Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Destination Type
Fishing Style
Drift Boat, Dry Fly, Private Waters, Sightfishing, Spring Creek, Wading
November - April
Fishing Days
Why We Go
  • Experience the incredible natural beauty of Chilean Patagonia
  • Fish for healthy populations of wild brown and rainbow trout, including some true trophy fish
  • Enjoy unmatched angling variety, seamless logistics, and remote, seldom fished waters
  • Stay with friendly and knowledgeable lodge hosts
  • Experience a night or two in a comfortable river camp

Deep within the seldom visited Aysen Provence of Chilean Patagonia, there is a special lodge perfectly suited to adventuresome anglers that take pride and pleasure in fishing off the beaten path. The Patagonian Basecamp was built by Marcel and Carolina Sijnesael with a vision to show anglers the secluded beauty and bounty of Patagonia. In the process, they created their dream lodge, set on the banks of the Rio Palena. Here, anglers fish a wide range of systems from rafts and jet boats targeting wild rainbows and browns. Most of the fish range from 14-20 inches, with 20-plus inch fish caught daily, fish over 24 inches caught weekly, and a few fish over 30 inches netted each season. Marcel prides himself on having created a unique experience that incorporates ultra-comfortable overnight trips at established and well-appointed riverside out-camps into the lodge program, making for a most memorable adventure.

Fishing Program

With innumerable rivers, creeks, lakes, and lagoons within arm’s reach of Patagonian Basecamp, the fishing options are nearly unlimited. Throughout the course of a stay, anglers never fish the same section of water twice and it would take a full month to fish all the beats they offer. The main systems fished include the Palena, Rosselot, Figueroa and Yelcho Rivers along with their adjoining lakes and tributaries. The fishing program is centered around boat-based fishing due to the size, structure, and difficult access points to their rivers and lakes. However, Marcel has some amazing hidden waters for anglers wanting to access water on foot, mountain bike, or horseback. Each evening after dinner, Marcel will discuss the best fishing options available and personalize the next day’s fishing plan with each guest.

Anglers fish in pairs with skilled American guides who relocate to Chile for the southern hemisphere trout fishing season. Typical trout fishing tactics are used and anglers can expect to hook double-digit numbers of fish every day. Due to the remote nature of the lodge and its fisheries, it is very rare to see other anglers on the water.


Equal to their incredibly diverse fishing program, the ten-person lodge offers eight spacious rooms with private baths, as well as a sauna, hot tub, message services, an open bar, and free laundry service twice weekly. The main gathering room features a large, central fireplace surrounded by plenty of comfortable sofas and chairs to relax in and enjoy a cocktail, pisco sour, or glass of wine from the open bar while gazing out the large picture windows at the Palena River and lush mountains. Carolina heads the kitchen staff where their thoughtfully prepared meals emphasize traditional Chilean cuisine made with fresh locally sourced organic foods.

  • Friday: Depart home.
  • Saturday: Arrive to Santiago, Chile then fly to Puerto Montt. Make arrangements to overnight in Puerto Varas (independently arranged, not included).
  • Sunday: Transfer to the local airport for a 1.5-hour charter flight to La Junta or to Chaiten. Guides from the lodge pick up guests at the airport and transfer either 2 hours or 15 minutes to the lodge.
  • Monday-Saturday: Six full days of guided fishing with Patagonian Basecamp.
  • Friday: Depart the lodge after breakfast and transfer back to La Junta for the return flight to Puerto Montt. A transfer service brings guests to the Puerto Montt airport for return flights to Santiago. Connect with overnight flight back to the US.
Rates & Details

2024-25 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 14 night/13 day package: $16,995
  • 11 night/10 day package: $13,995
  • 10 night/9 day package: $12,995
  • 7 night/6 day package: $8,495

Included: Accommodations, meals at beverages including wine/beer/alcohol at the lodge, guided fishing, charter flight to/from Chaiten, fishing license, and laundry (twice weekly).

Not Included: International and domestic airfare, accommodations/meals/transfers in Santiago/Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas, staff and guide gratuities, fishing equipment, flies, and waders and boots.

Species: Brown trout and rainbow trout

Season: December – April

Capacity: 10 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? Anyone who likes variety, high catch rates and spectacular scenery will love this destination. The fishing program at Patagonia Basecamp relies heavily on boats to access and fish its waters. Anglers who enjoy boat-based fishing will enjoy the fishing program here but those looking to spend most of their time wade fishing will likely prefer other operations.

Where is the lodge? The main lodge is in the northern Aysen area of Chilean Patagonia, near the town of La Junta.

