Patagonia Fly Fishing Trip #OI-CLE1

Patrick Kissel went to scout a new outfitter for us in Northern Patagonia near the town of San Martin de los Andes Argentina.

Trip #OI-CLE1

Argentina-Patagonia Fly Fishing Lodge

Our outfitter in San Martin de los Andes Argentina has been guiding and outfitting in the area for over 20 years offering customized itineraries to fit each guests needs.

This area in Northern Patagonia is centered around many of the famed rivers and watersheds of the region. The local rivers offer some of the finest fly-fishing in the world. The quant town of San Martin boasts diverse fishing opportunities, accommodations and experiences. You can choose to stay at one of the gorgeous Estancias with 5 star lodging and miles of private water access or choose to do an overnight float trip on one of the rivers. The itineraries are set based on your needs and fishing style. The logistics of your trip will be planned to shorten travel times while maximizing your time spent on the water. The rivers range from small mountain streams, spring creeks, and beautiful freestones, to a large tail water and rivers in the high steppe country.

The weather in this region is the most stable and consistent which helps in the many prolific hatches found throughout the season.

The steady hatches of mayflies, caddis, and various stoneflies play a role on all of the river systems. The most prolific dry fly fishing occurs from December to late February and again from Mid March to the end of April when the nights start to become cooler. On many of the rivers you will experience fishing to abundant numbers of brown and rainbow trout in the 15-20 inch range. Some rivers have large trout populations with varying size and some are lower trout populations with average size is over 20 inches in length.

  • Most private water access in the San Martin area
  • Customized fishing itineraries
  • Most consistent weather and dry fly hatches in all of Patagonia
  • Shorter drive time to the rivers equals more time fishing
  • Float fishing is done from low profile fiberglass drift boats for fly fishing comfort
  • Enjoy authentic Argentine cuisine
  • Knowledgeable and experienced guides
  • Season is November to April.
  • Trip Report and Outfitter Reviews

Malleo River

Malleo River

The Malleo is a mid sized freestone that offers the wade angler consistent fishing with dries or a dry and dropper all season long.

The Lanin Volcano heads the gorgeous Malleo Valley and we have access to 30 miles of private water as well as public water on the lower river. The river offers a wide range of water types to suit your wade fishing tastes. You can fish the upper meadows where the river is slow, the middle canyon with faster rocky runs, or the classic riffle, run, pool section near the lodge. The Malleo is a dry fly anglers dream with prolific hatches of caddis and mayflies. Anglers will sight fish to rising brown and rainbow trout in the 16-20 inch range casting over weed beds or near the willows where the bigger fish tend to hide.

  • The Malleo is a must see for any serious trout angler wanting to experience Patagonia.
  • The river brings back anglers year after year and space is always very limited.
  • The best fishing is December through mid February and from late March through April.

Lodging is at Estancia San Huberto

This legendary estancia, was founded at the end of 19th century, offers private wade fishing access to 30 miles of the Malleo River with contemporary authentic estancia-style accommodations. The Estancia is well kept and has a special ambiance. Red deer roam the surrounding foothills and many of the fishing sections of the Malleo are just a few minutes away.

Chimehuin Rio

Chimehuin River

This is a classic large freestone river that is lined with willow brush offering many lies and holds for big trout.

This freestone has classic runs and pools and has a range of fish with many rainbows and browns in the 15-20 inch range as well as a good number of browns over 24 inches. All fishing methods are productive and this is a great river to prospect with large dries and a dropper or toss a streamer and let it “swim” into the structure to gain attention from the large browns. Early Spring and Fall are the best time to strip for big browns and up to 8 pound fish are landed here each season. The dry fly hatches tend to be best from early December to mid February and again from late March to the end of April. Terrestrials are great from January to early March.

  • We can offer day floats from the town of San Martin or anglers may choose to stay at one of the nicer Estancias in the area offering 25 miles of private access to the river.
  • This is also a river where we can arrange a one night and two day float and camp trip.

Lodging is at Estancia Tipiliuke and The River House

Tipiliuke is one of the nicest estancias in the area with unparalleled service and a boutique lodge feeling. The surrounding property is well kept and offers private wade access as well as float access to the Chimehuin. This is a very popular place for couple and non angling partners.

The River House sits on a braided section of river that runs right in front of the lodge. The views from each bedroom are incredible and the unique stone and wood work is something to see.

This large freestone offers a high population of rainbow trout in the 14-17 inch range and many exceeding 20 inches in length.

Collon Cura River

The Collon Cura is on the itinerary of nearly every angler who comes to fish the area.

This is the most productive river in the San Martin Valley and one of the most prolific fisheries in all of Patagonia! This large freestone offers a high population of rainbow trout in the 14-17 inch range and many exceeding 20 inches in length. Brown trout populations are good and you have the chance at catching a trophy brown mixed in with the rainbows. Each year browns up to 27 inches are caught here, mix the high population of trout with the chance at a true trophy and you have the perfect trout river!

