Futa Lodge

Accommodations

6 anglers - 8 guests

Season

December to March

Getting There

Futaleufú, Chile

The Fishing

Drifting on boats & wading

Target Species

Rainbow & Brown Trout​

Fishing Equipment

Sgl-handed fly-fishing rods

Fishing Equipment

Sgl-handed fly-fishing rods

Media Gallery

Photos & Videos

Rates

Per person p/package

Combine Your Trip

The Kautapen Group

Across the border from Esquel, Argentina, and hemmed in by the dense Coihue forests of the Tenth Region of Chile, you’ll find the mighty Futaleufú. Its name means “Big River” in the native Tehuelche language. And it’s an apt description for this glacial-fed giant that houses a renowned rainbow and brown trout fishery.

Through the season, resident trout key on mayfly, caddisfly, stonefly, and terrestrial hatches, while anglers explore endless miles of classic fly water in search of exceptional fish. Join us at Futa for a fly-fishing experience the way nature intended—immaculate and all-consuming.

Why Choose Futa Lodge?

The Magic Valley.

In a world that is over-exposed, the magnificent Futa Lodge has managed to maintain its mystery as one of the insider tips amongst die-hard South American adventurers. Giving this experience only credit for it’s quite remarkable and prolific trout fishing would be not only an understatement, but it also wouldn’t do it justice. Those who come solely for the fishing will be in for a surprise because they will receive a lot more than they have bargained for.

Hidden away from the busy eyes of mainstream tourism in a secluded and picturesque valley in the Chilean Andes, prospective clients will find themselves thrown back in time where everything was simplistic and slower-paced. Sipping a glass of vintage red around the fireplace until the trout rising rhythmically in the glassy tail out, fall silent.

Carefully curated memorabilia and local art are silent witnesses to the decades of fish stories and conversations around the fireplace in the main lodge. Succulent meals cooked to perfection by one of Nervous Water’s experienced chefs are a culinary journey deep into the South American cuisine that is on the same level as any star decorated restaurant in the capital. The charm of a by-gone era paired with a rustic yet luxurious setting nestled away in the alluring countryside next to a gin-clear river, all of which invites any guest to explore. May it be the fruit garden in the backyard, the structural splendors of the river itself, or the panoramic views of the interlocking hills from horseback… it’s completely up to you. A long story short: Futa is a wholesome very organic fishing experience that offers a lot more than just fishing.

Welcome to your remote and relaxing riverfront home in the Valle de las Escalas region of Chilean Patagonia. Our lodge can host up to 8 guests (6 anglers and 2 non-anglers). There are three bright and comfortable cottages—one next to the main lodge and the others bordering the river’s edge. The main lodge consists of a cozy living room with a fireplace and two additional double rooms. Laundry service is available.

What time of the year should I come?

The trout season in Chile runs from mid-November to mid-April. Chile’s Tenth Region is similar to Washington or Oregon in terms of weather and climate. Temperatures can reach as high as the mid-70s during the day, but will fall sharply at night. Rain can be a factor, so quality waterproof gear is a must.

How to get there from Argentina

Weekly flights from Buenos Aires arrive in Esquel (about 2.15 hour nonstop flight). From Esquel you will be transferred by one of our lodge representatives to Futa Lodge (about 2 hours in total with border crossing).

How to get there from Chile

From Santiago you fly to Chaitén airport (WCH) with a previous stop at Puerto Montt airport (PMC). In Chaitén you will be met by a lodge representative and driven to Futa Lodge (about 3.5 hour’s drive). There are private Charter flights from Puerto Montt to the Futaleufú Airport where guests will be met by a lodge representative. From here you will be driven to the lodge (25 minutes’ drive).

Location

Futa Lodge is situated in the Valle de Las Escalas on the Futaleufú River, in the Tenth Region of Chile. The lodge sits on a high riverbank overlooking the river and is situated on a private ranch. Chile’s Mountainous Tenth Region rises above some of the most ancient temperate rainforests in the world. This lush environment plays host to a diverse range of wildlife.

The Fishing

What to expect on the water.

Chile Trout Fishing

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of fishing from Futa Lodge is the variety of the rivers and techniques used to deceive the resident and occasional sea-run fish that inhabit our home waters.

For anglers who enjoy the visual aspect of dry fly fishing to free rising fish, Futa Lodge offers some of the most technically demanding match-the hatch fishing. The crystal-clear waters of the main river Futaleufu, its tributaries and countless smaller streams promote exceptional fly hatches of multiple species and trout rise to them at all times of the day, though our warm summer evenings experience the largest fall of spent fly and regularly produce trout feeding frenzies.

Additionally, particularly during late summer, there are many forms of terrestrial insect life from grasshoppers to beetles, which always attract the attention of the fish. Often the largest fish in the rivers around the Lodge respond best to nymphs, streamers and sunk fly techniques. Hopper-dropper style fishing is productive on the smaller streams and maintains a visual element to fishing. On the main river sinking lines, big nymphs and streamers will entice the biggest fish from the depths and occasionally a sea-run trout or salmon.

