WELCOME TO CHIME LODGE!
Overlooking the cascading Chimehuin River, Chime Lodge boasts front-door access to the greatest diversity of trout water in northern Patagonia. Or sojourn farther afield and sample many of the fabled waters that put Patagonia on the fly-fishing map of the world.
Brown, rainbow, brook trout, and landlocked salmon all thrive here. You’ll wade, float, and fish untouched beats by horseback or vehicle-access, depending on your daily preferences.
Nervous Waters has explored this area for years—and we’re proud to offer a spectacular home-river experience along with a plush central hub within striking distance of varied world-class Patagonia fishing opportunities.
Chime Lodge is located on the banks of the upper Chimehuin River and close to other top Patagonia rivers. Getting there: fly to Buenos Aires International Airport and hop a domestic flight to Chapelco Airport in San Martin de los Andes (CPC), located 28 miles from Chime Lodge. Alternatively, fly to Bariloche Airport (BRC), located 140 miles from Chime Lodge.
Chime Lodge is located on the boundaries of the 1.5 million acre Lanin National Park, offering a majestic landscape dominated by the towering 11,300 foot Lanin Volcano adorned with snow and dry lava.
The area is home to more than 20 trout-rich lakes, feeding a network of notable rivers that attract fly-fishers from around the globe. Alumine is the major river artery, which receives water from tributaries such as the Pulmari, Quillen, Ruca Choroi, Malleo, Pilo lil, and Catan lil. At its confluence with the Catan lil the Alumine becomes the Collon Cura, which also receives water from the Chimehuin, Quemquemtreu, and Caleufu rivers until it drains into Piedra del Aguila Reservoir.
The Chimehuin River is the most famous of all Patagonian rivers and home to endless meanders of monster trout. Born at Lake Huechulafquen, the Chimehuin flows for 40 kilometers until it meets the Collon Cura River. It is the place where fly fishing in Patagonia begun, made famous by Joe Brooks and other fly-fishing trailblazers of the 1960s.
The mouth of the Chimehuin or “Boca” annually sees anglers from around the globe chasing gigantic trout that migrate from the lake to the river to spawn. Techniques include dry flies, nymphs, or streamers and every corner could hold the fish of a lifetime. Float right from the lodge or drive to and wade productive runs and pools scattered throughout the river.
The middle reaches of the Malleo River are located approximately 20 kilometers from Chime Lodge. Regarded as one of the top 3 rivers in Patagonia, the Malleo is born at Lake Tromen on the northern foothills of Lanin Volcano.
The upper river is not easy to fish due to its dense vegetation and steep gradient. But you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. This section is home to small trout in big numbers and some large resident and migratory rainbows and browns. The fishing is small pocket-water style in the heart of Parque Nacional Lanin.
Mid and Lower Malleo
Fishing is concentrated on the mid to lower reaches upstream of the Malleo’s confluence with the Alumine River on the Mapuche Indian Reservation. Wading is easy, hatches are abundant throughout the season, and you’ll find large numbers of quality resident rainbow and brown trout in this dry-fly paradise.
Sight-fishing for large trout is possible if your eyes are good; and your casting better. It’s also a river that rewards streamer fishermen with large browns, especially during low-light conditions.
COLLON CURA RIVER
The super-productive Collon Cura River is formed at the confluence of the Chimehuin and Catan lil Rivers and flows for about 70 kilometers before reaching Piedra del Aguila Reservoir.
In addition to the undisputed quality of fishing, Patagonia’s remarkable wildlife abounds here: condors, eagles, ducks, falcons, and raptors, as well as spotted red deer, red and grey foxes, guanacos, rheas, otters… and more.
Due to its proximity to the reservoir, the river offers spey-casting opportunities for large migratory browns (landlocked versions of Rio Grande’s sea-runs)—especially early and late in the season.
For anglers who’ve done it all, native species such as percas and pejerrey patagonico also offer good sport during warm summer days.
The Alumine River begins at Alumine Lake and features 160 kilometers of trout-rich waters until it meets the Catan lil River and forms the Collon Cura. Fishing is highly productive from Pilo lil all the way to Catan lil. Dubbed “The Fish Factory” by local guides, you’ll find trout feeding in well-marked lanes or below the ever-present willows that cover its banks.
It’s not uncommon to hook 50+ fish on a day’s float, with impressive average size fish that attack well-placed dry flies. Fish dries and nymphs all day for 18-inch fish, or swing a streamer deep for trout measured in pounds. Native fish called Perca are also available in abundance.
The stretch from Pilo lil to its confluence with the Malleo makes a great multi-day float.
The Limay is an important river in northwestern Patagonia (the region of Comahue). Its headwaters form at the eastern end of Nahuel Huapi Lake and the river meanders for about 380 kilometers, collecting water from tributaries such as the Traful, Pichileufú and Collón Curá rivers. Where it meets the Neuquén River and combines to form the Río Negro lies the city of Neuquén.
Float the Limay River’s tailwater reaches in search of XL migratory browns.
The Meliquina and Filo Hua Hum rivers merge to create the Caleufu River, which flows for 40 miles before draining into the Collon Cura River (now Alicura Reservoir).
