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Rivers and Lakes

 

We are strategically located in Bariloche, Northern Patagonia, in Rio Negro province and between Chubut and Neuquén Provinces, which have access to 3 different national parks, big and small lakes, mountain and eastern rivers, all within 2 hours of driving.

 

The bigest river in North Patagonia is the famous Limay, river that enters the Chimehuin, Collon Cura, Caleufu, Traful and Malleo, among others and form the largest basin in Patagonia. The Rio Negro river. All these rivers begin in the mountain range of the Andes and end in the Atlantic and are home to the best browns and rainbows of Patagonia.

 

Closer to the Andes Mountains the rivers are as clear as the air, the Rio Manso basing run west to the Pacific and is one of the most beautiful places in the world, for being between the mountains, and for its waters of glacial origin. Most of the times the lakes have the largest trout. The smallest lakes are shallow, with the banks covered by reeds and fallen logs, what makes the fishing very interesting. Brooke trout can easily reach 4 pounds, while Rainbows and Browns easily reach 6 pounds on these lakes. The Manso river offer a unique dry fly seasson with dragonflies as main hatch. All three spices, brown, rainbow, and brook go crazy with this hatch.

 

Found all details in this next list of places:  
 

The Limay River starts at the Nahuel Huapi Lake and forms the largest basin in Patagonia, 270 miles long. It starts in a transition area between the forests and the steppe.
Limay means "clear water" in the local language. It´s a big river, with many arms and islands, and it goes from deep pools to fast shallow waters. The banks are covered by willow trees, what makes the Limay hard to wade. Large migratory brown trout come from the big lake, where after feeding of "Páncoras" (a kind of fresh water crab), they get enormous!!. This browns can easily get to 10 pounds, but every season we catch a 16 pound Monster Brown. The best fishing is usually in the area between "La Boca" and Rincón Chico, the first 5 miles of the Limay.
The best time to find these monster browns in the river is the end of the season, March and April, when they start migrating into the rivers looking for spawning beds. There are always chances to catch one of the large fish in the river during the summer, however it might be more difficult. The Limayriver is full of resident browns as well, often residing in pocket water, close to the shore, or behind rocks and willows. We attract them with big streamers. As we are high, fishing from a boat, and the Limay is extremely clear, you will see them coming towards your fly.
During the summer thousands of caddis flies cover the river, giving us the chance to fish for rising fish. Some eddies contain more than fifty big rainbows, between two and five pounds, feeding at one inch from the surface. We use light elk hair caddis size 16 or 18, long leaders with a 5X tippet at the end.

 

The Manso Riverstarts in theheart of the Nahuel HuapiNational Park, in the Cerro Tronador. It has several sections, the lower is the best choice for fishermen. There is 18km of river, where access is almost impossible from the bank due to thick foliage. Without a doubt the Manso is one of the most beautiful landscapes of Patagonia, with crystal clear water as never seen before.
The geomorphology of the Manso varies constantly from class II + rapids, deep runs, others very low and fast, to pools where the water almost does not run. The float of this section begins on Lake Steffen, where if we are lucky we will see a hatch of midges that will put a good number of rainbow trout, practically at our fingertips.
This does not make them easier to catch, because these midges are size 22 and the trout become super selective. Once in the river, the fishing will be essentially with floating lines, and nymphs or dries. The bead head prince and pheasant tail works great. Attractors, such as Madame X or Stimulator give good results as well, and more chances to catch a resident brown. In some sectors of the river, we will find large pools, with rainbows cruising close to the surface. In those pools, we shrink the fly and lengthen the leader. A Mayfly Spinner size 18 it´s could deceive these selective rainbows.

 

The Chimehuín is a medium-sized river that flows out of Huechulafquen Lake for about 40 miles till it joins the Aluminé, giving rise to the CollónCurá. Fishing was excellent here in the past, and added to its extraordinary formation, made the Chimehuín the most famous river for fly fishing in Argentina. Today it’s one of the best-studied rivers with the greatest amount of available information. The Chimehuín yields Rainbow and Brown troutweighing from 1 to 6 pounds. Although trout average from 1 to 6 pounds, it’s not unusual to land 13-pounders or even larger fish. We often choose the lower section of the Chimehuin for expeditions due to the decreased public access, thus decreasing fishing pressure. 

