Argentina's fishing information

Map description. The numbers which are in the map correspond to the areas that we are describing. Please feel free to contact me for any questions, doubts or details.

1. – Estancia Piedra Pintada: To fish the Pulmarí area we go into the “Estancia Piedra Pintada” (Estancia = big ranch) owned by Domenico Panciotto. This estancia is located about 195 kilometers north of our headquarters (100 miles approx.) but close to the Aluminé area, a small town, river and lake. In the Estancia we find a very nice and comfortable resort with great rooms, dinning place, bar, swimming pool, sauna, and all the characteristics of a 5 star hotel.
The fishing in that area is practiced at Pulmarí Lake and its river which flows into the Aluminé River. At lake Pulmarí the fishing is mainly done with streamers and heavy lines such as Teeny 200, casting from our rafts into the reed lines, cliffs or hanging trees although it is not uncommon to find rising fish which feed close to noon on the heavy layer of spent spinners and trico spinners.
At the mouth of the river and from there on downstream, big attractors are the ones that do the trick for us, since there are a good and wide variety of spiders and grasshoppers on its shores that are blown in with the afternoon breeze. It goes without saying that dry fly fishermen find their paradise in the great morning and late afternoon great hatches.
The rod sizes for this beautiful place should be 8' to 9' rods, #5 or #6 weight for the river and probably #7 in for the lake on windy days.
For those that already know the area, the river size is much like that of the Malleo, but unfortunately much harder to wade for its big boulders and dense side vegetation . All this though is worth it, since the place is fairly new and close to virgin waters, this means more chance for big rainbows and browns.

2. – Estancia La Ofelia: Also in the Aluminé area, we lodge in "Estancia La Ofelia" property of the Lagos Mármol Family. This estancia is 90 miles north of San Martin de los Andes. La Ofelia accommodates up to six guests a day in its beautifully timbered main house with its overwhelming view over the whole Quillén valley.
There is good dry fly fishing in December and January, very good in February and March and sometimes excellent in April, depending on the level of the water.
Here we fish mostly for rainbows and the occasional brown which range from 2 to 5 lbs. The spring creek fishing is really technical.
There is also chance to float and fish the upper portion of the Aluminé River (Rahue area) and fish Lake Quillén and Laguna Verde, all of which have a high population of fish.
In this area we use 8' to 9' rods, # 2 to # 6 weight lines mostly floating type and fish dry flies, emergers, and nymphs.

3. – Aluminé River: The segment that we float of the Aluminé River varies according to what guests prefer:
For day floats we have three different stretches of river between the town of Rahue and the little populated spot called Pilolil. To these places we travel by ground transportation a distance of 70 to 100 miles north of San Martin de los Andes. It is important to consider this distance as it is the place of origin for all these trips. (*) See at the end information about floats

4. – We also offer a two or three day float (one or two night camp) between Pilolil and the confluence of the Malleo River, still on the Aluminé River but closer to our town. In this stretch as you can see in the map, we are very far from any civilized area due to the lack of roads that reach the river or towns nearby. This is why the fishing in this portion of the river is wilder and better, and nights at the camp site have one of the best views of the star fields of the Southern Hemisphere. *

5. – Further downstream, between the confluence of the Malleo and the Alumine, all the way down to “La Rinconada” a two day (one night) float can be arranged. Approximately at the middle of this stretch a smaller affluent flows into the Alumine River. This affluent is called Catán-Lil River and from this point downstream the Alumine River adopts the name of Collon Cura. *

6. – Yet another alternative is a one day float on the Collon Cura river between “la Rinconada” and “Balsa vieja”. Balsa Vieja is named after an old ferry type transport formerly used to cross the river. This float trip has the characteristic of being the closest to town on this particular river. Good dry fly fishing and excellent nymph fishing is performed in the whole length of this river, although we do fish streamers when activity at the surface is poor. For this purpose we usually fish with, 8' to 9', #6 and #7 weight rods. It is common to land 15-25 fish per rod a day, weights 1-4 lbs. *

7. – Estancia Lagunas del Collón Cura: This big property is located along the east shore of the Collón Cura River, on national route 40 (the one that connects San Martín de los Andes with San Carlos de Bariloche) and about an hour and a half drive from Chapelco airport. They can accommodate up to 8 guests in comfortable double bedrooms in a separate building not far away from the main one.
From this location we have access to the lower stretch of the Collón Cura River, before it widens up and becomes an artificial lake called Piedra del Aguila. (this lake, by the way, is more than 150 miles long and 10 to 20 miles wide).
We can do 5 different day floats having specially prepared picnics and returning to the Estancia when the fishing is over. We float this stretch of the river because of the distances between the good spots. The wading however is easy and therefore we stop often to fish the runs.
From mid February to the end of the season there is a very interesting migration of minnows or fry of last year’s hatch. At this time the fishing turns spectacularly good. Although we do have hatches in certain side arms and ponds, the shores of this river do not have very dense vegetation and therefore are not a good habitat for mayflies and caddis. Keep your eyes open for those flying ants though.
The regular equipment (see 6) should include heavy lines, around 200 grains and a good variety of streamer flies.

