Jan 7th, 2012
I’ve recently had the good fortune of being able to make some amazing road trips through Patagonia to visit some awesomely scenic areas and a few great fishing spots that have long been on my wish list.
My first trip began in early December in Punta Arenas, Chile on the Straits of Magellan. I had just finished a 2 week photo/trekking trip in Torres del Paine National Park and my long time friend and fishing client, David Lemaster, met up with me after to make the drive back north to Coyhaique, Chile where I live. Apart from touring the amazing Paine and Fitzroy areas, I also worked it out so we could sample a couple of remote fishing spots along the way. But, before I get into the fishing, I have to show you a couple of images from my November photo trip to Torres del Paine. Apart from the fact that the park is presently being ravaged by forest fires, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-16369649, Torres del Paine truly is one of the world’s most amazing spots.
The first fishing stop on my road trip with David was to the Rio Penitente. This gorgeous mid-sized freestone stream is located about 2 hours north of Punta Arenas, Chile just off the main highway leading to Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park. We stayed at the historic Hosteria Penitente which lies within an 18,000 acre estancia founded by Scottish immigrants in the late 1800’s. The estancia has 12 kms of the Rio Penitente flowing through it.
The Hosteria is simply amazing. An ornate Victorian home furnished with original antiques the founders had brought from Scotland over a century ago. The hosteria is attended by Mariette Cruzat, a lovely elderly Chilean woman who was married to the grandson of the original founders. Mariette is a living encyclopedia of the history of the Magellans Region of Southern Chile and the old photos on the walls tell the story. Mariette was very sweet and greeted us with a traditional Pisco Sour cocktail upon arrival.
After a wonderful and incredibly abundant lunch of salad, empanadas, fresh lamb and fine red wine, we headed for the river just minutes away. Juan Carlos, who acted as the chef as well, went with to point us in the right direction.
The Penitente is a pleasant and easily waded river primarily possessing resident browns but, sea run browns also begin showing up in March. Juan Carlos suggested we use a caddis. Conditions were cool and windy and the trout were somewhat hunkered down but, we did manage to find a few nice browns willing to take our dries.
After the Rio Penitente we visited Torres del Paine once again and then crossed into Argentina to see the Moreno Glacier and Fitzroy areas.
As you can see from these images, Patagonia is an incredible place and this just scratches the surface. For more info on fishing the Penitente or fishing and travelling anywhere in Patagonia, be sure to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for my next post on Jurassic Lake coming soon….. Buena Pesca!