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An Overview of Fly Fishing and Lodging Options in Northern Patagonia, Argentina

Target Species: Rainbows and brown trout

Season: November – April

Major Fisheries: Malleo, Chimehuin, Collon Cura, Filo Hua Hum, Limay, Alumine, Traful

Non-Angling Area Activities: Hiking, horseback riding, birdwatching, high-end resorts, art gallery tours

Closest Major Air Hubs: San Martin de los Andes (CPC) and Bariloche (BRC)

In many regards, the San Martin and Junin de los Andes area of Northern Patagonia is the region that put Argentina on the map for world-class trout fishing. With its wide-open mountainous terrain, dry temperate climate, consistent aquatic insect hatches, and a huge variety of available trout waters, this area reminds anglers more of Montana than any other fishing region in Argentina. Nearly all of this region lies within Argentina’s beautiful Neuquen Province – an area consisting of numerous glacial lakes, an abundance of freestone rivers, snow-studded volcanoes, and dense forests.

Trips to this region are mainly organized through a handful of our partner outfitters that Yellow Dog has worked with for years. These operators arrange flexible, custom-tailored fishing itineraries that combine exceptional guiding, diverse lodging options, deluxe overnight wilderness float trips, quick transfer times, access to both private and public fisheries, delicious regional cuisine, and authentic Argentine hospitality.

With most trip packages in this region, guests travel and fish with their guide throughout the course of the week, staying at classic estancias or lodges while enjoying easy access to a wide variety of productive rivers. With widespread daily hatches of mayflies and caddis found throughout the region, anglers can expect some of the best dry fly fishing that Patagonia offers. Other fishing opportunities include such phenomena as huge minnow runs, “hatches” of willow worms, and the presence of aquatic pancora crabs.


All of the region’s waters are populated by wild and beautiful rainbow and brown trout, and – depending on the river – anglers can choose to either wade or float fish. Smaller rivers like the Malleo, Filo Hua Hum, and Traful, are waded, while larger rivers like the Chimehuin, Alumine, Collon Cura and Limay are usually fished from drift boats. The area’s pleasant and relatively stable climate allows for excellent fishing conditions from the beginning of the season in November all the way through late April.

Chocolate Lab Expeditions – San Martin, Argentina

Based in the picturesque resort town of San Martin de los Andes, Ron and Vanessa Sorensen’s Chocolate Lab Expeditions offers a fantastic combination of exceptional guiding, classic estancia accommodations, unique and nomadic itineraries, and a full taste of the authentic culture and hospitality of Patagonia. We have worked with CLE since the early days of Yellow Dog, and we consider this operation to be one of the finest, most professional guide services in the region that is home to such legendary rivers as the Traful, Collon Cura, Chimehuin, Malleo, and the Limay.

With fully-customized itineraries created for each trip package, guests can expect to stay in comfort and dine at a variety of Northern Patagonia’s famed lodges and estancias. A variety of public and private accesses throughout the area are then utilized to fish the very best waters. On a typical week-long itinerary, guests commonly stay at two destinations or split their time between one of the classic estancias and multi-day camping and float trip.

CLE guides specialize in technical dry fly fishing, taking full advantage of the area’s prolific hatches throughout the season. Every trip with Chocolate Lab is unique and customized, meaning that your itinerary will be structured around your expectations, the time of year, and your budget.

Patagonia River Guides North – San Martin and Junin, Argentina

Patagonia River Guides North is a well-established, full-service fly fishing outfitter that specializes in designing all-inclusive custom trip itineraries on the northern waters of Argentine Patagonia. Anglers enjoy great service, quality equipment, first-class accommodations, and delicious food – all while staying at different classic estancias and traveling with their guides to fish in different waters each day.

The estancias and lodges in each custom itinerary can include Arroyo Verde, Tipiliuke, Northern Patagonia Lodge, Tres Rios Lodge, Estancia San Huberto, Estancia Huechahue, Estancia Quemquemtreu, Collon Cura Lodge and Estancia Tres Lagos – the most famous operations in the region with access to the very best waters. For those seeking long hours on the water and wilderness solitude, multi-day float and camping trips can also be arranged.

Choose from any number of famous rivers, area spring creeks, or trophy lakes, knowing that with PRG North, you will be fishing the best waters, at the best times, with the best guides. PRG’s variety of waters, accommodation options, and their overall level of service is second to none, which is why this program comes highly recommended by our staff and clients alike who’ve had the pleasure of fishing with PRG.

Listen to our WAYPOINTS podcasts with Patagonia River Guides owners Travis Smith and Rance Rathie about the “inside information” on fly fishing in Patagonia. Click here for Episode 1 and Episode 2 of this two-part series.

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