Fly fish Chilean Patagonia in 2021-22

Head to Chile to fish Patagonia's Magic Waters and the River of Dreams this year
rio mogote fly fishing
Anglers ply the waters of Rio Mogote (photo: Matt Harris).

Patagonia is one of those places that calls to anglers across the world. From the trout-rich streams that dot Argentina's arid steppe on the eastern side of the Andes to the lush, rainforest rivers and creeks that course from glacier-tipped peaks to the Pacific on the western side of the divide, Patagonia's waters have risen to the top of many a fisherman's bucket list, displacing other dream destinations like Alaska, Russia, Christmas Island, the Seychelles and more. This is all with good reason. Few, if any, places in the world offer the quality and diversity of the fishing in Patagonia.

After more than 18 months of border closures, Chile is once again open to international travel, which means that anglers can once again visit our good friends at Magic Waters Lodge in Chilean Patagonia. Anglers can choose to spend a week at the lodge, fishing the diverse, storied waters around Coyhaique, Chile or to spend week at the incomparable "River of Dreams" basecamp, 30 miles of isolated, remote, trophy-trout water that is fished by only a handful of anglers each year. And of course, as many travelers do, anglers can choose to combine both weeks into a 2-week Chilean adventure.

A brown trout from Rio Blanco
A brown trout from Rio Blanco (photo: Matt Harris).


Fish some of the most famous rivers in Chilean Patagonia—rivers like the Paloma, Mogote, Simpson, Huemueles and more—as well as local spring creeks which offer excellent small-stream dry fly fishing. Anglers who want to chase some of Chile's largest browns and rainbows can also head to one of the region's breathtaking lakes, to soak up amazing views and cast dry flies and streamers to hungry trout.

Fly fishing the waters near Magic Waters Lodge
Fly fishing the waters near Magic Waters Lodge (photo: Matt Harris).
rio huemueles trout fishing
Casting to trout beneath a waterfall on Rio Huemueles (photo: Magic Waters Lodge).
paloma river fly fishing
Fishing the Paloma River in Chilean Patagonia (photo: Magic Waters Lodge).


Your week in Chile will be spent at the luxurious and comfortable Magic Waters Lodge. Situated in a small, bucolic mountain valley not far from Coyhaique, the lodge is nestled on a hillside overlooking two small lakes that are part of the outflow of Barroso Lake. Built by hand using locally sourced timber and stone, Magic Waters is a family-run lodge. Eduardo Barrueto, your warm and welcoming host, is a fixture at the lodge, overseeing every detail of your stay. In the kitchen, Daniel —an accomplished professional chef—prepares family recipes that fuse traditional Chilean and Patagonian cuisine. Lodge-grown organic vegetables, locally-sourced grass-fed meat and fresh fish, and fine Chilean wines grace every meal. From the spacious guest rooms to the roaring fireplace constructed from local river stones to the bar and game room and fly tying area, the lodge is warm and inviting.

magic waters lodge
Scenes from around Magic Waters Lodge.


The river valley that is home to the remote "River of Dreams" basecamp is accessed solely by our partners in Chile. Over 30 miles of trophy-trout water—which course through the verdant Blanco River rainforest valley—are the exclusive domain of small groups of 6 anglers.

The River of Dreams is actually two rivers. Or, one river and a creek, to be more accurate. Basecamp sits at the confluence of the mighty Blanco River and a natural spring creek that emerges from the mountains a few miles behind camp. Anglers can opt to chase big silver-sided brown and rainbow trout on the emerald green waters of the main river, or cast mice (yes, mice!) and other big attractor patterns to the fat, pumpkin and butter-colored browns that are year-round residents of the creek. The pairing of the creek and the main river combine to offer what we call "bulletproof fishing", a rarity amongst the unpredictable weather that is characteristic throughout the Valdivian rainforests that line the Pacific-facing spine of the Andes.

