Species
Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sea-run Trout, Coho Salmon
Destination Type
Lodge
Fishing Style
Wading, Dry Fly, Private Waters, Sight fishing, Spring Creek, Stillwater, Spey
Season
November - April
Fishing Days
6
Rate
$$$
Why We Go
  • Explore the remote and unpressured waters of Chilean Tierra del Fuego
  • Fish for resident brown and rainbow trout in the 14 - 20” class with legitimate shots at 30” brown trout
  • Try for sea-run brown trout on the Upper Rio Grande
  • Enjoy single room accommodations with shared baths in duplex cabins
  • Take advantage of provided equipment with advance notice
Overview

Magallanes Fly Fishing Lodge specializes in fishing some the least traveled and most productive water in Chile. While the Argentine side of the island of Tierra del Fuego is famous among sea trout anglers, few anglers are aware of the prolific resident trout fishery on the Chilean side. Simply put, this is a vast lightly populated area with small streams, spring creeks, beaver ponds, lakes and lagoons teaming with unsophisticated brown, rainbow and brook trout in the 15-to 20-inch class, specimens that rarely see anglers.  Considerably larger trout can be found in many of their lakes and lagoons and at times anglers can also try their hand at sea trout in the 10-to 20-pound class on the intimate upper reaches of the Rio Grande in Chile. For anglers that appreciate the simple pleasures solitude, small water dry fly fishing, a favorite 6-weight rod with a floating line, and a handful of big dries and buggers, this is the place!  With great guides, meals, and service, this off-the-beaten path destination is a unique gem to be experienced.

Fishing Program

The fishing program is focused on the rivers, spring creeks, lakes, lagoons and beaver ponds of Tierra del Fuego near Lago Blanco, Chile. There are more than 15 different fisheries available from the lodge, as well as some private spring creeks and trophy lakes, and when conditions are right you can fish the Rio Grande for sea-run brown trout. Each night, the lodge manager works with guests to determine the next day’s fishing activity based on their interests, goals, and weather forecast for the following day. Parties of six can also add two days of heli-fishing to the package and access more remote fisheries.

The guides are all hardworking and passionate anglers and instructors. They take pride in their work and want to provide a great experience for guests on and off the water. Some guides are truly fluent in English, while others are competent at speaking fishing English and eager to practice and improve their speaking skills.

Most of the fishing will take place with floating lines and large dry flies on smaller streams, spring creeks and beaver ponds, many of which have woody structure. They also fish public and private lakes with boats (and at times sinking lines) where the region’s largest resident fish are found. As the season progresses guests can fish for sea trout on the upper Rio Grande and at times target other rivers where coho salmon up to 15 pounds can be caught.

Accommodations

Magallanes Lodge is located on a private road overlooking a beautiful valley near the Rasmussen River. The atmosphere at the lodge is welcoming and relaxed, and you can feel comfortable showing up to the dinner table with your fishing clothes or changing into casual attire. The lodge’s main feature is a timber-built lodge located just steps away from the guest accommodations that serves as the primary dining area. It is a comfortable cabin with a living area with couches and a small bar, and a dining area where guests gather for meals. The accommodation is more rustic than luxury, which adds to its charm, and it is a true fishing lodge experience where all your essentials are met. The food is excellent and features traditional Chilean seafood and meats, and each week there is an Asado night where guests enjoy lamb over an open fire and time with the guides and lodge staff. Each morning there will be eggs to order as well as other dishes including fresh fruit and pastries to choose from. All alcohol is included.

Itinerary

Friday: Depart home.

Saturday: Arrive Santiago, Chile. Fly to Punta Arenas. Overnight at hotel (included).

Sunday: Depart Punta Arenas for lodge.

Monday Saturday: Six full days of guided fishing in Chilean Tierra del Fuego.

Sunday: Depart lodge for Punta Arenas. Fly to Santiago or overnight in Punta Arenas.

Rates & Details

2024 Rate: Per person based on single occupancy and shared guiding

7 night/6 day package: $5,950

Included: Night at Punta Arenas Hotel with single room, accommodations at the lodge with single room, transfer from Punta Arenas to/from the lodge, all meals and alcohol, guided fishing (2 anglers per guide), fishing equipment (rods, reels, lines, waders, boots), fishing license, laundry

Not included: International and domestic airfare, meals outside lodge, gratuities

Species: Brown trout, Rainbow trout, Brook Trout, Sea-run brown trout, coho salmon

Season: November – April

Capacity: 8 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited for this destination? Anglers who are looking for an off-the-beaten-path, wilderness trout fishing experience on unpressured waters in the southern reaches of Chilean Tierra del Fuego.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is located near the Rasmussen River on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego, 150 miles from the city of Porvenir, Chile. It is near Lago Blanco, 25 minutes from the Argentine border.

How do I get there? Guests will fly to Santiago, Chile, and then on to Punta Arenas. A representative of Magallanes Fly Fishing will meet them there and transfer them to a hotel to overnight. The next morning guests will cross the Strait of Magellan by ferry and take a three hour ground transfer to the lodge. Parties of six can also charter a 45-minute flight from Punta Arenas to Pampa Guanaco aerodrome and ground transfer 10 miles to the lodge.

When should I go? The season runs from November to mid-April. The fishing is good throughout the season with the early months focused on spring creek fishing with quality resident trout. January and February offer lots of great trout fishing options and increasing opportunities for sea trout. In March and April the trout fishing is great and guests have the best chance at getting sea trout and coho salmon.

How will I fish? Most fishing is with a single hand rod and floating line with an attractor dry fly, dry-dropper, or streamer, and will depend on the fishery and conditions at hand. When conditions are right on the Rio Grande, anglers can have opportunities for sea-run brown trout utilizing Spey rods and heavier weight single hand rods.

