Fly Fishing in Patagonia and around Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

Try Fly Fishing in Patagonia

Fly fishing is a hobby that is growing over the years, and Patagonia has become one of the most popular destinations were to do it. Not only does Patagonia have very good conditions for fly-fishing, but it is also a beautiful place to visit as a tourist because of its magnificent nature and landscapes.


Why Fly-Fishing in Patagonia

Patagonia itself has qualities that make it one of the best fishing destinations in the world, and if you compare it with other places that are famous for the same fishing style, they have quite similar qualities like low and stable temperatures, large water bodies and, in some cases, the connection to the sea. These qualities together make Patagonia one of the best places in the world for trout and salmon catching.

Another reason why Patagonia is popular is for its “Trophy fishing”. For those of you non-fishermen (or soon to be fishermen), Trophy Fishing is when you catch a fish and have your picture taken of it. If you are into the capture of “trophy fishes”, then there is a good chance to catch trouts of 2 kg or even bigger. For example, in a standard size, so to speak, trout in the area is generally greater than 1 kg, wherein other places in Chile or in the world of fishing, these are already considered trophy trout. There is also the possibility of fishing for some Salmon or a migratory trout, which makes it even more striking because the sizes of these generally are around 6 or 7 kg.

Most places in Patagonia, only Catch and Release is allowed. Catch and Release are when you catch a fish and you release it in the water again shortly after. There are some different guidelines to make sure the fish stresses as little as possible like that your hands have to be wet when touching it and a maximum of 10 seconds out of the water.

Fly Fishing in Patagonia and around Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

Fly fishing around Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine

In the area around Puerto Natales, there are many characteristics that make it into a very good fishing destination. One is the varied topography. At a distance of just 100 km, you can have temperate rain forests and arid and windy steppe, to have mountains with glaciers. There are rivers of strong current and oxygenation and large plains with slow and meandering rivers. Often these systems are connected to each other by large water systems giving the perfect conditions to the troats that can move through these systems depending on their availability of food, better conditions such as temperature or oxygenation and suitable places for spawning.

Going to Puerto Natales and need accommodation? Check out this hotel and hostel guide

Fly Fishing in Puerto Natales and Patagonia Chile

Fly Fishing close to Puerto Natales in a small creek

What types of fish can you be lucky to catch

Many species can be fished in the area, from salmon, such as the well-known Chinook or King Salmon, Coho, and Atlantic salmon. There are also different types of trout such as Brown or Fario, Rainbow and Fontinalis. What you find the most in these areas are the Brown or Salmo Trutta Fario trout.

Among these, most of them live in the same area throughout the year, but there is also a small percentage that has learned to migrate to the sea for most of the year. These migratory trouts are often much larger due to a richer diet and more stable sea temperatures. Something very similar occurs with the salmon, they also go up to the rivers from the sea for spawning and the most common is King Salmon or Chinook Salmon, which, within the salmon, is the most coveted, mainly because of its great bearing and strength.

  • Maybe you are more birdwatching? This area is perfect for birdwatching as well!

This phenomenon of the different “Runs” (the moment when the curtain species goes up the river to find the spawning places) occur on different dates but are also depending on for example the temperature, ice melting, the height of the water, water turbidity, etc.

Fly Fishing in Patagonia and around Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

When is the fly fishing season

The season starts from October – mid-October to April. The local fly-fishermen know when and where is the best time to go to specific lakes and rivers.

What type of fishing equipment do you need

Now it is going to be a little bit nerdy if you are not already a fly-fisher, but for those that are – this will probably make perfect sense. These are recommendations of my local fly-fisher friend, who has been doing fly-fishing around the region of Aysen and Magallanes (both Chilean Patagonia). Depending on what type of fish you are interested in catching, there are specific equipment. If you are planning on traveling with your own equipment to Patagonia, you might find this information helpful. For trout, the one-handed Classic Fly Fishing is exclusively performed with # 6 and 9 ” feet long rods. For the Chinook Salmon, you can perform with another type of Fly Fishing modality Spey Casting wich is a much larger and longer two-handed rods. It can be rods of up to 14″ and number #10. Traditional fishing equipment such as Spinning rods and Bait Casting can also be used for Chinook. This is due to the size of the salmon and the flow of the rivers where they are usually fished.

Fly Fishing in Patagonia and around Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

Catch and Release

Do you need experience and own equipment?