But, for the full story on the River of Dreams, you really must check out our photo-filled story, "Pasture Raised Trout".

rio blanco chile
The River of Dreams basecamp is perched at the confluence of Rio Blanco [left] and an unnamed spring creek [right] (photo: Matt Harris). (photo: Matt Harris).
spring creek brown trout
A mouse-eating brown trout from the spring creek that flows just steps from basecamp (photo: Chad Shmukler).

There are only two ways into camp: by helicopter or horseback. Which way you choose is largely up to you. Some anglers prefer the speed of the helicopter, others prefer the adventurous horse ride through the mountains and into the Blanco valley (photo: Magic Waters Lodge).


If you think being in the middle of nowhere in a remote Patagonian river valley means tough living, think again. Here's how basecamp is described in the story "Pasture Raised Trout."

Unreasonably comfortable, the camp is comprised of eight large tents, all built using a custom, arched, wood-frame construction of Andy’s design. The structures are more buildings than tents, with wood floors, framed doors and heaters. Clear and green vinyl weatherproofs the frames while providing window-like views and allowing the tents to flood with sunlight when it shines. The guest tents each have two large beds topped with down comforters, furniture for clothes storage and front porches with armchairs for sitting and admiring the river. The main tent is a large common room—with a sitting area, dining table large enough for 12 and a full-sized, separate kitchen in the back—where everyone at the camp gathers for cocktails, meals and late-night story sessions. In the rear of the camp, another building houses bathrooms and showers, efficiently eco-friendly, with composting toilets and electric, on-demand hot water heaters for the shower .... from the enormous wood beams that make the arched tent frames, to the chest freezers that store meat and fish in the kitchen, to the hot water heaters that offer piping hot showers at the end of each day—everything came in on packhorses over the course of the two years it took to construct the camp. In the middle of one of the most untouched valleys in Patagonia, the River of Dreams basecamp is a marvel, and this is certainly not roughing it.

river of dreams basecamp cabins
Guest cabins at basecamp (photo: Matt Harris).
main cabin river of dreams
main cabin river of dreams
The spacious, cookstove-heated main dining cabin/lodge at basecamp is where guests gather for drinks after a day on the water and for meals (photos: Earl Harper [top], Magic Waters Lodge [bottom]).


Nearly everything. All lodging, guiding, ground transportation, meals and beverages (both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages) are included. Flies and terminal tackle are also included. In some cases, loaner rods, boots, and waders can also be provided by the lodge.


Air travel and gratuities.

blanco river chile fly fishing
Working a bank of the Blanco River (photo: Earl Harper).
beetle flies
In November, we'll be keeping our eyes out for big beetles that descend on the Blanco and send its trout into a feeding frenzy (photo: Magic Waters Lodge).
rio blanco brown trout
Another Rio Blanco brown trout (photo: Earl Harper).


Per-day costs of our Patagonian adventure — where you'll fish some of the best trout water found anywhere, dine on fine cuisine, enjoy free flowing Chilean and other regional wines and aperitifs, and virtually everything is provided for/included — are less or on par with what you'd to spend for a stay in an Alaskan tent camp, where you'd typically pack your own flies and tackle, fly in your own booze and enjoy home cooked, but simple, meals.

lake near magic waters lodge
Photo: Magic Waters Lodge

Space is limited for the 2021-22 season! If you're interested heading to Chilean Patagonia, please fill out the form below and we'll be back to you shortly to provide up-to-the-minute availability, answer any questions, provide additional information, and share more photos if you'd like to see them.


WHEN: 2021-2022 Season, Various Dates

WHERE: Magic Waters Lodge + River of Dreams Basecamp — Patagonia, Chile

RIVERS: Paloma, Simpson, Huemueles, Mogote, and Blanco rivers + local spring creeks and lakes
FISHING: 50/50 float/wade mix (approximately)

COST: $5,500 (Lodge week), $6,000 (Basecamp week) *

* prices do not include airfare or gratuities

Ready to reserve a spot? Or just want to learn more about the trip? Fill out the short travel inquiry form below.

Travel Inquiry: Chilean Patagonia 2021-22

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