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Fly Fishing Seasons in Patagonia: When Is The Best Time To Go?

Posted by yellowdog on May 3, 2018 2:38:42 PM

There’s a lot of variables to consider and questions to ask when planning a fly fishing trip to Patagonia.  Among the myriad of questions that we’re asked by clients the most common and, arguably, the most important question is “When is the ‘best’ time to go?” With a long six-month fishing season that extends from November through April, there are significant changes throughout the season to take into consideration and be aware of when planning a trip. From the eager eats on unpressured waters in November and December, through the abundant hatches brought on by the warm summer sun from January to mid-March, to the cool April rain showers that trigger fish to aggressively feed before the onset of the long winter, Patagonia has something for just about every trout angler. We realize that “best time to go” is subjective to specific travel preferences, trip expectations, and fishing goals, so we prepared this general summary and reference guide to help you choose the best time for you to plan your visit.

Spring: November – December

Springtime in Patagonia is a great time to explore the area’s diverse fisheries and beautiful landscape. As air temperatures rise, runoff from the snowcapped Andes fill the rivers in the valley below while the surrounding landscape comes alive with lush green foliage and colorful spring flowers. Although river levels are typically at their highest during this period, water clarity remains good. 

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During this time anglers should plan on being open-minded, flexible and willing to adapt to a variety of river conditions and fly fishing techniques. On any given day anglers can employ various techniques including twitching big dries, head hunting rising fish with naturals, pulling streamers or dead drifting nymphs. Despite great fishing the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and the New Year, tends to keep North American anglers at home during this time.  For those who do venture to Patagonia in the early season are commonly rewarded with little competition, rested water and aggressive and willing fish.

Patagonia Fly Fishing Season

Summer: January – Mid-March

Summertime is peak season and consequently the most popular time to visit Patagonia. Summer weather in Patagonia can be easily compared to that of the American West with little precipitation and warm bluebird days. By January, riparian areas are thickly vegetated and loaded with numerous species of beetles, hoppers, ants, crickets and other juicy terrestrials making for some of the best dry fly fishing of the season.

River levels begin to drop off creating easy wading and abundant sight fishing opportunities. Fish have seen a few fly patterns by now and they start to become more selective, so presentation becomes key. Prime dates fill quickly so we advise booking well in advance (10-12 months) to secure the dates of your choice.

Patagonia Argentina Brown Trout

Fall: Mid-March – April

Fall in Patagonia can be stunning and is a favorite time to visit for many veteran anglers. As air temperatures start to drop and foliage begins to change the landscape becomes painted with a rich palette of vibrant autumn colors. Some of the biggest fish of the season are caught during this period. As cool fall rains shower the Andes water temperatures decrease and fish begin to feed aggressively in preparation for the long winter ahead.

Patagonia Fly Fishing Season

Although dry fly fishing can be effective in some areas, swinging or pulling streamers typically turn the biggest fish in most rivers. By April local Argentine summer vacationers have returned home and international tourist traffic has dissipated considerably. Consequently fishing pressure drops off and anglers typically get to enjoy great fishing among a back drop of beautiful fall colors without seeing another soul.

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Topics: Freshwater Fly Fishing, Argentina, Chile