Target Species: Rainbow, brown and brook trout, occasional sea-run brown trout
Season: December – March
Major Fisheries: Rio Penitente, Rio Serrano and various unnamed small rivers and spring creeks
Non-Angling Area Activities: Hiking, trekking and glacier tours in Torres del Paine National Park and on Navarino Island
Closest Major Air Hubs: Punta Arenas (PUQ)
The Magallanes Region is an isolated, rugged and weather-battered area at the southernmost tip of Chile. It is a remote and roadless area that is cut off from the rest of the country by formidable mountains, massive glacial icefields, and a labyrinth of coastal fjords. The only way to access this area from the rest of Chile is by air or sea, or via a very long overland drive on a road than runs through Argentine Patagonia. Historically, the main attractions to this region have been tours to view the spectacular granite spires of Torres del Paine National Park or trips to the small settlement of Puerto Williams – a popular stepping-off point for cruises to Antarctica. Until recent years, this southernmost area of Patagonia has largely remained unfished and overlooked as a legitimate angling destination – especially when compared to other areas of Chile. With the help of improved infrastructure and new means of accessing the region’s remote fisheries, we now have several guides and outfitters that are leading trips and offering access to this wade fishing paradise.
Having invested years of exploration, they’ve discovered an incredible array of small rivers, remote spring creeks, and fishable lakes populated with brown, brook and rainbow trout. In some cases, they’ve also been able to locate isolated and seasonal runs of sea-run brown trout. The fish in the area are completely unpressured and almost always willing to eat large dry fly attractors or streamer patterns. Most fish average 14 to 18–inches, with many reaching more than 22 inches in size.
Whether you’re looking for an adventurous week of fishing untapped trout waters or wanting to split time between fishing and exploring the area’s rugged wilderness, planning a visit to the Magallanes Region might be the trip for you. Due to the extreme southern latitude, the prime fishing season is short relative to other areas of Patagonia and runs from mid-December through early March.
Sound interesting to you? Learn more about our lodges and outfitters in this region: