Argentina Adventures



Overview


Fly fishing Argentina: We have combined forces with a group of flyfishing guides in Argentina that love to fish they way I do in Alaska – hard and all day long. Together we offer several unique ways to flyfish Patagonia: Multi day float trips; Lodge based trips; Trips that combine a multi day float trips with some overnights in lodges and week long floats similar to our Alaska Float Trips.

Combine that with a couple nights in a lodge or hotel and you have a comfortable adventure that lets you sample Patagonia’s finest fly fishing rivers. These unique packages will include seven nights lodging and six fishing days, with two to four nights spent at riverside camps and the rest at lodges or hotels.

The lodge based trips are unique in that we do not limit ourselves to one lodge or one river, we actually rent the food and lodging at lodges where the fly fishing is good during the time you are coming to Argentina. Fly fishing Argentina is pretty complicated as these rivers are very seasonal and the home water of any one lodge may be fantastic in December but dead in February. The fish tend to travel into and out of reservoirs that are scattered throughout most of the river systems. So the time of year of your trip dictates which lodge or two we will use for the trip, the advantage is easy to see: an independent local guide that knows which water to fish during which season.

Read More About Fly fishing in Argentina

The trips start in San Carlos de Bariloche ( commonly referred to as Bariloche) which is about a 2 hour flight from Buenos Aires. We will pick you up at the airport and get you to the lodge or hotel near the river for your first night. From there it will depend on your itinerary, some will be camping on week long float trips others will be visiting a couple of lodges but one thing is constant: You will enjoy great meals, great hosts and catch lots of fish. We use all sorts of water craft and transportation for these trips depending on what piece of water we are fishing. Many rivers are suitable for our 16 foot catarafts, some we hike into, and on others we use power boats. We fish small creeks, streams, rivers, lakes and ponds in pursuit of some of the largest specimens of Argentina’s three trout species; Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout. These Patagonia trips are an excellent value for serious fly fishermen who want to spend lots of time on the water. Each trip is customized based on your groups desire and the waters that are fishing well that time of year.

We have specifically designed eight different fly-fishing packages that combine the very best rivers of Patagonia as the season changes. We will take you to an adventure of a lifetime in the foothills of the Andes mountain range, away from civilization, reachable only in 4×4 vehicles, rafts or extended walks; where rarely fished waters are packed with wild trout.

These week long trips run Saturday to Saturday – shorter trips are sometimes available

Testimonials

Hey Ed,
Matt here. Still in Argentina but in BA now.
just wanted to drop you a note and tell you about the trip.
It wound up being pedro and julio on the trip and it couldnt have been better. Maybe the best guided trip i have ever been on. Certainly the best from a customer service point of view. fishing was really good 4 days, one slow day, and one extraordinary day. Even so, it would have been great anyway the way these guys have it dialed in. Plus you can really tell the pride the have in their home waters. Feel free to use me for a reference if any other clients have questions about the trip.” March 2012


Lodging


Fly Fishing Argentina's Patagonia region for brown and rainbow trout

The unique design of these trips mean we are not tied to any one particular lodge, estancia or river in particular. We have private access to every significant rive, stream, lake, and spring creek in the area. If you want to come in February, the lodge and rivers we fish in December will be too warm and the fish will be back in the lakes cooling off, so we move to a different area where the water is cooler and the fish are willing. There are no lodges in Argentina where the fishing is good all season long so let our guides plan your trip around the best fishing first and then the best lodging in that area. We stayonly in family owned lodges, hosterias, and estancias.

If you really want to get away they offer a few nights out camping on the river or perhaps a week long float trip. High quality gear insures a safe comfy camp that will
keep you on the river all night.. all day. Some of the best meat you have ever eaten is grilled over fire in these river camps.

If you elect a float trip as all or part of your stay you will stay on the river in our comfortable tents, complete with cots. The guides will cook over an open fire as you sip on a fine Malbec from the Mendoza valley.


