Fishing Reports - (Atlantic Salmon, Brown and Rainbow Trout)






Fly Fishing in Patagonia, Argentina/Chile

      This season saw more international travelers to Argentina and Chile than in passed years. Argentina and Chile are recognized as two of the most safest destinations in South America for vacation travelers. Most were tourist not looking to get hooked up with some feisty aquatic acrobat (a term I use to describe our hard fighting rainbow and brown trout).

The Fishing Season Has Been Extended

     The trout season has been lengthened in Argentina, now running from November 1, and in some areas October 1 and then to and ending in May instead of the traditional April 15 date.

      Each fishing season, weather in the mountains along the majestic Andes Mountains has a new face. Sometimes our spring weather can be wet (Nov.-Dec.) causing the rivers and lakes to be high and very cold. The trout do not seem to mind Brown trout caught in the Patagonia region of Argentina/Chileand usually they are very active looking for food. This spring we had moderate rains and normal water levels. The trout fishing was very good in all areas. Fish were in good numbers and taking flies like we take to candy - very good dry fly fishing in all areas.

      We did have some slow moments in February. It became very warm and cloudless for the major part of that month causing very warm temperatures in the lakes and rivers. Of course, the fishing was slow, as the trout went for the bottom of the rivers and lakes. Despite the weather, we did catch fish each day. Some of the best fishing was in rivers where there was a lot of moving and well oxygenated waters tumbling over rocks. In these waters you could feel it was cooler than in the still or slow moving part of the lake or stream.

Water Temp. in Relation to Trout Responses

      As February came to an end, the weather changed its face to cooler smiles and some wetness. It got cold enough one rainy day that you could see steam coming off the lakes and rivers. At one point, with a cold front over us my hands got so cold that I put them in the water to warm them up. It felt like a heater. That´s when I realized why the fish had been so sluggish for the last two weeks when taking a fly and their fight to get free. I remember one day in mid-February on Lake Menendez, when it was hot and the water warm, the fishing was slow and when we did catch a fish it did not fight as hard as they normally do. However, when we passed by a very cold mountain stream coming into the lake, we caught fish that fought hard and long. That shows you the importance of water temp in relation to trout and their responses.

Salmon Fishing

Large Atlantic salmon - Jorgen Stenberg      This year we added a special camp for Atlantic and Chinook salmon fishing. We call the place Dos Rios or Two Rivers. It was experimental for this season. The camp was well arranged for comfort and fine cuisine. Two of our guests came from Sweden for Atlantic salmon fishing. Their trip was during the first part of April.

      Chinook salmon were in the river along with Salar (Atlantic salmon). Each day we would see lots of large fish jumping. Their jumps and splashes could be heard over the running fast moving waters of the river. The weather on some days, was misty and cool or cloudy with some blue skies.

      For the first few days we could not get a single Salmon to take the flies, only nice size 5-7 albs. Brown trout seemed to like the salmon flies. The anglers first started with tub flies tied for Atlantic salmon. Then they started using some traditional patterns with simple ties. Jorgen Stenberg was not expecting a whole lot out of his first trip to a new river in South America and especially so since he came on a experimental fishing trip for Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar.

Atlantic Salmon in the Pacific Ocean

      Being a fanatic for Salars as Jorgen Stenberg said of himself, and wanting to get out of the Swedish winter weather for a while, Jorgen was anxious to give the camp and new river a try for these wild Salmon originating from the Pacific Ocean in Chile. These wild fish of considerable size were coming up rivers unknown to salmon fisherman, rivers that had no fame or catch record.

Atlantic salmon fly

      After many cast and presentations of different flies, which is not unusual for Atlantic salmon fishing, Jorgen got a firm take on his fly and he new it was this time not a trout, but a real Salar salmon. He had caught more than 500 Atlantics during his life and knew from experience who was on the other end of his line. This was his first true Salar Pacific run salmon he had ever caught. Jorgen had thought that changing oceans might somehow change the fishes instincts, but it had not. The fish acted just as the Salars of the Atlantic Ocean

Relevant Pages and Information

      The camp had been put up for this trip and proved to be a success. We learned a lot from Jorgen Stenberg. His knowledge about the Salar salmon and its life cycle along with other things such as habitat, types of water that they like to be in during their stay in fresh water. This is a great help to someone that knows trout but limited knowledge about salmon fishing. We thank Jorgen for teaching us about some of the mysteries of the Salar salmon. What still remains a mystery in Jorgens mind is the question….

      How do we get those 25 kilo Chinook salmon to take the fly?? "I will return with the answer", said Jorgen.

      So the camp will be set up for next season and we look forward seeing Jorgen Stenberg again and others as well.

      Until next seasons report, hope you have some good fishing.


Eric Schoenauer
Patagonia Adventures / Alto Puelo Lodge

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