Patagonia Trout Fishing Odyssey -Trip Report, Part 1

Day 1   “I don’t need to fish all week to know I am rebooking” said Mark Lambert as we hit the takeout on our first day.

 Cinco Rios / Est de Zorro – Chile

We kicked off our 2024 Patagonia Trout Fishing Odyssey with two weeks of the Best of Patagonia program in Chile – a half week at Cinco Rios Lodge and a half week at Estancia de Zorro. At Cinco we floated the upper Simpson River, all hoppers and no hatches. Day 2 we floated the stunning Simpson Canyon with mayflies coming off all day, almost all sight fishing. Our smallest trout were 2 Rainbows around 10 inches and all the rest were 17-20 inches, except for one 23inch Rainbow and one 21 inch Brown – all simply gorgeous, super strong requiring 1x or 2x tippet.

On Day 3 we fished Lago Atravesado and boated around 20-25 Browns 17-20 inches and missed many more, all on the same #6 black foam beetle.

That evening we drove an hour and 20 mins to Estancia del Zorro close to the Argentine border. (3 photos above @derek.deyoung)

We fished 2 days on the famous Nirhuao, a long narrow spring creek meandering through tall grasses where every step released a small explosion of grasshoppers. By mid afternoon we had landed enough 17-20 inches Browns on hoppers that we were overly satisfied and buzzed back to the lodge.



Our last day at Zorro we fished the Richards Creek where it enters the lower Nirhuao. Richards is a softly winding creeks about 10 -15 feet wide. We had similar fishing but managed to land a nice 24 inch Brown.

Week 2
We repeated the Best of Patagonia program on week 2. We could have fished many other rivers at both lodges had it not been for some rain and our desire to take a rest day. The conclusion -One Week Is Not Enough.  Too much good fishing to be had.

Aside from the quality service and guides and fishing at each lodge, the diversity of the lodge coupled with the ranch is what makes this trip. But when you leave one lodge, you understand just how much you did not see, didn’t fish. We highly recommend coming for two weeks if you can find available space and have the time.

We were quite fortunate to have the Derek DeYoung at the lodge. He was happy to share his art and loveable sense of humor with anyone.


Contact us for 2025 availability for The Best of Patagonia – Chile.

Week 3  – Crossing The Border To Tecka  

After fishing in Coyhaique Chile, our next destination was Estancia Tecka, an hour south of Esquel, Argentina. The 6 hour drive from Estancia Zorro took us east and north, not over the Andes, but across the Pampas plains, which changed shape and color every 45 mins. Paved by glaciers, the harsh and seeming barren landscape is rich with life and natural history if one looks close enough. Traveling the section of the famous Ruta 40 one sees a small piece of the real, the true Patagonia.

At the only gas station in the tiny town of Tecka, Matias from Estancia Tecka Lodge greeted us and drove us 40 mins the Estancia Tecka’s Headquarters Lodge

Like Cinco Rios and Estancia del Zorro, Tecka has more water than you could fish in two weeks. The greatest difference and what makes Tecka totally unique in the world, is that all the water you fish flows within the 432,000 acres of the ranch. At Tecka, there are no leases, no poaching, and no competition with other lodges. In fact, they never put more than two rods on any beat each day, and then that beat gets rested for two-three days. With so many river miles, resting a beat if no challenge. Imagine, they have 14 sections of the Corcovado and many beats within each section.
We floated the Corcovado River, and waded 3 creeks – a large spring creek simply called The Spring Creek, The Tecka River and Fango spring creek. We barely scratched the surface of these rivers where 40-50 trout per day is easily achieved for an intermediate angler. Each angler landed a few fish that were in the 18-22 inch range, but most averaged 15 inches.

Estancia Tecka specializes in Herford beef and Merino wool and the genetics of their animals are regarded as the some of the finest one buy in Patagonia. Tecka holds one auction a year, inviting ranchers to buy their animals to diversify the genetics on their own herds. We were there for this annual event and I opted to attend rather than fish. The attendees were welcomed with lunch and drinks under a tent before the auction. After a few welcoming words, the auctioneer stood in the bed of a truck, encouraging bids on each of the lots. When one closed out, the truck moved to the next pen and the bidding started again.

Our next stop on our Patagonia Trout Fishing Odyssey will be San Jose Lodge on the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. Look out for a report in the coming weeks.

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