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Fishing in Bariloche Fishing and Fly Fishing in Calafate Fishing in Puerto Madryn Fishing in S.M. de los Andes Fishing in Ushuaia


Big rivers, streams, lakes, framed in barren plateau landscapes or surrounded by exuberant forests. There is really a lot to choose from in Patagonia.

The fishing season in lakes and streams in southern Patagonia starts in spring and lasts until the beginning of fall. Trouts are highly valued, and numerous foreign tourists come to this area especially to fish them and also, to enjoy the spectacular landscape they can contemplate.

Undoubtedly, trout and salmon are the most popular varieties. The outstanding ones are the "salmón encerrado", the "rainbow trout", the "stream-trout" or "salmonada", the "trucha criolla" or perch, and the brown trout.

There are no significant seasonal limitations for fishing in the sea or in the rivers, except for those imposed by the migration of the species.

Recommended places

Chimehuín: one of the most famous rivers
In Junín de los Andes, Neuquén, flows this river worldwide known for the quality and quantity of trouts and salmons it offers. The surroundings are paradise-like.

Province of Chubut: great trout-fishing place
From sea to mountain, this province offers a great variety of opportunities. In Esquel, Los Alerces National Park and the Futaleufú basin are waiting for you. Also Corcovado (where an 18 kg. salmon was fished in 1983), Senguerr river, the five lakes of the Pico river and more.

Correntoso: the shortest river for the greatest fishing
With its 40 meters of length, Correntoso river joins two great lakes. Its mouth is a well-known fishing place visited by many enthusiastic fishers. It is near Villa La Angostura, in Neuquén.

Bariloche and its surroundings
This city offers the fisherman the possibility of first-class accommodations and services, the perfect complement for an incredible range of lakes and rivers to choose from in its surroundings.

Las Grutas: sea fishing and more
In the extensive Patagonian Atlantic littoral, species like "pejerrey" and sea bass can be caught, with the additional incentive of obtaining delicious octopus and mussels, amongst other sea food. In this case, the excursion includes fishing both in the middle of the sea and on the coast, near the beautiful beach resort of Las Grutas, in Río Negro.

The Negro River: 600 kilometers of fishing
From the confluence of the Limay and Neuquén rivers up to its outlet into the Atlantic Ocean. You can access its main river-bed from several cities in the north of the province of Río Negro: General Roca, Cipolletti, Regina and Choele Choel, amongst others.

Río Grande: extremely select
Abundance of quality trouts at the southernmost place in the world.

Fishing spots: main fishing locations in Patagonia

In the province of Chubut:
˜ Lago Puelo basin
˜ Yelcho basin (Futaleufú River and affluents)
˜ Corcovado basin.
˜ Pico River basin.
˜ Senguerr River basin.
˜ Esquel, Los Alerces National Park and Cholila area.

In the province of Río Negro:
˜ Bariloche and El Bolsón.
˜ Medium Valley islets.
˜ Las Grutas and San Antonio Oeste.
˜ From Viedma: San Blas Bay.

In the province of Neuquén:
San Martín de los Andes.
Junín de los Andes (Chimehuín river and lakes).
Villa Traful.
El Chocón.

In the province of Santa Cruz:
˜ "Steel-headed trout", in Comandante Luis Piedrabuena.

In the province of Tierra del Fuego:
"South of the south".


Bariloche Adventure Travel & Tours...

A fisherman's paradise. The ideal spot for fishing achievers. That is San Carlos de Bariloche's worldwide reputation.

Bariloche guarantees the fisherman a large number and variety of fish. The scenario changes: Immense forests, wide and torrential rivers, majestic snowy peaks. However, fishing remains top-notch, ranging from the elegant trout to the fighting dorados.

Patagonia Pictures - FISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaExperts mingle with laymen, arriving at Bariloche every year for the fishing season, attracted by the natural beauty of the landscapes and by the fish to be caught. They alone account for up to eight million pesos worth of transactions involving the sale of permits, lodging and food expenditure, fishing articles, fuel and transport.

This is why during summer the area is just as geared to sport fishermen as it is to ski enthusiasts in winter.

Patagonia Pictures - FISHING IN LAKE NAHUEL HUAPI - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaAside from the majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi, practically all the rivers in the area interconnect, with deep lakes allowing valuable species to proliferate.

To find the ideal spot, according to what each person wants to fish for and the technique to be used, what could be better than having the advice of expert fishing guides or gillies.

