Patagonia´s Fly fishing Zone

Patagonia´s Central Fly fishing Zone

The salmonidae, whose spawn and young were brought from different countries of the world, found in Argentina excellent habitat conditions, especially all along the Andeans at the mid-west of the country in the Patagonia.

The fly fishing and scenery of Patagonia-Argentina is very similar to the western states in the US, particularly Montana and Wyoming. The mid-summer weather is predominantly dry, hot during the day and cool at night. The rivers are mostly freestone with some spring creeks. Particularly in the spring creeks, the trout rise feverishly during a hatch to mayflies and caddis ranging from size 10 to 20. Otherwise, the most common form of food is the "pancora", a fresh water crab-imitated by a black or olive woolly bugger or similar, size 2,4 or 6 wet fly. The trout of Patagonia (browns, rainbows and brook trout) average 12-20 inch. Intermediate fly fishermen can expect to land trout over 20 inches and experienced anglers have a good chance of landing 5-15 pound trout. Many rivers also contain landlocked salmon, which can exceed 10 pounds.

In addition to the landscape, the appeal of Patagonia is that it offers first class "off-season" fishing (November thru mid April). Here, in Chubut, there are plenty of excellent areas with lakes, rivers, and streams, already known worldwide as good fisheries.


Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss)
Brown Trout (Salmo Fario)
Brook Trout (Salvelinus Fontinalis)
Landlocked Salmon (Salmo Salar Sebago)
Perch (native specie)

There is much more fishing in Patagonia than describe here but the brief above provides a good sample of the resources available. Ideally, fishing may take at least ten days and preferably two weeks.

Fishing Areas

The Esquel area has at least three fisheries worth your attention: The Futaleufú River, The Spring Creek Arroyo Pescado and Nant y Falls/Corintos/Percey Rivers.

It is the largest and the most beautiful river in the area. Challhuaquen Lodge is placed on the bank of the middle river, in a section believed to be the richest fishing area of theme.
The Futaleufú is a large river containing lots of flat water, riffles and deep pools all of which give you a chance to catch good numbers of fish on dry flies. Like most tail waters, the river runs cold and clear and is rich with trout food and large trout. Fly fishing from the boat is authorized. Outstanding wading areas can be reached with catches of 3 to 6 pounds in browns and rainbows. There is excellent dry, streamer and nymphs fishing.

Is easily one of the best spring creeks in the world!. This stream is born in a private property, and runs 50 miles to join the Chubut River. Only fly casting is authorized, quality and quantity is the special characteristic of this fishery (2 to 5 pound rainbows). Some wide spots are very good for wading, but casting from the coast is another good alternative. Arroyo Pescado is located 60 miles from Challhuaquen (30 miles north-east of Esquel) and it's a place full of tales about the Buch Cassidy gang and their misdeeds in the area, narrated by the land-owner.

Just 10 minutes away from Challhuaquen (30 minutes from Esquel), on a private estancia, it is located one of the most beautiful rivers in the region. It's a small stream (40 - 60 feet wide), choked with weed beds and teaming with fish. We have hooked rainbows in excess of 6 pounds and averaged 20 -30 fish a day, all on small dries. Fishing is from the bank and you will be casting to fish cruising the edges of the weed beds. This river is a new place for fly fishing as it was closed until recently.

These two streams flow about 30 miles each before meeting and flowing into the Futaleufú River. They offer walk wading opportunities for those wanting to get their feet wet. Not all the fish are large on these streams but the occasional fish over 18 inches can be caught on a large dry fly. The character of water is often times like that of a freestone, pocket water stream, and also spring creek like. These rivers are a nice choice for those that want to wade fish with a light rod and enjoy fishing in spectacular scenery.

Los Alerces National Park Area

This park was created in 1937, and takes its name from the larch trees over 50 meters high which are the outstanding flora of the region. The Park was created with the goal of protecting this giant specie almost extinct because of the climatic setbacks and temperature of the ground. The Park extension is 263.000 hectares, and it is located 45 miles from Challhuaquen (30 miles southwest from Esquel). This is a world of lakes and rivers surrounded with imposing mountains and glaciers. The watershed is based in 12 lakes and hundred of rivers and streams that together carry their waters to the Pacific Ocean crossing into Chile.

