techniques you must change some erroneous concepts. First one people think that Spey mean rod of……  Some people consider that Spey is not a rod, more than that, Spey is better says a type of casting.  Huge difference of concept, the base of the everything that concerns on this. Also there is a paraphrase that says, “All spey rods are two-handed rods, but not all two-handed rods are spey rods.” Steve Rajeff. As important as to know or understand that Spey is casting, it is to understand that these rods have a special construction that can differentiate it to other two handed rods.  As well most of us know, the action of the rod can make us to think that there are many different kind of one handed rod. The action also plays an important list or paper for Spey rods. So there are several things to learn when you begin this. 

spey

There are several different lengths, weights and actions that make each model a different choice. Depending on the requirements that the anglers ask to the rod, it will be the correct combination of length, weight and action. The same as one handed rods, this is the reason why the rods manufacturers produce several different specifications. There is bellow a complete list of brands and specifications.  It is a helpful guide to have at the moment of beginning to investigate on this.

Brand

Model

Weight

Length

Pieces

Cost

Web Site

Abel

Spey

9

14′

4

$495

abelreels.com

Diamondback

SSR31389

8/9

13′

3

$395

diamondbackflyrods.com

G. Loomis

FR165889

8/9

13′ 9″

4

$420

gloomis.com

Lamiglas

CST 12989

8/9

12′ 9″

6

$450

lamiglas.com

Orvis

1368/9-3

8/9

13′ 6″

3

$350

orvis.com

Redington

DHRS31408

8

14′

4

$350

redington.com

Sage

FLI8140-4

8

14′

4

$425

sageflyfish.com

Scott

LS21408/4

8

14′

4

$595

scottflyrod.com

St. Croix

IF1308

7/8

13′

3

$260

stcroixrods.com

Temple Fork

TF091404

9

14′

4

$250

templeforkflyrods.com

Thomas & Thomas

DH1309-3

9

13′

3

$780

thomasandthomas.com

Winston

Boron IIX

8/9

13/14

4

$795

winstonrods.com

I push all fly fishermen that didn’t try Spey casting before, to learn this classic, old and effective way to fly fish wide rivers for Salmon or trophy migratory trout. This is for me, the way to find sense of fishing for big fish. For sure many of you think dry fly fishing is the top class, for me was too, after to learn more about Spey maybe most would not have that pre-concept. Definitively Spey casting makes big fishing more interesting.

By these days we are recommending to fanatic of  Spey cast¡ng to come to our country, and to attempt to fly fish King and Atlantic Salmon by Spey techniques. Chile offers oportunities of fishing for these trophies, what better to have a chance of finding out new experiences on the edge of the world.  The experts and beginners of Spey have this chance on their hands,  just this implies to dare to a decision.

By Francisco Castaño

First all I’m happy to open this blog-spot for our friends, hope I can be posting interesting reports, news, or anything that I find would be of the interest of our specie…. the fly fishers of the world. In this Blogspot I will be posting whatever that could be interesting for any Fly Fisherman that wants to be acquainted about our area, fishing adventures, or any interesting topic for traveling fishermen.
 
I want to mention our last season in Coyhaique, it was great as much the lodge we work with as fishing the area that surpassed the expectation of all our fly fishers friends. If you had any previous concept of sight fishing, here at the Chilean Patagonia would overcome any imagination or idea of this.
Is not common to fish lakes wading, and less doing sight fishing at flat and shallow waters walking rushes areas. Many of our clients thought they were fishing for Bonefish….. but not, we were fishing for Bonebrowntrout…. a new experience for fly anglers….!!!
Believe me, this is something that cannot be imagined for trout fishers, wherever they come from……!!!
 
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I have been fishing and exploring my country for many years, and I can say that after a lifetime fishing and 10 years working in organization of Fly Fishing Trips, I could say that we have the best selection of spots and locations for Fly Fishing in the Chilean Patagonia, and why not to say some of the best of the whole Patagonia and south hemisphere.
Tight lines my friends…!