Patagonia Pictures - FISHING IN LAKE NAHUEL HUAPI - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaExperts claim that the ideal place for beginners to this sport to try their luck is Pichileufu River, where wading-type fly casting is practiced from the shore, because fishing in the major rivers like the Limay is much more difficult for a beginner.

Patagonia Pictures - RAINBOW TROUT FISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in Patagonia Four species of salmonids, introduced a hundred years ago, are found in this area. They are: rainbow, brown and stream trout and "enclosed" salmon, that is rarely found in Traful River, but may be found in Río Limay, as well as the native perch, that may be fished but not killed.

In the lakes the spinning spoon ("cucharita") gives the best results, and is the technique most beginners use.

Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaOn the northern shore of Nahuel Huapi there are several rivers and streams that empty into the lake, among them the Chiñuraco, Huemul, De la Estancada and Correntoso, in all of which one can fish stream and brown trout.

Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in Patagonia On the west shore of the lake is Pireco Stream; on the Machete arm may be found the stream of the same name at 15 kilometers from the mouth of the Correntoso; and in the northern Blest arm area lie the El Cuerno and Millaqueo streams. All these places must be accessed by motor boat or launch. The most used technique in these streams is "trolling", or dragging the bait from a boat..

There are also native species belonging to Nahuel Huapi such as perch, that are similar to the corvinas, and pejerreyes. There are two more species, the puyén chico and the puyén grande that are not fished because the former is too small (about 10 cm), and the latter lives at 30 m depth.

Towards the south of Bariloche one should mention the Manso River system, with the small Lake Los Moscos, with its many rainbow and brown trout.

Then there are the Fonck, Hess and Roca lakes, with good specimens of rainbow and stream trout, and the Martín and Steffen lakes, where perch are also found.

However, beyond any doubt, the most popular place is the mouth of Limay River, the most important river in the system. The best place is its left bank, close to the lake. There one finds mostly rainbow trout.

Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaFor fly fishing enthusiasts, nothing beats the north sector of Limay River up to its confluence with Traful River.

Good fishing areas also include Caleufú River (in the Casa de Piedra zone, near the track to Córdoba Pass) or the Pichi Traful and the Ruca Malen, on the Seven Lakes Route.

In El Bolsón and Río Negro
With its wide range of geographical environments, this city, surrounded by ancient forests, snowy peaks and pure fresh water, is a star spot for non--conventional tourism and an extraordinary place to do sport fishing.

Patagonia Pictures - RAINBOW TROUT FISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in Patagonia In Lake Puelo, only using trolling, one can catch rainbow trout, if one remembers to return the catch to the water. However, on Puelo River, an excellent trout fishing area, the mode allowed is fly fishing.

Another good spot is Las Grutas, and while vacationing there one can take advantage of the warm and prolific waters of the Gulf of San Antonio. From the port of San Antonio Oeste, only 20 kilometers from Las Grutas, the fisherman can embark to the middle of San Matías Gulf to fish sea bass, salmon and pez palo.

Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN BARILOCHE - Adventure Travel in Patagonia The Negro River, in all its length is a fishing area, especially on its small islands in the mid-zone, near Choele Choel. One can catch prizes of up to one kilo. We must also mention the famous San Blas Bay, a few kilometers from Viedma, the provincial capital. This is considered a "fisherman's Eden" due to the quantity and variety of its fish.

Sport fishing in Bariloche is conveniently regulated. In order to practice this sport you must always have the corresponding permit (granted by the National Parks Service, provincial organizations or authorized fishing stores). As well, one must respect the prohibitions and used the techniques allowed in order to protect the different species.

Fishing season in this area, as all over Patagonia, starts in mid-November and ends in mid-April. Meanwhile, the fishing season in National Parks is November through April.

This is no coincidence: at the time that fish are reproducing they are much more vulnerable. No fishing is allowed at this time to make sure that there are fish for the next year and for hundreds of years more. It is both important and necessary to allow fish to develop without interfering in their reproductive cycle (during the winter).

It is worthwhile remembering that the fishing day extends from dawn to dusk. Nocturnal and underwater fishing are expressly forbidden.