The Collon Cura offers excellent float fishing and also wade fishing options. Hatches are best December through February and start up again the end of March. The river also gets a large minnow migration that will offer some of the most incredible streamer fishing you will ever witness. The minnows are small so the flies chosen to imitate are small and easy casting. Often times you will see the trout eat your fly just below the surface.

  • When its on the action can be fierce! Minnows are present from January through March.
  • This is a river that should be part of any itinerary and we offer over 4o miles of private access and four full day sections to float.

Lodging is at Estancia Collon Cura

This is one of Ted Turner’s properties in Patagonia. This simple yet comfortable estancia offering clients four different day floats on the Collon Cura as well as excellent food and accommodations. The property has a walkway around the many ponds and often red deer, wild boar, and guanacos graze in the nearby pastures.

Filo Hua Hum River

Filo Hua Hum River

The Filo is a short and small freestone offering 10 miles of private access high in the wooded Andes mountains and surrounded by Lanin National Park.

Sight fishing for large trout in one of the most beautiful settings in the name of the game on the Filo. Don’t expect many fish per day here but instead multiple shots at large brown trout from 20-27 inches. The river also harbors populations of rainbows and browns from 10-14 inches and on certain days the lake can be fished. Here you will find trout in the 16-21 inch class cruising the reeds and on the feed, you will fish from an RO drift boat if fishing the lake.

  • This Filo Hua Hum river is most suitable for the intermediate to advanced angler and best fished from the beginning of the season to mid February.
  • Sometimes the Filo can be fished in the fall if the water levels are high enough to hold big trout in the river.

Lodging is at Estancia Tres Lagos

This Estancia sits in a large valley near a lake and surrounded by the Andes. Offering private access to the Filo Hua Hum and the area’s surrounding lakes. The estancia itself is a beautiful ranch surrounded by national parklands and breathtaking scenery. The guest lodging/cabins are separated from the main lodge where you will gather and meet for your meals.

Limay River

Limay River

The lower Limay is a crystal clear 60-mile tailwater below Pichi Picun Leufu dam.

River flows on the Limay average 8-20,000 cfs and can change quickly, the fish are accustomed to this and guides know where to fish during these water events. This large river offers the most dynamic and challenging fishing in the Neuquen province. The river has incredible populations of hard fighting rainbows from 17-21″ and good populations of both resident and migratory brown trout that can exceed well over the 30 inch mark.

Anglers will need to be on their game and able to change fishing techniques throughout the day. An angler may start with a nymph rig, change to a dry, then try a streamer. This all depends on the day and water flow. The Limay is a challenging river and is best for novice and advanced anglers however beginners can also do well here. If an angler chooses to hunt for the fish of a lifetime don’t expect many brown trout but when he/she hooks into one it is likely to be of trophy size and will be well worth the effort. Many clients return year after year to fish the Limay as it is one of those rivers that gets in your blood!

  • We have access to many different private properties for our many float options and operate on the paved side so the ride is as smooth as possible and a shorter distance back to the hotel in Eagle Rock.
  • Overnight camp trips can also be offered here.

Lodging is at the Eagle Rock Hotels

While fishing the Limay you will stay in the small town of Eagle Rock at one of the best hotels in town. The lodging is comfortable but nothing special, however the food is as good as anywhere else you will experience on your stay. We have a guide house rented out and great area for dining and gathering after the days fishing.

Authentic Argentina food
Wilderness adventures offering unparalleled experiences in a comfortable tent camp under the Patagonian stars!

Wilderness adventures offering unparalleled experiences in a comfortable tent camp under the Patagonian stars!

For anglers looking to maximize time on the water, fish remote waters, and want an adventure these overnight trips are just the answer. Your camp staff will go ahead in gear boats and prepare gourmet dinners. So when you are done fishing for the day all you have to do is relax, have an appetizer and refreshment while enjoying the scene. There is something special about waking up on the side of a trout filled river!

Caleufu River

This is a great option for the more adventurous angler and is offered from December to the middle of January. Starting from a series of mountain glacier lakes and running through an incredible canyon, this breathtaking river provides an unforgettable 3 day/ 2 night float. The river holds good populations of both browns and rainbows and becomes more productive on day 2 with larger fish being caught that measure over 20 inches.

Alumine River

This freestone is a 3 day/2 night float down a canyon with columnar basalt cliffs, eddies and rocky runs. Best fished from Dec through early Feb and again from late March through April. We also offer a 2 day/ 1 night float.

Lower Chimehuin

The lower Chimehuin can be floated for 2 days with 1 night camping. One of our most popular overnights and good throughout the season. Offering anglers the ability to fish to trout using all techniques.

Lower Limay River

Overnight camps are a good option for floating the lowest sections of the river to save on the transfer time back to town for those anglers that like to stay out on the water. *Dry bags provided for your personal gear on the overnight trips.

Chimehuin River – Estancia Tipiliuke and The River House

Lodging and Accommodations

Regardless of where you stay, each lodge offers comfortable double occupancy rooms with private bathroom, gourmet meals, and welcoming Argentine hospitality. The San Martin area offers multiple hotels in varying price ranges so it will depend on what your budget is and what hotel you choose – you will often have at least one night in San Martin during your trip.