The fishing conditions are quite stable during the whole season. All fishing techniques are successful on this section. So in case of doing an overnight fishing trip, you will have the chance of trying a bit of everything, and catch a great amount rainbows and some bigger browns.

 

 

This river (divided into upper, middle and lower stretches) flows out of lagoAluminé, over 130 km till it joindrioCatan Lil, giving rise to the CollónCurá. The upper Aluminé (10 miles) stretches from the lake to the confluence with the Pulmari River. Rainbow trout are the most plentiful species, often measuring up to 16 inches. The middle Aluminé (22 miles) stretches from the Pulmarí to the Quillén confluence. You can fish from a boat here, as the rapids are slower, althoygh there are a couple of technical jumps that are quite dificult to maneuver.Fish are larger, ranging from 14 to 20 inches. Rainbow trout are the most plentiful species, followed by Brown trout. The lower Aluminé (48 miles) flows parallel to the road and has runs and deep pools. Although there are signs of human presence along the first three miles, it gets much more private downstream, where there is no fishing pressure whatsoever. Fishing conditions and the size of the fish along this stretch are excellent. One of the best ways to enjoy this river is to float it for a couple of days, camping out at night.

 

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Pichi in Mapuche language (the indigenous people of Patagonia) means small, and Leufu means river. The Pichileufu is nearly an hour's drive from Bariloche, in an area called Steppe. It is a desert, where vegetation and landscapes are very different from those closest to the Andes. Here reigns volcanic rock formations and small canyons formed by spring streams. On the way to the river we will see "Los Juncos" Natural Reserve. A small lagoon, with were nest many different kind of birds. The railway station Perito Moreno The geomorphology the "Pichi" makes it perfect for fly fishing. With the right level of water, there is a fish behind each rock. The best time to visit this beautiful river is November and December. It´s the smallest river we fish in the area. Due to its small size it´s convenient to wade it, most times in shorts and sandals. Light equipment such as 4 or 5 weight rod are recommended for this river.

It is an ideal place to refine our fishing techniques, use a floating line, and search through our dry flies box. On sunny days, a grasshopper hitting the water right under cliffs will let you catch the largest browns of this river!!

 

 

These Lake is located in the heart of NahuelHuapi National Park. It has very hard access, sometimes impossible, even with the best vehicles. When you get there, Carlos Cowes a very friendly ranger gives you the welcome. You won´t believe there is someone living there!! You can fish this lake with a motor boat or with a catarraft. The banks are lined with trees and fallen logs, this makes the wading impossible. During the spring the fishing is great. If you are looking for big browns, we recommend to fish with sinking lines and big streamers, casting between the fallen logs. That’s their territory and they protect it very aggressively. Personally, I love to follow the bank with the boat, looking for rising fish. 

Most times they are brookes, they can easily reach the 4 pounds in these lake. We use big rubber dragonflies to catch them. You have to cast the dry fly a few meters away from the fish and shake the tip of the rod, you will see them coming. Sometimes it´s hard to set the hook with this big rubber flies, but anyway is the most fun fishing!! During the hottest months of summer, the fishing is harder. Unless you stay till 7 pm, when a caddis hatch starts. You must be ready because it won´t last more than half an hour.

 

 

Hess Lake is located in the center of the NahuelHuapi National Park. Perhaps one of the most beautiful in this park. It is accessed with row boats only.

Its shores are low and lined with reeds. In many parts it is shallow, with lots of vegetation on the bottom. It has small channels that connect different parts of the lake. The channels are very attractive for fishing, especially when the trout are eating in the surface. There is an abundant food supple for the the trout, which makes them more selective than in the other lakes of the park.

Especially during the warmer months, when the trout are poorly active. We fish on Lake Hess during November and December.

 

 

 

 


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    matias@barilochefishingtrips.com


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Matias Picapietra - matias@barilochefishingtrips.com
Patagonia Fishing