Bear in mind the following:
  • You must always fish with a lure. No live bait such as crabs, worms or shrimp may be used.
  • You may not fish with triple hook lures, trotlines or nets that are used for scientific fishing.
  • The fact that should be foremost in your mind is that the catch should always be returned to the water.
  • The accepted methods are: spinning (spoon), fly casting (fly) and trolling (drag fishing employing different lures). You may also fish from the coast or in a launch or motorboat.
  • Within the National Park there are preferential areas such as the mouth of Limay River, where only fly fishing may be done and you have to pay a more expensive permit to fish, because the catches are larger size and the quality of the fish is better.
  • There are other areas where only "capture followed by obligatory release" is allowed. This means that when you catch the fish, you can only take a photo but must return it immediately to the water unless it is excessively injured. This rule holds in the sector of Limay River up to its confluence with the Traful, for example, because this is in the jurisdiction of the National Parks.
  • In the first part of Limay River, you can fish with the spinning lure, but flies are recommended because they have only one hook and pose less risk of injury to the trout that must be returned to the water. To fish in this area, it is best to choose the regional flies that imitate the live insects that normally form part of the diet of the salmon and trout.
  • It is very important for fishermen to respect all the rules established in the fishing regulations that consider the special features of each natural environment.

Every tourist arriving in the area needs the right equipment. If he intends to fish in the lake he must bring spoons, and for trolling he should use rapadas, or large spoons with lead sinkers. A good rod is basic.

In the case of wading in the river, the recommended gear is the neoprene wader, although there are also more economical PVC waders.

There are spoons in a wide range of colors and sizes. But the best accessory for good equipment is the reel. The cheap ones may be used for children who are just starting out, and the more sophisticated ones have six to eight ball bearings and aluminum spools.

There is a wide range of offers. The firms that specialize in organizing fishing excursions offer a "full service", that is to say they take care of everything, from picking fishermen up at the airport to making hotel reservations, and they even provide them with all the necessary equipment. The fishing guide makes sure that nothing is left to chance, and the customer feels as comfortable as possible.


Calafate Adventure Travel & Tours...

Fishing as a sport has a privileged place in El Calafate. The extensive lakes and rivers in the region offer a natural and unique setting for both sport-fishing and fly fishing. There are organized excursions that include all the necessary equipment and the experienced help of the experts. In this region rainbow trouts (both stream and lake) as well as perches can be obtained.

The region is also considered as one of the most important areas for the fishing of Patagonian salmonidae, and all fly-fishing, trolling-fishing and spinning-fishing are highlighted.

An important fishing destination is Lake Roca, only 51 kilometers from the small town of El Calafate. This privileged water mirror offers lots of rainbow and Canadian trouts, perches and puyen. Another option is the swift De las Vueltas river, near El Chaltén. In both options, the added value to the attraction of fishing are the incredible surroundings with forests which allows the sight of local species.

Other alternatives are:

Santa Cruz river, "Little Fellow": rainbow trout, the precious Steelhead, and lake trout.
Lake Argentino: rainbow trout, lake trout and perch.
Lake Viedma: lake trout, rainbow trout and brown trout.
Lake San Martín: lake trout, rainbow trout and brown trout.
De las Vueltas river: brown trout.
La Leona river: brown trout and lake trout.
Rubens river and Penitente river: brown trout.
Coyle river (northern arm): brown trout and stream trout.

Remember that you have to obtain the corresponding fishing license in some of the Park offices. Your specialized travel agency will help you with all the necessary steps to obtain this license and will also organize the fishing excursions day by day; they will provide you with the necessary equipment and they will also recommend the places where there are more specimens and, consequently more chances to obtain them.


Puerto Madryn Adventure Travel & Tours...

The main feature of Puerto Madryn is the presence of two gulfs that surround it: Golfo San José and Golfo Nuevo. In these amazing crystal-clear waters, fishing is a gift from Mother Nature that the traveler cannot afford to reject.

It can be practiced both from a rocky outcrop on the shore and from a boat. The scenario and final product will always be the same: spotless beaches, wonderful landscapes all around, and a variety of species.

According to his or her sporting interests and program of activities, the tourist can practice fishing in the daytime or at night. Squid, for example, is a species that awaits the fisherman after dark.

This sport has become so popular in the city that during February each year the Puerto Madryn Fishing Club organizes the classical contest known as "twenty hours of fishing", with important prizes for the participants.

According to the different species of fish populating the Puerto Madryn coastline, fishing here is classified in two seasons, as well as by style and methodology.

