Deep within the seldom visited Aysen Provence of Chilean Patagonia, there is a special lodge perfectly suited to adventuresome anglers that take pride and pleasure in fishing off the beaten path. Marcel and Carolina Sijnesael built their dream lodge on the banks of the Rio Palena for all the right reasons; the main one being they wanted to show their guests the beauty and bounty of Patagonia without having to see other anglers. Here anglers will fish a wide range of systems from rafts and jetboats targeting wild rainbows and browns. Most of the fish will range from 14 to 20 inches with, 20-plus inch fish caught daily, 24-plus inch fish caught weekly, and a few fish over 30 inches netted each season. Marcel prides himself on having created a unique experience that incorporates ultra-comfortable overnight trips at established and well-appointed riverside out-camps into the lodge program, making for a most memorable adventure.
Location: The main lodge is in the northern Aysen area of Patagonia outside the town of La Junta, Chile.
Fishing Program: With innumerable rivers, creeks, lakes and lagoons within arm’s reach of Patagonian Basecamp the fishing options are nearly unlimited. Throughout the course of a stay, anglers will never fish the same section of water twice and it would take a full month to fish all the beats they offer. The main systems fished include the Palena, Rosselot, Figueroa and Yelcho rivers along with their adjoining lakes and tributaries. The fishing program is centered around boat-based fishing due to the size, structure and difficult access points to their rivers and lakes. However, Marcel has some amazing hidden waters for anglers wanting to access water on foot, mountain bike or horseback. Each evening after dinner, Marcel will discuss the best fishing options available and personalize the next day’s fishing plan with each guest.
Accommodations and Meals: Equal to their incredibly diverse fishing program, the ten-person lodge offers eight spacious rooms with private baths, as well as a sauna, hot tub, message services, an open bar and free laundry service twice weekly. The main gathering room features a large central fireplace surrounded by plenty of comfortable sofas and chairs to relax in and enjoy a cocktail, pisco sour, or glass of wine from the open bar while gazing out the large picture windows at the Palena river and lush mountains. Carolina heads the kitchen staff where their thoughtfully prepared meals emphasize traditional Chilean cuisine made with fresh locally sourced organic foods
Sample Week Itinerary:
Friday: Depart home.
Saturday: Arrive to Santiago, Chile. Then fly to Puerto Montt. A transfer service will meet you at the airport and bring you to your hotel in Puerto Varas.
Sunday: A transfer service will meet you at your hotel in the morning and bring you to the local airport for a 1 1/2 hour charter flight to La Junta. Guides from the lodge will meet you at the airport and transfer you 15 minutes to the lodge.
Monday-Saturday: Six full days of guided fishing with Patagonian Basecamp.
Friday: Depart the lodge after breakfast and transfer back to La Junta for the return flight to Puerto Montt. A transfer service will meet you bring you to the Puerto Montt airport for your return flight to Santiago. Connect with overnight flight back to the US.
$6,995 per person for a 7 night/6 day package (Sunday-Sunday)
$9,995 per person for a 10 night/9 day package (Tuesday-Friday)
$10,995 per person for an 11 night/10 day package (Friday-Tuesday)
Included: Accommodations and meals, wine/beer/alcohol, guided fishing, one night hotel in Punta Varas, charter flight to/from Chaiten, ground transfers to/from Puerto Montt airport and your hotel, fishing license, and laundry (twice weekly).
Not Included: International and domestic airfare, accommodations/meals/transfers in Santiago, meals in Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas, staff and guide gratuities, fishing equipment, flies, and waders and boots.
Species: Brown trout and rainbow trout
Season: December – April
Capacity: 10 anglers
Map: La Junta, Chile
Time: The time in Chile is 4 hours later than Pacific Standard Time (during U.S. winter).