The Three Rivers Package
Chimehuin, Limay, and Collon Cura Rivers
Chocolate Lab Expeditions has guided in Patagonia since 1996. Trips are custom-built and can include a mix of options to match various budgets. Shorter floats can be chosen to allow for more wading if desired. Chocolate Lab is known for having one of the best English-speaking guide staffs in Patagonia and renews their fleet of RO Drift boats every two years to ensure you’re in the best boats.
The Three-Rivers and Three-Lodges Package
SAMPLE ITINERARY: For the Three Rivers package, you'll enjoy the ease and benefit of staying “on property.” You'll stay at three expansive estancias, each ranch offering 10 to 40 miles of private river access. The first ranch you'll stay at is 20 minutes from Chapelco Airport.
Day 1: The group arrives at the Chapelco Airport near the town of San Martin de Los Andes and is welcomed by the Chocolate Lab Expeditions team. Twenty-minute ground transfer to the Chimehuin River put-in. Float the Chimehuin. Riverside picnic lunch. Arrive at Chimehuin Lodge. Enjoy appetizers and wine before dinner.
Days 2: You'll float the Chimehuin, a classic crystal-clear freestone river with willow-lined banks and emerald blue pools. Rainbows and browns average 15-20", with good numbers of browns up to 24".
Day 3: You'll float the lower Chimehuin to the confluence with the Collon Cura, then take out and transfer to the Limay River Ranch and stay in deluxe cabins.
Days 4 and 5: You'll fish the middle Limay, a potent tailwater with some of the hardest fighting rainbows and shots at browns up to 30".
Days 6 and 7: You'll shift over to the Collon Cura, one of Patagonia's most prolific fisheries and great for wade fishing. You'll stay two nights at the Estancia Collon Cura.
For All Three Rivers:
Season: Peak fishing is from mid-December through April.
Group Size: A maximum of eight anglers per week.
Boats: You'll float each river in high-end custom-built drift boats. They are the only outfitter in South America with a fleet of new boats every other season.
Guides: Excellent English-speaking guides are experts in all aspects of fly fishing.
Equipment: Guides provide all flies. Upon request, they can supply fly rods and reels. Plan on bringing boots, waders, leaders, and tippets. A detailed tackle list is included in our confirmation packet.
Fishing License: Your fishing license is not included, $60.00 p.p.
Typical Fishing Day:
8:00 a.m., You’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast, then head out to fish.
Noon: Enjoy a relaxing streamside lunch or return to the Lodge for lunch, depending on your location.
6:30 p.m., You’ll finish fishing and return to the Lodge.
8:00 p.m., Enjoy appetizers and a cocktail at the open bar.
Between 9:00 to 9:30 p.m., Dinner is served.
(Late dinners are typical for Argentina.)
Testimonial: "The thing that impressed me the most about Ron’s operation is the network he has developed over twenty years of guiding Patagonia and the private access he has. Logistics are one of the toughest things to negotiate down there with limited public access, and Ron has it all dialed. His guide staff is excellent as well. They are all well-versed in English, and there are not any communication problems.
- Dane Huzarski
The Chimehuin River: This is a classic big freestone river with willow-lined banks and large brown trout. The Chimehuin, with its true pools and runs, is similar to the Madison River. In places, the river braids into a maze of willow-lined channels with the feel of small water. Rainbows and browns range between 15-20 inches, with good numbers of browns up to 24 inches.
Click here for Chimehuin Video Vimeo.
Chimehuin Fly Fishing Methods
Chimehuin Methods: All methods can be effective—streamers, nymphs, large attractor dry flies, spot fishing, or matching the sometimes prolific hatches. The caddis hatch kicks off in early December, peaking later in the month and through early January. Hatches typically run through January, with scattered Cahill mayfly hatches tailing off in early February. During this same timeframe, a large size 8 & 10 yellow drake hatches most evenings and can bring out some big browns. Afternoon terrestrial fishing is effective throughout the summer, with the best time falling between late January through early March. With fall's cooler temperatures, the mayfly hatches start up again with mahoganies, a speckled-winged grey, and BWOs keeping the fish tuned to the surface. Streamer fishing is effective on the larger fish throughout the season, with the spring and fall the peak time for stripping for big browns. Every year a few fall browns in the 10-pound range are landed.
You'll Stay Two Nights at Chimehuin Lodge
Shore Lunch Served Along the River
The Lower Limay River
Limay River: The lower Limay River is a tailwater, flowing out from the Pichi Picun Leufu Dam and running about 60 miles before emptying into the enormous Chocon Reservoir. The Limay is a huge river, with flows from 7,000 CFS to 16,000 CFS, depending on electrical demand. The cool crystalline waters emitted by the dam provides a rich and varied river system, making the lower Limay one of the most dynamic rivers in the province. Chocolate Lab has been running trips on the lower Limay since 2004.
Limay River Fly Fishing - Vimeo Video.
Limay River Rainbows and Browns
The Limay boasts one of the best and hardest fighting rainbow trout populations of any in Patagonia, with incredible concentrations of fish averaging between 17-21 inches. These fish grow very fast, feeding throughout the year on aquatic insects and minnows. The river also has huge resident and migratory brown trout that range from 20 to 30+ inches. For big, hard-fighting trout, the Lower Limay River is a favorite for many fly anglers.
Limay River Estancia
Limay River Cabins
Limay River Cabins: You'll stay three nights in deluxe cabins along the Limay River.
Collon Cura River
The Collon Cura River is one of the most prolific trout fisheries in Patagonia. Action-packed angling in a remote setting with very few anglers. The Collon Cura resembles the Snake River near Jackson Hole with its expansive high desert valley, but the river is willow-lined with high sandstone cliffs. The river's mild gradient and broad gravel riffles make for comfortable floating and wading. For about 80 percent of its length, the river is contained within a canyon before flowing out into a broad valley, making it a great river for overnight trips. The river fishes very well throughout the season and is one of the favorites among beginner and expert anglers alike.
Collon Cura Fly Fishing Methods
Collon Cura Methods: All forms of fly fishing can be effective. The most productive form of fishing the Collon Cura is with streamers which are effective throughout the season. Large dry flies such as Chernobyl Ants, Madam X's, and rubberlegged hoppers can be extremely effective when fished off the banks and twitched through the riffles and runs. On calmer mornings, rising trout can be found in the tailouts, eddies, and soft water, feeding on mayfly spinners. Guides often carry an extra rod to target these fish. Usually, there is a good evening caddis hatch. An elk hair or Goddard caddis skittered across the surface produces explosive strikes.
For anglers with physical restrictions, the guides walk the boats to work the more productive runs.
Collon Cura River - Vimeo Video.
Two Nights at the Collon Cura Estancia
Communications: Wi-Fi internet is available at all three lodges. If you need to make phone calls, download the WhatsApp app. Everyone you’ll want to communicate with also needs to get the app. WhatsApp is a voice-over-internet (VOP) service and works very well.
Bedroom at Collon Cura Estancia
Meals at the Lodges: Chef-prepared dinners feature renowned local dishes and meats. Great barbeques with Patagonian lamb... served with Argentine wines.
Beverages: All beverages are included— beer, bottled water, wines, a moderate selection of liquor, soft drinks, tea, and coffee.