Summer season
This starts in mid-November and ends in late March. It is characterized by large catches, and fishing is practiced in the open water from specially designed boats which have been approved by the Coast Guard and the Board of Continental Fishing and Maritime Interests.

Heavy tackle is used, including clamped rods (preferably with pulley-equipped reels). The reels are of the rotating type to stand 200 meter loads or more. The line is ¾ mm nylon with single hooks and, usually, cylindrical weights of 250 grams.

For bait, fresh octopus fry, squid strips or tentacles, or fresh fish fillet is used, although experts recommend shrimp, whole young squid and anchovy.

This is a little used fishing style in local tourism, although it is undoubtedly one of the most exciting ones. Generally it is restricted to local fishermen, but can be practiced on any stretch of coast in the province.

Highly prized sport fish can be caught, including the dogfish shark, the pez gallo, the manta ray, the false sea salmon, the grouper, the turco and the sea bream, among others.

Minimal knowledge of the beaches and tides is required.

Winter season
This starts in early April and extends to mid-November.

The most common fishing mode in winter is bait or fly fishing.

For bait fishing or angling, light tackle is used. The rods are two-piece of 2.7 meters length approximately with rotating or frontal reels and nylon loads that vary from 100 to 150 meters, with a line gauge of 0.2/0.3 mm.

The lines have three 8 - 14 hooks of the "cormorant" or a similar type, and the most-used bait is shrimp and prawn (previously soaked in horse mackerel oil).

This type of fishing can be practiced at any point on the Chubut coast. Also, it is better to fish by day because of low air temperatures.

Fishing with artificial bait (fly-fishing, lure-fishing and spoon-fishing) features the use of very light tackle. This is a mode that is becoming more popular in Puerto Madryn. In some cases it involves compulsive returning of the catch to the water, whereas in others, the fisherman decides what he does with his catch.

The species that are most sought after are highly combative, which adds to the excitement of the sport. A good example of this is the haddock, that is easily caught with fly or lure, in the same way as the pejerrey.

Where to find the best "biting"
Experience indicates that an incoming tide makes fishing easier. The first two hours of flowing tide and the first two hours of ebbing tide should be thoroughly taken advantage of.

It should also be pointed out that biting is very slack at the full moon; therefore, the best days to fish are during new moon and between the first and last quarters.

This makes it important to refer to a tide chart, which can be obtained directly from the shops in the city or by contacting the Tourism and Environmental Secretariat.


San Martin de los Andes Adventure Travel & Tours...

Patagonia Pictures - FISHING IN LAKE LOLOG - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaSport fishing on the lakes of southern Argentina is a unique experience because the special nature of this type of fishing itself - quite different from fishing in the sea or in the northern rivers - makes an ideal combination with the natural setting in one of the most wonderful landscapes the planet has to offer.
Among sport fishing target species are: salmón encerrado, trucha marrón, trucha de lago, trucha arco iris, pejerrey bonaerense, pejerrey patagónico, etc. However, in Patagonia the species that is most highly prized and attracts fishermen from all over the world is the trout, that was introduced early in the 20th century.
The season lasts from mid-November to mid-April, although some areas are open all year round.

San Martín de los Andes has innumerable rivers, streams and lakes where you will find excellent places to practice your favorite sport, thanks to the quantity and high quality of the species inhabiting these waters.

The best known fishing lakes and waterways in the area of influence of San Martín de los Andes are: Lolog, Huechulafquen, as well as the Chimehuin river, world-famous for the quality of its trout. Other prime spots for fishing are Falkner, Correntoso and Pichi Traful lakes; in addition to the lakes and rivers mentioned there are infinite places where the fisherman and his family can enjoy a very special day

Species available in the lakes are: rainbow and brown trout and fontinalis. Atlantic salmon can also be caught. The particularity of this fish is that it offers a prolonged struggle when caught. It may be caught in the Curruhe and Traful lakes, and must be returned to the water afterwards.


Chimehuin River (60 km approx.)
This is a middle-sized river, born in Lake Huechulafquen and eventually joining the Aluminé to form the Collón Cura river. The waterway, due to its extraordinary layout and the spectacular catches that were made here in former years, has achieved global fame as the most important fishing river in our country and correspondingly, as this chapter will show, is one of the rivers that has been studied in greatest depth and which we know most about.

It offers both sections framed by high embankments with craggy outcrops that are followed by deep sinkholes making it necessary to use heavy equipment, and small detours that enable the enthusiast to use his most refined gear.

