When you practice fly fishing, you go on an adventure that gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to your limits. Additionally, fly fishing takes you to extraordinary places. Fly fishing is not your average, run-of-the-mill style of fishing. Instead, it is quite different in that you fish using artificial bait, including dry flies, nymphs, emergers, streamers, and animal pieces (Gardner). When you fly fish, you want to trick the fish into thinking that the artificial bait is real and then bring them in on the line. Fly fishing is most practiced in areas where there is rushing water, adding to the challenge. Though rushing water is not found everywhere, there are many such places that are worth exploring, where you can fly fish and have a good time in a beautiful setting. One such place is Patagonia.
Where Is Patagonia?
Patagonia is located in a land that stretches between the countries of Chile and Argentina. It covers the lower end of the Latin American continent, which includes much of the southern part of Argentina all the way to south of Valdivia in Chile. Additionally, it includes the Tierra del Fuego region, which is located at the extreme southern part of the continent and contains a group of tropical islands (Turner, 2018).
Why Should You Go to Patagonia for Fly Fishing?
Patagonia used to be an uncharted territory, teeming with wildlife, and most people didn’t want to go there. But today, Patagonia is a fantastic and accessible place to explore and test your skills against Mother Nature and the fish in this area. Patagonia is located in an area where tectonic plates have collided to produce its mountains and valleys. To be within this landscape is unmatched by any other experience. You can find many freshwater rivers that are fed by glaciers and snowfall in the mountains. In the middle of all this, the fish are everywhere (Turner, 2018).
What is the Weather Like?
Because Patagonia is located so far from the equator and has many towering mountain ranges, it has a lot of cold and unpredictable weather (Turner, 2018). The winds are bitterly cold and come with lots of rain and snow, even in the summertime. The climate can be very cool and dry, but temperatures can be colder on the west coast; on the east coast, ocean currents provide warmth and help moderate temperatures. Since there are many variables as to where you will go in Patagonia, it is important to check the weather of the specific location where you’ll be fishing before you go on your adventure.
When Should You Go?
Fly fishing generally has its peak season between October and April (Turner, 2018). However, there is no season that is better than the other to go, because each season comes with its distinct advantages and disadvantages. But if you want to choose a specific season, then you could go in the autumn, which is the time when there will be a lot of foliage and wildlife that will return to the walking trails after the heat of summer (Turner, 2018).
Autumn in Patagonia is between March and May when it starts to get cold and has a chance for rain and snow later in the season. The foliage is gorgeous, and there are fewer crowds, lower hotel rates, and greater accessibility to the various amenities of the place where you stay. It’s the perfect season for photographers (Baillargeon, 2018).
In the southern hemisphere’s summer, you can expect that there will be a lot of people on the trails, and you will have to book a hotel well in advance to secure a place when you visit. But if you want to avoid the crowds and have an empty atmosphere, then April to the beginning of May are your best bet.
What Should You Pack for Your Trip?
When you go to Patagonia, you want to be absolutely prepared to handle the elements. There are a lot of things that you need to take with you. Here are some of your necessities (Sample Fly Fishing Packing List):
- Waterproof clothes, including a raincoat
- Rain pants (for when you fish)
- Short-sleeve microfiber shirt
- Long-sleeved shirt with SPF that will help you last in the sun
- Water-resistant underwear
- Long underpants
- Fleece pants (for when you are in the colder weather)
- Fleece jacket
- Sunscreen (30+ SPF)
- Warm hat
- Gloves (fingerless)
- Nylon shorts
- Sun gloves
- Swimming gear
- Sandals or flip flops
You need to have comfortable clothes that will help you through the entire adventure.
- Fishing pack
- Fishing reels
- Fishing rods (six weight rod, a lightweight rod for dry fly fishing and a medium weight rod for large nymph or streamer fishing)
- Line cleaner
- Dry shake
- Additional leaders and leader materials
- Artificial bait (including flies and nymphs)
- Fly boxes
- A pair of clippers
- Nail knot tools
- Forceps or fliers
- Wading staff
- Wading belt
- Wading boots
- Wading sandals
Where Should You Stay?
