Patagonia Trout

Page Contents
  1. Why Visit and Fly Fish Argentina
  2. Definition of Guided DIY Fishing
  3. Your Argentina Team
  4. Northern Patagonia: Trout H2O
  5. Fishing with FCFF
  6. Frequent Questions and Answers
  7. Fee's, Terms and Conditions, Welcome Brochure

1.  Why Visit and Fly Fish Argentina

Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world and covers over 1 million square miles. Despite its size, Argentina is only inhabited by 40 million people.  Half of the population lives within ten of the largest metropolitan areas.  The other half of the population is spread throughout rural areas and in some parts of the country, population density is among the lowest in the world.  This affords visitors the opportunity to entertain in modern cities' such as Buenos Aires, yet escape to...

  • Oceans of open land in Patagonia...equivalent to the America West +100 years ago
  • Explore the longest mountain range in the world,  the Andes at 4,400 miles.
  • Visit the highest mountain in the western hemisphere, Aconcagua 22,841ft
  • Stand on wind swept beaches and view Sea Lions, Penguins and Orcas.
  • Drive to the end of the earth and visit the land of fire, Tierra del Fuego.
  • Tour Antarctica, it's only +/- 400 nautical miles from Tierra del Fuego.
  • Watch monkeys and other exotic species while fishing in subtropical forest.
  • Feel the power and the spray of the longest waterfall in the word, Iguazu Falls.
  • Witness one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, Perito Moreno. 
  • Savor Argentinas famous cuisine (beef) and Malbec wines.
  • And of course, wet a line in the immense network of lakes and rivers filled with wild Salmon, Steelhead, Sea Run Brown Trout, Brown-Rainbow-Brook Trout and South America's very own apex predator, the Golden Dorado.

To say the very least, for both tourist and the angler, there is much to see and explore in Argentina. We hope your travels are safe and we look forward to hosting you. 

2. Definition of Guided DIY Fishing

Think lodge type fishing programs without the lodge; without large groups of people, and without lodge prices.
  1. By Argentina law, all waters in Argentina are PUBLIC.  This means we guide you (walk-wade and float) on all waters, even waters that are falsely marketed as private lodge waters.   
  2. Daily Fishing Plan: We focus on the best fishing times and spots. For example, we pick you up each morning and transport you to the river.  Generally, we leave very early because we want our clients to be the first group on the water. This feature is critical in geographic areas that are dominated by the lodge industry (e.g. Junin de los Andes has seven lodges).
  3. Flexibility:  you have complete control of your time/daily schedule.  When you are off the water, you can do anything you want. 
  4. Safety/Comfort:  we put you in our private apartment, located within walking distance to town. You'll have easy access to grocery stores, restaurants, bars, banks, healthcare, and seasonal festivities. Each apartment has a kitchen, bathroom, hot water, wifi, and may sleep up to six anglers.  Price range $50-$100 USD per night, total. 
  5. We offer food/beverage services, but our clients prefer to buy and prepare their own food. 
  6. We provide transportation to/from the airport, lodging, and rivers.
3. Your Argentina Team

There are hundred of organizations selling trips to Argentina.  In our opinion they are all the same -- the vast majority of them are booking agents, employees filling lodges for a high commission. We think we are different and we believe it is important for you to know who you are working with.  By working with FCFF:

- You work directly with the owner and managing partners
- All of our trips are hosted by an owner or managing partner  

Head Fishing Guide -- Assistant Hunting:  Gustavo was born and raised in Argentina. He grew up on the Delta de Parana, which is part of the enormous Parana river system.  In the delta, which is a massive eco-system in itself, Gus and his father hunted for small game and fished for species such as Dorado, Surubi, Pacu, and Pirapita.  At age seventeen, Gus learned how to fly fish on a Patagonia river called Pichi Leufu; a small freestone tributary to the Limay river system. Growing up nearby water, Gus not only fished, but he began rowing.  He eventually became an Argentine single skull champion.  He held this distinction while attending the University of Buenos Aires.  After college, rowing in the Olympics was an option, but he married, started a family, and spent fifteen years as a banking system analyst.  Gus left the banking world to follow his heart.  Gus is an expert walk-wade and floating guide.  When the Patagonia fishing season is closed, he works with our Golden Dorado clients, and assists Lucas with our hunting programs. We are extremely fortunate to have Gus on our team. You are in good hands!