Its banks are generally densely populated with trees, dominant species being the willow and the michay. The salmonid variants to be found here include the rainbow trout and brown trout, in sizes varying between 500 grams and 3 kilos. Catches of greater size, especially brown trout are not uncommon, although they require a good knowledge of the area, something that only experienced fishermen or local "gillies" can provide.

This waterway is divided into three sections:

1. Boca del Chimehuin (Mouth of the Chimehuin river)
Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaChimehuin river mouth (500 m on each side of Huechulafquen lake up to the Garganta del Diablo).
This area has become known as the "Mecca of fly-fishing", not only because of the great number of exceptionally big fish that have been caught here or the stories of even bigger ones "that got away", but also because of its majestically beautiful landscape. The mighty passions aroused in hosts of sport fishermen by this tiny spot of the globe have been aptly described by Joe Brooks as "Boca fever". According to him, the only cure for this pathology is retrieving from its waters their greatest treasures, namely the monstrous prize trout inhabiting them.

It is divided into two sections:

- Mouth upwards (from the lake to the bridge).
The first important fishing area is the so-called Radziwill Stone, that stands to the right of the Volcadero (Tipple). Further on, appears the Cajón (Boxed-in Area), a very well-stocked sector that ends in the area formerly known as Pozón de los Giles ("Sucker's Pit"), alluding to its easy fishing features (great depth and lack of obstacles for casting), because most rookie fishermen preferred this spot.
The ideal technique and gear is a tackle consisting of N° 6 and N° 8, 9 to 9.5 foot-length teeny or shooting fast-sinking line (III or IV), 4-foot leader, and oversized Matuka Rabitt, Zonker, Woolly Bugger or Marabú Muddler flies on N° 2 and N° 6, well-ballasted hooks. The best technique is casting upriver, letting the line sink as much as possible (this section is more than 4 m deep), and moving the fly as deeply and naturally as you can with tiny jerks, enabling the monsters below to catch it with minimal effort.

- Mouth downwards (from the bridge to the Garganta del Diablo).
Beyond the bridge, the river swerves to the right, flowing through a ravine, complicating things for the fisherman, as it is impossible to reach the remotest and most profitable areas with traditional casting techniques. In the whole section, except for one or two well-defined spots, one has to use the "roll cast" technique, which is rather difficult with a fast-sinking line, unless you are an experienced caster.

Special Restrictions
Preferred area: only fly fishing allowed, with a mandatory permit also required.
Daily limit: 2 perch.

2. Chimehuin upriver (approx. 25 km)
(From Garganta del Diablo up to Junín de los Andes city).
From Boca up to the city of Junín de los Andes along Provincial Route N° 61, the first important pool is Las Viudas, a very prolific area. This pool, together with El Manzano and Balsa Vieja, due to the closeness of the lake, possess the greatest number of large specimens. The river on the whole upper stretch is quite accessible from the highway, except some stretches where permission is required from farmers. Near the highway lies the La Herradura pool, which was named El Rincón some years ago, and is one of the river's most beautiful spots. Some kilometers below lies the La Usina pool. In this sector, the river splits up into multiple arms and minor streams that enable us to fish specimens weighing between 500 grams and 2 kilos with ultra-light nymph and dry-fly tackle in high water at the beginning of the season. After January, the drop in water level and the increased temperature makes the fish move to the main branch. The last pool that one finds near the city and downriver from the bridge is known as El Basural.

Special Restrictions
Preferred area: exclusive for fly fishing, with additional permit necessary.
Daily limit: 2 perch.
1 brown trout over 75 cm.
1 rainbow trout over 60 cm.
Between the Garganta del Diablo and the bridge on National Route Nº 234 (adjacent to the military barracks)

3. Chimehuin downriver (approx. 35 km)
(From Junín de Los Andes city to its confluence point with the Aluminé).
This sector is almost entirely privately owned and up to the confluence point of the Quilquihue has well-defined access points. Beyond this stretch, access to the river may only be gained by paying a fee to owners. The first pool, appearing approximately one km from the town is El Matadero. Then come areas such as Piedras Blancas, the confluence with the Curruhue and the Curva del Manzano, where prizes weighing 1 to 3 kilos can be tempted with light equipment and the use of the nymph or dry fly techniques.
Then comes the La Marquesa pool and the confluence with the Quilquihue, accessible from National Route N° 234 after a 400 m walk. That is the point where the best-yielding stretches of the river begin. These have been closed off by their owners, who run their own fishing lodges for foreigners.
Among the most highly yielding pools we can mention, which used to be freely accessible, are the Puente Negro, Mallin Redondo, El Farallón and the confluence with the Aluminé.

