One of Patagonia’s most diverse fly fishing programs for wild trout is Patagonian BaseCamp, on the banks of the remote Rio Palena, owned and operated by Marcel and Carolina Sijnesael.
Marcel traveled the world for several years before settling in this hidden corner of Patagonia, choosing to build his dream lodge in an area as wild as it is beautiful. 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.
"When we came to Northern Chilean Patagonia for the first time we could hardly believe what we encountered; impressed and speechless by the pristine beauty of the landscape, the mountains, the skies and the rivers. It was right then when we decided to make our home here in the wilderness. And since then we have seen many guests leaving with the same fantastic impression; and they come back year after year. No longer are they just our guests, but our friends sharing the same passion." - Marcel Sijnesael
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. In addition, using state-of-the-art inflatable catarafts and outboard powered jetboats, he 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. As well, the lodge has access to small high mountain lakes, full of heavy-shouldered trout, accessed via short oxcart-pulled carriage rides, horse ride, or for the adventurous, mountain bike. Rounding out the menu are a variety of smaller walk-n-wade steams and creeks, float streams and larger jet boat rivers. It would take a month of solid fishing before you'd repeat a piece of water fishing at Patagonian BaseCamp.
The fish you'll see in this area are wild, and largely untouched; accurate presentations usually assure success. You need to be prepared for all types of fishing here. At any given time, on any of the fisheries, fish may be looking up and smashing skated dries;, cruising deeper, requiring sinking tip lines and streamers; or sipping drifting terrestrials off the banks. Plan on using boats a lot here, whether actually casting from them, or simply using them for transportation to wading areas, as they are a necessary component to accessing the generally wilderness waters.
For those who want to see Patagonia from a different angle, The Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge has an extensive "non-fly fishing" program, including horse riding, bird and porpoise watching, river floating and rafting, hiking, visiting thermal baths, etc. However, for a relaxing non-fishing day in the wilderness, you do not have to leave the premises – the wood-heated hot tub and sauna on the river bank will give you that feeling of being completely away.
Patagonian BaseCamp is a small occupancy lodge, with a serious and incredibly diverse fishing package that has made it popular and well-known in the fly fishing world. Handling up to 8 guests, the two-story facility is warm and inviting, with spacious, well-appointed rooms overlooking the river. The lodge features just about every imaginable comfort you can think of, including a sauna, hot tub, private rooms with full baths, unlimited hot-water showers, therapeutic massages, and daily laundry service. Your hostess, Carolina, cooks up amazing and sumptuous meals every morning and night, the latter capped by desserts you won’t soon forget! The best of Argentine and Chilean wines are served with lunch and/or dinner and the open bar is always fully stocked.
Reservations & Rates
We were fishing Chile before it was cool. Collectively, The Fly Shop’s travel staff has been exploring the streams and rivers of Chile for nearly seventy years.
We've organized, arranged, guided and hosted anglers on trips to Chile, Patagonia for better than two decades. That knowledge and field experience has been invaluable in helping our clients choose the best dates, and has added a more custom-tailored finish to each of our reservations. Our travel staff communicates regularly with all of our Chilean Outfitters. Patagonian BaseCamp is a
Signature Destination of The Fly Shop® and we have instant access to the lodge calendar and space available. Reservations can be made as far as two years in advance, and peak dates are often spoken for more than a year ahead of time. We can confirm your desired dates almost immediately, and guarantee that there are no other comparable packages available at a lower cost.
December 4, 2015 through April 15, 2016
7 nights / 6 days (Patagonian Basecamp Program) fishing package $5,995 (Includes 2-3 days Río Palena Overnight Float)
10 nights / 9 days (Chile Program) fishing package $8,695 (Includes TempleCamp and/or Rio Palena overnight float)
10 nights / 9 days (PatagoniaOne, Patagonia sin Fronteras) fishing package $8,695 (Includes 3 days at Las Pampas, 3 days at TempleCamp & 3 days at BaseCamp)
14 nights / 13 day (PatagoniaOne Extended) fishing package $11,990 (Includes The Perfect Circle: BaseCamp / TempleCamp / Las Pampas, Argentina / Palena overnight float / BaseCamp)
These packages include the round trip charter flight through the Andes from Puerto Mott, fishing license, and every item and amenity imaginable beyondpersonal tackle.