Fishing


Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow trout

The fishing in Patagonia is like Montana 20 years ago – it is true. There is so much water and so few local fishermen that the pressure is almost zero. If you do some of the overnight float trips you will get to spots that have rarely been fished. It means lots of pretty stupid trout. I guess stupid is not a kind word but they don’t seem to care about matching the hatch or the perfect drift – maybe cooperative is a better word. Each river is a bit different with some having lots of 2 pound fish and some with a few trophy fish. Most of your fishing here will be for good solid numbers of fish between 10-40 fish day being an average day on the more prolific streams. The occasional brute of 8-12 pounds is always a possibility but unless you concentrate on the big fish area ( like the mouths of rivers at the lakes) they are not common place. On a stream like the Caleufu a good angler on a decent day may catch 25 fish 10 will be above 2 pounds and 15 below, 2 will be in 3-4 pound range and one will be above 4 pounds. Someone during the week will catch an 8 pounder like the one pictured above but not everyone. It is incredible fishing but not a 10 pound trout on every other cast! It is about 50% rainbows and 50% browns with the browns being the largest fish.

The Rivers

Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow trout

CALEUFU RIVER
This is our favorite river in the early part of the season. Most of our trips include a float trip on this beautiful river.

It’s headwaters are created by the union of the Melliquina and the Filo-Hua-Hum rivers (both are lake-fed) and runs from west to east for almost 40 miles to join the famous Collon Cura river. It is a freestone river, and the landscape changes from the forest in the west to the real desert in the east.

During spring and early summer we float for three days the last 30 miles of this highly productive river casting streamers to rainbows that average 1 to 3 pounds and browns up to 6 pounds.

PICHI LEUFU RIVER
Pichi Leufu means Small River in the ancient native Indian language. But don’t let the name fool you. This is an outstanding river where the number and quality of its rainbow trout is remarkable. It is a spring fed river that runs for almost 75 miles until it enters the Piedra del Aguila Reservoir. For flyfishing fanatics, it is paradise. The river offers rainbows and browns from 1 to 5 pounds.

We include a two-day trip with a camping night to this beautiful river in most of our early season itineraries.

Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow troutLIMAY RIVER
The famous Limay River holds huge brown and rainbow trout that are hard to catch but definitely worth the effort. A number of 12 to 15-pound brown trout are caught every season in its boca (the outlet on the Nahuel Huapi Lake where this river begins). Limay means crystal clear in the ancient Indian language, and it is exactly what it is. This is big and fast water, usually fished with 5 to 7 weight outfits casting streamers on fast sinking shooting lines to tempt the monsters that lie in its depths.

We include one or two day float trips on this river, which let us reach the less fished sections of the river.

This river is part of many of the packages that are based in Bariloche.

ALUMINE RIVER
The Alumine is our favorite river for mid and late season packages. It is a long river that begins at Alumine Lake and runs for nearly 95 miles to join the Catan Lil River. When they join they create the world renown Collon Cura River.

On its journey from north to south it is fed by numerous creeks and a few rivers that also begin in glacier lakes, such as the Pulmari, Quillen and the famous Malleo (once the jewel of the Andes water crown, but now heavily impacted by overfishing and erosion). On our full week float trip we stop to fish many of the inlets of this rivers and the lower portions of the stream. The Alumine is better fished after spring runoff when lower and clearer waters allow for easy wading and casting to numerous rainbows and browns. The average size of its trout (2-3 pounds) and the almost continuos action for the entire length of the river . On the Alumine package we float the lower 60 miles of this river camping on the riverbanks for a full week.

MANSO RIVER
This river flows west to east to the Pacific Ocean past numerous lakes and creeks. The landscape is among the most breathtaking you will see in Patagonia. It runs through valleys surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush forests that combine with the river’s incredibly clear waters for a picture perfect adventure.

We like to float the lower portion of this river during late summer and fall casting steamers on sinking lines into the deep pools or with dries on the slow runs and pocket water.

For those who appreciate stillwater fishing some of the lakes connected by this river are a delight to fish from float tubes for trophy size fish.

Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow troutQUILLEN RIVER
The Quillen is an amazing river, that is “just the right size” for dry fly fishing and it will fascinate any angler that loves to fish tiny dries on light tippets. Its headwaters begin at Quillen Lake, high in the Andes, and flows from west to east to join the Alumine after 15 miles.

Rainbows and brows gorge on mayflies and caddis hatches through the whole summer and early fall, and big browns hunt minnows and “pancoras” in the deeper pools.

It is a river very difficult to forget for those who had the opportunity to fish it.

We include one and sometimes two days in this river in many of our summer and fall packages.