Fishing techniques and gear
If you are after large fish, the best thing to do is use the same gear as recommended for Boca. As all-round equipment we recommend a Nº 5 or Nº 6, 8.5 to 9 feet long, with a floating-line reel and a medium-to-fast sinking shooting (II or III). The first line will enable us to fish with dry fly or nymph, while the second is ideal to try with streamers, especially those mentioned for high water in Boca and the Malleo river.
The ideal spinning gear is a light one, and the flies that work best are the same as those for the Aluminé river.

Special Restrictions
Preferred area: exclusive for fly fishing, with additional permit necessary.
Daily limit: 2 perch.
1 trout smaller than 30 cm or larger than 60 cm.
On the stretch corresponding to the CEAN (800 m) mandatory returning of catch and an unbarbed hook. Between the National Route Nº 234 road bridge and the confluence with the Aluminé: mandatory returning and unbarbed hooks.

Curruhue River (25 km approx.)
This is a small, short river, whose width fluctuates between 4 and 8 m. Its banks are very overgrown and steep, making it difficult to walk along them without sliding down. The river bed has an even layer of pebbles with larger rocks now and then, used by the fish as a protection against the current. It has very clear water, and is highly populated with insects and other aquatic invertebrates.
This is an ideal place to fish at the beginning of the season and in the middle of summer, since at other times the water level drops so much that the larger fish move away due to the increased temperature of the water and lesser flow. In November and December one can find specimens of rainbow and brown trout weighing between 500 grams and 1 kilo, whereas towards the end of January one rarely finds fish weighing over 300 grams. This is not a suitable river for beginners, due to the heavy vegetation and steep river banks making casting techniques important.

Fishing gear and techniques
Although it is well suited to fishing with light tackle, including nymphs or dry fly, it is not suitable for beginners. Also, wading is difficult at the times of highest yield. If you use dry flies, the best type are voluminous Wulff, allowing good flotation. Some of these are Royal Wulff, Royal Humpy and Irresistible Black, using N° 10 and N° 14 hooks. Among the nymphs, the best are Zug Bug, Casual Dress and Black Stone, with N° 10 and N° 14 hooks.

Special Restrictions
Between Lake Currhué Chico and the limit with Lanín National Park: an obligatory returning area and also exclusive for fly fishing and unbarbed hooks, with additional permit necessary.
Between Lanín National Park and the confluence with the Chimehuín: obligatory returning and unbarbed hooks. Daily limit: 2 perch.

Quilquihue River (25 km approx.)
This is a middling-sized river that has its source in Lake Lolog and flows into the Chimehuin river as its main tributary. It is mainly a high-gradient river that progressively becomes less pronounced towards the mouth. It contains a great number of small rainbow and brown trout. The weight of the resident fish ranges between 500 grams and 1.2 kilos, with case of weights above two kilos near the juncture with the Chimehuin or the mouth into the Lolog. The size of the river and the fish makes it suitable for using light tackle and dry flies.

Fishing gear and techniques
In the area of the mouth, the ideal equipment is a N° 5 or N° 6 with medium-sink lines (II), together with medium streamers or "impressionist" Soft Hackle o Casual Dress nymphs on N° 8 and N° 14 hooks.

For fishing the rest of the waterway, especially from early January onward in the lower waters, one can use ultra-light N° 1 and N° 4 gear, as well as a similar assortment of flies to that detailed for the Malleo river.

Special restrictions
Obligatory returning and unbarbed hooks.
Daily limit: 2 perch.

Collón Cura River (40 km approx.)
This is a large-volume, wide river resulting from the confluence of the Aluminé and the Chimehuin. This waterway runs along a beautiful valley in a north-south direction. Its median width is 15-35 meters, alternating long runs with large pools, that by the end of the season, thanks to receiving brown trout reproducers from Piedra del Aguila dam, often contain enormous fish. The river meanders quite a lot, and its main tributaries are the Quemquemtreu stream and the river Caleufu, although this last now empties into the Piedra del Aguila dam. As from 1993, the latter, according to its level, occasionally floods 10 to 15 km of the former lower reaches of the Collón Cura river.

