It’s mid-winter in Big Sky Country. We’ve already seen the mercury drop as far as 40 below, and the snow is drifting deep around the fly shop and the Golden Stone Inn. As North America copes with the icy grip of winter, Patagonia is experiencing the brilliant peak of summer. The days are long, the air is warm, and the trout are rising.
Our clients and staff have been traveling throughout Argentina and Chile since the borders first reopened in November. While generally drier than average conditions have been seen across Patagonia, the early-season fishing has been tremendous.
As we enter the New Year, conditions in Patagonia resemble July in Big Sky Country, the peak of dry fly season. In the North, our partners at Patagonia Nomads have enjoyed strong caddis hatches, and are preparing for the start of the epic inch worm hatch on legendary rivers like the Chimehuin, Malleo, and Collon Cura.
In central Patagonia, our dear friends at El Encuentro Fly Fishing have been busy exploring their truly massive, remote fishing area in search of dragon flies, caddisflies, and March Brown mayflies. They have found some remarkable brookies recently near the Brook Trout Basecamp, and impressive browns and rainbows at their lodges on the Futaleufu and Carrileufu Rivers.
On Jurrassic Lake, our amigos at Estancia Laguna Verde are transitioning into an exciting time in their season as the lake waters warm, and opportunities increase to sight-fish for some of the world’s largest rainbow trout – many times with large dry flies.
On the Chilean side of the Andes, BSA co-owner Jonathan Heames reports a soggy start to the season in the Valdivian Rainforests surrounding Lago Yelcho. Fish have been eager to feed on large dry flies and streamers in the glacial fed waters fo the Rio Palena and Rio Yelcho.
It’s already been a great season in Patagonia, and some of the most exciting days are still ahead. We will have groups traveling from North to South until the snow starts falling (in the southern hemisphere). Stay Tuned for more reports, and Shop the Patagonia Collection for our recommendations on the right for your next trip.