Argentina & Chile as a Destination
"The people, the country, the wildlife and the streams themselves were all so far beyond my expectations that I find myself with a story that needs to be told. It was a fisherman's winter without equal, a delight of travel and discovery," Roderick Haig-Brown.
In my opinion there is no finer trout fishing destination in the world than Patagonia. This statement is perhaps a bit bold, but I feel this way for the following reasons:
The Rio Palena
*Winter in The United States means it is summertime in South America: The months of January, February and March are equivalent to the months of July, August and September in Montana. The main difference is that there are no crowds and the fishing is, by in large, more productive than the American West. Unless you can take more than one fishing trip per year, why go out West when you can go to South America during the wintertime?
* Variety & Diversity: All of the lodges offer a selection of diverse waters within close proximity to each other. There are large rivers where one can drift and cast streamers and spring creeks that will challenge the skilled angler. There are small rivers which are fun to fish and good confidence builders for beginners. In most places it is possible to fish a different river everyday and not see another angler the whole week.
Big Bow on a dry in a private lagoon with Esquel Outfitters
*Great Dry Fly Fishing: The dry fly fishing is superb. During the summer months of Jan, Feb & March the trout are looking up for large beetles and hoppers and in many of the rivers there is great match the hatch dry fly fishing with caddis flies & mayflies.
My friend Claudio on a secret lagoon near Coyhaique, Chile
* Some areas offer huge trout: Some places, particularly in isolated lagoons and around the lakes where rivers flow in and out (bocas), there are chances of catching the biggest trout of your life. For skilled anglers that enjoy streamer fishing it is possible to catch a trout over 10 pounds.
Charlie someplace in Argentina with Esquel Outfitters Thad with a nice brown that took a dry. Patagonia Base Camp
*Flights are not difficult: South America is easy to get to, especially from the east coast. Flights depart in the evening(Fri night) and arrive the following morning (Sat.) in Buenos Aires or Santiago, and there is only a two-hour time difference. Depending on where you are fishing, you then take a two hour flight into Balmaceda, Puerto Mont, San Martin or Bariloche. In most cases, you will arrive in time to fish the evening hatch. Very little fishing time is lost since you will be traveling during the evening hours. In simple terms, it is a 24 hour trip from New York or Boston to the lodge, with most of the travel during the evening hours. An extra day in Santiago and Buenos Aires makes the trip a little easier and certainly more cultural and relaxing. We will help you with all the arrangements and consult you on what itinerary makes the most sense for your particular trip.
*Spectacular Scenery: The scenery is outrageously beautiful and the snow capped Andes are always making their presence known. There are gorgeous vistas around every corner and an angler realizes that it is not just the fishing that brought him here, but the complete angling experience. You will be immersed in a pure, unspoiled, wild setting that, simply put, is magnificent!
*Argentina and Chile are Relaxed, Cultural & Fun: In both countries people are kind, fun and have an easy going way about them. They are hard working, humble and extremely gracious. Life moves a little slower and everything is pushed back an hour or two. There are pisco sours, asados, pampas, gaucho's, condors, and a host of other things we don't hear of in North America. Put this all together and you have an unforgettable fishing vacation that will make a lasting impression.