Fly-Fishing Chilean Patagonia
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To fly-fishermen, Patagonia is the promised land. Not only are there thousands of miles of pristine rivers and lakes spread across the region (in southern Chile and Argentina), it's more than twice the size of California and has one of the lowest population densities on earth. It's just you, the gauchos, and the fish down there. In March, normally strong winds die off, making for easy rod work, and lower water levels expose deep holes where the really big fish lurk. Patagonia Adventures has a network of fishing lodges, camps, and guides on both sides of the border, and can lead you to lake and river trout and the salmon runs. Trophy hunters who hitch a helicopter ride from Puerto Montt to Dos Rios, Chile, for a seven-day stay at the outfitter's salmon camp have a shot at netting monster 50-pound Atlantic Salar and Pacific Chinook salmon feeding in the same fast-moving river – one of the few places on earth where they both congregate. Over the border at Argentina's Los Alerces Park, where Patagonia Adventures has another lodge, three rivers, five lakes, and two spring creeks host browns and rainbows that don't come any smaller than 18 inches. The glacier-fed lakes are so clear you can eyeball rainbow trout 20 feet below the surface of your boat, and if you hit Lake Menendez you're all but guaranteed a 30-fish day.