Starting with the equipment, you can bring your own, but in general traveling with all the fishing equipment is quite complicated. Most agencies have their own equipment necessary for the area that they lend their passengers. Obviously a more experienced fisherman will always feel more comfortable with his/her own equipment, at least with his/her rod and reel. The rest like waders and boots are generally easy to rent. Regarding flies or fishing tackle, you can bring your own but the agencies have a selection for the area developed over the years operating these waters.

Regarding experience, it is of course always an advance knowing something, especially in an area where the fishes are big which is more challenging because as the fishermen say ”a big fish did not become large being stupid.” Also, the weather conditions can be adverse, such as the wind that can make the fly fish cast difficult without experience. But no worries, take it as a challenge to learn something new! It is a fun way to be outside, exploring the nature in Patagonia and learn from the local fishermen that are used to work in all kind of weather conditions and varied nature.

In Magallanes, you need fishing permission and many of the good places are private, where you have to ask for permission as well. This is why most people do it with a fly-fishing guide who already has these permissions, knows the good places and has all the right equipment for the best circumstances of catching a beautiful fish!

Fly fishing in Patagonia, Chile.

Imagine Fly Fishing with a view like this!

Need help finding a local Fly Fisher?

Are you going to Puerto Natales and/or Torres del Paine National Park and are interested in trying fly-fishing, please contact me and I’ll put you in contact with the local fly-fishers. Oh, and as soon as I catch my own fish, I will, of course, post pictures of my victory 😀

Please share the article if you like it!

Try fly fishing in Patagonia, Chile


  • Paul November 8, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Nice fish. would mind fly fish for a day or two. Most likely I cannot afford it, been reading various site about fishing in Patagonia the price are $$$$.

    • nanaregalah November 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Paul,
      Fly Fishing is an expensive activity but there are a lot of things to considerate: small groups, all the equipment that is very expensive, transportation around Patagonia to get to the best fishing spots (gasoline is expensive here and the distances are long), food and, of course, the knowledge of the guide. There is a lot of work and time invested behind a good fly fisher 🙂 You can make it cheaper by joining a smaller group sometimes. Let me know if you want to put you in contact with someone, maybe they have something confirmed already where you can join.

  • Luke November 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Hey, thanks for your article. Could you put me in contact with a local to go fly fishing for the day out of Puerto Natales? Nothing needs to be fancy, just keen to learn a bit and hopefully catch some fish! Any rough ideas of cost for the day too? I’m not so interested in luxury as fun.

    • nanaregalah December 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      Hi Luke,
      thanks for reaching out and your feedback! Sorry for the late reply, I must have missed the notification! I have sent you an e-mail 🙂

      • Brandi March 23, 2021 at 12:25 am

        Hi! I’m planning a trip for Dec. do you have a fly fishing guide for Torres Del Paine? We’ll be there for a couple days and my husband wants to fish. Thanks!!

  • Antti Lammi December 20, 2019 at 1:20 am


    I am coming to puerto natales around mid january 2020. I would like to do some fly fishing (i have a few years experience). It seems the guided are very expensive to my low budget backpackin wallet, so i try to find the most ”cheap” way. So do you have any local connections? I do not have my own gear with me. Maybe if you know there is a group going to fish around mid january?

    Best regards

    • nanaregalah December 29, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Antti,
      it is an expensive activity due to the equipment invested, all the scouting and practicing trying to find the best spots in the region and the years of experience. I have sent you a contact, hopefully you find something within your budget!
      kind regards

  • Fly Addict May 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Do you have a newsletter? If so, do you send out blog posts like these to your list? I would be interested in signing up if you do.

    • nanaregalah June 3, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Fly Addict, you can sign up for my newest blog posts, but I don’t do any newsletter.

  • Tom December 21, 2020 at 12:59 am

    Hi, I was wondering what the options were for fly fishing while backpacking the W route in Torres del Paine? Are there good spots along the way?

    • nanaregalah July 1, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Tom!
      Fly-fishing during the W trek is not possible and in places where you can do it in the park, you will need to go with a guide because of the permits. Also, for safety reasons, Patagonian rivers, and the climate, in general, can change a lot! If you stay in a hotel in TDP or in Natales, you can book a tour with a fly-fishing expert, they know where to go and when, and they have the right permissions and vehicle for the environment.


Leave a Comment