FOYEL RIVER
It’s headwaters are in the same region as the Pichi Leufu river but it runs from east to west collecting many little creeks for almost 45 miles to finally join the Manso river near the Chilean frontier on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

It is a small and very productive river and it is excellent flyfishing water. It is plentiful with rainbows that average 1 pound but fight like bulldogs on one to three weight rods. The fishing is furious on dries and nymphs in its numerous riffles and pools.

This river can be part of some of the late season packages together with some lakes that are part of the Manso basin.

OTHER RIVERS
According to each season, many other rivers may be added to this list depending on the itineraries. Rivers like the Melliquina, the Filo Hua Hum, Malleo, Traful and Chimehuin are possible destinations upon request from customers or we will change an itinerary slightly to take advantage of some seasonal hot spots. Flexibility is built into our trips and our packages have been designed with the best fishing in mind.

LAKES
For those who appreciate some stillwater fishing, many lakes and ponds can be added to any package. From deep-water streamers to excellent dry fly fishing, the vast collection of lakes in this region is astounding.

Fishing Photo Gallery

Tackle & Gear

Buy your gear at Pro guide direct and help your local guide - Me!!Here is a list of the basics you will need for your trip. I have organized this list on Pro Guide Direct where you can actually purchase the brands and items that I have found to be the best of the best. Any Items that you purchase from Pro Guide Direct will help us earn a living and help you by being ensuring that you have the right gear for the trip. Many of our destinations are pretty remote with no chance to buy things on site.

Patagonia Gear List

SpeciesRodsReelsLineLeaders
Rainbows & Browns9 foot, 5-6-7 wt. Medium or Large Arbor with 150 yards of 20 pound backing#1 Floating easy to mend line,
#2 Floating with 8-15 fast sink tip (Type 6)
9 ft leaders with 8-12 lb. for floating setups, 3-5 foot leader 10-15 pounds with the sink tip for streamer fishing tippet.

Fly List

Tie a few patterns with just the weight of the eyes as a variable 1 with lead eyes, 1 with chain, 1 with small chain, and 1 with no weight or mono eyes just to make sure you have flies for very skinny water all the way to waist deep water. Presentation seems to be much more important than fly selection.

Patagonia Fly List

Fly NameColorSizeNov. & Dec.Jan. & Feb.March & April
Humpy Tan, green, red 12-14-16666
Goddard Caddistan10-12-14121212
Stimulatorassorted1012126
Basic nymphsPrince, Hare's Ear , Pheasant Tail etc.10-1418126
Wooly BuggersBlack, Olive, Purple2-4-6241818
Madame XTan4-6121212
Dragon FLyBrown, Green4600
Pancora CrabsOlive, black, brown2,4,6242424
Wool Head Sculpins/MuddlersAssorted2,4,6121212
Sauce Worm Chatreuse100120
May flies (assorted)Assorted14-16121212
Big ugly rubber legged dry FlieBrown/Tan/Assrted6-812126

Packing List

Argentina Packing List

Packed?ItemPacked?Item
 Airline Tickets  Photo Id/Passport
 Cash Prescription Medicines
 1 Gortex waders & repair kit  - neoprene is not advised Traveler's Checks
 1 Wading Shoes – no studs please Boat Bag
 1 Rain jacket w/hood (top quality breathable )  Bug Spray
 1 Heavy fleece jacket Sleeping bag (if camping)
 1 Medium weight fleece top  Camera / film/ batterries
 2 Lightweight fleece or Polypropylene tops or turtlenecks Reading & writing materials
 2 long sleeve lightweight fishing shirt  Bandana/ face sun protector
 3-7 pair underwear  ( synthetic is better than cotton) Persription glasses
 4 pair wool/ blend insulating socks for under waders spare perscriotion glasses
 1 wool or fleece hat (ski type)-  Toiletry Kit
 1 cap with brim  Zip lock bags (for lens cleaning cloth,, cash, etc)
 light fleece pants (under waders) – Fly Rods
 2 - Pants (Long) Fly vest, or chest pack
  1 Folding wading staff (optional) Reels
 1 spare pair polarized sunglasses ( cheap is OK) Flies/Fly box
 Clippers Fly Lines
 Hemostat Tippets / leaders

Rates


Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow trout



7 Days/ 7 Nights
( longer or shorter trips are available)

Lodge Trips: $3350-3750

Float trips: $3200

Lodge/Float combos: $3350






Prices Include: 6 days guide service, all lodging, meals and transfers to San Carlos de Bariloche and all transportation to and from lodges, hotels and fishing sights (depending on what kind of trip you choose) It also includes all taxes. Prices quoted are per person and in US dollars.

Prices do not include: Airfare to Bariloche, Sleeping bags ( if you are camping), Alcoholic beverages (besides the wine we serve at dinner), Tackle, personal gear or gratuities

Why Book Through Flyfishingheaven.com?

Why book through flyfishingheaven.com?

1. Unbiased Advice:


Most people recognize the advantage of our unbiased advice, there are hundreds of destinations to choose from and our job is to know the ones that are right for your needs. We offer the real story you can't get from a lodge owner. Would the outfitter in questions tell you are booking in a less than stellar part of the year? Remember our unbiased advice is 100% free!



2. We Can Book Anywhere:


Our website highlights many of our favorite destinations but we have access to hundreds more. If there are fish there, we can book it. In fact, we will give you 5% back if you book a trip through us that is not on our website! We enjoy learning about new spots!



3. Loyalty Discounts:


How do you qualify for our frequent fisher discounts? First, you have to book a trip, any trip. Then on every trip after that, you will receive a 5% discount automatically. If you organize a group of 8 or more we will give you 10% off! All you have to do is book the first trip and you are a flyfishingheaven.com frequent fisher!



4. Price Matching:


If you find a legitimate price for less than what we are charging we will offer you 5% back to book through flyfishingheaven.com!

Our Pledge

We promise to work for you, not a lodge, outfitter or resort. We pledge to get you you to a destination that will live up to your expectations at the best possible price. You will never be charged more than booking directly (in fact most of our clients are paying less - *see below). We will make sure you are well prepared for your trip with specific knowledge about the gear, the flies, the rods, packing lists, travel documents, connecting information everything. Since we are not tied to a particular destination we promise honest pros and cons of any destination at the time of year you are traveling.

We do earn a small commission when we book a trip as all lodges and outfitters offer this as they depend on agencies like ours for much of their business. This fee is paid by the lodge not you, and they do not keep different prices for direct bookings vs agency bookings, it is bad business.


Payment and Cancelation Polices

A 10% deposit is required if you are booking more than 6 months in advance, 50% deposit is required when less than 6 months until departure date with the balance due 60 days prior to departure. If you are forced to cancel with more than 60 days notice, you may keep full credit towards another trip or receive a refund less a 10% service charge. Deposits on cancellations with less than 60 days notice are not refundable unless your spot can be filled. MC, Visa, and checks are accepted. We recommend travel and or medical emergency insurance for all our trips.



Seasons


Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow trout

The Patagonian fishing season opens in mid November and ends in mid April.

During November and December, with good but high water levels in rivers, you’ll find many big rainbows and browns on the move back to lakes, so chances to catch real trophy fish are good. Mornings and evenings will be quite cool, so a jacket over a thick fleece pullover is a must. Occasional rain dictates the use of top quality rain gear (see gear list) may occur.  Fishing with streamers and sink tip lines are the norm. Temperatures range between 40 F and 80 F. (December is our guides choice for the best month with the most variety of water fishing well.)

In summer, January and February, lows range between 60 F and 75 F and highs 75-95 F. The weather is very moderate to hot, and rains are extremely rare. These long days on easy wadeable rivers are dry fly time. Lots of caddis and mayfly hatches put trout on the surface almost everywhere. Rivers that are unfishable early in the season become low enough for good fishing this time of year.

March and April, the end of the season (fall), is a peaceful and beautiful time in Patagonia.  The banks and mountains are vivid with fall colors. Low water levels provide easy wading and invite you to use the lightest possible tackle on rainbows and big browns entering the rivers from the lakes to spawn. In this time you can usually fish even the most popular rivers without seeing another angler for days. As temperatures may drop without notice, bring some good warm clothes!  Highs are 60-70 F and lows average 45-55 F.

Gallery


Please take a look at the  photo and video galleries related to Great Alaska Lodge.


Activities


Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow trout

Argentina is a vast and complex nation. From Buenos Aires to Mendoza to Ushuaia to Iguazu Falls, it is spectacular. The people are special, the meat is the best in the world, and the fishing is off the charts. I highly recommend that everyone visits at some point in their lives. If the questions is should my spouse acccomany me on this fishing adventure the answer is maybe… there are a lot of touristy things to do near Bariloche ( where the trip starts, but your actual fishing trip will take you well away from Bariloche where there is not so much today, so be careful and let me know what you have in mind


Travel


Fly Fishing the Patagonia region in Argentina for brown and rainbow trout

Air:
You will need to fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) and make connections to San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC) (Bariloche) , Argentina. You must transfer from the international airport (EZE) to the Municipal airport (AEP) for the flight to Bariloche.

