Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Destination Type
Fishing Style
Drift Boat, Dry Fly, Private Waters, Sightfishing, Spring Creek, Stillwater, Wading
November - April
Fishing Days
Why We Go
  • Fish a seemingly endless list of options where guests will never repeat the same beat
  • Visit a lodge with a variety of activities, well-suited for dedicated anglers, multi-sport fans or folks who want to take in the rich Patagonian culture and scenery
  • Stay with hard working, customer-service driven owners that are actively involved with guests
  • Take advantage of a skilled and experienced guide and support staff
  • Enjoy a comfortable, first-class lodge with a casual, friendly atmosphere, and stunning views

Brothers Gaston and Claudio Urrejola may be the most talented, multi-faceted lodge owners we have ever met. Between them they can do virtually anything including building a spectacular lodge themselves and then turning that into one of the best-run fly fishing and multi-sport lodges in South America. Located just outside of the regional capital of Coyhaique, an area widely considered Chile's trout fishing mecca, this first-class modern facility sets the standard for premier fly fishing lodges in Chilean Patagonia. The lodge's program offers a diverse and exciting array of excellent trout fishing opportunities, including lots of private access fishing properties, as well as a wide range of outdoor experiences including hiking, mountain biking, rafting and horseback riding. In short, they have something for everyone, and they do it all with expertise and care.

Coyhaique River Lodge's setting - where the rolling foothills reach up towards the Andes - is truly spectacular. With first-class accommodations and meals, a convenient location, a staff that prides itself on superior service, and a long list of available angling and adventure options, this operation has earned a special place in the hearts of its clients for the all the right reasons.

Fishing Program

There are more than 50 distinct beats that Coyhaique River Lodge guests fish over the course of a season. Of those, there are roughly 15 staples, the majority of which offer private access. Most of these private land use agreements originate with down-home community relations in which neighbor needs help cutting a road, harvesting trees, or managing their cattle. Always capable and happy to help, this often leads the brothers to land exclusive access rights to trophy rainbow lakes, small walk and wade gems, or special put-ins on rivers that few others float. In a land where anglers are already relatively few and far between, these arrangements will virtually assure that guests have days with a beautiful spring creek, river, or lake entirely to themselves.

Anglers staying at Coyhaique River Lodge fish two per guide and over the course of a week, fish a variety of different fisheries both from a boat and on foot. Depending on the fishery, it typically takes 30- to 60-minutes to reach the water each day, though a few locations require longer drives. The lodge employs a team of hard-working and seasoned professional fly fishing guides from Chile and the United States all of whom speak English.

The following is a quick overview of a few of Coyhaique River Lodge's favorite fisheries:

  • Rio Simpson: The Rio Simpson tends to fly fish like a classic Montana freestone and has significant caddis and mayfly hatches. It is most often floated but several wade options also exist. Browns and rainbows average 14- to 22-inches, and trout up to 30-inches have been caught on a fly.
  • Rio Ñirehuao: The Rio Ñirehuao is perhaps the area's most famous fishery. It is a mid-sized freestone wading stream renowned worldwide for its fantastic summer hopper fishing for wild brown trout. Fish range from 12- to 20-inches, with others over 24 inches also present.
  • Rio Coyhaique: The lodge property has a mile of river frontage plus additional private access points to miles of easy wading and large quantities of small to mid-sized rainbow and brown trout. This river gets better every year and still fishes great when the weather turns inclement elsewhere.
  • Rio Huemules: This wide river has a sandy bottom allowing anglers to wade the middle and fish to large browns hiding in undercut banks. There are also many deep pools where big fish chase streamers.
  • Rio Emperador Guillermo: One of the jewels of the area, with many pools and riffles loaded with hungry trout that average 12- to 16-inches.
  • Rio Mañihuales: The Mañihuales has a little of everything, including a lot of big trout! It is most often floated but some good wade fishing is available on its very upper reaches. It has a healthy population of both brown and rainbow trout as well as a strong run of king salmon. The Mañihuales often surrenders fish in excess of 20-inches during an average day with the brown trout usually being the largest. This river has structure like no other and an incredible amount of prime holding spots, making it a favorite amongst local guides.
  • Spring Creeks: Near the Argentine border, there are several high-country spring creeks. Although they are relatively close to the lodge, the landscape in this area is a world apart and more typical of the high arid pampas often associated with Argentina. These spring creeks combine great walk and wade fishing for large fish in small, well-rested waters.
  • Stillwaters: The lakes frequented by Coyhaique River Lodge offer some of the most interesting and pleasant trophy trout fishing imaginable. There are a great many highly-productive lakes within easy reach of the lodge and despite their differing characteristics, they share a few common elements: they are beautiful, private, hold trophy rainbows and/or browns, and are most often fished by sight casting large dry flies to visible cruising fish.

