In the last issue of Catch Magazine, I presented a collection of photos from Martìn Pescador Lodge near the outlet of Lago Yelcho. In this issue, I have only moved a couple hours east to Rio Palena Lodge for access on Rio Palena and the other end of Lago Yelcho, where the Futaleufu River enters Lago Yelcho. This is one of the most scenic places in the world and is home to some super-sized rainbow and brown trout. Except for the famous dragonfly hatch on Lago Yelcho, there isn’t as much match the hatch fishing here as there is streamer and dry/dropper. Your mind set on these waters is big fish, seven-weight rods, some fast-sinking tips and ‘adjective’ flies: rubber legs, cone-head, articulated, lead eye, stinger hook, etc.
Flies with long names for long trout. Often, as an angler, we are faced with a choice of quality or quantity. At Rio Palena Lodge and Martìn Pescador Lodge, you have both, and you will never forget those days. On the lower Futaleufu River and where it dumps into Lago Yelcho, there is trout food everywhere. Dragonfly nymphs and adults, migrating chinook, salmon fry and smolt, the ‘galaxiids’, a skinny freshwater fish that the locals call eels (brown trout will eat these even if they are seven inches long) and probably other smallish trout, all contribute to growth and girth. Did I mention some of the best scenery in the world? Add the creature comforts at Rio Palena Lodge, a truly incredible lodge, with world-class guides and chefs and a helicopter… if you can pry the Lago Yelcho rod out of your hand.
“Your mind set on these waters is big fish, seven-weight rods, some fast-sinking tips and ‘adjective’ flies: rubber legs, cone-head, articulated, lead eye, stinger hook, etc.”
You know when you are living right when you visit Rio Palena Lodge enough that the guides know where you like to fish, and just a nod means ‘It’s on’. Or, when the bartender delivers your favorite pisco sour variation to the hot tub, without asking. Or the chef has your favorite breakfast ready to go a few minutes after you sit down. As Napoléon Dynamite said, “Luckyyy”. For more information on this destination, contact me, or Eleven Angling. For more helpful information, photos, travel logistics, etc., please check out www.elevenangling.com. And @elevenangling on Instagram.