Like father, like son!  Meet Gustavo's little boy.

- He is strong and works hard
- 6'3" and weighs 200lbs
- Ex-pro rugby player
- College educated.
- Fluent English
- All around good kid!

Head Camper/Chef -- Transportation -- Assistant Fly-Fishing & Hunting:  Like his dad, Juan is highly educated and a gifted athlete.  He graduated with honors from the University of Belgrano, speaks fluent English, and is a former professional rugby player for Club France.  He loves the outdoors and in the near future, will be promoted to head guide -- sharing the same duties with his dad.  We are extremely fortunate to have Juan on our team. You are in good hands!

Head Hunting Guide -- Assistant Fishing:  Generations ago, the O'Farrell clan immigrated to Argentina from Ireland. Lucas was born in Buenos Aires.  He was raised on his family's estancias, just outside of Buenos Aires and in the mountains of Patagonia.  He learned how to fly fish on the rio Quillen, one of Argentina's best dry-fly rivers. His hunting career began on his family's ranch, targeting small game and birds. Today, he continues to hunt birds, but he has developed into one of the best big game guides. His father is a surgeon, and as a result of his hard work, he has created a good life for his family.  As such, Lucas and his siblings have been given the opportunity to attend the best schools.  Lucas graduated from the best university in Argentina.  His love of the outdoors led him to managing his family's ranches, and professional guiding. Lucas is an expert trout and sea run trout guide; and he's not too bad on the oars.  Whether it is hunting or fishing, he and Gus are the very best. We are very fortunate to have Lucas on our team. You are in very good hands!

Owner, Host, Program Coordinator.

- FFI Certified Casting Instructor
- NH Licensed Fly Fishing Guide
- NH Fish & Game Certified Fishing
- TU and FFI Life Member
- CPR, First-Aide, NOLS Wilderness First-Aide
- Bachelor of Arts, Iowa State University
- Masters, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Colorado Registered Psychotherapist
- Prior Career: 20 years Medical Sales
- Advisor Phillips Exeter Academy Fly Fishing Club

Over 200 years ago, my family emigrated from Ireland to Tilting, New Foundland. Tilting is located on Fogo Island and for decades the Foley’s earned a living as in-shore Cod fisherman. I have visited Tilting, but I grew up fishing trout streams and the coastal waters of New England.  My love for fishing and adventure travel has led me to places such as Alaska, British Columbia, Montana, New Zealand, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Africa and more.  In fact, in 1999, I spent one year DIY fishing and hiking the Andes mountain range (from Tierra del Fuego to southern Columbia, and from the Galapagos Islands to Brazil).  Since then, I have regularly returned to fish South America, and at one time, I managed an Orvis endorsed fly-fishing lodge in Argentina. As you can imagine, my fly-fishing adventures around the world have provided many wonderful life experiences. As such, I love to share my global fishing experiences by hosting anglers on national and international trips. When I am home in the U.S.A., I am busy teaching, guiding, and doing my part to make my fishing community a better place. 

Take Away Message

We are a team of highly educated professionals with tons of fishing, hunting, and outdoor experience. We know Argentina. Once again, you are in very good hands!   

4.  Northern Patagonia: Trout H2O

In the 1960’s, fly fishing gods such as Joe Brooks and Mel Krieger made the rivers surrounding Junin de los Andes famous. What they discovered back then was a trout fishery unlike any place on Earth. They discovered many of the rivers in the area are attached to large trout producing Andean lakes. As a result, during the spring and fall runs, they targeted monster rainbows and browns moving in and out of the lakes. When the runs slowed down in mid-summer, they discovered an amazing dry-fly fishery second to none. Today, dry fly fishermen have pioneered the use of large attractor dry flies, such as the PMX, Fat Albert, large hopper patterns, and big beetles. Folks, Junin de los Andes is the fly fishing capital of Argentina. Though vacation towns such as Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes offer more for the average tourist, there is no other place other than Junin that offers more accessible rivers/lakes and modern conveniences for the fly fisherman.  Below is a list of rivers and lakes that we fish in the surrounding Junin de los Andes area. 

