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In Late December I had the good fortune of making a short road trip up to fish in what I consider to be Northern Patagonia out of the Chucao Lodges. These two gorgeous lodge facilities are located on the famous Chilean lakes of Lago Rosselot and Lago Yelcho and owned by well know Chilean angler and shop owner, Gonzalo Cortez of Santiago. Gonzalo took tremendous care in selecting some of the most incredible settings imaginable for these two first class lodges and each detail has been painstakingly thought out to insure that everything an angler could hope for is right there at their finger tips.  Not only are the two lodges fully equipped and spectacularly situated, I also don’t believe I’ve seen a fishing operation anywhere with a more impressive fleet of boats than what they have there at Chucao.

The Chucao Lodge at Lago Rosselot in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

My first stop was at the Lago Rosselot lodge located near the village of La Junta in what is perhaps the most spectacular setting I have seen for a fishing lodge anywhere in the world.  The second Chucao lodge on Lago Yelcho is equally impressive located 1.5 hrs. drive to the north of the Rosselot lodge.

Inside the Chucao lodge at Lago Rosselot in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

The two Chucao lodges are presently being managed by Hernan Barrientos and his lovely wife Soledad who rules the kitchen. Hernan and Soledad are from Puerto Varas, Chile and Hernan is recognized as among the countries most experienced guides. During my first afternoon with him on the water I quickly learned he is virtually a living encyclopedia on the history of Chilean angling.

During my stay at Rosselot in late Dec. there was a massive sedge hatch taking place which I have also witnessed in the Coyhaique area at this same time of the season.

The sedge hatch at Chucao Lodge on Lago Rosselot in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

Sedge swarm in Chilean Patagonia during December. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

Hernan and his guides were referring to the clouds of bugs as caddis but, I’d consider the tiny cream-colored sedges to be more  a type of moth rather than what I’d call a caddis.  Whatever the case, that fact of the matter is that there are millions of them flitting around on the water at dusk at this time of year and the fish do key in on them in a big way.  On my first evening at an eddy just a stone’s throw from the lodge, I hooked and released a half dozen rambunctious rainbows using a small elk hair caddis skated through the foam lines.

The Rosselot lodge has access to several rivers and stillwaters in the La Junta area including the well known Rios Figueroa, Rosselot, Palena and Pico.

Float fishing on the Rio Figueroa in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

The Chucao lodges fishing program is based on the ability to utilize both the Rosselot and Yelcho lodges during a typical week’s stay offering a huge variety of fishing options.  The weather was excellent during my visit short visit and Hernan suggested we should get up to the Yelcho lodge as the conditions were ideal for fishing the famed dragonfly hatch there.

His suggestion turned out to be an excellent one and we experienced a great morning there casting a Gypsy King to large receptive rainbows leaping for dragonflies outside the reed beds just minutes from the lodge.

An acrobatic bow jumps ship during the dragonfly hatch at Lago Yelcho. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson w/Hernan Barrientos

The Yelcho dragonfly hatch is one of the classic angling events to experience in Patagonia and I feel very fortunate to have caught it just right that day.  December and February are what the guide’s suggest as the very best times to catch it.

Another nice rainbow caught during the dragonfly hatch at Lago Yelcho. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson w/Hernan Barrientos

I spent some time later that afternoon with local guide Luis fishing a couple of large eddys down the Yelcho river just a short distance from the lodge.  There we had a  fantastic time sight fishing with small dries to large rainbows sipping in the foam lines.   

Releasing a rainbow trout on the Rio Yelcho in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

Two and a half days wasn’t nearly enough time to experience these two amazing locations but, I was very fortunate to see the area when the conditions were at their best and was able to get a solid feel for what the Chucao lodges have to offer.  This is a great destination offering a tremendous amount of angling diversity in a jaw dropping remote setting.

The Chucao Lodge at Lago Yelcho in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

Inside the Chucao Lodge at Lago Yelcho in Chilean Patagonia. Photo: ©Rex Bryngelson

 Getting to the Chucao lodges typically involves flying to Puerto Montt, Chile by commercial jet and then on to the town of Chaiten by way of air taxi. For more information on booking a trip to the Chucao lodges or anywhere else in Patagonia, please contact me at:  – Rex Bryngelson from Chile