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Patagonia Fly Fishing: Fly Patterns

Patagonia Chile Argentina

No discussion about Patagonia fly fishing would be complete without flies. Our Futaleufu hatches are not the epic blizzards of Salmon and stone flies found on Western rivers or the Green Drake hatches of the classic Eastern rivers. Most of the fly fishing surface activity that you will see on Patagonia rivers in Chile and Argentina is limited to sporadic caddis and stonefly hatches.

Surface activity on Patagonia lakes is limited to damsel and dragonflies - but when it's on, it's great. Pods of large trout can often be seen cruising shallow weed beds looking for hovering dragonflies.

In general though, much of our fly fishing in Patagonia on the Futaleufu river is done subsurface with big, weighed streamers and nymphs. With that said, here's our must have list for Chile fly fishing, in order of our guide's preference. Note that some shots are stock Orvis photos and some are from our bench - which explains why some look better than others.

Patagonia Fly Fishing: Fly Patterns

Little Rainbow Trout – sizes 4 & 6: We tie our fly fishing streamers hook up, and heavily weight them. This allows us to fish deep and saves our hook points. Bring lots and lots of subsurface fly patterns – because if you are not hanging up on the bottom, you are not fishing deep enough.

Wooly Headed Sculpin – sizes 4, 6 & 8: We like the Wooly headed variety because it’s pretty. Black, olive and molted varieties are good picks for Patagonia fly fishing waters.

Traditional Muddler – sizes 6 & 8: We like the traditional Muddler pattern for fly fishing in Chile because it does lots of things well.

Clousers and Deceivers – sizes 4 – 10: Bring ‘em if you got’em. Any color combos that aren’t the color of bubblegum work for best for fly fishing Chile's Futaleufu river.

Wooly Buggers – sizes 6, 8 & 10: Like the Muddler, the Wooly Bugger is a Jack of all Trades for Chile and Argentina fly fishing, but Master of None (JOATMAN). Bring black, medium brown and olive. Make sure that they have some weight. For Fly fishing in Argentina these can be lighter.

Assortment of Wulffs – sizes 8 & 10: Big hairy flies do wonders when fly fishing Patagonia's out- pocket water on sunny days. Bring an assortment of patterns.

Adams' – sizes 10 – 14: Because no fly fishing tackle box is complete without them. We like the parachute variety for visibility.

Big, Ugly foam Ants & Beetles – Sizes big and BIGGER: We have a great terrestrial fly fishing season down here in Patagonia. A big, ugly foam Beetle plopped against a deep bank wakes our trout up.

Hoppers – see Big, Ugly Ants & Beetles.

Damsley Fly and Dragonfly Patterns: We are still searching for the perfect fly pattern that is easy to throw and won’t twist a leader. See what your local fly fishing shop recommends and bring extra for us. Blues and greens work well in Chile.

All of these photos were supplied courtesy of Orvis Fly Fishing and can be purchased at

Other Fly Fishing in Chile 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.

Downloadable pdf Brochure Chile Fly Fishing

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