Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Private Lodge vs. DIY Lodging

The purpose of this post is to review lodging and service options for fly fishing trips in the Junin de los Andes area; and/or Patagonia, in general.  The information contained in the post is offered to you from this perspective:

Patagonia Lodge

  • We are 'true' DIY walk-wade and float anglers/guides/outfitters.
  • In 1999, for one year, I hiked and fished, from Tierra del Fuego to Southern Columbia. 
  • My partner is an Argentine ex-Junior Olympic Rowing Champion; a certified white water guide; and a registered guide/outfitter. 
  • Both my partner and myself managed an Orvis endorsed lodge, lcoated in Patagonia Argentina.

Take Away Message:  We are experts at Patagonia DIY walk-wade and float trips; and most importantly we 'truly' understand what a Patagonia lodge stay offers, and what it does not offer.

Patagonia Private Lodge?

The following reasons are why you might stay at a lodge:

  • You don't speak the language.  
  • You don't have the patience or the vacation time to figure out the local DIY fishing/lodging options.
  • You like full service environments. (i.e. you like to be wined and dined).
  • You believe the world is un-safe and a lodge stay may provide a level of comfort and security.
  • You can spend between $4,000 USD and $7,000 USD, per person/per week...just to get in the door.

Patagonia DIY Lodging?

The following reasons are why you might not stay at a private lodge:

  • Your want freedom and flexibility, with 100% customization.
  • Your focus is 100% fishing; however, you would like to have access to the local scene (i.e. cultural events, restaurants, bars, shops, etc).
  • You don't find value in full service lodges (i.e. Pampering, 600 Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets).
  • You prefer local 'Ma & Pa' accommodations that are clean, safe and affordable. 
  • Your lodging budget per night is $20 - $100 USD.
  • You like to prepare your own meals, choose your own beverage; or, dine at a local eatery.
  • Your food and beverage budget per day is, $10 - $40 USD.
  • You don't want to stay in a lodge that can accommodate up to 20 anglers (i.e. 20 strangers).
  • You don't want to follow the typical daily lodge schedule/routine. 
  • You prefer a fishing program that allows you to fish/eat/sleep when you feel it is best for you; or more importantly, when the fish are on the bite, even it means fishing at 5:00AM.
  • You believe in supporting the local economy.

Private Waters at Patagonia Lodge = The Best Fishing?

People may pay a higher price at a lodge because they are led to believe that the fishing at the lodge is better. Why?  Many lodges claim that the waters/rivers that abut their property are private.  This is 100% FALSE! Here's the reality (law):

  • All waters/rivers/lakes in Patagonia (Argentina/Chile) are 100% public!
  • From the high-water mark, 10 meters inland, all land is legally accessible.  
  • If a walk-wade angler has a public access point (e.g. bridge), he/she could walk up/downstream for many-many miles. Thus, any angler can access so called 'private' water.  
  • Because the rivers are 100% public, drift boat anglers can beach and access any land point, so long as you do not violate the 10 meter rule. 

Take Away Message:  If you understand what I have just explained, then you might ask yourself the following:  If your focus is fishing, why would you pay extra money to stay at a lodge that does not have private waters? 

Patagonia Daily Fishing Schedule: Private Lodge vs. DIY Lodge

DIY Float Trip on the lower Chimehuin.  

If your goal is to fish; to have access to as much water as possible; to be able to change plans based on weather conditions or the 'bite,' then this topic might be the most important.  What many anglers fail to recognize is the  following:

Patagonia Private Lodge

  • Each day, at about 8:00am, your day begins with breakfast.  You'll eat breakfast with all the other guest, in a buffet style. Breakfast will end at 9:00am.
  • Between 9:00 and 10:00am, you and other anglers will board your transfer vehicle(s).  You may drive up to an hour, until you arrive at the put-in site.
  • At the put-in site, you will quickly discover, that all the other lodges in the area, are doing the exact same fishing program that you are doing.
  • Your first cast of the day may start between 10:15-10:30am.
  • You fish until lunch.  
  • Lunch may last up to 2 hours, but typically, it's at least 1 hour.
  • You finish your float/fishing between 6:00 - 6:30pm.
  • Depending on the river/float, you may drive up to 2.0 hours, to return to your lodge.
  • Dinner will be served no later than 9:00pm.
  • Your in bed, between 10:30pm-12:00am
  • The next day = you, along with every lodge angler staying in the area, repeat the same process.

Take Away Message:  If you add up the hours fished each day, we believe you are not maximizing your fishing time.  Also, there is no deviation from the daily routine = many lodges can not split groups and send anglers in multiple directions.  Lodges simply do not have the amount of vehicles, and trained staff to accommodate anything but a pre-planned program.

Patagonia DIY Lodge: Our Program

  • Each day starts when you want it to start.  If that means leaving at 4:00am to fish the hatch or catch a trophy brown that only feeds early A.M., then that is exactly what we do.
  • We can change plans according to weather conditions.
  • We can fish any body of water, at anytime.
  • We can move (drive) and access upper/middle/lower sections of rivers, at anytime.
  • Whether we are walking-wading or floating, we always avoid the crowd/lodge anglers. 
  • We are always on the water first; or, we might be the last anglers off.
  • Lunch on the River?  The amount of time spent eating, is entirely up to you. 
  • Breakfast and Dinner? 100% your choice...make your meals or hit the town.
  • We guarantee a minimum of 8 hours per day of fishing.

Take Away Message:  We FISH!  We offer 100% flexibility.  In the end, our clients see more of Patagonia and catch more fish (trophy fish).  Our DIY lodging options are safe, clean, and affordable. The combined cost of our DIY fishing and lodging programs, may be up to 50% less than the total cost of a private lodge stay.

Final Word

We have nothing against lodges.  In fact we have good working relations with many of the lodges in the Junin de los Andes area.  This means that some of our guest stay at a local lodge, but they choose to work with us because our 'fishing program' is 100% customized to meet your personal fishing needs...not a pre-planned (can't change) lodge program. 

We hope that you found this post helpful.  If you are searching for more information, please feel free to contact us; or, use the search bar engine, located above, on the right side.  To use the search bar engine, for example, simply type in key words like DIY Patagonia Float Trips.  

Muchas Gracias,