In 2013 Alex and Nico Trochine were confident that king salmon fishing in Chile had enormous potential if only they could find the right system that set up well for swinging flies and offered a chance at big chrome-bright fish in the 20-60+ pound class right off the tides. It was a major undertaking, but eventually they found the system that had all the criteria. In 2016 they built a wonderful camp and ran their first season which proved a great success. Guests stay in a very comfortable double occupancy tent camp that takes four anglers and offers easy access to the upper beats of their large, clear, free flowing river. The majority of fishing is done with two handed rods while wading but fishing from the boat has also proven very effective and opened up productive water otherwise unreachable to anglers.
The complete history of how and when these King Salmon arrived to Chilean waters is somewhat unclear – some say they were introduced at the end of the 19th Century while others claim they have only been around for the past few decades. Regardless of knowing the exact history, we do know this, they are chrome-bright, large in size, and there are a lot of them! Catch rates average roughly one fish per person per day with majority of the fish weighing in at the 25-50# class. For skilled anglers wanting the challenge of gorgeous big fish in an awe-inspiring setting, Austral Kings is the place.
Location: The Austral Kings Camp is located in southern Chile in the Los Lagos Region five hours south of Puerto Montt.
Fishing Program: Austral Kings’ river is a steep, clear flowing river that slows considerably, creating great holding water before emptying into a fjord. It is not uncommon to see chrome bright fish rolling in the estuary as anglers arrive to the region by boat. With tides that average 20 ft there are a number of interesting tidewater opportunities. The upper river, where anglers will spend the majority of their time, is turquoise colored and runs through a lush green valley surrounded by glacier-capped granite mountains. It has a variety of fishy structure, including gravel beaches, big boulders, classic tail-outs and deep runs. The program has access to over eight miles of water accessed by foot and jet boat. Fishing will be done from the bank swinging flies and there are also lots of productive runs that are fished from the boat. When there are lots of fish in the system the number of spey fishing opportunities will be at their highest. When there are fewer fish in the river the amount of time spent fishing from the boat often increases. When fishing from the boat anglers will employ both single and double handed rods with very heavy tips and will actively retrieve their flies. Anglers will rotate through both the upper river and lower river beats meaning that some days you will fish relatively close to your accommodations and other days you will transfer to a more distant point to begin your day’s fishing. While the distances are not great, the roads are slow and often indirect so transfers can take upwards of 30 minutes.
Accommodations and Meals: Despite the remote location this wilderness camp is Chilean “glamping” at its finest. Guests will stay in spacious single occupancy luxury canvas tents equipped with comfortable beds, chairs, and equipment storage. There is a bathhouse with two bathrooms – each having a shower (with hot running water!), sink and flush toilet. All meals will be prepared in the fixed camp kitchen and served in a large dining/lounge tent. While it would not be fair to call this camp luxurious, it has been thoughtfully constructed and is very comfortable by camp standards. It is located in the middle of the upper river’s most productive reach in a spectacular setting near the river.
Day 1: Arrive to Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Transfer (5-6 hours) by vehicle and then boat, from Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas to Austral Kings.
Day 3-8: Six full days of guided fishing for King Salmon.
Day 9: Depart Austral Kings and transfer to Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Fly from Puerto Montt to Santiago and on to home.
2020 Rate: $5,525 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals including beer and wine at the Camp, transfers between Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas and the lodge, and guided fishing.
Not Included: International and domestic airfare, hotels/meals/transfers in Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, fishing equipment, fishing license, and gratuities.
Species: King Salmon
Season: January - March
Capacity: 4 anglers
Time: UTC/GMT -3 hours. Daylight Saving Time observed.