How do I get there? Guests fly to Santiago, Chile and take a connecting flight south to Puerto Montt. Guests then stay the night in Puerto Varas, just outside of Puerto Montt, and the next day take a one-hour charter flight to Chaiten. Lodge staff meet guests at the small Chaiten airport and transfer them about two hours to the lodge.

When should I go? The season runs from November to early April.

How will I fish? The fishing depends greatly on the location and conditions for the day. Guests spend a lot of time casting large dry flies, dry-dropper rigs, and stripping streamers while fishing from various styles of boats.

Is there wade fishing? Although most of the fishing is done while floating, there are a few wading options for guests to enjoy.

Where will I fish? The main drainages are those of the Río Palena, Río Figueroa, and Río Yelcho and the numerous tributaries, lakes, and lagoons within these systems. Having a centrally located main-lodge and three outpost camps offers diversity in the fishing without long drive times to the water. Guests can fish new and different water each day.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Anywhere from a short walk to the river to a one-hour drive. The average drive time is roughly 25 - 35 minutes, and some of the furthermost reaches can be a two-hour drive one way.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? The fishing program focuses mainly on wild brown and rainbow trout, most of which are in the 14- to 20-inch range. Fish over 20 inches are caught daily, over 24 inches weekly, and over 30 inches each season.

How many fish will I catch? This completely depends on the destination, angler skills, conditions, and the focus of the day. In general, guests land ten to 20 fish per day. However, there are days when guests hook into 30-plus fish and others when guests encounter ten or less.

Will I see other anglers? Most likely the only other anglers seen are those from this destination. Rarely will guests cross paths with other anglers on the water.

What are the guides like? The guide team is an assembly of pleasant, professional, and skilled American guides, oarsmen and boat operators who spend their time guiding in the American west or Alaska when they are not guiding in Chile. They work extremely hard on and off the water to do what it takes to make sure guests are having a great visit.

What are the physical demands? The lodge and camps are in remote areas, and medical attention is hours away. Anglers should be in good physical condition. That said, with both float trips and wade-fishing options, the lodge can easily adapt the program to anglers’ abilities.

Are there any special skills required? Arriving with basic casting and fishing skills will greatly improve success and enjoyment.

Does the lodge provide equipment? The lodge supplies all terminal tackle, including flies, although due to the remote location of the lodge, we recommend guests bring a small assortment of the top producers if they are able to do so, including chubby Chernobyl's, fat alberts, and gypsy kings, rubber leg nymphs in brown or black, as well as a handful of 7'6" leaders in 3x and 4x.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? If only taking one rod, a fast action 6-weight works for both dry fly and streamer fishing. However, it is highly recommended to bring two rods - a 6-weight for dry flies and a 7- or 8-weight for streamers. The streamer rod should be equipped with a 10- to 15-foot sink tip line.

What are the top flies? Large attractor surface patterns, such as chubby Chernobyl’s, and fat Alberts. Streamers in black, olive, and brown along with a small collection classic nymph like prince nymph’s, hares’ ear and pheasant tails will complete the box.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? There is a variety of waters to choose from and they select the best fishing for the day. If conditions are too challenging, they can organize several other activities including mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, or hanging out at the lodge in their sauna or getting a massage.

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 and travel between 30 mins to just over an hour depending on the fishing location. On the water, the guides will prepare a stream side lunch and then fish the rest of the afternoon. 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 main lodge is on a small working ranch on the banks of Río Palena, in a dense rain forest with stunning views of river valley and snowcapped mountains. The atmosphere is warm, familiar, and friendly.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? The owners and/or the lodge hostess are always around to answer questions and see that everything runs smoothly. Marcel or Carolina team up to host dinner each night and plan the next day’s fishing with guests.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Meals at Patagonian Basecamp are made with locally harvested, organic meat and vegetables. Most are raised or grown on their own farm.

What is the alcohol policy? Beer, wine, and cocktails are included.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The main lodge offers accommodations for up to ten anglers in eight rooms. There is a covered deck overlooking the river, and a hot tub and sauna in a secluded stand of trees near the river. The outpost camps sit directly on the river edge and offer accommodations for four to six anglers at a time. All accommodations are very comfortable and built with anglers’ needs in mind.

Is there internet and/or cell service? There is slow but reliable internet and intermitent cell coverage at the main lodge.

Are there other activities? There is a wide variety of non-fishing activities which includes hiking (forest hikes or to hanging glaciers), horseback trips, float trips, canoe trips, and visits to hot springs.

Are there any other expenses? No

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? Chile is a wild country; medical care is good, but far away so we do recommend travel insurance and medical evacuation plans. We recommend that guests always consult with the US Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites for general travel information and guidelines.

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