Chimehuin River – is a large freestone river (similar to the Madison River) and offers the walk-wade fisherman a chance to wet the fly in the world famous 'Boca.' Downstream, there are a handful of walk-wade spots to fish, but the remaning stretch of river is best fished by floating.  Floating the upper and lower Chimehuin offers the angler the opportunity to sight fish while prospecting with streamers, nymphs, and large attractor dry flies. The river fishes best from early December to the end of February. March tends to be a transition month.  In April and May, when the rains and cold weather come, the 'Boca' can produce large migratory brown's.

Collon Cura River – is known as the most prolific trout fishery in all of Patagonia! The trout are wickedly wild and average in the chunky 14” to 20” range, and fall browns can come close to 30”. As you float this large river, the willows and high sandstone cliffs will remind you of Wyoming’s Snake River. During low water levels, its mild gradient and broad gravel riffles make wading possible. Minnows are an important food source in this river, so you’ll find streamers are effective throughout the season (particularly in December, April and May). Like other local rivers, dry fly fishing with large attractors will produce action throughout the day.
Alumine River – is a slower river for the dry fly purest who loves to match hatches for large sipping trout. The river is often compared to Montana’s Missouri River and anglers often take rainbows between 16" and >20". The river fishes best during peak summer months when the caddis and mayfly hatches occur.  During the months of April and May, the brown trout fishing ranks with the Collon Cura and other rivers.
Malleo River – The queen of northern Patagonia!  This river is a spectacular fishery for the dry fly enthusiast. Known for its spectacular caddis and mayfly hatches, anglers will delight with wild, hard fighting fish.  This is a wade only fishery and for those who like to walk-wade for trophy wild fish, this is your river.
Caleufu River – Due to the proximity to the Piedra del Aguila reservoir, this river fishes extremely well early and late in the season. In fact, late in the season there is what locals call the minnow hatch.  If the minnow hatch is on, and if you have a small minnow like pattern, fishing for large rainbows and browns can be amazing!  Warning, your minnow fly and presentation must be exact or these fish will not take it. Overall, this river is a medium-size tributary of the Collon Cura and can be floated till the end of January, beginning or February.
Tromen, Huechulafquen, Epulafquen, Carilafquen, Verde, and Curruhe Lakes – a trip to Patagonia would not be complete without fishing one of these magnificent trophy trout filled lakes! The combination of crystal clear waters, breath taking views and water filled with rainbows, browns, brookies and land locked salmon makes for an unforgettable day. You’ll be stripping streamers, tossing dries and sight fishing with a chance to land all four species in one day!  Don't forget to ask about our over-night lake camping trips.  Camping the heart of the Andes is an unforgettable experience.

Final Word: Our Home H2O 

We have fished lots of waters in Argentina.  As a result we know lots of people/places. We have the ability to offer/service trips for Trout, Steelhead, Sea Run Brown Trout and Golden Dorado.  But, like any successful business, we believe the key to our success is staying focused, and executing a simple, yet effective plan. That being said, we like what we do and we believe our guided DIY services on our home waters are unique, and go above and beyond our clients expectations.  In the next section please review our Junin de los Andes fly fishing options. If you would like, please let us know how we can help plan your next trip to Patagonia.

5.  Fishing with FCFF

Option #1: Guided DIY Walk-Wade & Camping

Whether you are a soloist or a small group, just about anywhere in the world, it is possible to do your own fly fishing trips.  However, tapping into local knowledge, for instance, where to fish the best waters, can be very challenging (especially, if you only have 1-2 weeks in a foreign country).  

Our guided DIY trips are designed to eliminate all the challenges associated with independent traveling. Our trips are 100% customizable and offer the best value for the consumer.  For example, on recent DIY trips to Patagonia, our clients spent between $1000 - $5000 USD for 7 days - 30 days trips.  That included all transportation, camping/lodging, and food.  In fact, our clients fished the same waters, drank great wines, and ate great food -- just like the folks staying at a $5k per week, per person, lodge.  The value and life experience of our guided DIY walk-wade fishing programs are the best in the industry.  