(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.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses. Click HERE for Travel Guard's Policies and more information
When to make plans for Chile:
The lodges and outfitters that we work with in Chile are small, owner/operated and many of them are family run businesses. Their guest capacity is purposely small in order to deliver exceptional personal service. Our lodge's limited capacity, as small as six and no larger than ten, results in space becoming tight, especially during high-demand months of January, February and March. Therefore, if you are serious about booking a trip to Chile it is important to secure dates at the conclusion of the current season; best in April, May or June. That is not to say that prime space isn't available later in the year, but if you are set
and going and want to secure pick-of-the-litter dates - book early!
After a verbal confirmation of your reservation you'll receive a short confirmation letter or e-message showing the dates of your stay, terms of the booking and an invoice showing the cost of the trip. A 50% deposit is normally due within two weeks of deposit. Final payments are due 60 days prior to arrival. Deposits and final payments can be made with either a credit card (Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover) or check.
Seasons at Patagonian BaseCamp
The first brown trout were introduced to Chile rivers in 1906, and three decades later the world famous strain of McCloud River rainbows was added to the cold clear rivers and streams of that part of Patagonia.
With no natural predators, no freshwater fishing tradition, and little competition for food from native species, the trout grew fast and multiplied quickly. By the 50's, articles began appearing in print about the phenomenal trout fishing in Chile, and that part of the world became a Mecca for those few anglers who could afford the money and time to get there.
There are also a few waterways in Chile that hold some reasonably good populations of sizeable brook trout, but few regional outfitters target them.
With a coastline stretching 6,435 kilometers (about 4,000 miles), Chile is a world leader in the global aquaculture industry; the number one producer of farm-raised trout and second only to Norway in salmonid production. Millions of rainbow trout, silver salmon and king salmon escape those farms and their offspring can be found cruising the rich saltwater shoreline. The physical condition of these saltwater raised trout and salmon is awesome and they are some of the hottest fish we have ever tied into.
Over the last decade we have seen an increase in the number of Pacific salmon making their way upstream, and resident trout have started to key-in on the salmon spawn as a food source. Although a few fly fishing outfitters are targeting the migrating salmon, we don't think this trend is going to take over the trout fishing in Chilean Patagonia. However, it does warrant attention and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Spring in Chile begins in December. Trees have dropped their blossoms and warm summer weather lands in Patagonia before Christmas presents have been opened.
Trout season in Chilean Patagonia swings into high gear by the New Year, and continues until leaves turn crimson and drop with the arrival of winter in late April. The summers of Patagonia are abbreviated, much like those of Montana and Wyoming. Warm days often begin with cools mornings and can be punctuated by sudden thunderstorms. But for the most part, the best time to visit this fantastic part of the world is from mid-November through mid-April.
Opening day in Chile is in November, traditionally a time when North American fishermen are preoccupied with family and holidays. Schools in South America release their students just before Christmas and the rivers of Patagonia don’t see much pressure until after the first of the year. Raul San
Martin, one of the most highly respected fly fishing guides and outfitters just across the border in Argentina insists that the best fishing happens in December. The landscape is ablaze with a mind-baffling wildflower display, known locally as "Chocho" (Chilean word for "Lupine Season"). European Lupine carpet the landscape in an explosion of violets, reds, purples and yellows.
Fish are on the surface, targeting caddis and mayfly emergences, as well as blizzard hatches of small creamy moths.
Their January is our June/July. Spring snow melt is gone, the weather's reliable temperatures are pleasant, and the hatches are predictable. Mosquitoes aren't a concern in most of Patagonia, but the Lake District of Chile can be plagued for a few weeks with Chulihuachos, a pest resembling a horsefly that has all but disappeared by the end of the month.
By the first of February trout begin to key on the caddis hatches and hoppers, stag beetles and other terrestrials that dominate mid-summer fly fishing action. Probably because of the weather, February and March are the most popular months to travel to and fish Patagonia. Too, our winter is a great time to escape to Chile's summer and trout fish for a week or so; something difficult to do when Michigan or Vermont is frozen solid.
April is the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Kids go back to school and the traffic is light on the streams and rivers of Chile. Like the Rockies, the weather is less reliable in the fall; days are shorter and temperatures are cooler. Dress for a full range of weather possibilities and plan on some of the best mayfly hatches (especially callibaetis on overcast days) as well as streamer fishing.
