Fly fishing the rivers and lakes of Chilean Patagonia is an experience that a fisherman never forgets. In this corner of the world you will find unparalleled water clarity, glacial capped peaks, vast river systems, amazing lodging and hospitality, and the most important, amazing large trout that you can see coming up from the depths of crystalline clear waters for your large surface fly!
The most famous region of Chile, Chilean Patagonia offers all the dramatic landscape one would expect from the world’s ultimate land’s end. Here the South American continent tapers off in a stunning landscape of waterfalls, glacier topped mountains, and deep lakes fed by a fertile Andean water system which supports large wild trout and salmon.
God truly spent more time when creating this part of the earth. This southern expanse of Chile is far beyond what you imagine a magnificent landscape to be, with hundreds of natural glacial lakes and thousands of miles of large rivers and small streams Patagonian Fly Fishing is something every serious fly angler should experience!
One of the greatest features of our operational area is that we not confined into any single watershed or area. Being adaptable and mobile depending on the best fishing at the time allows us to find that perfect water to make your Chilean experience the best it can be. STM Fly Fishing covers a 500km area with literally hundreds of opportunities; from a walk and wake day for Atlantic salmon, a drift in a comfortable NRS raft for large brown trout or an overnight pack trip with float tubes into a lake few North Americans have seen.
The overall experience consists of floating down some of the most spectacular rivers and lakes in the world, enjoying Chilean lifestyle and hospitality, and of course landing the possible trout of your life! Mice and Rat patterns will produce some of the most visual and crushing topwater action most anglers have ever experienced and few knew was possible. Chilean Stag beetles, Dragon Flies and Locusts are just a few of the unusual bugs we will be throwing towards the shores of the aqua-blue glacial fed waters of this amazing fishery.
Trips are six days and seven nights with three different locations. Our different fishing areas are within two to three hours of each other. La Junta, Futaleufu, Puerto Piedras, and Puerto Cadenas will be our bases for a couple of days at a time. We also have many other options if weather does not cooperate. Sometimes right out the front door of our Chilean hosts you will find a river, creek, and/or lake full of trout within walking distance.
Nestled deep in the Andes Mountains lays Lago Yelcho, a nearly 2000 foot deep lake in southern Chile. Lago Yelcho is one of the largest lakes a fly fisher may visit in his or her lifetime. Lago Yelcho is fed by fresh Andean snow melt and the crystal clear waters of the Futalefu River.
Yelcho is known for its very large sized Brown and Rainbow trout. The possibility of hooking and landing a 30 inch trout is always present here. On Lago Yelcho we fish with floating, intermediate, and sinking head lines throughout the day. The fly selection for Lago Yelcho includes streamers, snails, dragon flies, beetles and our favorite deer hair mouse patterns. Casting these flies onto Yelcho’s waters will turn up some of the largest trout in the southern hemisphere.
LAGOS EN LA JUNTA
Approximately 3 hours south of Lago Yelcho are the La Junta area lakes. Your stay will be a true Patagonian experience with a Chilean family in the heart of the Andean mountain range. This is not a typical fly fishing lodge experience. Here you will fish on pristine private water offering outstanding trout fishing. Dry fly fishing is second to none on these waters with fly selections including Dragonflies, giant Chilean Stag Beetles, and Mouse patterns.
Huge Rainbows, Browns, and land-locked Coho Salmon inhabit these lakes. Landlocked Cohos are usually willing take a variety of top water patterns offering anglers some rare fishing opportunities. Your daily experience will conclude with a full course Chilean dinner each night.
Originating deep in Argentina’s Andes as the Rio Grande River, the Futaleufu River crosses the border into Chile where it then takes on the indigenous name, Rio Futaleufu. Flowing near the town of Futaleufu this beautiful stream eventually finds its way into the great Lago Yelcho.
A large river, the Rio Futaleufu contains all varieties of quality fish holding water including, pools, runs, riffles, and pocket water. We will fish comfortably from 14-18 foot inflatable river rafts, and occasionaly getting out of the rafts to wade special parts of the river. Many fly fishers love the Futalefu for it’s prime dry fly fishing opportunities. The Futaleufu is home to some of the wildest Rainbows and Browns within the region. Large BWO mayflies, big terrestrial insects and animals, and a variety of baitfish keep the fish very healthy and thick here. Rowing the rafts past large feeding fish is a daily occurrence throughout your float on Rio Futaleufu.
The fish in this stream are known for making drag testing runs challenging the best of fly fishers that fish here. Large Salmon also make their way up this river system during the fall fishing season. The Rio Futalefu is truly a classic Wild Trout River that will never be forgotten once visited.
A true powerhouse of a river, this crystal clear water flows from the bottom of Lago Yelcho to the Ocean port of Chaiten. It is known for its truly large and powerful trout willing to selectively take everything from a size 20 ant pattern to a size 2 Double Bunny leach. Fish average 20 inches in this part of the stream and have no sympathy for fly fisherman who are not used to hearing the drag on their reel scream.
The seemingly rainforest banks of Rio Yelcho are so steep and thick with vegetation that the only way to accurately fish this truly wild river is from a comfortable river raft. Rods in the 6-9 weight range with floating, intermediate, and sinking shooting heads will be used to catch a variety of fine Rio Yelcho Rainbow and Brown trout.
Respect is gained for this large moving water as soon as one briefly experiences this unbelievable fishery. Here you will have the option of enjoying an overnight camping trip where we end up in the city of Chaiten on the second day, or arrange accommodations in the comfort of a Chilean “Hospedaje,” or guest house.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR TRAVEL TO CHILE:
- A valid United States passport
- Airline ticket from the U.S. to Puerto Montt
- $140 in cash for a one time entrance reciprocation fee to Chile ($140 is what the US charges Chilean citizens to enter our country and in one time for the life of the passport)
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR TRAVEL TO CHILE:
- Lightweight fishing shirts and pants, hats, and Rain gear
- 6-9wt medium to medium-fast fly fishing rods (Two rods if possible)
- Matching reels with floating, sinking (150-200 grain) and intermediate lines
You will need a valid passport to enter the country of Chile. Citizens of the United States, Canada, and the UK do not need a visa unless they plan on staying for more than three months. There is a one-time entrance fee for US Citizens of $140.00 USD (this amount may fluctuate with exchange rates).
HOW TO GET THERE:
After a direct or one-stop flight to Santiago, you will fly 2.5-3 hours on to Puerto Montt over the western coast of South America. You will see the incredible Chilean Andes climb out of the ocean in this foreign frontier. From Puerto Montt a short taxi ride over to Las Palomas airport to make your last 20 minute flight aboard a modern 20-passenger turbo-prop to the small ocean port town of Chaiten. The scenery from the window on this flight shows you that you are a long way from home with an array scattered islands, fjords, bocas, channels, and river mouths that drop into the Pacific Ocean. Chaiten is an ocean port town and we will be waiting for you at the local airport to drive another hour or two to our water side lodge near the town of Futaleufu.
Flights in South America and on into Santiago and Puerto Montt are carried by the distinguished airline LAN Chile. These Boeing 767s are seven seats across with two aisles. Each seat has its own screen offering free movies and complimentary headphones. A GPS is also built into the unit allowing you to view your progress on your trip. The service and comfort aboard these South American fights is a pleasant surprise.
DAY ONE & TWO
Travel to Destination Departure from USA to Santiago de Chile, this can be a direct flight or a one, or two stop trip to arrive to Santiago, the capital of Chile. Travel time is usually around 6-8 hours. From Santiago you will connect with your next 1.5- 2 hour flight to the port city of Puerto Montt.
From the city of Puerto Montt you will take a small airplane to the coastal town of Chaiten where David or one of his Chilean associates will be waiting by automobile to take you to your first lodging destination about 1-2 hours from the Chaiten Airport. The entire trip to Chilean Patagonia takes 15-22 hours depending on flight times and layovers.
Once arriving at the Lodge on the river banks of the Futaleufu River you will be shown to your room, if necessary, meals will be served, and if there is time, we will hit the river which runs right in front of the Lodge where boats are waiting in the water.
DAY TWO & THREE :: LAGO YELCHO AND THE FUTALEUFU RIVER
We will launch river rafts equipped with both motors and oars near the entrance of where the Rio Futaleufu dumps into the legendary Lago Yelcho. Here we will be casting to and pulling Mouse and rat patterns off the banks and out of the tules, Stripping large streamers, occasionally throwing Dragonflies to cruising trout, or casting small “efimeras” or mayflies to large breaching fish in huge river seams. We have also come across fish grouped up around trees keyed completely into flying ants which are hatching and falling into the water.
DAY THREE & FOUR :: RIO YELCHO
This powerhouse of a river will take your breath away with is primitive beauty and large fish. NRS river rafts will deliver you to the fish in comfort and safety on this large moving Andean water. After one day of feeling the power of Rio Yelcho’s fish you will be eagerly awaiting the second float to settle the score with some oversized trout. We will either be staying at the classic Puerto Piedras lodge or at the hospitable Casa Lulu.
DAY FIVE & SIX :: LA JUNTA AREA LAKES
After catching many large trout we travel to an amazing system of rivers and lakes to stay with a Chilean family on an amazing lake that few people fish. Landlocked and sea run salmon, and large Rainbow and Patagonian Brown Trout are what we will be targeting here with a variety of large flies. Certain times of the year On this special lake we are able to use a beetle called a Cantabria (Chilean stag beetle) which is over two inches long!
DAY SIX & SEVEN :: FUTALEUFU RIVER ON THE ARGENTINE BORDER
On these days we fish the Futaleufu river in a completely different area. Boats are launched on the Argentine border and we complete a multi-mile float each day on this gin clear glacial river. Zotar and NRS rafts with full rowing frames are used on this water, which are comfortable and safe.
The upper section of the “Futa” is known for large and strong river going trout that rise to take large top water attractor drifted carefully in the rivers many seams. It is not uncommon to happen upon a Blue Wing olive hatch in the evening where a Fly Angler can pick off as many fish as he has time for.
DAYS SEVEN & EIGHT
Upon completing a full SIX days of fishing we will take you back to the Chaiten Airport where you will catch your flight back to Puerto Montt to make your connections back to the United States.
Due to weather and unforeseen circumstances we have many alternatives we can work into the above itinerary
ALTERNATIVE DAY # 1 :: HORSE PACK TRIP TO ANDEAN LAKES
Single day and overnight pack trips to Andean lakes above the Chilean town of Futaleufu. We pack in our New Zealand style kick- boats on horseback to give you an unmatched southern hemisphere fishing experience. These lakes are rarely experienced by the casual angler and sit in the middle of the high Andes.
ALTERNATIVE DAY # 2 :: RIO YELCHO OVERNIGHT TRIP
Floating the mighty Rio Yelcho down near the Port Town of Chaiten on an overnight trip while camping in the lush and foreign river vegetation for one night is one of our favorite adventures that no one else does. Large flies and 6-9wt rods with 8-15lb test leaders are required to subdue Rio Yelcho trout.