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THE RIVERS

Patagonia’s famed myriad of rivers offer a staggering variety of fishing for every angler to enjoy.

With 10 unique rivers to explore, the possibilities are endless.

Northern Patagonia boasts an enormously diverse river system with world class conditions for fly fishing. The Chimehuín, Collón Curá, Malleo, Aluminé and Limay are the largest rivers, and offer fantastic conditions all through the season from November until May. Other smaller rivers like the Traful, Filo Hua Hum, Caleufu, Quilquihue and Quemquemtreu Creek can offer outstanding fishing during the right time of the season and in the hands of the local experts.

All of our rivers are rich with bug life, which makes them exceptional for dry fly fishing. Mayfly, caddis and small stonefly hatches are common, and are seasonally supplemented with phenomenons like the willow worm hatch and minnow runs.

Read on below for some more detail on each of these special rivers, and exactly what kind of fishing you can expect on each.

Chimehuín

A firm favourite with guides and guests alike, the ‘Chime’ is described by some as the prettiest river in the area (or, indeed, on the planet). An enormously fun river to fish, it offers a huge variety of water for fishing dries, nymphs or streamers due to its astonishing structure: full of riffles, deep pools, big overhanging trees, cut banks and slower moving water for dry flies.

Flanked in long stretches by overhanging willows and native vegetation peppered with small beaches, it boasts some of the most beautiful picnic spots you’re ever likely to find during a day’s fishing. The fish are plentiful and gorgeous, and are best enjoyed during one of the river’s many excellent hatches.

We can enjoy the Chime from Tipiliuke, River House, Tres Rios or from our very own Casa Quilquihue.

Collón Curá

The Collón Curá is the largest river we fish in terms of water flow. More steppe than grassland, the landscape is more barren, with trees more scarce than around the Chime. Its upper and middle sections are great for dry flies owing to their water speed, and in the right moment of the season we love to sight fish the willow worm hatch under trees overhanging the banks.

The lower section has a famous minnow run, with more excellent sight fishing for larger fish preying on minnows flowing in from the adjacent reservoir. Prepare for aggressive takes in shallow, fast water, where fishing with floating lines and tiny light streamers is a must.

The Collon Cura can be accessed from Casa Quilquihue, Tipiliuke, River House, Quemquemtreu, Collon Cura Lodge and Tres Rios.

Malleo

A truly world class river for dry flies, owing to its spectacular hatches and ideal water speed. The Malleo is also famed for it stunning backdrop: Lanín volcano, right on the border while Chile, looms large. We wade rather than float the Malleo, taking advantage of the slow-moving water and gravel bottom of the upper section. The lower section is a little faster moving with a freestone bottom, but the rewards of wading here are great: this section is wonderful for dries, streamers and / or nymphs.

The lower section passes through an indigenous Mapuche reservation and can be fished from Tipiliuke and River House, while guests staying at Mamuil Malal and San Huberto can access the upper section. Guests at Casa Quilquihue can reach both the upper and lower sections of the river.

Limay

As a tailwater, the Limay supports a huge quantity of aquatic life, meaning fish feed and grow rapidly. The middle Limay is the spot for big browns which regularly weigh in at up to 15lbs, and can be even larger. These migratory trout live in the lake, then move into the river at this time of the year for feeding and spawning which can produce some real monsters. Prime time is between mid-March to mid-May, although they can be found anytime of the season. Not to be outdone, there is also a healthy population of rainbows between 17-22 inches.

The Limay is better suited to experienced anglers, as its large width and remote, rugged location mean conditions can be very windy.

The Limay is within 90 minutes driving from Collon Cura Lodge, the best place to fish it from. It’s a long drive for a day’s fishing from Casa Quilquihue or Tipiliuke, but it’s worth it if you’re after a big brown at the right time of the year.

Aluminé

The Aluminé is a truly stunning river to float, with its dramatic canyons and excellent fishing. At the right time of the season, we can capitalise on great inchworm hatches, making it a great spot for throwing big dry flies. A slightly longer drive than average to get there really pays off on the right day.

We can fish the Aluminé from Casa Quilquihue, Mamuil Malal, Tipiliuke, Tres Rios, San Huberto or River House.

Quilquihue

Feeding into the Chimehuín, the Quilquihue is a small but very pretty and enormously fun river. We can both float and wade it during November and December while the water is high enough, but come January onwards it’s still lovely to wade alone. Small but mighty, the river offers plenty of pocket water and overhanging trees, making for excellent streamer fishing early in the season.

It flows through the garden at Casa Quilquihue, allowing guests to wade from the bank whenever the urge takes them, as well as allowing us to float the river from right outside your backyard.

We can also wade the Quilquihue from Tipiliuke and River House.

Traful

The Traful may be our prettiest river of all. Crystal clear water surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges, it is also home to some of the biggest fish in the area despite its relatively short length. It hosts some huge migratory fish coming in from Traful Lake and the Limay river, and is the only place in the area where landlocked salmon can be found alongside rainbows and browns.

Our favourite spot for highly technical, tricky sight fishing in the clearest of waters, the Traful is best enjoyed by experienced anglers.

If you want to fish the Traful, Arroyo Verde is the place to stay: it’s remote enough to be the only lodge with access.

Quemquemtreu Creek

A truly spectacular glacial creek, which can only be fished by those staying at Quemquemtreu in November or December before water levels drop too low. The fishing with dry flies and streamers is excellent, especially for the browns: this is the only water in the area where the proportion of browns is higher than rainbows.

The creek is nestled in a valley in the heart of Estancia Quemquemtreu, and is surrounded by green steppe full of native pampas grass, bordering the creek’s pretty banks full of native Patagonian shrubbery.

Filo Hua Hum

Filo Hua Hum is a beautiful river running through a dramatic, remote valley surrounded by rugged mountains, which also boasts some of the best looking brown trout to be found in the area. It flows from Lago Nuevo (New Lake) into Filo Hua Hum Lake, and provides very clear water with excellent sight fishing for brown trout averaging between 18 and 24 inches.

The fishing here is wading only due to the remote and rugged nature of the valley, and those in the know will also be able to seek out some amazing spring creeks and spring water which produce phenomenal fishing.

We fish Filo Hua Hum from Estancia Tres Lagos, which is right on its banks. We can also reach it from Casa Quilquihue, if you’re feeling up to a 3 hour round trip.

Caleufu

The Caleufu river flows from the mountains at its source to the steppe at its mouth, making for a truly special float down some incredibly clear water. We fish the Caleufu early in the season before the water gets too low for nice browns and rainbows, as well as for good streamer fishing and big dry flies.

Later on in the season, we fish the lower season again for a special minnow run, which we can access with guests from Quemquemtreu and Collon Cura Lodge.

The upper section can be reached from Casa Quilquihue only, albeit after a pretty lengthy drive.

Any questions? Get in touch if you’d like some more details by following the link below.

THE FISHING

Bespoke Fly Fishing Trips

No two Fish Patagonia trips are the same: we design every group’s bespoke trip from the ground up around their preferences.

The Lakes

Our local glacial lakes are an unmissable feature of the fishing on offer with Fish Patagonia.

The Season

Seven months to enjoy fishing in Patagonia, from November to May.

Fish Patagonia | Bespoke fly fishing trips
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