The least dense populated territory in all of Chile, the XI region of Aysén has the highest concentration of relevant fishing destinations in Chilean Patagonia and Coyhaique is right at the heart of it. The program offered by Vista Patagonia Lodge cover the premium fishing spots that exists in this area, including extraordinary trips into the depths of the backcountry in search of the quintessential fishing nirvana. Browns and rainbows are the regular catch, with the occasional chance of a Chinook or a Coho.
Coyhaique is the capital town of this region and the real “gateway” of Aysén.
Its strategically located, only 40 minutes away from a commercial airport (2-hour flight from Santiago) lending itself as the perfect base location to access a wide variety of angling opportunities. The area nearby boasts remarkable geography, that allows day visits to an array of different eco-regions, including the Patagonian steppe and the temperate rain forest, sometimes even in the same day. This diversity is also shared by the waters that exist here, thus, providing the highest concentration of fishing options in Chile.
When fishing this area we often use dry flies, being terrestrials almost mandatory at times. However, we will not hesitate to recommend the use of nymphs and streamers if the situation calls for it. Terrestrial insects represent a big part of the local trout diet and any grasshopper and beetle pattern should work well during midsummer period. By far the most incredible beetle that exists here is the giant Cantaria (Chiasognathus granti), is also known as Darwin’s Beetle or Grant’s Stag Beetle. When the conditions are right this beetle hatches in mass, and it’s during this exceptional occasions that fishing for large fish with a big beetle pattern such as the popular “Fat Albert” is extremely productive.
This destination is probably the easiest access to true quality fishing in Patagonia, as the spring creeks, large rivers, mountain streams, lagoons and big lakes that you will find have all you could ever dream for. Our fishing alternatives are located within a maximum range of a two-hour drive, while many of them are just minutes away from our lodge.
The fishing season in southern Chile goes from the second Sunday of October until the first Sunday of May. Usually the best dry fly period between January and March but, it is not uncommon to cast dry flies as early as November. Fishing during the Early (Oct.-Dec.) and Late Season (Apr.-May.) is also a great option, particularly for those in search of trophies.
The local eco-regions that you may visit on an average trip vary from temperate rainforest to the semi-arid Patagonian steppe, also known as “pampa”. In terms of weather stability, both are equally unpredictable, therefore you should always be prepared for sun, rain, wind and even snow when fishing. And as you’ve probably heard before, all could happen in one day!