By the time you read this post, I’ll be headed to Patagonia on a fly fishing trip in Argentina and Chile. We took a trip to Argentina last January to fish with SET Fly Fishing at the Estancia Chochoy Mallin Lodge and enjoyed our heli-fly fishing adventure so much, we decided to return again this year. In addition, we’ll continue our trip and visit southern Chile to fly fish around the Puerto Natales area.

Helicopter at Estancia Chochoy Mallin Lodge | www.johnkreft.com

Our first stop will be at Chochoy Mallin in Argentina. I must say, this is the ultimate walk and wade experience. Being able to fly by helicopter eliminates 3 to 4 hours of driving one-way to the waters they fish in this remote section of the Argentine Patagonia.

We fished here January 28 – February 4, 2023 and enjoyed stunning views of the Andes.

Here are links to the posts I wrote about our experience in case you missed it:

The rivers we fished flow through the tablelands and steppes of the Andes eastern flank.

Argentina Fertile Valley | www.johnkreft.com
Flying over River | www.johnkreft.com

We flew past the Agrio waterfall on our way to Trolope Lagoon. In the distance, is Chile.

Agrio Waterfall | www.johnkreft.com

The only “hatch” we observed during our week fly fishing were willow worms.

Green Willow Worm | www.johnkreft.com

Actually, they call them Gusanito, or the green willow worm. It’s the first time we’ve ever fished a green willow worm hatch! In fact, SET Fly Fishing wrote about the phenomena in The Famous Willow Worm Hatch.

These worms are not quite 3/4 inch long and eat the leaves on trees along the river, leaving almost nothing but branches.

We arrived at the very end of this hatch, so planned our return earlier in the month of January 2024, hoping to find more fish looking for these worms dropping onto the river’s surface.

The willow worms hatch and look something like a caddisfly in size 16. I had one land on me last year, but wasn’t fast enough with my camera to capture the moment.

The fish were memorable…

After our fly fishing at Chochoy Mallin, we’ll travel through the Andes via boat/bus to Puerto Varas, Chile and spend a couple of days. A two hour flight will take us south to Puerto Natales, just 150 miles northwest of Puenta Arenas, the southern most city in Chile. Torres del Paine National Park is close by and we plan to take a day exploring Chile’s largest national park.

Puerto Natales is known as the city with most rainy days per year in Chile, averaging 161 (I hope Dancingtrout doesn’t read this statistic!). In addition, I expect more wind as well.

Our fly fishing experience with Rumbo Patagon will be quite different. It’s a new fly fishing program and advertises brown trout in the 15 – 25 inch range. Rumbo has a “semi-exclusive access to 12 sprawling estancias, each with multiple angling venues.”

I’m hoping the weather gods will smile upon us for a few days and allow sights of the mountains in Torres del Paine with minimal showers and wind!

Time will tell!

I probably won’t be making any other posts in January. Check out my RiverKeeper Flies Instagram account for a few images I hope to post.

Enjoy…go fish!

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