Fishing schedules vary seasonally. However, a hearty breakfast is usually served around 7 a.m., while lunch takes place on the shore or back at the lodge depending on your daily itinerary. To avoid the midday heat, anglers generally leave the lodge early in the morning, around 8 a.m. Guests return to the lodge for lunch and drinks around noon. After lunch and a siesta, boats will typically leave the put-in around 4:30 p.m., returning at dusk. Fishing hours will change slightly depending on the time of year. 

Demanding fishermen can fish through the day and can arrange this with the head guide. Non-fishing activities such as horseback riding or canoeing are available to allow our guests to enjoy the amazing wildlife and scenery of the area, and these trips can be organized with the head guide.

The high-gradient, trout-rich Futaleufú River flows right by the front door of the lodge. Browns and rainbows are wild and healthy and can range up to five or more pounds. Fish eat a mix of streamers, dries, and nymphs depending on the season, and the terrestrial fishing is a summertime mainstay. Big fish on ultra-buoyant foam flies is our specialty. In addition to rafting the Futaleufú, we offer exploratory missions to remote streams and trophy lakes in the area.

The high-gradient, trout-rich Futaleufú River flows right by the front door of the lodge. Browns and rainbows are wild and healthy and can range up to five or more pounds. Fish eat a mix of streamers, dries, and nymphs depending on the season, and the terrestrial fishing is a summertime mainstay. Big fish on ultra-buoyant foam flies is our specialty. In addition to rafting the Futaleufú, we offer exploratory missions to remote streams and trophy lakes in the area.

Rainbow Trout

Is there a more beautiful or popular fish? Depicted on corporate logos, ball caps, and gas station signs, the rainbow trout is the ideal symbol combining beauty and sport. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is favored by fly fishers because of its beautiful coloration—for which it’s named—and its fighting ability. Wild rainbow trout typically have olive-colored backs, tails peppered with dark spots, and silvery sides that look as if they’ve been painted pink and crimson. The rainbow trout is actually a member of the Pacific salmon family, and has been stocked on six continents. It can be found in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes, also in saltwater bays and open ocean as steelhead (the sea-run form of the fish, which returns to freshwater to spawn). Trout prefer cold, oxygenated moderately moving creeks and streams with plenty of cover and pools, although they also do well in food-rich backcountry lakes and rivers.

Rainbow size generally relates to the size of the water they can be found in, as well as the available forage base. Smaller creeks are usually home to smaller fish, while bigger rainbows inhabit bigger watersheds. Generally speaking, a three-year-old rainbow trout in a general trout stream grows to 12 inches but can exceed 20 inches if food is abundant and water temperatures are stable throughout the year.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) and Sea Trout (S. truttamorpha trutta) are both fish of the same species. They can be distinguished by the fact that that resident, non-migrating browns live in freshwater river systems such as Chile’s Futaleufú, while the sea trout of Tierra del Fuego show anadromous tendencies, migrating to the ocean and returning to freshwater as massive steelhead-size specimens to spawn.

Brown trout are native to Europe and Asia, but the natural distribution of the migratory forms may be, in fact, circumpolar. Sea-run brown trout are not considered endangered in any location. But in some cases, individual stocks are under various degrees of stress because of habitat degradation and artificial propagation leading to introgression. Brown trout like cold (60-65 degrees F, or 15-18 degrees C), well-oxygenated waters, especially large streams in mountainous areas. The in-stream cover is important, and they are more likely to be found where there are submerged rocks, undercut banks, and overhanging vegetation.

Browns in freshwater have the ability to grow to 9+ pounds. Although in most small rivers, mature brown might average 2 to 3 pounds. The sea-run variations of Argentina are another story, and consistently push the 20-30+ pound range—a challenge for fly fishers seeking the biggest, baddest browns on the planet.

Brown trout are active both by day and by night and are predatory feeders. While in freshwater, the diet typically includes streambed invertebrates, small fish, frogs, wayward mice, and insects flying near the water’s surface. A brown’s penchant for insect larvae, pupae, nymphs, and adult insects is what makes this trout a fly-fishing fav

 

Fishing equipment

Futa Lodge provides anglers with high-quality loaner fishing equipment.

5 weight – 9 foot (dry fly rod

6 weight – 9 foot (streamer rod)

6 weight – (back up)

The average size of fish on the Futaleufu River is in the 15 to 20 inch range, however there are larger fish present: All reels should be equipped with at least 100yrds of 20lbs backing. Weight Forward floating fly lines are the norm on this river. Whatever you fish in Montana or the Rockies will also work great on the Futa.