General Info
  • How:  We have two DIY walk-wade programs/pricing.  Please inquire for more details.
  • Where: Northern Patagonia, based out of Junin de los Andes. 
  • When: Fishing season begins November and ends May 31st.
  • Flights: Our services do not include the costs of airfare.  
  • Who: Trips available for one to four anglers. 
  • Camping: Fish with your guide all day and then return to your full service camp. 
  • Equipment: Many true DIY fly-fisherman travel with their own camping gear.  If you would like to leave your equipment at home, please consult with me.  
  • Cost: Each DIY trip is 100% customized to meet your personal needs.  Please contact FCFF for more details.

Guided DIY Walk-Wade and Camp 

I can't think of a better way to truly fish and feel Patagonia!  Having personally camped and fished much of Patagonia.  I sincerely believe that everyone should afford themselves this opportunity -- at least one night of camping.  Why?

  • Fish until dark, target big browns.  Fish early A.M., catch the morning hatch.
  • Witness spectacular Patagonian sunrise and sunsets.
  • Wine and dine next to a wild Patagonia river -- experience a Patagonia Asado (BBQ).
  • Sleep out in the open air, under the stars and view the southern cross.
  • Sleep in your tent, complete with cots, sleeping bags and pillows.

Option #2: Guided DIY Float Trips & Camping 

We call our float trips guided DIY because we offer our clients several pricing options.  We offer multi-pricing options because we believe our clients enjoy the freedom of choosing what meets their personal fishing and financial needs. The net result of our pricing options, equals more floating days for you and your group.

What makes our guided DIY float programs unique?  Contrary to what they say or what marketing B.S. you read, it's a known fact that all lodges and outfitters float the same rivers; and no water in Argentina is private! My point; we float the same rivers as the lodges and outfitters, but we do two things that significantly improves your time and catch rate on the water (see definition of guided DIY).

General Info
  • How:  We have two DIY float trip programs/pricing. Please inquire for more details.
  • WhereNorthern Patagonia, based out of Junin de los Andes. 
  • When:  Fishing season begins November and ends May 31st.
  • Flights:  Our services do not include the cost of airfare.  
  • WhoTrips available for one to six anglers.  If more than six, please inquire with FCFF.
  • Cost:  Each DIY trip is 100% customized to meet your personal  needs.  Please contact FCFF for more details.
Guided DIY Float and Camp 

I can't think of a better way to truly fish and feel Patagonia!  Having personally camped and fished much of Patagonia.  I sincerely believe that everyone should afford themselves this opportunity -- at least one night of camping.  Why?

  • Fish until dark, target big browns.
  • Fish early A.M., catch the morning hatch.
  • Witness spectacular Patagonian sunrise and sunsets.
  • Wine and dine next to a wild Patagonia river -- experience a Patagonia Asado (BBQ).
  • Sleep out in the open air, under the stars and view the southern cross.
  • Sleep in your tent, complete with cots, sleeping bags and pillows.

Option #3: Guided Fly Fishing Lodge

You have only 7-10 days of vacation, you don't speak the local language, you expect full service 24/7, and you are willing to pay for it.  That being said, my sincerest recommendation is a full service lodge. But before you get carried away by industry wide flashy photos and poetic prose, you should know the following: there are many full services lodges throughout Patagonia (seven lodges in Junin de los Andes).  They are all unique, yet they seem to make the same claims of excellence, be it fishing on so called private waters, catching 20+ trout per day, the best wine and food, or 100% exclusivity.  Being a former Orvis endorsed lodge manager, and having visited all the Junin based lodges myself, I can honestly say that many lodges fail to live up to their claims (even the one I managed). So, if you would like to stay at a lodge, picking the right lodge for you, or your group is absolutely CRITICAL!  This is one of many reasons why FCFF only offers hosted lodge trips.  Trust me, $!@* happens (even at the best lodges) and having your very own personal on-the-ground host who is 100% dedicated to meeting your needs, and solving problems that meets your satisfaction, is the only way to go.  Don't believe me?  Picture this; you are a small group of four anglers. You were led to believe that the lodge is semi-private, or even worse, 100% private.  You arrive at the lodge and discover that the lodge is hosting several other groups. The other groups are larger, and they have their own group leaders.  The staff knows you don't have a group leader and due to your small group size, they have pinned your group as the lowest potential tip providers.  The end result, you will take back seat and fish last behind the other groups...sad, but often true. 