Embankments alternately present clean gravel-covered sectors and densely vegetated areas, mainly consisting of willows. It is well-stocked with rainbow and brown trout, the former being caught more frequently. Specimen weights range between 500 grams and 2.5 kilos, with the average around 1 kilos. Heavy ones weighing 3 to 4 kilos are quite often caught, plus the occasional monsters.

This river, despite its size and current, can be easily waded, contrasting with the other similarly sized waterways in our territory, that pose special risks to fishermen. It should be pointed out that the best points in the river can only be reached with rubber rafts.

Gear and techniques
The gear recommended is a N° 5 to N° 7, from 8.5 to 9.5 feet in length, and a quick-sinking teeny or shooting-type line. Specially recommended are hair streamer slides, using N° 4 and N° 8 hooks, and large, "impressionist" nymphs. The deepest parts yield more with feather streamers, Woolly Buggers and all the kinds of Rabbits.
When its level is low, the river, especially in its lower sections, tends to divide into small branches, enabling the use, wind permitting, of N° 3 or N° 4 gear, and floating line for nymphs and dry flies.
For spinning practice, light tackle is most recommended, although ultra-light can be used on the larger streams or the main course once flow is reduced.
Among the most effective artificial bait we recommend 10 to 25 gram undulating spoons, naturally colored, articulated bait up to 10 cm and feather flies.

Special Restrictions
Daily limit: 1 trout under 30 cm or over 60 cm, or 2 perch.

Caleufu River (45 km approx.)
This river stems from the confluence of the Filo Hua Hum with the Meliquina, and after a while empties into Piedra del Aguila dam, part of its original course being under the dam floodwaters. It is a middling river, with a striking contrast in shape between its upper and lower sectors.

The upstream Caleufu features a higher gradient with an abundance of slipways, a rock bed and more riverside vegetation, especially in the first stretches, where these features make it almost impossible to fish in. Downstream Caleufú shows a lesser gradient, and the river becomes more diverse in nature, tending to form loops and channels, with riverside vegetation almost disappearing and giving way to the arid flora of the steppe. Riverbed rocks also reduce in size, and river bottom sectors of fine sediment and sand appear. The waters of this sector are cloudier than in the upper one, and are coffee-colored, showing the greater productivity, which is also reflected in a larger fish population.
In this area we find both rainbow and brown trout, although the former are more abundant. Average weights vary between 500 grams and 1.5 kilos in most cases, with a good chance of fishing specimens weighing 2 to 2.5 kilos.

Gear and fishing techniques
The ideal rod is a N° 5 or N° 6, 8.5 to 9 feet long with a full-sinking or wet tip moderate sinking (II) line, enabling us free maneuvering over almost the whole waterway. The most effective technique is streamer fishing, especially with light Bucktails tied on N° 4 and N° 10 hooks. Other effective streamers are the Marabu Muddlers and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Mara, these being more appropriate for slower and deeper waters.
The number of fish in this river makes it ideal for beginners. With low water one can also use N° 3 or N° 4 gear for nymph and dry fly fishing.

Special Restrictions
Fishing limited to fly fishing.
Daily limit: 1 trout or perch.

Patagonia Pictures - FISHERMAN IN SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaThe following are the sport fishing salmonids that can be caught in the lakes and rivers of Neuquén province.

Note: * Species that are currently banned / should be returned to the water.
Source: "Dirección General de Bosques" (Neuquén) and "Parques Nacionales" (Neuquén Forestry Ministry and National Parks Service).

Native fish

PATAGONIAN PEJERREY (Odontesthes microlepidotus)
This is a species that is frequently used in restocking pisciculture (although not in Patagonia, only in Buenos Aires province). Its family, including its famous kin, the pejerrey de mar, the cornalito and the pejerrey bonaerense are all of high economic value. This species, that inhabits an area from Mendoza to Santa Cruz can exceed one kilo in weight. It is a fairly rare fish, but not considered endangered.

PERCH OR CRIOLLO TROUT (Percichthys spp)
Due to its lack of fight after swallowing the bait, it is not very sought after, but its white tasty meat makes it important in sport fishing.
There are three species, namely: Perca Boca Chica (Small Mouthed Perch), Perca Bocona (Large Mouthed Perch) and Perquita Espinuda (Spiny or Bristly Perch), that are not easily distinguished from each other.
In some cases, they can be heavier than 4 kilos, with a 5 kilo specimen having been caught once in the Collón Cura river. The large-mouthed variety quite often can be heavier than 4 kilos.

