The early season fishing of November and December is probably the best kept secret in Chile. The truth is, the most consistent fishing for big fish around the Coyhaique region and, specifically, near Estancia del Zorro, actually happens in early November and continues through January. The fish in the spring creeks haven’t been fished to much in the early season, and they are much more available and eager to take a fly. The trout, especially the large ones, eat a variety of patterns early in the season like beetles, streamers, and mouse patterns stripped across the surface.
One of the best known brown trout spring creeks in the world, the Del Zorro spring creek, is right in the lodge’s front yard. They have exclusivity on these spring creeks as well as access to streams just across the border in Argentina that are filled with large rainbows in the Argentine springs. Given this scenario, an angler has the excellent opportunity to catch two different species in two different countries in the same day and this has inspired the new program called the “Estancia Del Zorro Grand Slam.” To successfully complete the slam, one must catch a rainbow over 20 inches in Argentina and a brown over 20 inches in Chile. It’s a very rare opportunity for an angler to accomplish something this special with trout, and it is very difficult to achieve anywhere else in the world.
Most folks are concerned with early season weather because they have been told that mid-summer is the only time to go. Mid-summer is a great time for numbers, and of course you can always catch some big fish any time of year, but early season fishing gives anglers their best shot at trophy trout. The spring weather is actually consistent with temperatures in the mid 50’s and 60’s and it can actually hit 80 degrees that time of the year. This is Patagonia, so anglers should expect wind though wind is significantly less of a factor our wading spring creek fisheries because casts are often quite short.
The added bonus to the world class spring creeks is that Estancia del Zorro is close to the Valley of the Moon and the famous Nirehuao River, where they have 20 miles of private water as well as an additional spring in this valley! All clients get the opportunity to be the first fly anglers on various sections of the Nirehuao every season, and the best thing of all is that there is no one else is around. When anglers come in and out of Balmaceda airport, they are the only ones carrying fly gear. While mid-season is the more popular time for anglers to visit (so they can escape the coldest of the winter months), the early season one of the most rewarding times to visit this area as the dry fly fishing is sensational, the trout are hungry… and big!