Flights and Timing:
Most flights to Argentina are overnight flights arriving early in the AM the following day. You have two choices: Get to Bariloche the same day you arrive in BA or overnight in BA and heading to Bariloche the next. Let’s assume you have booked a trip that starts on Saturday and ends on Saturday and you want to skip Buenos Aires. To get to Bariloche on Saturday, you will no doubt leave the US on Friday night, Arrive in Buenos Aires early on Saturday. You will clear customs and transfer to the Aeroparque, which is their domestic Airport that services Bariloche. You should have about 3 hours of layover between your arrival in Buenos Aires and your departure to Bariloche. The easiest way is to take a cab from one airport to the other. On arrival in Bariloche, Esteban Etchepare (the head guide) will meet you at the airport and take you to a local hotel or to a lodge that you will be your home the first night. All transportation is provided from your arrival in Bariloche to your departure back to Buenos Aires. If your trip starts on Saturday you will start fishing on Sunday! You should book your flight back to the states again as an overnight trip on the evening of the last day. In our hypothetical trip this is Saturday. You should get to BA about 4-5 hours before your departure to the States as you will have to transfer back to the International Airport, go through several lines, pay a departure tax, and an other line for Argentina Customs and then security. Some interesting customs are clapping when the plane has landed and no clue as to how to board rows 20 and higher, they all want to get on first!

Passports and Visas
A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days. Traveler must be in possession of a passport valid for 6 months beyond stay and a round-trip airline ticket. A visa may be required if trip purpose is other than basic business meetings.

Passport Requirements:
Original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond stay, and with at least one blank visa page available for visa stamp(s).
2Proof Of Departure:
Confirmed round-trip or onward airline ticket.

Special Instructions:
US citizens must pay a “reciprocity fee” to enter Argentina. This is not a visa, since a visa is not required for US business and tourist visitors. It is a fee based upon the fees that Argentinian citizens pay for a visa to the United States. The fee amount will be subject to change.

The National Immigration Agency (Direccion Nacional de Migraciones) has added a new online form of payment of this reciprocity fee (visitor visa- rate for Americans of USD $160), through the Provincia Payment System. Online payment may now be made in advance for arrival at all airports.

How to pay the reciprocity fee on-line:
Enter the web site https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/ and register to start the process.
Complete the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information.
Print the payment receipt.
On arrival in Argentina, this printed receipt must be presented at Immigration Control. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and the traveler’s entry to the country registered.

Effective October 31, 2012 for arrivals to Aeroparque and effective December 28, 2012 for arrivals to Ezeiza International airport, all U.S. tourist or business visitors must pay the reciprocity rates (USD $160 for Americans) with their credit card through the on-line system. After these dates, cash payments will NOT be accepted at the airports.

Packing List

Argentina Packing List

Packed?ItemPacked?Item
 Airline Tickets  Photo Id/Passport
 Cash Prescription Medicines
 1 Gortex waders & repair kit  - neoprene is not advised Traveler's Checks
 1 Wading Shoes – no studs please Boat Bag
 1 Rain jacket w/hood (top quality breathable )  Bug Spray
 1 Heavy fleece jacket Sleeping bag (if camping)
 1 Medium weight fleece top  Camera / film/ batterries
 2 Lightweight fleece or Polypropylene tops or turtlenecks Reading & writing materials
 2 long sleeve lightweight fishing shirt  Bandana/ face sun protector
 3-7 pair underwear  ( synthetic is better than cotton) Persription glasses
 4 pair wool/ blend insulating socks for under waders spare perscriotion glasses
 1 wool or fleece hat (ski type)-  Toiletry Kit
 1 cap with brim  Zip lock bags (for lens cleaning cloth,, cash, etc)
 light fleece pants (under waders) – Fly Rods
 2 - Pants (Long) Fly vest, or chest pack
  1 Folding wading staff (optional) Reels
 1 spare pair polarized sunglasses ( cheap is OK) Flies/Fly box
 Clippers Fly Lines
 Hemostat Tippets / leaders



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