Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: The Confluence of the Malleo and Alumine.

It's Streamer Time!

Surrounding the Junin de los Andes area, there are many great DIY walk-wade locations.  But, if you want to fish in a wild Patagonian place, while targeting large fish with streamers, none could better and more easy to access than the confluence of the Malleo and Alumine rivers. Some anglers may disagree, claiming that the 'boca' of the Chimehuin river is more accessible.  I agree 100%, but the 'boca' is a busy place, filled with many anglers, tourist and now summer vacation homes. That being said, I prefer to fish areas with less pressure that offer myself and others a true Patagonian experience.

FYI: Before I continue, if the reader in interested in learning more about the Malleo, simple find the First Cast Search Engine, located on the right side of the screen.  Type in Malleo and you'll find several  post.

Alumine and Collon Cura...where does it begin?

  1. The Alumine river begins at lake Alumine. 
  2. At the confluence of the Catan Lil river (several miles down stream from the Malleo confluence), the Alumine river becomes the Collon Cura river.  Thereafter, it's a straight shot till the river widens, slows, and eventually becomes part of the Alicura reservoir/dam system. 

Unofficial 'Local' Nomenclature

  1. The Alumine ends either at the Rinconada bridge or the confluence of the lower Chimehuin river. 
  2. Amongst Junin de los Andes guides and other local fisherman, anything above the Rinconada bridge is the Alumine.  

Rio Malleo Facts

Location: Junin de los Andes, Argentina.  Approximately, +/- 1 hour from Junin.
Province: Neuquen
Fishing Season: Generally, November 01 till May 31st.
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  Floating the Malleo is prohibited.
Entrance Fee:  Currently $30 pesos (per day) to enter the lower section or Mapuche reservation.
Camping: Yes, only on the Mapuche reservation, $15 pesos per night.
Length: 64 Kilometers or 40 miles.
Origin: Lago Tromen (third major lake tributary to the rio Alumine).
Termination: Alumine.
Fly Rods: 9ft/4wt through 9ft/6wt. Switch = 11ft/5wt.
Fly Lines:  Floating for dry flies and nymphs.  Seasonal use of sink tips for faster-deeper water.
Flies:  Sorry, but we only share this information with our guest.

Rio Alumine: General Facts and Confluence Facts

Location: Junin de los Andes, Argentina.  Approximately, 1.20 hours from Junin.
Province: Neuquen
Fishing Season: Generally, November 01 till May 31st.
Licensed Required: Yes; general fishing license only.
Length: +/- 170 Kilometers or +100 miles.
Floating: Yes.  In it's entire length, there are many public access points. But overall, the Alumine system is best fished by floating. 
Origin: Lago Alumine (third major lake tributary to the Alumine system).
Termination: Depends how you look at it.  Technically, it ends at the confluence of the Catan Lil river. But, the entire system ends at the beginning of the Alicura reservoir/dam system (this reservoir/dam system also includes H2O from the upper Limay river).  
Entrance Fee:  To access the confluence via foot = Currently $30 pesos (per day) to enter the lower section or Mapuche reservation.
Camping: Yes, a great spot with running water and bathrooms.
Fly Rods: 9ft/7-8wt. Switch 11ft 5-7wt.
Fly Lines:  Various sink tips for fast-deep water.
Flies:  Sorry, but we only share this information with our guest.

How to Fish the Confluence?

  1. Cast a sinking line with a streamer directly across, and swing down stream.
  2. Strip/Retrieve line
  3. Get ready for a strike and hold on to your rod!
  4. Be prepared to go into your backing instantly and chase fish downstream!

How is the Fishing?

Long and Strong: Alumine and Malleo Confluence Brown.  To have a chance of landing a trophy fish, you have to keep these big boys out of the main channel, otherwise....forget about it!

Gordito (Fatty): Malleo and Alumine Confluence Perca.  Perca do not make long runs...they like close hand to hand combat. 
A good size fish, combined with the current, will put you into your backing immediately.  

M.A.B = +25" Malleo-Alumine-Brown.  
This might be hard to believe, but each brown trout photo posted on this blog were caught on the same night.  This does not happen every day, but this is a perfect example of targeting specific areas, during specific times of day. 

Final Word

There are lots of rivers/lakes to fish in the Junin de los Andes area.  All of these places hold fish.  But if you are a streamer junky, enjoying swing flies, and to love shoot line +60ft, and would like to increase your chances of catching big fish, then the Malleo and Alumine confluence is your spot.  

Fishing the Malleo and Alumine Confluence with FCFF

From Junin de los Andes (by car), we offer day trips to the Malleo and Alumine confluence.   Many of clients will spend the day fishing the Malleo with dry flies or nymphs.  After a late afternoon siesta (lunch/nap), and just before sunset, clients with fish the confluence with streamers.  During the summer months, and if you like to fish the early A.M. and late P.M., we offer overnight camping trips.  We are in the process of updating our fly fishing services and prices, so for more specific information, please contact us via email

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so.  Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,


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PS. To read more about Patagonia, simply use the First Cast Search Engine.  For Example: type in Malleo River or scroll archived post.