The Caleufu is floatable from opening day until early January, depending on snowmelt and rains, and offers everything from streamer (early season) to dry fly and nymph fishing. Ask your guide when the “minnow hatch” occurs for some epic days in the lower reaches.
OTHER STREAMS AND CREEKS
During certain times we target tributaries (Quilquihue, Curruhue, and Quemquemtreu, to name a few) to the previously mentioned rivers that seasonally fish really well.
These smaller streams are excellent choices for wading anglers who want to fish lighter rods (1- to 4-weights) for hungry small- to medium-size trout or landlocked salmon. Bamboo rod aficionados will love these streams.
Lake fishing is a favorite pastime among Argentine fly fishers. Why? Because it’s fun and challenging and, most of all, you can catch a trophy trout: be it a brown, rainbow, or brookie.
Over the years we’ve fished Tromen, Huechulafquen, Epulafquen, Verde, Curruhe, and other area lakes that are esthetically spectacular and also hold hefty trout.
If this is your first trip to Patagonia and you don’t know what to expect…
It’s simple and you’ll find all the tackle info you need here.
Rods and reels
If you have to bring just one rod to Patagonia pack a 9-foot 6-weight with a good disc-drag reel and two spools: one with a WF-6 Floating line and the other with a 24-foot, 200-grain integrated tip.
If you are like us (gear nuts!) we suggest you bring two rods.
9-foot 5-weight or a 6-weight with a floating line
9- to 10-foot 7-weight, with a 200/250 grain 15- to 24-foot sinking tip
Bring a back-up rod just in case or rent top-quality fly rods at the lodge.
Reels should have a minimum of 100 yards of backing and good drag systems.
Leaders: 9-foot 1X for streamers and 9-foot 3X for dry flies. You will also need extra tippet spools from 2X to 5X.
Waders and Boots
Bring your own waders and boots, or you can rent from us. If you want to rent, please tell us well ahead of time to avoid surprises. We offer Simms waders and boots.
If you bring your own waders and boots note: You can only use BRAND NEW FELT SOLED BOOTS in Patagonia to avoid spreading invasive species like Didymo, etc.
You can travel with sticky rubber-soled wading boots and we will submerge these in a 3% bleach solution every night during your stay. We take conservation seriously.
We could send you an endless list of flies to tie or purchase, but the truth is that you can have great fishing with some “generic” flies, too.
Rubber-leg Woolly Buggers #2-4
Large sculpin-style patterns, weighted
Nymphs (All tungsten beads please)
Lightning bug #14-16
And any caddis or mayfly you’d like to try.
Inch worm #12
Sparkle Dun #12-18
Parachute flies (assorted colors #12-18)
#4 Swishers PMX peacock
#8-10 Stimulator w/ rubber legs
#12-14 Elk Hair Caddis, tan
#16-18 Elk Hair Caddis, dark-tan
#16-20 olive Rabbits Foot
As a general rule, pack one high-quality rain/wind jacket, a fleece pullover, and comfortable outdoor clothing. Weather may be really nice, but don’t let an unexpected storm ruin your day.
Chime Lodge was constructed in 2008 and stands directly on the banks of the upper Chimehuin River. The beautifully-appointed lodge can accommodate 10 guests in five large bedrooms, each with private bathroom. The lodge also features two common living rooms, a reading/internet room, open kitchen, and a large dining area where our guests enjoy delicious meals.
“We had a terrific time at Chime lodge. The experience was exceptional for everyone. We love your accommodations, staff, location, guides, and fishing program. We will be back!!”.
John W., North Carolina
“I had my best day of streamer fishing EVER with on the Chimehuin! I found the diversity of fishing was incredible. I wish I had more time to see all the rivers and I will defiantly be back to fish’em all.”
Ian D., Bozeman, MT
“Without exception, the accommodations and guiding at Chime were exceptional. The setting, individual rooms, common area, and most certainly the staff at Chime set a standard to be admired by all. While having been fortunate enough (and old enough) to have tried fishing destinations from Labrador to Alaska, none would compete with the professionalism, attention, and friendliness of your guides. They are superb. I have sung your praises to many up here.”
Blake P., Newfane, VT
Chime Lodge – Fly Cast America
Our float trips are an adventure for anyone who seeks the finest rainbow and brown trout fishing while enjoying the majesty and seclusion of Patagonia. Our raft trips include fishing on the Alumine, Collon Cura, Chimehuin, and Limay Rivers, and our guides know these secluded waters well.
Float trips may take from three to seven days of fully guided fishing. You will be totally immersed in Patagonia and focused on experiencing the greatest trout fishing on earth with friends or family.
Our tent camps are deluxe in nature, and you will sleep in the finest tents in South America: our six foot tall Gore-Tex tents feature cots, sleeping pads, and pillows. Our modern catarafts were made with the sole focus of providing you with safety, efficiency and comfort. Our drift boats feature leaning bars, stripping baskets, marine coolers, satellite phone, VHF communications, and they are a delight to fish from.
Your guide/chef will pamper you with excellent homemade meals, Argentine Barbeques, fresh Perca (local Perch) dinners and a great selection of Argentine wines.
During a week’s trip you are very likely to be the only raft on the water, making our floats a true wilderness adventure, and a chance to fish water seldom visited by other anglers.