The country of Chile is divided into 15 regions, with the vast majority of fly fishing taking place in the XI Region, called Aysén, which stretches from Puerto Montt to O'Higgins. Within this vast region of more than 109,000 square kilometers, fly fishing outfitters base out of the communities of Lago Verde, Coyhaique, Aysén, and Cisnes.
Weather in this part of the world is complex; a mixture of heavy maritime climate with cold water influences from the Pacific, switching to an increasingly dry continental climate as you head east toward the Andes and Argentine border. There are four different recognized climates with the Aysén Region; cold rainy temperate, Andean degenerating to steppe, cold steppe, and high altitude icy.
Getting To Patagonian BaseCamp
Getting to Chile these days is relatively simple and painless with a wide choice of convenient, daily flights from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and New York.
In the mid-60's, it took pioneer fly fishers, like Joe Brooks 22 hours to fly from Miami to Santiago and another twenty hours in the air with numerous stops along way to reach the trout infested waters in and around Puerto Montt - now that's dedication!
Getting there is easy with a wide choice of convenient, daily flights from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and New York. Most flights are direct, departing the States in the afternoon or early evening and arriving early the next morning in Santiago, the Capitol of Chile. Airlines that service Chile include LAN, Delta, United and American.
Arriving in Chile is simple, hassle free and safe. The flights are almost always on time, the new ulta-modern airport is clean, and the entire experience, from clearing immigrations and customs to connecting with domestic flights, is very smooth. Airfares from the U.S. to Santiago vary widely, with tickets from New York, Miami and Los Angeles ranging from $900 to $1,200 round trip. Usually the best fares can be had by flying LAN, the national airline of Chile. LAN is one of the largest air carriers servicing South America. Their modern, new air fleet has a superb record for reliability, safety and on time departures and arrivals.
Immigration Requirements for entry into Chile: U. S. Citizens: When traveling to Chile, a valid passport is required with an expiration date occurring at least 6 months later than the day of arrival. Chilean Tourist Card: A Chilean Tourist Card Application will be handed out by your carrier during your flight to Chile. Please fill out the application and present it and your passport to Chilean
Immigrations upon arrival into Santiago. Immigrations will take one copy of the Tourist Card and leave you with another which you must keep with your passport and present to Immigrations when you leave Chile. Loss of your tourist card may result in a penalty upon departure.
Airport Entry and Departure Taxes: Good for the life of the passport, a fee of $131 USD (paid in cash or with a credit card) will be charged to all U.S. Citizens entering the country by plane for the first time. This is the same amount charged to Chileans applying for a visa to the U.S. A domestic airport tax of $8.00 is charged when flying within the country. A departure tax of $26.00 is due upon leaving Chile for another country. Departure Tax is usually included in the ticket price.
Inoculations and Health Concerns: There are no formal requirements, or recommendations, for immunizations and very little risk of infectious disease in Chile. The risk would be about equivalent to what it would be for a trip to Colorado. You should check with your personal physician if you are concerned. We recommend that anglers be up-to-date on their Tetanus, Hepatitis-A and Hepatitis-B vaccinations.
Political Situation: Chile is a safe, pro-American country and has been a democracy since 1989. On March 11th, 2006 the new president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, took office. Michelle Bachelet is Chile's first woman president. Chileans are overall a very friendly people and welcome foreign tourists. The hospitality of the campesinos (country people) in rural Chile (where all the fishing takes place) is renowned.
Specific flight details for Patagonian BaseCamp
The flight is short, approximately 40 minutes and flies over some awesomely beautiful and rugged landscape - have your cameras ready.
The charter flight will be arranged by Marcel Sijnesael, your host at Patagonian BaseCamp, and costs $495 per person, round trip, paid in advance as part of your angling package. Because of potential logistical issues arising from the need to meet in the morning at Puerto Montt-Patagonian BaseCamp charter, Marcel has requested that clients do not overnight in Santiago the day before going into the lodge, but rather catch a flight straight through to Puerto Montt upon their morning arrival into Santiago from the States. If you choose this option, you will fly into Santiago from the States the day prior to your arrival at the lodge, arriving early morning, as usual. You will then want to have arranged a connecting flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt, being sure to have left a comfortable buffer between the two (typically 2-3 hours from when you arrive in Santiago to when you board the Puerto Montt flight).
