Accommodations: Deluxe for up to 8 anglers
Dates: Mid-December - March
Family: The Fly Shop Travel
Length of Stay : One Week
Location: Coyhaique, Chile
Phone for reservations: 800-410-1222 ask for Gary or Paul
Price: $3,950 pp dbl occ for week
Species: Brown Trout
|El Saltamontes Lodge - Chile
Chileĺs Most Famous Trout Fishing Lodge
Jose and Erica Gorro˝o open their ranch to angling guests in early December, welcoming guests over the Christmas Holiday, and fish straight through the end of March. Fewer than a hundred anglers fish the ranch each year, and every week of the short season is a good one.
El Saltamontes Lodge is situated within the Gorro˝o family ranch "Estancia Adelaida". The River Đirehuao meanders through this 5,000 acre property, nestled in an Andean valley, surrounded by dramatic mountains.
JOHN RANDOLPH, EDITOR and publisher or Fly Fisherman magazine, states that the ranch's home river, the Rio Đireguao, is, "arguably the best wild, resident brown-trout river in South America and perhaps the world." High praise indeed!
The Chilean government has designated the Đireguao as the first study-catch-and-release river in the country. It has been estimated that approximately 9,000 brown trout swim in each mile of the river, a mid-sized stream that is easily waded and very user-friendly. Expert casters often hook large numbers of trout each day, and when the "hopper grab" is on, even novice flyfishers can expect lots of strikes, with a monster fish an everyday possibility.
El Saltamontes is exclusively brown trout angling. Most fishing is done in the Đireguao River and its oxbow lagoons. Some of the best water in the valley is only a few yards from the door of the deluxe lodge.
Browns actively feed on grasshoppers and other terrestrials and the grass bordering the stream is loaded with them in January, February, and March. Even the lodge's name, "El Saltamontes" means grasshopper.
The Đireguao River: The Home Water - Much of this river flows through high desert grasslands, reminiscent of Wyoming's portion of Yellowstone National Park. The Đireguao is a wonderfully fisherman-friendly stream, with open banks for easy backcasting, and washed-gravel bottoms that make wading a pleasure. The fishing, season-long, is heavily oriented around large terrestrials, with hoppers and jumbo-sized beetles standard fare.
Creek Fishing: Outside The Ranch - In addition to the main river, El Saltamontes has a number of outstanding small streams for the adventurous flyfisher - many of which offer nearly virgin fishing. One little waterway flows into a small lake - when the stillwater warms up, the big browns move into the moving water to cool off a little.
There are also many lagoons and lakes that offer very good top water action ľ a diversion if you will.
Lodging and Food
The infrastructure of El Saltamontes consists of four independent buildings, all constructed of local river-worn stone and rough hewn logs.
IT IS THE CREATIVE mixture of rustic building materials and fine furnishings that lends El Saltamontes Lodge its unique charm. Electricity is produced 24 hours a day, on the ranch by an eco-friendly and sustainable, private hydro-electric turbine. 220 volt outlets are available throughout the lodge and cabins but adapters must be used for North American 120 volt appliances and chargers. The water supply is sourced from a pure mountain spring, gravity supplied to the lodge.
The main Lodge, accessed over a sweeping, curved timber deck, is an impressive building with high ceilings and two immense fire places. The communal living room is furnished with magnificent antiques, cozy leather sofas and rich rugs. The adjoining bar, with a cheery wood stove, offers another option for socializing. It is always open.
The dining room seats a maximum of 15 people intimately around a heavy, antique table, and a warm fireplace. Set with gleaming candelabra, silverware and crystal, it is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
Hidden discretely to one side of this building, is one spacious guest apartment with a super king-size bed, a single bed, wood stove, living room, en-suite bathroom and river views.
The four guest cabins are all within a short walk from the main lodge and have river views. Built also of river stone, they are solid, roomy and comfortable. Each of the cabins has two bedrooms, accessed from opposite sides of a cozy living room, warmed by a wood stove. All six bedrooms have recently re modeled, en-suite bathrooms.
Nestled amoungst the cabins and woods is a spa. An open air, wood-fired, hot tub, steams invitingly in the evenings as anglers return after a hard day on the river. Cocktails and nibbles appear spa side to those guests who chose to soak away the dayĺs exertions.
ust beyond the main Lodge is the "Quincho", a three sided building with a huge fire place. A traditional structure on all ranches, the Quincho allows outdoor dining in sheltered comfort. Every week guests enjoy a typical Patagonian style barbeque or "Asado", with a whole lamb and choice, roasted beef. Neighbors arrive on horseback to enliven the atmosphere with local music and it is always a memorable night.
The food is the best of Chile! Although the chef has an array of modern appliances, the big wood stove takes pride of place. If the kitchen is the heart of the lodge, the old wood stove is its soul. A stones throw away, is a 100% organic vegetable garden, providing the kitchen with fresh greens, salads and vegetables throughout the season.
The cost of the week-long El Saltamontes package is $3,950 pp dbl occ.
Inclusions: Your angling package at El Saltamontes includes meet and greet at the Balmaceda Airport, round trip auto transfers to the lodge, all meals, accommodations (double occupancy), liquor (wine, beer, spirits) fishing permits/ license, and daily guided fishing (two anglers per guide).
Non-Inclusions: Not included in your El Saltamontes package are airline accommodations to Santiago and Balmaceda, gratuities, items of personal nature, tackle, and equipment.
Space is very limited so get your reservations as soon as you can. Call 800-410-1222 & ask for Gary or Paul or email above. We'll do our best to get you "in".