All Inclusive, 7 Nights - 6 Days Lodge & Floats

  • Six full days of guided fly-fishing by FCFF guides (not the lodge guides).
  • Seven night's lodging including breakfast, shore lunch, and authentic Argentine dinners.
  • All beverages (i.e. wine and beer).  
  • Round trip ground transportation from either San Carlos de Bariloche or San Martin de Los Andes airports.
  • Package rate is per person and based on double occupancy.
  • This package does not include the following: airfare to Buenos Aires, round-trip airfare from Buenos Aires to San Martin or San Carlos de Bariloche. 
  • The package does not include hotel stays while in Buenos Aires/Bariloche; or meals or ground transportation in Buenos Aires. 
  • Lastly, gratuities for the guides and staff are not included.
  • Pricing, please contact FCFF.

6. Frequent Questions & Answers

Q:  During the fishing season, what is the best month/week to visit Patagonia? 

A:  It depends if you want the best fishing, best weather, and limited pressure from other anglers. Most anglers fish January 1st till March 31st.  To meet your specific needs, please contact me directly.    

Q:  I like your concept of DIY walk-wade and camping.  But, I think I would like to sleep in a bed, have a hot meal and shower, each night.  Can we do DIY walk-wade day trips?

A:  Yes.  From Junin de los Andes, and within a short drive, we can access multiple bodies of water. 

Q:  I am a beginner/intermediate angler.  What will the fishing be like for me; will I be catching lots of big fish? 

A:  Truth be told, the majority of the time, it could be very challenging for you.  You might be a beginner/advance beginner/intermediate angler back home, but this is Patagonia.  Each day we are fishing in steady 15-20 mph winds, with gust up to 40-60 mph.  We are also fishing for wild trout, in crystal clear waters. The majority of strikes are lightening fast and many people, including the pro's, miss the strike. Prior to booking your flights and spending thousands of $'s, I advise all potential clients to have an open/honest conversation with me.  In other words, we need to discuss your skill level and determine if a trip will be worth your investment. 

Q: I am a beginner/intermediate, can you teach me?

A: There is a major difference between guiding and teaching. Our programs are set up for guiding proficient anglers.  My suggestions; 1) talk to me before investing thousands of $'s; 2) take lessons, practice at home and get as much experience on the water (and still be prepared to be humbled).

Q:  Are there blood suck mosquito's and life threaten insects/animals?
A:  Surprisingly, Patagonia has almost no mosquito's or poisonous insect/animals.  Your biggest worry should be sun protection, wind protection, and hydration.   

Q: I am a vegetarian-vegan, etc.  Can I make special foods request?
A:  Yes, not an issue.

Q:  Will there be other guest at the lodge?
A:  Yes, particularly during the high season of January through the end of February.  We have a strong relationship with the lodge owner; he allows us to guide our clients who stay at the lodge.

Q:  Can you send me more detailed information about your services.
A:  Yes.  One we receive a deposit, you will receive an in depth welcome brochure.  99.9% of all Q&A and pre-trip planning, will be in this document.

7.  Fee's, Payment, Terms- Conditions, Welcome Brochure

Patagonia  Fee's

We do not post a fee schedule because each trip is 100% customized to meet your personal needs. We believe you'll find our fee's to be very competitive. 

Repeat Client Pricing

Despite horrific inflation rates in Argentina, our program has been designed to reward loyalty. Here's how it works:
  • If you repeat the same itinerary as the previous year, your pricing will be the same (exact dates/months are not critical).
  • Upon the third year, if your repeat the same program as year two, we may increase the price, but only up-charge by 10%.
  • Upon the fourth year, if you repeat the same program as year three, your pricing will be the same. 

USA Payment Options
  • Venmo, Cash, Bank Check, Money Order

International Payment Options
  • Paypal, E-Transfer

Welcome Brochure

Upon receipt of your deposit, you will receive an extensive informational brochure. 

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