Upon arrival at the modern airport Tepual of Puerto Montt you will be met by your guide and driver holding a sign "The Patagonian BaseCamp" (look for the dragon-fly logo). It takes approximately 30 minutes for the drive from the airport to the lakeside village of Puerto Varas - your Patagonia holiday has started. Puerto Varas is a quaint little village nestled on the shores of "Lago Llanquihue". Over the past years the town has developed into a thriving tourist destination for both Chileans and foreign travelers, with an outstanding variety of excursions, activities and natural attractions in the surrounding area.
Your driver will take you to the 4-star hotel "Bellavista", where a welcome cocktail is awaiting you. The hotel is built on the shore of the same lake and all the rooms offer stunning views of the water with the snowcapped volcano "Osorno" dominating the panoramic views. Just in front of the hotel is a lovely beach where you can sunbathe, take a dip in the cold water or a stroll along the shore. The main square is just a few minutes walk away. The hotel offers very comfortable rooms with free wi-fi internet, a good restaurant and bar and a very complete American-style breakfast. For more information on the hotel, please visit their website at: www.hotelbellavista.cl.
Puerto Varas is a lakeside resort town and boasts one of Chile's few casinos. The center of town consists of about nine square blocks
centered on the main square (Plaza de Armas), with hills rising directly above to the north and west. In the streets around the square you will find some fantastic restaurants, interesting local art galleries and souvenir shops. There are even two very well-equipped fly-fish tackle shops for last-minute purchases. Summer attractions such as festivals, games, exhibits, music, and the like abound, making the whole center of town a fun place to hang out and to ferret-out some Chilean culture.
The following day, after a delicious breakfast and a relaxing morning, your driver will meet you at the hotel and provide transportation to the small airport of "La Paloma" for your charter flight into the wilderness of Patagonia and a fabulous week of fly fishing at The Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge. Upon arrival in La Junta you will be met by Marcel Sijnesael or a representative of the lodge and transferred via vehicle to the lodge. The very scenic road transfer will arrive at the lodge on the banks of the Río Palena by early afternoon. Just in front of the lodge the river flows, and you are welcome to wander down to the water in search of your first Patagonian trout of the week. If, however, you would like to relax from your journey knowing that you will have another 6 days of fishing, the hot tub and sauna are heated up and the pisco sours (typical Chilean cocktail) will be cold. Carolina will have a wonderful dinner ready at approximately 8:00 p.m.
Departing Patagonian BaseCamp:
After breakfast, you will be transferred to La Junta airport for your flight to the Paloma airport, then transferred back to the Puerto Montt airport for your onward connections.
Make it easy on yourself. Alicia Regueiro and her expert staff at Holdy Tours (800) 446- 1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org are a full service travel agency. They've been our first choice for ticketing for years because Holdy professionals are intimately familiar with the intricacies of travel to Chile, Argentina and all South America. Holdy gets rave reviews from us for arranging reasonably priced flights as well as city tours, hotels, transfers, and optional add-on travel packages to our fly fishing trips. They know the best routes and connections for even the most complicated Patagonia angling destinations and they've teamed up with LAN to offer the best airfares and service to South America. Make it easy on yourself and contact Holdy Tours for your flight accommodations to, from and within Chile.
Lodging at Patagonian BaseCamp
Patagonian BaseCamp Lodge is located in the midst of a pristine evergreen forest on the banks of the Rio Palena and within easy striking distance of the best regional waters in the area.
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. If you prefer, subject to availability, you may have your own private room at no extra cost.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. Other amenities of Patagonian BaseCamp include 24-hour electricity, heated wader/drying room, sauna and riverside wood-fired hot tub.
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. Most lunches in the field are served streamside and include wine, beer, hot dishes cooked over an open fire with desserts, fruit, sodas and bottled water.
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.
The Fishing at Patagonian BaseCamp
The waters surrounding Patagonian BaseCamp hold a very healthy population of brown and rainbow trout.
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.
Patagonian BaseCamp is strategically located to access a surplus of rivers, creeks, lakes and lagoons – the fishing options are seemingly unlimited and it would take an entire summer
season to see and fish them all. The fishing program will be personalized to the best of the lodge's ability, taking into consideration the prevailing weather, river conditions and other guests' desires. 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: Classification: Easy to moderate
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. The guides cook amazingly delicious dinners over an open fire and you toast the Southern Cross with great wine and stimulating conversation – all the while being serenaded by the whispering of the river and crunching sound of cows and sheep chewing their cud.
