Thinking about planning a trip to Patagonia? Each and every week we field numerous enquiries from our clients and the following ten questions are ones that we identified as the most helpful as a good starting point for anyone interested in planning a trip to Patagonia.
1. Where is Patagonia?
The Patagonia region is a vast area of land that stretches more than 260,000 square miles across the bottom third of Chile and Argentina, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
2. Why go fly fishing in Patagonia?
Patagonia offers anglers some of the world’s best freshwater fly fishing along with some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the world. The backdrop to the fishing in Patagonia is unbeatable, and through it all you can find countless freshwater rivers, isolated streams and crystal-clear lakes that are teeming with fish. For travelers looking to retreat from the harsh conditions of a northern winter, Patagonia is ideal from November through April, which is summertime in the southern hemisphere. Combine the abundance of productive waters, light fishing pressure, gorgeous scenery, rich culture and fish that are eager to eat, and the draw of Patagonia is as clear as its waters.
3. Where in Patagonia will I find the best fishing?
There are a large number of productive and worthwhile areas to fish in Patagonia, including destinations in both Argentina and Chile. Each region of Patagonia has its own unique characteristics and offerings, and depending on what you are looking for, there is really no wrong answer. Typically, where you should fish is dependent on when you can go, what you want to fish for, your overall budget and what you expect out of the trip.
4. What fish can I catch in Patagonia?
Patagonia is home to an impressive line-up and diversity of freshwater fish, including resident brown, rainbow and brook trout, and anadromous species that include sea-run brown trout, steelhead, King salmon and Atlantic salmon.
5. How many fish can I expect to catch and how big do they get in Patagonia?
Catch rates vary greatly between each destination and waters fished. When it comes to resident trout, anglers typically catch more fish in rivers and streams. Larger yet fewer fish are the norm for the region’s lakes and some specific rivers. In most areas, the average trout is in the 15-20 inch range, with solid possibilities for fish in the mid- to upper-20-inch range. In certain fisheries like Argentina’s Jurassic Lake and Tierra del Fuego’s Rio Grande, however, fish can easily exceed 20-pounds.
6. How far in advance should I plan my trip?
For the most part, it’s best to start your planning ten to twelve months in advance to assure great dates and the best guides at the right lodge. If you know that you want to go, then start the planning process as soon as possible! Certain lodges (mainly in Tierra del Fuego) operate on a “first right of refusal” basis, offering return guests first crack at dates before opening dates to new anglers. With these operations, it may be necessary to join a waiting list to increase your chances at preferred dates. Yellow Dog can assist with this.
7. What will the weather be like in Patagonia?
Due to its extreme southern latitude and complex mountainous terrain, Patagonia delivers ever-changing and diverse weather conditions throughout the season. Regardless of the month, daily conditions can change from rainy and damp, to hot and sunny, to cold and windy. No matter where you fish in Patagonia, be prepared for a wide range of variable and changing conditions.
8. What’s the best time of the year to fish?
The general fishing season in Patagonia runs from November through April (summer in the southern hemisphere). Depending on where you go and what species of fish you want to catch, the “best” time to go can vary. That’ said, the most in-demand and popular times to fish this region aligns with the peak of the austral summer from early January through March.
9. Do I need experience to fly fish in Patagonia?
With so many different kinds of fishing scenarios and so many fish, anglers of all skill levels can easily be accommodated. The guides are patient and experienced, and Patagonia has something to offer for every type of angler – regardless of ability. Whether you prefer to wade or float, cast dries or swing streamers, fish hard or head in early, you can do it in Patagonia.
10. Are there non-angling activities in Patagonia?
If your traveling companions are less than enthusiastic about fly fishing, or if you’re someone who simply enjoys a day or two off from fishing, there’s no shortage of non-angling activities in Patagonia. Horseback riding, hiking, birding, glacier tour, cycling spa services, wine tasting, and more are all possibilities. Activities vary from region to region and lodge to lodge, and Yellow Dog is happy to arrange option.
We hope that shedding some light on the questions you may have about Patagonia will make your planning and subsequently your traveling, easier. If you have any questions or want more information about traveling to South America, don’t hesitate to email Kyle Kolodziejski or call 888-777-5060.