Wild Trout in Northern Patagonia
We run trips throughout Northern Patagonia which include the towns of Alumine, Junin, San Martin and our base, Bariloche. Mel Krieger considers this area the heart of Argentina Fly Fishing. This region contains everything for the international angler including diverse trout waters, a range of lodging accommodations and activities for the non-angler. To the west lie dense temperate rainforests, with secluded lakes and emerald rivers. Off to the east, the dry Patagonia Steppe is refreshed by large, clear rivers occupied by trophy trout and few anglers. Our trips here offer all of this plus exclusive access to private waters, total trip customization and our professional, licensed and insured Argentina fishing guides.
San Martin & Junin de los Andes
San Martin is located in the Lanin National Park 125 miles north of Bariloche. It is nestled on Lake Lácar and surrounded by the high mountains of Patagonia’s Lake District. It is considered the tourism capital of the Neuquen province with it’s picturesque views, numerous outdoor activities and sophisticated Swiss Alpine architecture. This charming mountain town of less than 20,000 has undergone substantial yet controlled and tasteful growth in the last 10 years.
In the northern part of the province of Neuquen, the Alumine River flows out of the Alumine Lake for 100 miles until it joins with the Chimehuin River. Together these two rivers form the famous Collon Cura River. The ratio of rainbows to browns is about 1:1 with average size being about 17 inches. Trout up to 9 pounds are also caught every year. The river cuts through the dry Patagonia steppe with rocky and willow lined shores. Our longer floats of 5-6 nights are done on the Alumine.
Collon Cura River
The Collon Cura is actually an extension of the Alumine River and runs along route 40 south of Junin de los Andes and north of Bariloche. The river is famous for its hard fighting rainbows and browns which average 2.5 lbs. and reach up to 15 pounds. Fish hold under branches and along the banks of this slow, deep river. Streamers tend to be only slightly more effective then large dries or nymph. Wild boar, condors and deer are common sights in the early and late hours. Coming across puma dens or tracks is also common. Perhaps its finest tributary is the Quemquemtreu stream which flows though the Quemquemtreu Ranch. This river offers exceptional dry fly fishing in the early season.
The Malleo River
This river is mainly accessed by guests of the San Huberto Lodge. In the upper reaches of the river the waters are slow and meandering providing a challenging and equally rewarding experience. This section is well loved by spring creek enthusiasts. The middle canyon section has faster current with more difficult wading and accessibility, however, it is a favorite for those who like to venture on the road less traveled and reap the benefits. The lower portions of the Malleo offer great fishing in pools, riffles and along willow lined banks.
Although the Malleo is fished all season long, the higher water levels in the spring months provide an opportunity for great rainbow fishing on the tributary, Huaca Mamuil. In the summer months the hatches are prevalent making dry fly action unsurpassed anywhere in Patagonia.
The Chimehuin River
The "Chime" is one of the many famed rivers in Argentina. In fact, this is considered the first river that gave northern Patagonia its renowned trout fishing reputation. Years before Joe Brooks’s arrival, legendary Argentine angler Bebe was pulling huge trout from the river. It has produced the largest landlocked brown trout in all of Patagonia, and still today anglers gather at the boca of the Huechulafquen Lake looking to hook into one of its prized browns that migrate from the lake to the river during the fall spawning run.
From its source, the Chimehuin runs 53 kilometers through several miles of private estancias, public lands and the town of Junin de los Andes. One of the Chimehuins finest tributaries is the Quilquihue River. Both the Chimehuin and the Quilquihue are known for their great dry fishing. Nymphs and streamers are also popular to coax the large brown trout out from under submerged rocks or the willow lined bank.
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