All of these lakes and rivers are outstanding fisheries, and in this specific program, we offer the alternative of fishing the most remote places of the Park, giving a taste of adventure and showing the non traditional fishing spots of the area.

Into the National Park you can fish in many rivers, the best are: Rivadavia, Arrayanes, Menendez, Frey, Desaguadero and Carrileufu. Our favorite river is the Rivadavia. Only 6 miles long and absolutely packed with fish, an average day on this river can produce about 30 fishes, a third of which will be over 20 inches and all of them the hottest fish you'll find anywhere. We float this river from Lago Rivadavia to Lago Verde.

Fishing is a mix of dry fly, wet fly and nymph fishing. Each year we catch a few browns and rainbows over 10 pounds. We fish from the boat at the headwaters and wade the productive pools and runs downstream. The Rivadavia has a tributary spring creek, called "el canal", where conditioned 5-10 pound rainbows and browns will rise to sip a size 18 black gnat!. The catch rate on this creek isn't high (about 2 fish per day), but few of these trout are under 5 pounds.

Fishing Areas

The Corcovado is a fabulous fishery that stretches more than sixty miles in Argentina before crossing the border into Chile, where it is renamed the Palena. It is located 50 miles from Challhuaquen. It originates at Lago Vinter, one of the largest lakes in the region, which keeps the river cold and full of water for most of the season. It offers some classic trout water and contains some very large brown trout as well as average sized rainbows. The lower stretches around the town of Corcovado fish well with streamers, large dries, and nymphs. A day on the Corcovado provides a combination of white water and classic riffle pool water. You will also enjoy some wading in the many riffles in the river. Some of our largest brown trout of the season are landed on this river, and they are very strong and stocky due to living in this fast flowing river.

Rio Pico area is located 120 miles from Challhuaquen (150 miles south of Esquel). Lakes Three, Five, Guacho and Engaño are also very well known for Brookies, Browns and Rainbows with catches of 5 to 10 pounds. The best brookies fisheries of the region are Lakes Guacho, Los Niños and Engaño and Corcovado River. The best months for Rio Pico area are December to April; at the heart of the Andes, the access is very difficult during November, only possible by horse or tractor.
Pico and Nilson rivers are the best rivers in this area for fly fishing. On a typical day anglers can expect 50 fishes with a good number in the 20 inch plus range. Our big brown of the season went over 8 pounds. We also hooked into several Pacific Salmon (King Salmon) over 15 pounds! This river is excellent for dry, streamers and nymphs fishing.

Fishing Season:

Spring-Early Summer:

The trout fishing season opens on the second weekend of November. During November and December, the rivers are generally high from snow melt; however, the flow is moderated by the fact that most rivers flow out of lakes. High water may require the use of sinking lines, nymphs and streamer flies, but the fish feed aggressively, making this one of the most productive times of the year. The period corresponds with the months of May and June in the Western U.S. Expect spring time temperatures, cool to cold mornings and nights. Temperature range: 32-70F.

Mid Summer:

During January and February water levels stabilize, but there is still adequate flow to float most rivers. This period is characterized by a good combination of wet and dry fly fishing, generally depending upon the weather of the season. The weather can range from hot and dry in the daytime to cool morning and nights. At high altitude, it will be cooler and more subject to change. High winds are possible anytime. The months of January and February correspond with July and August in Western U.S. Temperature range: 50 – 85F.

Late Summer - Early Fall:

During March and April the browns start to move from the lakes into the rivers, and water temperatures begin to reactive the trout. Good wet and dry fly fishing, particularly on the Rivadavia and Arroyo Pescado rivers. These months corresponds to September and October in the Western U.S. Expect autumn temperatures and cool to cold mornings and nights. Temperature range 32 – 70F.