During your stay in Patagonia, you may want to look into different possibilities for accommodation, including camping and lodges. Nervous Waters is an example of a resort which offers a lot of options for trout fishing lodges. They include Kau Tapen and Villa Maria on the Rio Grande and Northern Patagonia (Fly Fishing in Patagonia). Another place to stay is the Futa Lodge, which is on the Chilean Side of Patagonia. These options are among the best places to stay in Patagonia and feature some of the best accommodations, menu items at their restaurants, and the comfort that you may want to enjoy as you take on the demands of fly fishing. Relish your home away from home in a rustic environment, where you can prepare to do this fantastic sport in the middle of the unbridled wilderness of Patagonia.
What Other Things Can You Do Besides Fishing?
Maybe you or another person in your group isn’t exactly keen on fly fishing. Fair enough. Not everyone is cut out for fly fishing. It is an intense sport that requires a lot of patience and dedication to make it work. Fortunately for you, there are endless possibilities of other things you can do in Patagonia that won’t leave you waiting on the water trying to get a fish on your line. As you can imagine, there are countless trails on which you can take excellent hikes to many vast landscapes and vistas that will take your breath away. You will find yourself immersed in nature simply by taking your hiking boots and exploring the woods for a few hours, a few days, or even a week’s trip. Take a long trek with a buddy and you will experience a natural surrounding like no other.
In addition to your hiking options, you can also try kayaking or whitewater rafting, which gets you on the water literally, rather than being in the water and getting wet with the fish. It will put you on an adventure you won’t want to miss. Or, if you want to do something a bit less treacherous, you could try sailing on the fjords. Alternatively, you could try getting on horseback to explore the region, as if you were a Patagonian cowboy (Turner, 2018). It would be a great trip for the books that you can relish. And don’t forget to take lots of pictures that you can post on Instagram or Facebook when you’re out in the open or get back home.
Plan Your Trip and Have a Great Time
After having considered all your options, you’ll be ready to book your flight and lodging and prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime. Patagonia is not for the faint of heart. It is a place that will sweep you off your feet. Because it is on the other side of the world in an alternate hemisphere, it will seem as though you have stepped out of your ordinary life into something that is simply otherworldly. The snow-capped mountains around the beautiful vistas make this place a fantastic escape from your 9-5, busy life, and all the things that seem to be getting in the way. You won’t regret it for an instant. In a moment, you’ll be transported to another place, ready to take on the other side of the earth. And at that time, you’ll discover a place that you’ll never want to leave. Once you arrive at Patagonia, you will be ready to be astounded and transformed. Your life will never be the same again. It is a life-changing experience that you just have to see to believe. What are you waiting for? Go online, search for your ticket, and book it. Get ready for the trip that you’ve been waiting your whole life to take. This is Patagonia.
Baillargeon, Z. (2018). The best time of year to visit Patagonia is not when you think. Cascada Expediciones. Retrieved from https://www.cascada.travel/en/News/Best-Time-Year-Visit-Patagonia-Not-When-You-Think
Fly Fishing in Patagonia (n.d.). Nervous Waters. Retrieved from https://www.nervouswaters.com/fly-fishing-in-patagonia/
Gardner, A. (n.d.). The difference between fly fishing and spin fishing. The Catch and the Hatch. Retrieved from https://thecatchandthehatch.com/the-difference-between-fly-fishing-and-spin-fishing/.
Sample Fly Fishing Packing List. (n.d.). Orlando Outfitters. Retrieved from https://orlandooutfitters.com/pages/packing-list
Turner, A. (2018). All you need to know about fly fishing in Patagonia. Cascada Expediciones. Retrieved from https://www.cascada.travel/en/News/All-You-Need-Know-About-Fly-Fishing-Patagonia
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