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WHY HERE?

The Andes mountains of the infamous Patagonia region of Argentina is home to hundreds of rivers and lakes dissecting the snow-capped peaks and lower elevation foothills. These spring fed and crystal clear creeks, lakes, freestone rivers and their tail-water’s offer a great variety of angling for big beautiful brown, rainbow and even brook trout.

The fishing here is similar to our
freestone fisheries in North America but nowhere that offers as much variety and fly fishing opportunities within a few hours drive. For this reason we feel that San Martin & Junin de los Andes in the Neuquem Province of Argentina is one of the finest trout destinations in the world!

Our seasons are contrary to each other, which is another main attraction for fly fishing enthusiasts willing to travel and are seeking exotic fly fishing adventures during the cold and snowy winter months of North America!

THE Fishing EXPERIENCE!

Man holding a brown trout that he had freshly caught.

WALK AND WADE STREAMS

There is some excellent walk ‘n’ wade fishing in the area. The Filo Hua Hum, Malleo and Meliquina are all excellent wading fisheries when the flow rates are optimal. When they come into shape, they provide fly fishing anglers with an excellent mix of brown and rainbow trout on dry flies due to their abundant hatches and lack of pressure.

Flow rates vary from year to year but typically the Malleo begins fishing very well in early December while the other 2 rivers will fish good also at this time with lower water conditions. There are plenty of back channels and braids for those wishing to wade during the high water periods.

THE Lakes

WALK AND WADE STREAMS

 Patagonia lake fishing offers something so enticing it has become a regular part of our angling endeavors here.

The predator/prey instinct for the trout that inhabit the lakes and has proven to be very exciting and should be considered by any angler who visits the Neuquén Province. Most of the lakes are located in the mountains and are lined with a mix of conifer and petrified deciduous trees that fall
into the shores of the lakes creating ample structure and trout habitat.

We fish the smaller Lagos (lakes) with a drift boat equipped with an outboard so we can row and fish along the reed edges and drop offs. The bigger lakes will be fished with a larger skiff styled boat equipped with a trolling motor.

The lakes we fish are all within a 90 minute drive of our lodging.

A lake in Patagonia.

AN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY!

WALK AND WADE STREAMS

Patagonia is well known as one of the most impressive mountain scapes on the planet. The Argentines have a great love and spiritual connection to their mountains and they remain in their natural state due to this reverence. Early in the 20th century European immigrants introduced brown, rainbow and brook trout with the hopes of recreating their fisheries from back home. Their efforts were extremely fruitful as these trout established themselves as wild
populations throughout the rivers and lakes here.

High mountain freestone creeks and rivers tumble through lush green forested valleys and feature classic mountain river characteristics. They often collect in gorgeous gin clear lakes that provide excellent dry fly opportunities as well.

Another Patagonian lake.

As they make their way out of the mountain valleys and into the foothills, the coniferous tree-lined banks gradually turn to willows which provide excellent trout cover and bug habitat. Terrestrials, caddis and mayflies predominate the hatches and
the dragging willow branches froth up just enough water to create perfect feed lines for trout below the bright green trees.

THE RIVERS

As they make their way out of the mountain valleys and into the foothills, the coniferous tree-lined banks gradually turn to willows which provide excellent trout cover and bug habitat. Terrestrials, caddis
and mayflies predominate the hatches and the dragging willow branches froth up just enough water to create perfect feed lines for trout below the bright green trees.

CHIMEHUIN RIVER
This river originates at the outlet or ‘boca’ of Huechulafquen lake in Lanin National Park and meanders south towards its confluence with the Collon Cura. This is one of the original destination rivers of the Patagonia region and is well known for its famous trout fishing. We use drift boats to fish this beautiful freestone gem and its wonderful variety of trout habitat. The riverbanks are thick with willows through much of its course and casting into the pockets with streamers and dry flies is the plan of attack while you float. There is a good mix of rainbow and brown trout here averaging 15 – 20 inches.

ALUMINE RIVER
This beautiful piece of trout heaven starts at the outlet of Lake Alumine and follows a similar path as the Chimehuin. A little more open than the Chimehuin, this river has some great boulder runs, rock bluffed banks, riffles and willow lined banks. The fish composition is similar to that of the Chimehuin with rainbows being the dominant species but browns are present as well. Average trout sizes are comparable to that of the Chimehuin.