Additional Experiences:

One of the truly differentiating features of Coyhaique River Lodge is the breadth of quality outdoor experiences it offers guests in addition to its world-class fishing program. While the brothers love to fish, they are also avid hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. As such, they have a stable of sturdy horses, new high-end mountain bikes, and professional guides to help hikers explore hundreds of miles of trails in the region. The trails range from easy walks to full-day hikes, and there are also new mountain bike trails. The diversity of terrain surrounding the lodge means that guests can easily experience all these activities in a wide variety of landscapes from the arid steppe on the east, to the rainforest and fjords of the west. Some of the highlights of the region include the jagged basalt towers of Cerro Castillo peak, the chapel-like Marble Caves of Lago General Carrera, and the Puerto Ibañez hand paintings created by the original ancient inhabitants of the region. For those looking for more leisurely activities, the lodge is less than 20 minutes from Coyhaique, a city of 45,000 people and the capital of the region, where visitors can enjoy traditional handicraft shops, restaurants, and friendly local culture.


Coyhaique River Lodge has everything you would expect from a premier fishing destination. It was purpose-built out of local timbers in a style that could be described as a combination of rustic and modern. It is located on a high bank overlooking the Coyhaique valley and the small, intimate flows of the Coyhaique River. The lodge has a beautiful exposed-beam great room as well as eight double suites, all with private baths. There is also a wood-fired hot tub available for guests. Meals are of the highest level with dinners featuring local beef and lamb dishes, fresh vegetables, and Chilean salads all paired with renowned Chilean wines from the lodge's wine cellar. Each Friday, the lodge prepares a traditional asado for guests, a special Patagonian tradition of open fire barbeque of local meats.


Saturday: Arrive Santiago in the morning. Fly from Santiago to Balmaceda. At the airport you will be met by a representative of Coyhaique River Lodge, who will transfer you 45 minutes to the lodge.

Sunday - Friday: Six full days of guided fishing in the Coyhaique area.

Saturday: Depart the lodge and transfer to the Balmaceda airport. Fly to Santiago for an evening flight home.

Rates & Details

2024-25 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $6,450

Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, beverages including beer and wine, guided fishing, fishing license and ground transportation to/from the Balmaceda airport

Not Included: International and domestic airfare, fishing equipment and flies, premium alcohol, gratuities, and laundry

Species: Brown trout, rainbow trout

Season: November – April

Capacity: up to 10 anglers & 6 non-anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? Coyhaique River Lodge has something for everyone and is a great choice for dedicated anglers, multi-sport fans or folks who simply want to relax at the lodge and take in the rich Patagonian culture and scenery.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is located on 40 acres along the banks of the Coyhaique River, five miles outside of the town of Coyhaique, Chile.

How do I get there? Most international anglers take an evening flight from the US that arrives at the international airport in Santiago, Chile (SCL) in the morning, and then catch a midday flight south to the town of Balmaceda (BBA). From there guests are greeted by a lodge representative, then transferred 45 minutes to the property.

When should I go? The lodge is open from November to April.

How will I fish? The two primary tactics that are most productive throughout most of the season are dry-dropper rigs and large, foam dry flies. Although the season is dominated by top water action, there are times – typically early- and late-season – that require sinking lines and streamers.

Is there wade fishing? Yes, there is plenty of wade fishing available. In a typical fishing week, anglers fish a variety of water both while wading and from boats. However, guides can customize fishing schedules to suit preferences, allowing guests to wade some or all their fishing days.

Where will I fish? The focus of the fishing program is centered around the area’s famed rivers which include the Simpson, Nirehuao, Paloma, Manihuales, Emperador Guillermo, and several private spring creeks. Small streams and trophy lakes round out the lodge’s fisheries. Each night, one of the owners works with guests to determine the next day’s fishing activity based on their interests, goals, and the weather forecast for the day.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Most fishing areas are reached within a 30- to 60-minute drive from the lodge.  There are a few trophy fisheries that require longer drives up to 2 hours one-way, but they are well worth the drive.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Rainbow and brown trout in the 14- to 20-inch class are common, with legitimate shots at 30-inch rainbows in some of the private lakes.

How many fish will I catch? Catch rates vary greatly throughout the season and from fishery to fishery. Anglers can experience days of catching plenty of 10- to 16-inch browns and rainbows, while other days they work hard for a handful of larger trophy fish.

Will I see other anglers? Coyhaique River Lodge has both public and private fishing accesses. Guests might cross paths with other anglers on some of the area’s popular public rivers. However, when fishing the lodge’s vast collection of private waters, guests will not see other anglers.