Exotic fish

THE RAINBOW OR SILVER TROUT (Salmo gairdneri or Oncorhynchus mykiss)
This differs from other members of the same family in having a longitudinal reddish stripe along its sides, including the sides of its head.
Although this coloring is typical, it can vary in some individuals and disappear in others, which are commonly known as "silver trout".
It is very prized by fishermen due to its combativeness and size, often exceeding 10 kilos in lake environments.

This is a very common trout, especially in lakes, but it is restricted to low-oxygen and higher-temperature waters. It is easy to identify by the white edge accompanied by a black stripe on its pectoral, ventral and caudal fins. It also presents red spots surrounded by a light blue halo and a few yellow spots on its sides. Close to spawning, it may show a bright red belly.
This is the smallest of the Neuquén salmonids, only exceeding 4 kilos in rare instances in lake environments. Due to its beauty, voracity and its excellent eating quality, it is highly prized by sport fishermen all over the world.

BROWN TROUT (Salmo trutta)
This is arguably the most popular salmonid among sport fishermen because it is hard to fool, and since the places it lives in are sometimes out of reach for the bait, it is quite difficult to catch.
It is clearly differentiated from the other species by its black spots surrounded by a light halo, present all over its body except for the ventral region.
The "browns" are European in origin, but are a commonplace fish in Neuquén, having easily adapted to different environments.
At a maximum recorded 15 kilos, this salmonid is the largest found as yet in Neuquén.

The term "encerrado" (closed-in) refers to its behavior in fresh water, since in its natural environment it alternates between rivers and the sea at different stages of its life. It is easily confused with the brown trout, but differs from the latter in having a smaller mouth and a jawbone that only reaches to the back part of the eye.
In the Currhué lake and river one can catch excellent specimens, reaching a great size and weights of over 10 kilos in some cases.


The continental Patagonian sport fishing season starts on Saturday, November 1, 2003 and ends on Saturday, May 1, 2004.
Species / months of capture
Rainbow: Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr
Brown trout: Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr
Fontinalis: Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr
Salar sebago salmon: Nov/Dec/Mar/Apr
Lake trout: Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr


Ushuaia - Tierra del Fuego Adventure Travel & Tours...

Patagonia Pictures - FISHING IN LAKE FAGNANO - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaThe natural characteristics of rivers and lakes in Tierra del Fuego make of this province an exceptional attraction point for sport-fishermen from all over the world. Particularly if they are aware of the fact that trouts can reach dimensions never seen in other places.

Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN LAKE FAGNANO - Adventure Travel in PatagoniaBearing this in mind, tourists should know that pleasure is guaranteed in a fishing tour in the area. Excursions, which may last for a day or more, are available from November to March. To make them even more attractive, rivers are bursting with native fish species, such as "puyén" and "peladilla". In the salty water areas, fishermen may find pollack, hake, sea bass, sardine, as well as "brown" and "rainbow" trouts (Sea Brown and Steelhead), which although originally from salty water, can be caught in rivers as they lay their eggs every two years.

Excursion costs includes transport, guide service, meals, equipment and, in some cases, fishing license.

Patagonia Pictures - FLYFISHING IN LAKE GRANDE - Adventure Travel in Patagonia There are two types of licenses: the first one allows tourists to fish within the National Park areas, also valid in continental Patagonia and other National Parks in the region. The second type is limited to the province. The fishing methods allowed are: spinning and fly-casting. Trolling is strictly forbidden.

The alternatives to enjoy a fishing day are really varied. Travelers may find trouts such as:

Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta)
Found mostly in rivers and lakes in the Province. Its color varies according to the location and habitat. Its back is dark brown, lightening in the sides, with a yellow abdomen. Some individuals migrate to the sea which fosters a rapid growth, so that it is possible to catch individuals over 10 kilograms.

Stream Trout (Salvelinus Fontinalis)
It is a precious catch due to its attractive colors, even though it is considerably smaller than the other species. Its back is olive green with darker vermiculate spots and it has a reddish abdomen. The extremes of its fins are white with a black border. It is frequently found in the Lake Fagnano basin.

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhyinchus Mykiss)
Because of its strength and combative nature, it is highly valued among fishermen. It is easily differentiated from the rest of the species due to the horizontal reddish stripe on its sides and the darker dots which are abundant in its fins and tail.
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