8. – Estancia Quemquemtreu: From this estancia we fish approximately the same stretch of the Collón Cura river as from the Estancia Lagunas del Collón Cura but from the other side (west shore), using different accesses to the river.
The lodge is located within the compounds of one of the oldest estancias of this area. It is a small town in itself with its own school, police quarters, general store, barns and the landowner’s and workers houses. This lodge is no bigger than a family house with four double bedded bedrooms with private baths.
The tackle required should be the same as that for Estancia Lagunas del Collón Cura, since it is the same river.

9. – Caleufu River: this 3 days float (2 camping out nights) is done only from November until the middle of January. The equipment for this area should be heavier, # 5 to # 7 weight lines, 8' to 9' rods, reels with no less than 100 yards of backing, and floating, sink tip and shooting head (deep water) type fly lines for reaching long distances, deep pools, and heavy current. Rainbows and Browns between 1-5 lbs. are available in good quantity per rod daily. *

10. – Lower section of the Limay River: We are referring to the portion of the Limay river which comes after the Piedra del Aguila dam. This location has 35 miles of waterfront on its southern shore. It is being developed and the lodge is still under construction. To lodge clients we have two options: we can either use the very comfortable camping site at the estancia or use a small hotel in the town of Piedra del Aguila, 20 miles away.
The river’s condition is like any tail water with heavy fluctuations in the water level. This is why; fish are very strong and well fed. Rainbows and Browns in the range of 17”to 22” are average and trophies around 10 lbs are not uncommon. The required rods should be 9’, # 6 and # 8 because of the heavy currents; the reels must have a good drag and not less than 100 /150 yards of backing and the lines we use are floating, sink tips , teeny type in 130, 200 and 300 grains. The flies are normally streamers, big nymphs and big attractors.

11. – Estancia Arroyo Verde: This estancia is located on the northern shore of the Trafúl River. We reach it by the Cordoba Pass, a two hour drive from San Martin de los Andes. An outstanding first class service is offered by the Larriviere family who lodge a maximum of 10 guests. When describing this lodge Forbes Magazine quotes: “this is The Best Fishing Lodge in The World. Period”.
It is the clearest river in Patagonia and world wide famous because of the big fish that lurk in its pools and runs. There are browns, rainbows and landlocked salmon (Salmo Salar Sebago). These fish are cousins of the Atlantic salmon and perform and fight as they do.
The river starts with well defined pools and runs with the typical characteristics of a Scottish salmon river. Then it turns into a freestone flow with runs and some great pools and towards the end of the property, it becomes a heavy torrent with great pocket water.
The fishing is very good during all the season but it is especially great in March and April. Ernest Schwiebert has stayed at Arroyo Verde, and caught a 19 lb. Landlocked Salmon on April 14, 1991.

12. – Upper part of the Limay River: This section of the river lies between San Carlos de Bariloche and the confluence with the Trafúl River.

13. – San Carlos de Bariloche: This city is our base for different floats on the Limay river. It is a well known ski resort near the Chilean boarder. Lodging is done in 5 star hotels: Panamericano and Edelweiss in downtown Bariloche, or Llao-Llao and Tunquelen in the Llao-llao peninsula area. Shopping and sightseeing are also great. This town has an international airport with lot of flights daily to and from Buenos Aires.

14. – Estancia Tres Lagos: This Estancia is situated approximately at 70 miles south of San Martin de los Andes. The lodge consists of a main house where the dinning room, bar and living room are, and 2 other cabins with 2 rooms each with private bath. All these buildings face a spectacular view of the Filo Hua-Hum Lake. From this lodge we have access to the Filo Hua-Hum River, a medium to small size river with holding big sized fish. Due to the clearness of its waters, it is very easy to give one self away. Therefore a very precise and technical fishing is needed.
Good technique and a lot of practice is required for this river since the handling of small tippet and flies is mandatory, rods between #4 and #6 weights should be enough with mostly floating lines.