COLLON CURA RIVER
One of our favourite early season rivers that offers several sections to float with the option for overnight camping. The Collon Cura is a wide river that features a mix of holding water types. Willow banks, side channels, cobbled riffles, rock bluffs and boulder gardens provide great trout habitat and are featured throughout its course. The lower section of the Collon Cura holds a healthy population of big browns with some reaching the mid 20 inches in length. Depending on water conditions and weather we will either use dry flies or streamers here with a dropper attached to big foam during slower feeding periods. It is possible to drift all the sections in a day but the overnight camping or floating one of the sections on a day trip is recommended to properly fish this river.

THE LIMAY RIVER
Another incredible Patagonia river, this tail-water has some of the hardest fighting browns and rainbows in the game. This river is a bit of a distance from our lodging in San Martin de Los Andes so it is done on a 2 day excursion with an overnight camp. The world class browns swimming within it will test the skills of any angler that hooks into one. The rainbows here can also grow to a large size and are built for speed and display aerial shows.

CALEUFU RIVER
This gorgeous river forms in the mountains after the confluence with the Filo Hua Hum and Meliquina rivers. It runs a torrent path through the worn down rock bluffs before it’s first descent landing into the steppe where it widens out and slows its frantic pace.

Despite the cool and fast tumbling waters, the Caleufu river is home to a predominantly brown trout population. The rock formations obstruct the path of the river creating large pools and eddies that are home to opportunistic and quick to react brown trout. Streamers and large dry foam flies are tossed tight to the bank while your guide will be working hard to slow the boat down. The takes are sudden and determined as the trout do not get much time to think about the quick moving food offerings and brown trout well over 20 inches are common. This river is best fished on a 2 day excursion that includes an overnight camp.

Two people and one of them is holding a Brown Trout.
A Patagonian River.
A man holding a brown trout.

WHAT IS SO SPECIAL?

WHAT IS SO SPECIAL

San Martin is a small lakeside town on the shores of Lake Lacar. It boasts a ski hill in the winter and is a major tourist destination in the summer months as it is well know as the gateway to the mountains and National Parks.

Because of this tourism driven economy there are a multitude of quality cafes, restaurants, craft beer pubs and wine bars. During the month of December, the town has a comfortable rate of tourism and it is easy to dine within the downtown center.

THE LODGING

A Patagonia fishing trip lodge.

We have researched viewed and
stayed at a number of different hotels, cabin style hotel/motels with suites and lodges in and around the town of San Martin.

We have chosen 3 accommodation options each offering something unique and different.

Transfer‘s from the local airport will be provided upon request.

APART HOTEL LA BORA

This ‘Bavarian’ style apart hotel is situated on the main street of San Martin but is sheltered by a large tree row and beautiful flower garden.

The units here are set up as either 1 or 2 bedroom villas with kitchen and lounge space. This is a family owned business and they do an excellent job of maintaining the property. It is very well kept and rooms are cleaned and turned daily.

The pool area is surrounded by the flowers and is a great place to cool down at the end of the days fishing. Restaurants, grocery stores, cafes and pubs are all within walking
distance of the hotel. There is a common area that has a bar and parilla grilling space for meals upon request.

www.aparthotellabora.com.ar

Patagonian Lodge
The bar in the lodge.

AMMONITE APART AND SPA

Located closer to Lake Lacar on the east side of town is this boutique apart hotel. This hotel is upscale and more modern than the Apart La Bora, thus a bit more expensive.

It is also a short walk to the local restaurants and bars and features a heated outdoor pool in the courtyard. There is also a dining area, wine shop and parilla cooking area. There are a variety of room options that can be viewed on their website.

This hotel is also located in a less busy part of San Martin with less traffic and street noise.

https://www.apartamonite.com.ar/es/

A Patagonia fishing trip lodge.

ROTUI APARTMENTS AND CABANAS

This is our recommended lodging by far tucked away on the outside of town atop a hill over looking San Martin. It is a well maintained 10 hectare property that features 3 large modern apartments with full kitchens overlooking a mountain stream.

There is a small set of waterfalls on the stream creating a peaceful background noise for your sleep at night. The heated, tiered pool sits beside the condo apartment units and is a great place to soak sore shoulders at days end. There is a parilla grill available to use and a dining area on all the decks overlooking the creek in each unit. On this same property are 2 large ‘Patagonia’ style log home cabanas. These cabanas are grand and contain 4 bedrooms.

There is a big common area and kitchen in both cabanas and one features sauna, hot tub, fitness room and a games room and the outdoor pools are close to each cabana. We will do all inclusive trips from the Cabanas if chosen and will be based on a group of 6 to 8.

https://www.rotui.com.ar

Lodge Outdoor Pool

A SUGGESTED

ITINERARY!

