Unparralled trout fishing opportunities in Chilean Patagonia...
Chilean Patagonia has an unparalleled variety of trout fishing opportunities to offer. Ever since we began plans for our return to ChileTrout Lodge in the Aysén region there were a few spots we knew we had to get back to and some new water we wanted to explore.
Pancho had told us leading up to this trip that we would be hitting some of his favorite “zero or hero” lakes. Low chances of a lot of takes, but if you get one, odds are it will be a very good fish. In order to prepare for this, since he knew how excitable we both can be about catching fish, we made sure to get some numbers in the net on a small stream with dries and hit a few lakes just to scratch the itch.
During our first trip to the area in December of 2019, as we crossed bridges over some of the rivers there, our guide and owner/operator of ChileTrout Lodge, Pancho Vilches, commented that they were far too off-color to fish. Being from Colorado, the still 2 feet of visibility seemed plenty clear to us, but if we have learned anything over the years of fishing travel, it is listen to your guide. So we strictly fished lakes on our first trip, but that led us to some amazing locations that we had to see again this time.
One of these lakes offered some absolute specimen brown trout cruising in shallow, clear water. Since we were there early in the season, we fished almost exclusively sub surface with small streamers, but the takes when the fish saw the fly were absolutely spectacular. Some fish we could see move 6-8 feet at full speed to crush the streamer!
ChileTrout Lodge has set up a spike camp a couple of hours out from the lodge on a pristine spring fed lake that we had not previously fished. The camping was more on the glamping side with a relatively permanent fogón (fireplace and grill area) as well as a trailer with real beds and the fishing was what dreams are made of. We were instructed that this was a “mousing lake.” And true to advertising, tons of brown trout in the 14-18 inch range happily and aggressively attacked almost every fly that landed in the zone. The smaller fish would leap completely airborn to take the rodent imitations and the slightly larger ones would slurp it under to drown it. After a day of almost non stop action, it was time for a zero or hero mission.
To sum up our zero or hero day, we will be going back. One monster hen was landed, but the two that we lost are now the ghosts that we keep replaying in our head along after the cumulative 1000 casts in the wind.We rounded out the trip with a banner dry fly day on a small river with uncountable landed fish in a gorgeous valley through which over 30 Andean Condors soared past overhead following the upwellings along the cliff walls. We are still just scratching the surface of the fishing opportunities of this area, from the tiny spring creeks, to huge rivers, to lakes of every size. And we will be haunted by a couple of the ghosts that got away, needless to say, we will be back to fish with the ChileTrout team before too long!
For more information on ChileTrout Lodge visit their website here: https://www.chiletrout.com/
If you are coming to the Denver Fly Fishing Show Feb 17-19 2023, stop by and meet Pancho and Karina at the ChileTrout booth or stop by the RepYourWater and ask us about the trip!
GARRISON DOCTOR - RepYourWater Co-Founder and Designer