Is there wade fishing? Yes, there is plenty of wade fishing available and guests can wade fish all week if requested. In a typical week, anglers will fish a variety of smaller streams and rivers as well as lakes and lagoons from boats. The largest resident trout are typically found in the still waters.

Where will I fish? The fishing program is focused on the rivers, spring creeks, lakes, lagoons and beaver ponds of Tierra del Fuego near Lago Blanco, Chile. There are more than 15 different fisheries available from the lodge, as well as some private spring creeks and trophy lakes, and when conditions are right you can fish the Rio Grande for sea-run brown trout. Each night, the lodge manager works with guests to determine the next day’s fishing activity based on their interests, goals, and weather forecast for the following day. Parties of six can also add two days of heli-fishing to the package and access more remote fisheries.

How long does it take to get to the fishing grounds? Fishing locations are anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour from the lodge.

What type of fish will I catch? The fishing program is centered around wild brown, brook, and rainbow trout in the 14 - 20” class. Trophy resident brown trout in 30-inch class are also present in some of the private lakes. Despite this not being a sea trout focused destination, guests can target sea-run brown trout from 5- to 20-pounds in the Rio Grande when conditions are favorable. Coho salmon up to 15 pounds are also present in some rivers in mid-March and April.

How many fish will I catch? With so many varied venues, anglers can choose from high catch-rate fisheries, trophy still waters or sea trout fisheries. There are lots of options where anglers can expect to have plenty of opportunities to catch fish in the 14 - 20” range, and those interested in targeting trophy resident fish or sea trout will have fewer opportunities in a day.

Will I see other anglers? Due to the remote location and low population density, it is possible but unlikely that guests will see other anglers on the public waters. On the private waters, you will only see the members of your fishing party.

What are the guides like? The guides are all hardworking and passionate anglers and instructors. They take pride in their work and want to provide a great experience for guests on and off the water. Some guides are truly fluent in English, while others are competent at speaking fishing English and eager to practice and improve their speaking skills.

What are the physical demands? There are no notable physical demands. Anglers who are comfortable walking longer distances will have more opportunities, as they will cover more water. The guides work to place anglers in the best water to suit their fishing and physical abilities.

Are there special skills required? Experience casting in the wind is helpful, and while it is windy in this reach of Tierra del Fuego, it does not experience the extreme wind conditions that have made the east side of the archipelago infamous.

Does the lodge provide equipment? Yes, the outfitters can supply quality waders, boots, rods, and reels, free of charge. The lodge has a small tackle shop with a good selection of productive flies, fly lines, and terminal tackle for sale. Advance notice is required for any needed gear to ensure it is set aside for those in need.

What is your favorite set up for the trip? A medium to fast action 6-weight single hand rod with a weight forward floating line will cover the majority of the fishing. A 5-weight can be ideal for spring creek fishing, and a 7-weight with a sinking line is good to have along for lake fishing.

What are the top flies? The most popular flies include attractor dry flies such as beetles and chubbys, small nymphs with rubber legs, and small streamers/leeches in olive, black, and brown. For the sea trout, classic patterns such as EMBs and rubber leg prince nymphs on stout hooks, and black and blue intruders are very effective.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? The lodge has a diversity of great fishing opportunities available and will prioritize the fishing days based on the forecast. It is rare to lose a day of fishing, but there are no other activities available if guests choose to forgo fishing for the day due to conditions.

What is a typical day like? Each morning breakfast will be served around 8 AM. At 8:30 AM guests will meet their guide in the parking lot, get into waders, and rig rods for the day’s fishing. A streamside lunch will be prepared to maximize time on the water. Guests will return to the lodge between 5 - 6 PM for a shower, drinks, and appetizers. Dinner is served around 8:00 PM. Each evening you will discuss the next day’s fishing plans.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? Magallanes Lodge is located on a private road overlooking a beautiful valley near the Rasmussen River. The atmosphere at the lodge is welcoming and relaxed, and you can feel comfortable showing up to the dinner table with your fishing clothes or changing into casual attire. The lodge is charming, welcoming, and more on the rustic side than luxury.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Rafael Gonzales is the owner of Magallanes Fly Fishing and has over 20 years of guiding experience in the area. He is the primary lodge manager and host, and lives on the property during most of the season. He will be there to greet guests each day when they return from fishing and to discuss the next day’s fishing plans. Overall, the manager and their staff are extremely attentive and work hard to ensure each guest has a memorable experience.

Where do we eat and what are the meals like? The lodge’s main feature is a timber-built lodge located just steps away from the guest accommodations that serves as the primary dining area. It is a comfortable cabin with a living area with couches and a small bar, and a dining area where guests gather for meals. The food is excellent and features traditional Chilean seafood and meats, and each week there is an Asado night where guests enjoy lamb over an open fire and time with the guides and lodge staff. Each morning there will be eggs to order as well as other dishes including fresh fruit and pastries to choose from. 

What is the alcohol policy? All alcohol is included, and guests are welcome to bring their own.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Magallanes Lodge has three cabins with a total of seven bedrooms accommodating up to eight anglers per week. Six rooms are single occupancy, and one room is double occupancy. Each cabin has two bedrooms with a queen or two beds, a shared bathroom, and central lounge area and a covered deck. The rooms are simple, clean, and very comfortable with nice views overlooking the Rasmussen River valley.

Is there internet and cell service? There is reliable high-speed internet available in the main lodge and rooms, but there is no cell service.

Are there other activities? No, this is a fishing focused destination.

Are there any other expenses? Any flies or other tackle purchased at the lodge are not included.

Do I need a visa? No, only a valid passport.

Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? While this is a remote location, in the off chance there is an emergency, there is access to a rescue helicopter and airplane just 10 miles from the lodge at the Pampa Guanaco aerodrome.

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