Opening day in Chile is in November, and trout season continues until leaves turn crimson and drop with the arrival of winter in late April. The summers of Patagonia are abbreviated, much like those of Montana and Wyoming. Warm days often begin with cool mornings and can be interupted by a sudden thunderstorm. But for the most part, the best time to visit this fantastic part of the world is from mid-November through mid-April.
November is traditionally a time when North American fishermen are preoccupied with family and holidays. European Lupine carpet the landscape in an explosion of violets, reds, purples and yellows. Fish are on the surface, targeting caddis and mayfly emergences, as well as blizzard hatches of small creamy moths.
Rio Coyhaique: The lodge property has a mile of river frontage plus additional private access points to miles of easy wadding and large quantities of excellent fish. This river gets better every year and is still great fishing when the weather isn’t so great elsewhere.
Rio Huemales: The river is wide with sandy bottom where you can wade down the middle and fish towards large browns hiding in the undercut banks. Many deep pools are fun to pull streamers and watch the big guys chase it all the way to your feet.
Rio Simpson: It tends to fly fish like a classic Montana freestone and has significant caddis and mayfly opportunities. It is most often floated but, several wade options exist also. Browns and rainbows average 14-22 inches. However, trout up to 30 inches have been caught on a fly. This river has more fish per mile than perhaps any river in the southern hemisphere. A substantial run of King Salmon return to this river starting in November.
Rio Nirehuao: This is perhaps the area’s most famous fishery. It is a mid-sized freestone wading stream renowned worldwide for its fantastic hopper fishing during mid-summer exclusively for wild brown trout. The lodge’s head guide Alejandro has guided this river for 12 seasons + and knows it like no one else. Fish average in the 12 -20 inch range but, those over 24” are present.
Rio Emperador Guillermo: It is one of the jewels of the area, with many pools and riffles loaded with hungry trout that average 12 to 16 inches. Other Rivers:
Rio Mañihuales: The Manihuales has a little of everything including a lot of big trout! It is most often floated but, some good wade fishing is available on it very upper reaches. It has a healthy population of both Brown and Rainbow trout as well as a strong run of King Salmon. The Manihuales often surrenders fish well in excess of 20 inches during an average day with the Brown trout usually being the largest. This river has structure like no other and an incredible amount of prime holding spots making it a favorite amongst local guides.
Several spring creek options are also available in the remote ranch land areas near the Argentine border. There are unlimited lakes, large and small, where you’ll never see another boat or fisherman the whole day.
Many private still water options are offered by Coyhaique River Lodge and are highlighted by the incredibly productive lakes of the Cerro Castillo area. If you wish for a shot at that 10 lb trout of a life time, this would be the place.