The San Martin area offers many hotels in different price ranges as well as excellent dining options. If you are staying in San Martin a few days we can get you the best rates with the area hotels and help with choosing where to dine. Your guide will pick you up and predesignated times from your hotel to bring you to the next river or Estancia. Most trip itineraries you will spend one night in San Martin.

Authentic Argentine cuisine, local wines, local beers, appetizers and desserts with dinner.

The food in Argentina is a large part of the experience and you will be impressed with the different local dishes. Grass fed beef and lamb as well as cured meats and delicious cheeses are a staple of what you will experience. The Estancias offer 5 star dinners, and San Martin offers many different restaurants to choose from.

  • Breakfast between 8-8:30
  • Drive to the river for a full day to walk and wade or float fishing depending on the fishery you are at.
  • Lunch and wine on the river between 1-3 followed by a siesta (if you choose to not siesta you can wade near the lunch spot) Lunch times are determined by you and your guide.
  • Dinner between 730-930 depending on what time you get done fishing for the day.
  • Often times if fishing is better the last hour of the day you can opt to fish late and have a late dinner.


  • Guiding is done 2×1 but 1×1 guided trips may be scheduled on request for an additional fee which varies per itinerary.
  • All of the guides are industry professionals and have been guiding the San Martin area for many years.
  • Your guide will have dinner with you most nights, help make sure you are comfortable, talk about the plan for the following day and set start times etc.
  • You will likely change guides throughout your trip as some are specialists on certain rivers.
The river has incredible populations of hard fighting rainbows from 17-21″ and good populations of both resident and migratory brown trout that can exceed well over the 30 inch mark.
You can choose to stay at one of the gorgeous Estancias with 5 star lodging and miles of private water access or choose to do an overnight float trip on one of the rivers.

Travel Information

  • Your custom itinerary will be preplanned and you will be sent a copy upon booking so you will know when to book your international flights and when you need to arrive in San Martin and when you are scheduled to depart San Martin for home.
  • We recommend using  LOL Argentina to help with airport transfers from Buenos Aires International to the domestic airport.
  • Travelers depart from their local home airport and connect with an overnight flight from one of several major US cities (commonly New York, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, or Los Angeles) and arrive to Buenos Aires, Argentina by mid-morning the following day.
  • We recommend staying the night in Buenos Aires on your travel south to San Martin but depending on your international flight you may be able to make a same day connection. On the travel from San Martin to your home it is possible to have enough time to get a connection in Buenos Aires and make your flight back to the states all in the same day. It is recommended to have 4 hours of time between domestic and international flights to allow plenty of time for the ground transfer.
  • You will need to take a 45 minute ground transfer from the international airport – Ezeiza to the domestic airport – Aeroparque and this can be arranged ahead of time or on site. If you are staying in BA for the night you will need to transfer to the domestic airport the following morning to catch your flight to San Martin – Chapelco Airport. Once you arrive you will meet a representative of the outfitter and be transferred to your hotel in San Martin or the Estancia you will begin your fishing trip with.

Typical Travel Itinerary

  • Day 1: Depart your home airport and connect with overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Friday: Arrive to Buenos Aires international airport (EZE) in the morning. Transfer to your hotel in downtown Buenos Aires and overnight.
  • Day 2: Transfer from your hotel to the Buenos Aires domestic airport (AEP) for your flight to San Martin airport (CPC). Upon arrival, a representative from the outfit will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your first destination.
  • Day 3-8: Six (6) full days of guided fishing with stays at various lodges and/or estancias in the greater San Martin de los Andes area.
  • Day 9: Depart the lodge and transfer to the San Martin airport (CPC) for your return flight to the Buenos Aires domestic airport (AEP). Transfer from the domestic airport to the international airport (EZE) to catch your return overnight flight to the US.
  • Day 10: Arrive to the U.S., clear customs, and connect with a flight to your home airport.

Booking Information

Interested in booking this trip? If you have not yet received pricing please request it here, and be sure to reference the trip number at the top of this page. Please note that reservations are not considere

This Fishing Trip Includes

  • Accommodations and meals at the Estancias *
  • Hotels
  • Beverages including beer, wine, and some alcohol at the lodges
  • Fully guided fishing
  • Ground transfers to/from San Martin (Chapelco) airport and the lodges
  • Fishing license
  • Wading boots and rods and reels, if needed
  • All flies

Not Included

  • International and domestic airfare
  • Transfers, hotels and meals in Buenos Aires
  • Alcohol at some lodges/hotels
  • Ground transfers to/from Bariloche
  • Waders, leaders, and tippet
  • Tips for guides and lodge staff ($40 per night per room to staff and $50 per person per day to your guide is standard)
  • $40 Wire fee
  • Trip Insurance

Photos from this trip:

When you’re ready to book, if you haven’t already ask your Outdoors International Consultant for updated pricing. If it looks good, your consultant will write up a booking agreement for you.