Accommodations: Deluxe Lodge - Deluxe Camps
Family: The Fly Shop Travel
Length of Stay : 7 to 10 days
Location: Patagonia Region, Chile
Phone for Reservations: 800-410-1222 ask for Gary or Paul
Season : January - mid April
Species: Brown & Rainbow Trout
|Patagonian BaseCamp – Chile
One of Patagonia’s most diverse fly fishing programs for wild trout is Patagonian BaseCamp
Owned and operated by Marcel and Carolina Sijnesael. From his comfortable lodge, Marcel and his guides can access an amazing array of fisheries; it would take, literally, a month of solid exploration and fishing to see all of his options. One of the beauties of Marcel's location is the dearth of anglers on many of the waters – on most you will see few or no other fishermen during your stay. Marcel is able to organize two and three day overnight float trips into wilderness rivers, spending the nights at either small riverside cabins, or camping out in comfortable domo tents under the Southern Cross. These are truly a highlight of most guests' trips, and an opportunity to cast over virgin fish in spectacularly scenic surroundings.
TROUT HAVE NOT BEEN stocked here for close to a hundred years and the fish have found their own natural balance in numbers and sizes. You will catch lots of wild and strong fish within the 12 to 20 inch range. Fish over 20-inches are caught almost daily and over 24-inches weekly. The lodge record for a brown trout is 32 inches, and the rainbow trout is 28 inches.
Each evening after dinner, Marcel will sit down and discuss with all of you the fishing options available. It could be a two day float down the Palena, or run to Lago Verde to explore the Rio Pico or Rio Cacique Blanco. Or maybe a horse trek or mountain bike ride to a secluded high-mountain lake where you sight fish to surface cruising browns and rainbows. It's up to you, Marcel and the guides to decide.
Rio Palena: This has to be one of the most enjoyable and unique floats in all Patagonia. Depending on your preference, and weather and river conditions, you can fish two long days, overnighting one or two nights at beautiful little riverside cabins complete with two bedrooms (sheets and linens supplied –no sleeping bags), and a full bathroom with flush toilet and shower.
Rio Yelcho: Fishing the Rio Yelcho is a lesson in adaptation to an ever-changing fishery. In one instance you will be casting tiny dry flies (size 20 – 26) on 5x or 6x tippet to surface-cruising rainbows in the 20-plus inch class; just
around the corner you will put down the finesse rod and grab your 7-weight loaded with a sink-tip tied to a big rubber-legged streamer and hammer the banks and subsurface structure for the big browns that call these haunts home.
Lago and Rio Rosselot: After breakfast, your guide will take you to a nearby lake, Lago Rosselot, where he will launch a jet boat to access two rivers: the river feeding the lake, Rio Figueroa, and the river draining the lake, Rio Rosselot. The rivers are very different from each other, and your day will include both dry fly and streamer fishing. A hot lunch will be prepared on the riverbank accompanied by a good Chilean wine. When the conditions are right the shallow water "flats" and shelves of the lake can offer some great sight fishing with dry flies for good numbers of cruising rainbows.
Rio Rosselot: The river connects Lago Rosselot with the Rio Palena and is one of our favorites. The first section of the river is pretty calm and loaded with shore structure creating great streamer fishing for large brown and rainbow trout. After about a mile or so, your guide will have you secure your life vest and store your fly rod, as you are going to raft through an exhilarating Class IV rapid followed by miles of amazingly productive and beautiful water for the duration of your float.. You will fish either from the raft, or wading from the gravel bars.
Rio Figueroa "Temple Float": Marcel's newest outpost camp located on the upper Figueroa allows anglers to fish and float two different sections of the Figueroa, never before fished. The upper float ends at the camp, while the lower float begins at the camp. Both floats are full-day, utilizing 14-foot whitewater rafts. The camp is located just below "Diablo", an unclassified rapid. The name "Temple" comes from the unbelievable "temple-like" rock formations in the canyon you float and fish through. The outpost campis built on top of wood platforms overlooking the river, and each yurt-like wall tent - "domos" - sleeps two fishermen and are equipped with real beds with comforters, and lavatories with (cold) running water. This is an incredibly unique opportunity to fish and explore water that until now has never seen an angler. It is also a serious whitewater trip and a certain level of physical fitness is recommended. Distance from BaseCamp is about 1.5 hours driving.