What are the guides like? The lodge employs a team of hard-working and seasoned professional fly fishing guides.  The guides are friendly, interesting conversationalists, patient instructors and in general, good folks to spend time with on the water or back at the lodge. All the guides speak good conversational and fishing English.

What are the physical demands? There are not any notable physical demands. Gaston, co-owner, and manager, does an incredible job placing anglers in the best water to suit their fishing and physical abilities.

Are there any special skills required? Not in particular. One skill to brush up on prior to the trip is to practice casting in the wind with accuracy.

Does the lodge provide equipment? Yes. The lodge has a good selection of high quality tackle, waders, and boots available for rent. It is best to notify the lodge prior to arrival if loaner gear is needed. The lodge has a small tackle shop with a good selection of productive flies, fly lines, and terminal tackle for sale. We recommend anglers come prepared with a small selection of 7.5- foot 3X tapered leaders and an assortment of tippet in sizes 2X, 3X, and 4X tippet, as these items are not readily available in Patagonia.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? A high quality, fast action 6-weight with a floating line will cover most fishing situations throughout the season. It is also a good idea to have a 5-weight rod for smaller creeks, and a 7-weight rod with a sinking line for throwing streamers or when the wind is heavy, if needed.

Sage Perfect Set Up:

  • 9’0” 6-weight SAGE X
  • RIO Grand 6-weight line
  • SAGE Spectrum LT 5-6 reel

What are the top flies? A modest selection of classic western trout flies is essential to any fly box, and should include parachute Adams, caddis, and a few foam patterns and small woolly buggers in olive, black, or brown.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? Wind in Patagonia is a constant and should be expected as a normal experience during your trip. Given the abundance of fishing options in the area, the guides will work with guests to select options that have the best conditions for the day. If fishing is not an option or interest for the day, Coyhaique River Lodge is well-suited to accommodate a range of other activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, sightseeing, and touring the nearby city of Coyhaique.

What is a typical day like? Each morning guests will gather for breakfast and then get ready for the day’s fishing activity that was planned the night before. Guests will depart the lodge between 8:00 and 9:00AM depending on the fishing location. On the water, the guides will prepare a streamside lunch, such as stir-fry, empanadas, or sandwiches with an option for a quick riverside siesta. Anglers typically get off the water between 6:00 and 8:00PM, returning in time to take a shower before dinner. There will be beverages and appetizers before dinner, and as in all of Patagonia, guests can expect to eat a late dinner between 8:30 and 10:00PM.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? The lodge is modern with an upscale yet casual vibe. It is set atop a hillside overlooking the Coyhaique River valley.  The program is small enough that guests and staff get to know each other by name but just big enough where guests can be independent if they choose.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Owners Gaston and Claudio Urrejola both live on the property with their families and one of them is always available to guests. Gaston serves as the primary lodge manager and host and he greets guests each day when they return to the lodge from fishing to check-in and discuss the next day’s fishing plans. Overall, the owners and their staff are extremely attentive and work hard to ensure each of the guests have a memorable experience.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Guests eat in a main dining area in the lodge, and the meals include both Chilean specialties and international dishes featuring a variety of fresh, locally sourced meats, fish, and produce. On Fridays, the lodge prepares a traditional asado, a special Patagonian tradition of open fire barbeque of local meats.

What is the alcohol policy? Beer, wine, and alcohol at the lodge are included in the package price.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The main lodge features eight, double-occupancy suites, dining room, wine cave, spacious lounge/bar area and a wood-fired hot tub and sauna. Single accommodations are available for an additional expense.

Is there internet and/or cell service? The lodge has good internet service. Cell service is available, but guests should check with their carrier to set up an international service plan.

Are there other activities? Yes, the lodge offers an adventure package with a wide range of activities to choose from including kayaking, horseback riding, trekking, cultural tours, sightseeing, and mountain biking.

Are there any other expenses? Laundry service is available for an additional charge. Guests are also able to rent rods, reels, waders, and boots, and purchase other tackle and flies at the lodge.

Do I need a visa? U.S. citizens traveling to Chile for recreation and tourism do not need to obtain a visa prior to their arrival to Chile. A tourist card (just a slip of paper) for a stay of up to 90 days will be issued upon entry. Do not lose this card! This card must be presented upon departure so make sure to check that you have it before departure. Failure to do so may result in delays. If lost or stolen, the tourist card can be replaced by the International Police at their nearest headquarters.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? Traveling in Chile is generally safe and easy, although it is necessary to take normal travel precautions when visiting the nation’s capital, Santiago. We still recommend visiting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention site before traveling to make sure that the situation has not changed.  

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