The Palena is a relatively large river - about the size of the Lower Sacramento - that offers every conceivable type of water you could
possibly imagine. The river is choked with massive logs, root wads and boulders – perfect habitat for wary brown trout to melt into, staging for their next meal. In addition, there are many long stretches of willow-lined banks, gravel bars, slots, pockets, riffles, holes, seams and runs that hold equal numbers of rainbows and brown trout. You can pitch streamers back into the logs and strip like mad, run a dry-dropper rig down the seams or cast hummingbird-sized terrestrials and twitch them into being devoured – it doesn’t really matter; you will catch a ton of fish and experience some of the most remote and beautiful country in Patagonia – all at the pace of the river. The overnight float ends right at the doorstep of the lodge, where you are met by the staff with a cold beer and hot empanadas, followed by a long hot shower and another delicious dinner by Carolina.
Rio Yelcho: Classification: Easy to moderate
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: Classification: Easy to moderate
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: Classification: Moderate
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. Large whirlpools hold cruising rainbows looking for surface naturals or spinners in the foam lines. Brown trout tend to seek shelter at the banks, rock ledges and submerged logs.
Rio Figueroa: Classification: Easy to moderate
The Rio Figueroa connects the lakes Lago Verde and Lago Rosselot and there are two separate day floats available to guests. The Figueroa is incredibly beautiful where it winds through canyons and flows over big
boulders. It holds very good numbers of fish. And big ones, too. You will mainly be fishing dry flies like Fat Alberts and Gypsy Kings, but you might want to try pulling some streamers off the banks and around structure, as well.
Rio Figueroa "Temple Float": Classification: Moderate to difficult
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 camp
is 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.
Patagonian Adventure: Classification: Moderate to difficult
A thirty-minute oxen cart or horseback ride, hike or mountain bike trek will take you to a remote and rarely fished lake high in the Andean Mountains. Marcel has a cool wooden boat stashed on the lake, and your guide will row you around the reed-studded parameter while you sight-cast to fat rainbows and browns chasing and eating dragonflies. The lake is stuffed with trout and all it takes is
a tan Fat Albert cast within 15 feet of a fish to bring a savage strike and reeling-screaming run. You often take many trout apiece, with the biggest topping-out in the mid-twenty-inch class, or better. The lake is gin-clear and you will see every single fish eat your fly. And although a lot of fly fishers are not into still-water fishing, this lake might change your mind.
Lago Verde: Classification: Moderate
Lago Verde is located in a semi-arid pampas area and is ruled by a very pleasant micro climate. Only 2 hours away from The BaseCamp, the scenery is completely distinct and different. And so is the fishing. The dry and extended grasslands around the rivers are home to thousands of grasshoppers. The
winds blow these little critters into the rivers and into the mouths of hungry trout. Hopper fishing at the right time of the year can give you the best dry fly fishing you have ever experienced. And these rivers are also great places for some serious nymph fishing for large trout.
Small Creeks & Tributaries: Classification: Difficult
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.
Non-Fishing at Patagonian BaseCamp
Non-angling guests should be prepared for a variety of outdoor activities.
The southernmost part of Latin America is dominated by the vast wilderness of Patagonia, an area that is sparsely inhabited or developed. Because of this, it offers almost unlimited possibilities for many kinds of outdoor activities: fishing, rafting, canoeing, horseback riding, mountaineering, hiking, mountain biking and bird watching. The Non-Angling program at Patagonian BaseCamp is not an afterthought of a fishing lodge; these are high-quality guided services.
Non-angling guests should bring good raingear (jacket and pants), hiking boots, a warm fleece, camera, binoculars, daypack, and a good sun hat. The fortunate absences of bears, poisonous snakes or swarms of mosquitoes make Chile a safe and pleasant outdoor destination for anyone.
• Horse back riding trips from 1 hour to a full day (even overnight trips, if desired).
• Hiking expeditions to hanging glaciers (hikes from 1 to 6 hours).
• Easy-going float trips on the Palena, even in individual one-seat cata-rafts.
• Hard core white water rafting on the Futaleufu or Figueroa River
• Visiting the hot spring of Termas de Puyuhuapi for a day trip (hot springs with massages, therapies etc.)
• Mountain biking trips on the Carretera Austral.
• Trips to the ocean for porpoise and bird watching (depending on the season).
• Visiting small local villages like La Junta, Puyuhuapi, Lago Verde.
Making Reservations to Patagonian BaseCamp
To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.