fish the best trout streams of Patagonia with one of the most savvy outfitters
It was Joe Brooks, Fishing Editor of Outdoor Life, who popularized Argentina’s trout fishing for North American anglers with tales of giant brown trout taken from the mouth of the Chimehuin River.
Since those early days many anglers have journeyed to Patagonian rivers, and returned addicted to the many charms of Argentina. For it’s not just the fishing that is so satisfying, it’s every aspect of the experience, from the beauty of the countryside to the superb meals.
The vast majority of Patagonian streams and rivers begin in a series of large lakes that back up against the towering Andes range. Some, like the Quillen, and famed Malleo, are smaller watersheds, the opposite bank easily covered with a modest cast. Softly flowing, spring creek like, with rich beds of weeds, and solid hatches of insects, these streams challenge the dry fly angler to fool plentiful numbers of browns and rainbows. They are often the most treasured of rivers, where angler’s fantasies are often satisfied with a well presented fly.
Further south, the rivers gain in size and volume. The famed Chimehuin begins its life here, clear and brawling, flowing over smoothed rocks, in a classic riffle-pool configuration. These currents produce some very large trout, with 20-inch plus fish hardly worthy of a second glance. At the “boca” or mouth, patient anglers cast repeatedly in the crystal clear pools for huge browns holding amongst the rocks. It is here that Joe Brooks took his trophies, and Argentine legend Bebe Anchorea landed a 17-pound plus brown on a tiny dry caddis imitation.
Eventually, the Chimehuin flows into the Aluminé, the merge forming Collon Curá, which eventually melds into the large Limay. These are substantial rivers, deep, with mysterious, big fish pools. A day long float trip glides through bends where big browns and rainbows lurk and a well cast streamer can trigger a savage strike and a trophy in excess of eight pounds. Or it may not.
Overhead, a condor may soar on high altitude thermals, gracefully planing across the vast blue skies, searching for lunch from above, as the angler scans the river for the ring of the rise or silvery flash of a trout.
The majority of Argentine watersheds flow through expansive ranches or estancias, elegant, gracious hideaways that host avid trout fishermen. 25,000 to 50,000 acres, they offer miles of productive private trout water, and comfortable accommodations when the angling day is reluctantly called to a halt. Argentines take their meal very seriously, and each meal is a feast.
Ramon Aranguren’s Chimehuin Safaris offers customized trout fishing excursions to the best waters of Argentina. Ramon,a former National Casting Champion, has many years of guiding experience. He is a patient and knowledgeable teacher, eager to share his encyclopedic knowledge of local fishing with his guests. He is determined that each angler will experience the fishing trip of a lifetime while in his charge.
Each Chimehuin Safaris trip is tailored to suit the individual needs of the anglers. A variety of options are offered, from the traditional stays at a number of estancias, to charming, European style hotels in towns like San Martin de los Andes or Bariloche. Day long and overnight float trips can be arranged to reach less accessible waters.
Argentina’s seasons are opposite to those in North America and thus winter in the north is summer in Argentina, making a trout fishing trip here a delightful escape from the rigors of cold winds and drifting snow. Direct flights to Buenos Aires operate daily from Miami, and a two-hour jet flight from BA puts anglers in heart of trout country.