Large St Marys River Cutthroat Trout

fter years of recon we have connected with some of the best local and independent guides and they have shown us their waters of choice available at this time of year.

They are all extremely hard working and speak good English. These guides have an arsenal of techniques and fly patterns to keep you on fish throughout the trip and are masters of their craft. Based on what we have experienced we suggest the following sample itinerary.

This Itinerary can be tailored to your length of stay and fishing desires. We may change up this itinerary a bit also depending on weather and water conditions during your stay.

DAY 1
Arrive at the local Chapelco airport and depending on arrival time we can wade a short
section of the Chimehuin before checking into your lodging. Transfers from the Chapelco airport can be arranged for those not on an all-inclusive package. We can also arrange for a vehicle rental (with a preferred rate) that can be picked up at the airport.

DAY 2
Float Alumine or Upper Collon Cura River and re-aquaint yourselves with casting flies and streamers on the more gentle flows of one these rivers.

DAY 3 & 4
Choose an overnight camping river destination such as the Limay, Lower Collon Cura or Caleafu. We can day trip any of these rivers also if camping is not your preference.

DAY 5
Hit one of the lakes for a day of fishing casting dry flies to large rainbow and brown trout.

DAY 6
Walk and wade one of the local rivers such as the Malleo river if water conditions are good or choose a lake to fish.

DAY 7
This day will be based on water and weather conditions and the fly fishing you enjoyed the most! For those that wish to enjoy something different we can arrange for a short hike into natural hot springs or tour one of the National Parks.

DAY 8
Fly back to Buenos Aires from San Martin.

Lago Meliquina

WHATS INCLUDED!

ROTUI APARTMENTS AND CABANAS

  • All lodging, guiding and airport transfers from the local Chapelco airport once you arrive in San Martin de Los Andes. 
  • If the all-inclusive package is chosen; all meals, drinks, wine and alcoholic beverages will be provided.
  • Your fishing license is also included in the cost of the guided trips.

WHATS NOT INCLUDED

  • Your Flights to/ from Buenos Aires.
  • Your accommodations in Buenos Aires if you choose to spend a few days there before/after.
  • Your flights to and from San Martin de Los Andes.

This flight departs from Buenos Aires’ AEP domestic airport twice a day. Delta lands in this airport internationally but all other carriers land in EZE international airport. There are a few flights that depart from EZE to San Martin per week if you wish to pass on visiting Buenos Aires or incurring a transfer fee between the 2 airports. The flight to San Martin de Los Andes is a little over 2 hours
and if booked early is around $200 usd return including baggage.

  • All overnight camping excursions require an extra $300 usd per 2 anglers/boat.

These camps are first class setups with all the food, wine etc. you could possibly want plus the riverside settings are magical!

RECOMMENDED GEAR

Dry flies, nymphs and streamers all have their place in this fishery. We recommend a fast to medium fast action 6 or 7 weight rod to cut through the wind and handle the large foam flies and streamers and bigger fish.

12 ft. type 4 sink tip is a great option for streamer fishing on the rivers and running dragonfly nymphs on the lakes; otherwise weight forward floating lines are the ticket. Sunglasses, rain gear, warm layers, wading boots and wading socks are
essential while waders are a good idea for the cooler days.

All the usual sort of stuff we use up here in the Pacific North West. If you require anything for the trip let us know and we can order it for you if it is not in stock at our fly shop. There are 2 fly shops in San Martin as well.

THE COSTS

Costs are listed based on accommodation chosen. Everyone gets their own bedroom and bathroom unless you are a couple or family group.

Apart La Bora
7 nights accommodation and 6 days of guided fishing. Based on double occupancy in a 2 bedroom villa

$2,500 USD / $3250 CAD per person.

 

Ammonite Apart and Spa
7 nights accommodation and 6 days of guided fishing. Based on double occupancy in a 2 bedroom unit.

$3,000 USD/ $3900 CAD per person.

 

Rotui Executive Apartments
7 nights accommodation and 6 days of guiding fishing. Based on double occupancy in a 2
bedroom unit.

$3,000 USD / $3900 CAD per person.

 

Rotui Patagonia Styled Mountain Chalets
7 nights accommodation, 6 days of guided fishing. Based on min group of 6 in chalet on an all inclusive plan incl. local transfers, all meals and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
included.

$3800 USD / $4950 CAD per person.

* Note – all trips can be adjusted to suit scheduling by either shortening or lengthening the trip. Rates will be adjusted on a per day cost average basis.

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