15. – Estancia Tipiliuke: This Estancia covers an area of 50,000 acres and belongs to the de Larminat family. It is located in the southern shore of the Chimehuin River after it flows by the town of Junín de los Andes. At this lodge we have access to 10 miles of the Chimehuin River and 5 miles of the Quilquihue River. The lodge is very comfortable and boards up to 12 fishermen.
The Chimehuin River starts at Lake Huechulafquen. This place is known world wide as the "Mouth of the Chimehuin" or "Boca of the Chimehuin.” Here, Argentina’s Brown Trout Record was caught by Mr. Bebe Anchorena. A 25.5 lbs specimen caught with a Yellow Blonde streamer. He also caught another Brown Trout of 15.7 lbs with a dry fly (Black Caddis).
The Chimehuin River is a typical freestone river with channels and islands; it has great character and a large variety of runs and pools. Browns and Rainbows ranging from 2 to 6 lbs can be caught on dries, wets and nymphs. A #6 weight rod should be enough for almost all of its length; nevertheless a smaller rod can be of great use on the side channels.

16. – Estancia San Huberto or the Olsen’s Ranch: This lodge offers superb service and can hold up to 16 guests. It is located about an hour’s drive from San Martin de los Andes on the road which leads to the Chilean boarder. This is the best dry fly-fishing place in the area. The lodge has been renovated recently and has therefore, very modern accommodations as well as superb food.
We fish during November and December in the Huaca Mamuil and Malleo rivers. Then we fish the Malleo River from January until April, with heavy hatches and a very good number of fish a day.
The Malleo is a well known river because of its great hatches and demanding fishing situations. At its beginning it looks like a slow moving river within a meadow area then it transforms into a mountain freestone river. It then goes into a canyon and becomes a freestone river again until it merges with the Aluminé. The wading is very easy in the meadow area but it changes to medium and difficult in some spots.
The fish are browns and rainbows between 2 to 6 lbs. We use the same equipment as in Quillén. We add a sink tip or wet head line in # 5 or # 6 (this is up to each fisherman).

17. – San Martín de los Andes: This town has a ski resort near by and it is as popular with tourists in winter as it is in summer. We lodge in different Hosterias such as "La Cheminèe", “Le Chatelet” and/or "La Casa de Eugenia".
The nearest airport is “Chapelco” only 15 miles from town.
San Martin de los Andes is our base during the float trips on Aluminé, Collón Cura and Caleufu rivers.
From San Martin de los Andes we do the lake fishing, by trolling, spinning or fly from boats

18. – Buenos Aires: If the customer’s preference is to come from the east or center of the Unites States (New York, Miami or Dallas airports), the plan should be to arrive into the country by Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. Flights bound to San Martin de los Andes leave from the Jorge Newbery domestic Airport which is in downtown Buenos Aires.
There are options regarding the time spent in Buenos Aires. One is to spend some time in the city and learn about this beautiful and famous location, in which case we can arrange for hotel accommodations for as many nights as wished, and also arrange for city tours, dinners, shows, etc, with the company of an English speaking guide. The other option is to go straight to the domestic airport and make the connecting flight to Chapelco Airport next to our home town. If this last option is chosen we provide transfers in between airports and in-out transfers in San Martin.

19. – Chile: If the clients wants to come into Argentina from the west (Los Angeles airport - USA), to Chile, they should fly into Santiago and make a connection to either Temuco or Puerto Montt. If the chosen way would be through Temuco, we would be expecting them there (at Temuco airport) and we would cross by ground transportation through the Tromen international pass. In more or less four hours you will be either in San Martin de los Andes or at the chosen fishing destination.
If the arrival is via Puerto Montt, then the crossing into Argentina is made by land (5 hours to San Martín de los Andes) or through the famous Peulla pass, lake crossing into Bariloche. This crossing is a combination of land transportation and boat linking different spots making it an enjoyable unusual whole day experience. Chimehuin Safaris could, in this case, reserve lodging in Bariloche so that they can be picked up the next morning and start the fishing experience.
There are also options to go fishing in Chile itself at three different locations before crossing the border.
20. – Estancia Mamuil Malal: located almost at the foot of the Lanín volcano (3776 meters height) It is another option to fish the Malleo River. It is situated on the south shore of the river and is a working estancia that breeds cattle and Polo Pony.

The services are outstanding, with a lot of different options for the non fishing guest. When we use this estancia it almost as it belongs to the guest, because they can lodge only 8 pax in double and single rooms, and their policy is that if a group of 4 pax’s book there, no other party is allowed

* Floating Information: In the floating trips we use NRS, or Avon-class 14' rubber rafts, or fiberglass Ro drifts boats or aluminum Hyde drift boats (or similar). The raft enables us to access stretches of the rivers where people confined only to wading would never reach, sometimes missing the chance of unforgettable fishing.
If the floating trips were to be with overnight camp out, we provide the tents (five men dome tents, for two fishermen each), cots with inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags with liners. We also provide tables, chairs and everything for a comfortable campsite during the floating trips. The meals at night in those barely populated areas are really unforgettable.

For more information on any of these destinations please do not hesitate to contact

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