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Fly Fishing Patagonia: Gear & Tackle

Patagonia Chile Argentina


Expediciones Chile: Fly Fishing Gear & Tackle

The Futaleufu Valley in Patagonia, Chile is blessed with more blue ribbon trout waters than you could explore in a lifetime and virtually no fishing pressure.

Consequently, because there is virtually no fishing pressure in Patagonia, there are also no places to purchase fly fishing equipment. The nearest Patagonia fly fishing shop is a three hour drive away in Argentina, and it does not resemble your neighborhood shop. The nearest place to visit a specialty fly fishing shop, that resembles what you are most familiar with, is in the United States or Europe, before you leave home.

Words to live by when coming to the Futaleufu Valley in search of big, dumb fish are: “If you think you will need it, bring it. If you didn't’t bring it, you just don’t need it”.

While we don’t have a formal relationship with Orvis, their hard goods have proven themselves to us over the years. Their stuff is always easy to get your hands on and the staff cannot be beat for their professionalism and knowledge. Check out www.orvis.com and don’t hesitate to call us with questions concerning gear you will need while fly fishing in Patagonia with us.


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Our Gear Recommendations for fly fishing Chile:


Please Note: All gear that you bring to Patagonia will be disinfected for invasive species before using on our waters.

Clothing & Accessories


Waders:
Gore-Tex stocking foot waders pack nicely and have the benefit of being comfortable in a wide range of conditions you will encounter in Chile. Temperatures during your visit can swing wildly. We find that Gore-Tex waders keep you comfortable whether it is 90 degrees and sunny or 45 degrees and dumping rain.

Wader Shoes:
Due to the spread of aquatic diseases we ask that you not bring anything with FELT soles to Patagonia.


Top Wear: Be prepared for intense sun or freezing rain in Patagonia. Our top pick for intense sun is Columbia’s Long Sleeved Bonefish shirts. They are specifically made for fly fishing with tabs to securely button rolled up sleeves and massive numbers of pockets. For cold it will definitely be worth your while to bring a wading jacket that you won’t look goofy in when not fishing. Hoods are essential. Multiple sets of appropriate long underwear, synthetic piles, and hats for sun and cold are also recommended.

Other: For years we saw the need for something that could carry all of our gear, allow easy access to it and be compatible with hydration systems. In the past we have used Camelbaks®, which work fine for fly fishing in Chile, if worn with a pocket intensive shirt such as the Columbia Bonehead shirt.

Over the past few years Orvis came out with a series of packs that fit the bill. While we haven’t field tested it yet in Patagonia, the Orvis Chest & Hydration Pack looks like it will be a keeper. In addition to a 1.8 liter hydration reservoir, the pack also has almost 400 cubic inches of storage space. The pack straps have a total of 13 pockets to stuff your fly gear in – all within easy reach.

This one piece of equipment should allow you to have you cake, eat it too, and then wash it down with a drink.


Fly Fishing Patagonia Gear:

Tackle: Forget everything that you know about fly fishing on most North American rivers. Chile is one of the few places were a mouse is a legitimate dry fly pattern.

While you will catch reams of smaller trout using traditional dry fly patterns, those browns that are as big as your leg will most likely ignore a #12 Adams. Big fish want meat, and you have to fish deep to hook up.

Be prepared for wind while fly fishing Patagonia's unspoiled waters. While most casts are not long, a 30 knot wind in your face can make any cast formidable. While beginners can still catch fish and have an awesome time, your skill and gear should be suitable for Western river conditions in the United States to fly fish the Futaleufu Valley waters effectively. You can expect the wind to be less intense while fly fishing Argentina's Alerce Park - but not much.

Rods: We favor 4-piece, 9’ rods with five or six weight lines. Fast tapers allow you to punch through breezes while still allowing a degree of delicacy to your presentation. Orvis’s T3 rods have proved to have the right combination of power and control – but it is more about the person driving the cast than the rod.

Reels:
Large arbor reels will allow you to pick up line quicker and give you more control when playing big fish. We live by them in Chile and Argentina. Make sure that you can stuff 100 yards or more of backing, plus your fly line, on your reel.

Lines: Five or six weight forward lines or shooting tapers are most appropriate. At a minimum, you will need a floating and sinking tip line. An intermediate speed sinking line is also useful. We do 80% or our fishing with sinking tip lines.

Tippets: we typically use 9’ 2X to 5X leaders in Patagonia while fly fishing in Argentina and Chile. Our fish are not terribly leader shy. Much more important is being able to throw big flies and to land fish as quickly as possible. Bring lots of leaders. Bring lots of tippet material.

Weight: Lead substitute putty is environmentally safe and great when fishing deep moving water. Think of the Futa as your local trout stream – on steroids. Lead substitute is mandatory for our Chile and Argentina fly fishing trips to protect the environment. It is our company policy.

Fly Fishing Patagonia - Luggage:

Luggage: Finally, you will want to carry your fly fishing gear as carry on luggage. Once you are down here it is virtually impossible to get restocked So bring 2 or more of everything that you will think will need (rods included – at least 6 of each fly pattern) and carry it with you as carry-on luggage.

For more complete information please see our fly fishing packing list.


Other Fly Fishing Patagonia options include: Fly Fishing in Chile at the Isla Monita Lodge, Chile Fly Fishing from the CondorNest Ranch, Patagonia Fly Fishing Lodge - Multisport Vacation, Argentina Fly Fishing in Los Alerces, Chile Fly Fishing Lodge Instruction. All of our programs adhere to our Catch & Release Guidelines for Fly Fishing in Chile.

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Chile Fly Fishing




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