Chile occupies a long, narrow strip of land in South America; it covers 756,096 square kilometres in total and stretches over 4,300 kilometres north to south, but only 350 kilometres at its widest point east to west. It shares land borders with Peru, Bolivia and Argentina and then a coastal border with the Pacific Ocean.
Situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Chiles landscape is incredibly diverse, from the Atacama Desert in the north, the worlds driest desert, to the Andes Mountains in the east, to the rich forests, volcanoes and lakes of the south. It’s in the south, where you’ll find some incredible freshwater fly fishing opportunities and some of the best fishing in Chile; the area attracts thousands of travelling fly fishermen every year, keen to target the hard-fighting Trout that inhabit its waters.
This Patagonian area of Chile, in the south, is home to some stunning glacial fjords and rivers, and one of the most popular is the Futaleufú River, which in the native language translates to ‘Big River’. Contained by the Coihue forest, this glacial fed giant offers some of the purest waters you’ll find anywhere on the planet. The Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout of the Futaleufú and its catchment were stocked from European and American stock in the early 19th Century. These fish have established an extremely healthy population, so much so that the river is the envy of wild Trout fisheries worldwide.
Futa Lodge is absolutely the most romantic lodge in the world, which sleeps a maximum of six anglers. With its remoteness, stunning mountains and free rising, very obedient Brown and Rainbow Trout, this will feel like a dream. Fishing itself is some of the purest wild fly-fishing for Rainbows and Browns anywhere in the world.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 82%
"I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic time I had on my trip. Futa Lodge is a very special place and you are very fortunate. The staff were exceptional, without exception. Nico, Paula and Joaquin made the trip so much more special in their professionalism and attentiveness to me and all the guests. And Corey and Matt were great guides, that made the fishing that much more enjoyable. I look forward to the day that I can book another trip through you."
"Everything was perfect. The fishing was good, the food and wine were outstanding (very talented chef), and the company super. The managers are the best lodge hosts I have ever experienced after fishing all over the world. They are a delightful young couple who make guests feel at home. Someday I shall return."
"We want to thank you again for a wonderful time at Futa Lodge. It was our favorite lodge to stay in, we loved how remote it was, the scenery, food, wine, guides, staff, fishing, accommodation and the horseback riding — it was perfect!"
Many of the rivers in Chile, including the Futaleufú, are classic freestone and glacial rivers, varied with a multitude of different fishing styles. One minute you can be rafting down a vast stretch, fishing a streamer to an overhanging tree to tempt a big Brown Trout, next you might be bank fishing for a pod of wary Rainbows as they carefully sip dry flies from the surface.
Throughout the year, the resident fish feed on the hatches of mayfly, caddisfly and stonefly; however, all manner of different flies will work. Streamers, dries, and nymphs are all popular depending on the season; however, the bigger fish love an ultra-buoyant foam fly.
In addition to rafting the Futaleufú, if you wanted to try something slightly different, then a range of exploratory fishing missions to remote streams and trophy lakes in the area are also available.
If you’re travelling to fly fish in Chile, why not read our blog on the 10 Top Tips to Improve Your Fly Fishing.
The majority of the Trout in Chile and Patagonia are around 2lb-2.5lb. Still, fish to 6lb get regularly caught, and even bigger resident Browns and Rainbows to over 15lb aren’t uncommon. There’s also the chance of an occasional sea-run fish, guaranteed to put a bend in your rod, and these monsters have the potential to top over 30lb in size. Salmon are the largest fish in Patagonia’s rivers and can reach upwards of 40lb.
Even though Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout are most abundant, you can also expect other species such as Brook Trout, Steelhead, Coho Salmon, King Salmon and Chinook Salmon.
Due to its location at the end of the earth, Chile and Patagonia’s climate and weather can be unpredictable. Surrounded by oceans and towering mountain ranges, it’s well known for being generally cold, for biting winds, unexpected downpours and even snow flurries.
The best fishing in Chile is in their summer and Autumn, and the fishing season runs between December and April, with a peak in February. The weather is generally warmer in these months, with temperatures ranging from around 6-8 degrees Celsius to 17-20 degrees Celsius. There’s the chance of strong winds and the possibility of rain; however, this is the height of the growing season, and the landscape is full green with an abundance of wildlife.
As well as some unbelievable freshwater fly fishing opportunities, there’s also a whole host of other activities available; whether you want a day off from the fishing or to extend your trip, there are lots to do.
Horseback riding, trekking, rafting and kayaking are all popular extra activities and give anglers and non-anglers the chance to enjoy some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes on the planet.
Chile has some world-class stretches of river for rafting and some of the best hiking trails amidst miles of unspoiled scenery.
You depart the UK and fly direct to Buenos Aires, where on arrival, ground staff will be waiting to transfer you to your overnight hotel. In the morning, you will be transported to the domestic airport, Jorge Newbery, where you’ll fly to Esquel. Once you arrive in Esquel, it’s then just a short journey to the fishing lodge.