Small Creeks & Tributaries: The main rivers in Patagonian BaseCamp's backyard are all fed by many little creeks. Most of them are very difficult to access but can offer surprisingly great fishing. These creeks are hardly, if ever, fished and if you are ready for some hard work and technical fishing, you will not be disappointed. Two of these fine creeks are within minutes of the lodge and well worth the extra effort involved in getting to.
The Lodge & Food
WHEN DESIGNING THE lodge, Marcel had only two things in mind: maximum comfort and as little impact as possible to the environment. The stylish and comfortable building is completely constructed of wood. The roof alone counts 34,000 wooden shingles. The lodge offers very comfortable accommodation for a maximum of 12 guests, or 8 fishermen.
All of the seven double rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated and feature en-suite full bathroom with unlimited hot water showers, sink, vanity and toilet.
As a courtesy to guests, body soap and shampoo are provided along with plenty of fresh towels and a robe. There is also daily laundry service available at the lodge, which really helps lessen the amount of clothes you need to pack and travel with.
The main gathering room features a large central 360° fireplace, bordered by a huge bank of floor to ceiling windows that look out at the Palena River and surrounding mountains. There are plenty of comfortable sofas and chairs to relax in and enjoy a cocktail, pisco sour or glass of wine from the open bar.
The food is a mixture of traditional Chilean cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, home-grown, organic vegetables from the lodge's huge greenhouse, local meats, homemade bread and pastries, along with lots of fresh fruit. All of the food is grown or raised on the farm or purchased from local farmers.
Carolina is a master chef and her attention to detail and tradition along with innovative cooking style is a real treat. Carolina is also very accommodating and adept at cooking any special cuisine, i.e. vegetarians, low cholesterol, diabetes, gluten-free, etc.
American-style breakfasts are cooked to order and there is always, fresh fruit, cereals, fresh-baked breads and rolls, along with homemade yogurt and fresh raw milk for those who want the real stuff.
Marcel's wine cellar is extensive and guests can look forward to fine Chilean and Argentine varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Carmenère, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and others. Marcel also stocks a good selection of spirits that include Bourbon, Scotch, Vodka, Gin, Brandy and Pisco. And finally, a good selection of Chilean beers are always on hand and cold for after a hard day of fishing.
7 nights / 6 days, $5,995 pp dbl occ
10 nights / 9 days, $8,695 pp dbl occ
These packages include the round trip charter flight through the Andes from Puerto Mott, fishing license, and every item and amenity imaginable beyond personal tackle.
Inclusions: (There is a recommended but optional overnight lodging in Puerto Varas the night before going into the lodge, as well as the Meet-and-Greet at the Puerto Montt Airport earlier that day, transfer to Puerto Varas, and transfer back to the charter airport in Puerto Montt the next morning, included in your package price. The lodge owner prefers you do this instead of overnighting in Santiago the next morning, to insure everyone is present for the charter flight. We will arrange it for you, if you decide on this option). All meals and all drinks consumed while at the lodge (so called "open bar policy"). In case of special drink preferences, we recommend you bring libations of your own taste, because they might not be available in Chile. All guided expeditions, by horseback, boat, raft, kayak, 4x4 vehicle, mini van, etc. All necessary fishing licenses. Daily laundry services which will help you meet your 60-pound maximum luggage restriction.
Non-Inclusions: Fishing equipment, like waders, rods, lines, flies etc. Gratuities, which are customary though not required and should be an accurate expression of your feeling about the service received. Other non-inclusions are possible extra lodging, transfer, travel expenses or trip modifications as a result of a delay, either planned or requested by the guest or as a result of an act of God.
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".