ChileChile is Latin America's version of British Columbia. Think coastal mountains that stretch from the water to 10,000 feet, giant trees, jagged speaks and water water everywhere. We've been trying since 1987, when Jeff Vermillion lived in Chile for a year, to find a fishery to locate a Sweetwater Lodge on. Chile's downside is that there are a thousand different outfitters and once a fishery discovered, it tends to get overdeveloped. That said, Chile is a must do and an incredible experience. There are two regions we endorse that you should see.
Coyhaique and the Carretera Austral
Adam Henderson, our manager of Steelhead Valhalla Lodge, and his wife Emma, run a superb four man program that is a must do. Their specialty, aside from a killer lodge, great food, a lodge with a spectacular view, is big ass brown trout and lots of them. We'll start there. Unlike other programs, that revolve around a schedule Adam and Emma's program revolves entirely around the fishing. It's a mix of Argentina style river fishing and lakes. The river fishing is nymphing and dry fly fishing for rainbows, browns and brook trout to 25 inches. Occasionally bigger, but not the norm. Stunning scenery and a variety of drifts and walk wades that you will never see in their entirety. There's just too much of it. Now the lakes, I know so many fly fishermen who might say: "I'm not a lake fisherman." Well try this on for size. A windless March day with an ant hatch and visibly throwing to brown trout that average 3-6 pounds and range up to 20 pounds. Sound like bullshit? Coyhaique's best lakes are simply stuffed with big browns and it's an amazing way to spend part of your week. This is also a superb place to target king salmon on the fly and we'll be doing a number of hosted trips there so drop us an email if of interest. This program is a must do for anyone wishing to experience Chile!
Lake Yelcho and surrounding fisheries
Lake Yelcho and it's surrounding rivers are the second fishery we like in Chile. This area is higher in rainfall so we're talking big, strong rivers with eddies the size of basketball courts filled with rainbows just beneath the surface, high mountains and volcanoes and giant lakes--visually it's an incredible place. And while it doesn't have the fish numbers of Coyhaique Region in our view, but it does have exceptional lake fishing, super river fishing(mostly with streamers) and a number of lodges that provide a high quality Chilean experience--albeit with American guides.