Brian Ropp and his brother took a trip to Chile West in February of this year. Brian has written a great, detailed account of his trip. This post contains some excerpts from his report – if you’d like to read the full report, check it out on our Facebook page.
Thanks for the report, Brian!
In Mid-February, my brother and I made our first ever trip to Patagonia to fish with Chile West. We are not experienced fly fishermen by any stretch but wanted a “trip of a life-time” to celebrate my 40th birthday and liked the Chile West plan. After some extensive online research, speaking with other fixed based lodges connected with national flyfishing suppliers and several conference calls with Chile West’s Manager – Chris Price, we selected Chile West as our guide service. My brother and I were impressed with Chris’ local knowledge of the region, honesty, and flexibility to incorporate our interests, as well as the program’s mobility to avoid weather challenges.
On day two, we floated a large river that would rival any Western U.S. river that included a variety of structure and fishing experiences. We caught several rainbows and browns ranging from 12 – 20 inches on both dry flies and nymphs. This was our first experience on the trip watching a 20+ inch brown/rainbow take a dry fly on the surface…simply awe inspiring. Our guide Chris Price showed extreme patience with my brother and I as we learned how to dual fish from a raft…something we had never done before. The weather was again crystal clear blue skies and the temperature felt more like typical summer weather with a high in the mid-to-high 70’s. The fishing and the scenery of the mountains and birds along the float were simply amazing….words just can’t describe the beauty. We closed out an incredible day with a fabulous chef prepared dinner back at our cabin which was proceeded by attending a local town festival that included singing, dancing and entertainment. The experience made us feel like locals…if we just spoke the language. As we left for our next destination, we found out that a volcano had erupted approximately 80 miles away but we were never affected by it.
Just when we thought we had experienced it all, our next excursion included hiking up a picturesque valley by horseback for an hour and a half. The horseback element was a treat well beyond our expectations. The water was gin like clear and the scenery was again simply amazing. We caught at least 8 – 10 rainbows apiece under crystal clear blue skies that made you want to stay there forever. Our host, Duvey, also prepared an authentic Asado – a goat barbecue stream side. I wasn’t sure how I would like goat but like everything else, it was better than I ever imagined. It was a great ending to a day that we will never forget.
The next destination took us to a private cabin that included a large nearby lake and a lake on the premises. We got to meet the “host” family who owned the farm and quickly became friends. Our guide was very flexible with our itinerary and provided several opportunities to lake fish after the awesome experience we had catching large browns/rainbows. I caught over 20 browns one afternoon on the lake at the cabin. They were not as large as the earlier lake but in many circumstances, you could watch the fish follow the streamer out of the reeds along the banks and nail it. This was a lot of fun and the most prolific fishing I’ve ever experienced – catching four fish in the course of ten minutes at one stretch. We capped off an awesome day of fishing with a Chilean barbecue while enjoying several red wines from the region.
The only disappointment of the entire trip was when I had to explain to my five year old son that I didn’t bring home 100 fish. However, he was quickly assuaged with the hundreds of pictures that I shared with him that documented our trip. I can’t say enough good things about the trip, the Chile West guides, the country, the fishing or the people. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone without any reservations. If you would like to contact me to ask me any specific questions, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.