We are headed to Patagonia soon and I’ve been gathering items to pack for our trip. One item in my bag will be a box of flies. I’ll share a list of flies for Patagonia fly fishing our guides recommended. We’re fortunate that they provide all the flies, but if you’re a fly tier and want to bring some of your own flies, I thought the list would be very helpful.

Argentina Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

Originally, I thought I’d use their flies, but recently decided to tie a box of flies to take with us.

I settled on two flies in two sizes…Beetle Bailey (#10 & 14) and Fat Albert in black and tan (#6 & 10).

When planning to fly fish in a new location, the reliable method is to find local fly shops who provide recommendations for regional or specific waters you plan to fish. In my case, we’ll be fly fishing for a week with SET Fly Fishing at their Estancia Chochoy Mallin lodge.

Here is the list of flies they recommended:


  • Foam Terrestrials #6, 8 Tan
  • Assorted Foam grasshoppers Patterns #8, 10, 12
  • Flying Ants #14, 16 Black
  • Foam Beetle Patterns #10, 14, 16 Black
  • Foam Cicada #8, 10, 12
  • Fat Albert #6, 10 Black, Tan or Pink
  • Gypsy King #4, 6
  • Parachute Hoppers #8, 10 Tan, Olive
  • Stimulators #8, 10, 14 Yellow, Orange, Olive
  • Standard Parachute Adams #10, 12, 14
  • Hi-Vis Post Parachute Adams #14, 16
  • Elk Hair Caddis #14, 16
  • Royal PMX #8, 10


  • Tungsten Jig Pheasant Tails #12, #14
  • Bead Head Pheasant Tail #12, 14, 16
  • Copper John #12, 14, 16 Copper, Red
  • San Juan Worm #10, 12 Red, Orange, Brown
  • Bead Head Flashback #12, 14, 16
  • Hare’s Ear #12, 14, 16
  • CDC Pheasant Tail #14, 16, 18


  • Woolly Buggers #2, 4, 6 Olive, Black, Brown
  • Sex Dungeon Mini Sex Dungeon’s #2, #6 Black, Olive & Natural Brown
  • Sparkly minnow #6 Yellow/Brown & Olive/Pearl
  • Smolt Patterns / Alevins #2, 4
  • Marabou Leeches #2, 4 Olive, Black, Brown
  • Meat Whistle #4, #6 Black, Olive or Brown
  • Peanut Envy #4, #6 Black, Olive & Brown/Yellow

You guessed it, I decided to tie dry flies!

First on my list were some #10 Beetle Bailey flies. I tied them for a customer several years ago for his trip to Chile. The feedback I received was great…the fish loved them!

I pulled out the provider box and found a handful of #10 flies. I placed 6 in an empty fly box and decided to fill the rest with some foam flies because I know how well they work.

We went to Patagonia on the Chilean side back in 2007. It was the first time fishing in South America and we had a wonderful time. In fact, I was introduced to the Fat Albert on that trip.

Fat Albert Flies | www.johnkreft.com

It was the best dry fly fishing I’ve ever had! On one day, I landed over 100 fish!

If you don’t know anything about Patagonia, Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Patagonia (Spanish pronunciation: [pataˈɣonja]) refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains with lakes, fjords, temperate rainforests, and glaciers in the west and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the east. Patagonia is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and many bodies of water that connect them, such as the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and the Drake Passage to the south.”

I had a dream about catching so many fish I’d never have to get my hand wet again. You know, whenever a trout is caught, you’re supposed to wet your hand before touching the it to prevent removing any of their protective coating. Well, if you wet a hand once and catch a fish on the next cast…and the next cast…and the next cast, you’ll never have to do it again because your hand is still wet from the last fish caught.

That’s what I experienced. It’s never happened again.

We fished many runs looking exactly like this and catch a dozen fish in the 12 – 16 inch range.

As I recall, most of the fish rose to a black Fat Albert. Here is a box of flies our guide carried. See any familiar looking flies?

Rhumbo Dry Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

The largest fish came to the same flies in lakes. Here are a couple nice Brown Trout.

The fishing was so good, it’s difficult to describe.

On one of the lakes, we were fishing and catching on a regular basis. Dancingtrout had hooked a nice fish and was playing it to the boat. I moved my fly out of the way by casting it behind me while I watched her fight the fish. Next thing I knew, I felt a tug on my line! I landed that one as well.

I hope to share a few stories in the coming weeks upon our return. In the meantime, here’s another image of the fly box I’ll be taking with us.

Argentina Fly Box Side View | www.johnkreft.com

And just for fun, here’s the latest of my speed fly tying YouTube videos I hope you enjoy.

Enjoy…go fish.

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  1. Jeannette and I just returned from 12 days in the Lakes Region and Coyhaique area of Chilean Patagonia. The Beetle Baileys you tied for us worked as well as the Fat Alberts which are the local standard. Have fun on your trip!

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