- 5wt Floating Line

- 6wt Floating Line (with versatile sink tippet leaders by RIO)

- 6wt Full Sink Line (200-300g)

Trout aren’t particularly leader shy here. However, during the peak of the summer, especially in low-water conditions, these trout can become wary of heavier diameters. Bring 9- to 12-foot leaders in 4X or 5X for fishing dry flies (2-3 of each size). Go shorter (7 foot leaders) and heavier (2X to 0X fluoro) for streamer rigs.

Tippet Spools: from 1x to 5x

The lodge has a better than average selection of local patterns both for the Futaleufú and its tributaries, as well as some larger streamers available for purchase. However, fly patterns will sell out. With that in mind, pack flies that you might fish for trout on the spring creeks and freestone rivers of the American West, or larger chalk-streams of the U.K. Futaleufú trout are mostly opportunistic feeders and general attractor patterns work great.

Large Dry Flies: Dave’s Hoppers (#10-14), Chernobyl Ants (#8-16), Stimulators, Humpies, Wulffs (Sizes #8-12)

Small Dry Flies: Elk Hair Caddis (#14-16), Mayfly, Parachutes (#12-18), Humpys, Emergers (#10-18), Cripples (#14-20) Lunn’s or Houghton Ruby (#12-18).

Streamers: Woolly buggers (cone head or bead head variety), Rabbit leech patterns (varying colors; generally darker patterns) Sculpins and Dog Nobblers (varying sizes small to large in varying colors). Make sure to bring articulated patterns both thin and bushy.

Nymphs: Bring stonefly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, and damselfly nymphs, bitch creek, and other Pat’s rubber-legged style nymphs. All bead head style nymphs down to around size 18 and as large as size 6. Finally bring a good selection of Pupa imitations between sizes 14-18.

Wading isn’t difficult on the Futaleufú and you will be spending most of the time in a boat. However, we recommend chest waders for warmth and to manage deeper water when you need to. Wading boots can’t have studs, and felt is also forbidden. Vibram or any sticky rubber-soled boot is the best. Given Chilean Patagonia’s climate, and water that can be in the 40s, be sure to pack long johns, wool or fleece pants, and wool or warm synthetic socks. Be sure to use a wading belt.

Culinary Experience​

At Nervous Waters, our goal is to deliver a true taste of Chile.

Our kitchens come to life through the use of fresh and regionally representative meats and products. By combining these elements, we create delicious flavors and varied textures that harbor hidden stories and share dining traditions with each plate. We have curated a top-notch team of experienced Argentine and international chefs, trained in both classic and avant-garde culinary techniques at each of our lodges.

Each meal is prepared with an artisan’s touch and influenced by the earthiness of the surrounding landscape. Sustainability is at the heart of our cuisine and a true connection to nature runs through every dish. To top it off, our guests enjoy each meal in our beautifully designed lodge dining rooms and outdoor lunch experiences. Chefs prepare every dish from scratch to be served at a minute’s notice. Freshness is paramount and perfecting the flavor is our key to success.

All our beef comes from Aberdeen Angus and Hereford steers. It is grass-fed cattle from our Pampas. We carefully select our suppliers, which guarantees the high quality, flavor, and tenderness of our meat. You will enjoy meat cooked on the fire and in several different ways in our lodges and in the field.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day in our lodges. Choices stretch from local free-range Eggs Benedict to organic and healthy breakfast options. We change our menu daily to keep things fresh. Later in the day, our superb lunch and dinner menus are paired with some of Argentina’s and Chilean’s —and the world’s—best wines; Bodega Catena Zapata.

In addition to our focus on fresh food with organic origins, we also celebrate our Argentine heritage with a wine partnership that brings truly world-class vintages to our lodges. Our wide selection of finest wines, the best Argentine Malbec from the Mendoza region, and a large variety of other grape selections, are served by a knowledgeable team. We feel that the food we present and the wines we serve should mirror the sporting opportunities we offer—and be the finest available.

Futa Lodge’s culinary experience is characterized by unique homemade flavors and locally sourced produce. Our menus have been meticulously constructed around the local tradition of cooking over the open flame. Grass-fed lamb, beef, and local seafood are always on the menu, matched with farm-fresh vegetables and fruit. Regional flavors can be found in every dish, from hand-picked berries grown in our lodge gardens, to pine mushrooms picked fresh in the verdant forests that surround our lodge.

Our classic preparations are perfected over the fire and include delicacies like the Spanish-influenced Curanto—an esteemed stew of earthly ingredients and heavenly flavors that give our kitchen a tasty local identity where every meal is truly something special.

Rates

Season 2021-2022: December 2021 – April 2022

* Prices are in US$ and per person

7 nights / 6 days fishing

$ $ 5,950
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6 nights / 5 days fishing

$ $ 5,250
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5 nights / 4 days fishing

$ $ 4,475
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4 nights / 3 days fishing

$ $ 3,700
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3 nights / 2 days fishing

$ $ 2,775
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Rates are per person based on double occupancy and shared guide.

Included

Not included

Photo Gallery

Both the beautiful wild trout and the stunning landscape along our rivers are worth pulling the raft over for.
📸: @TheFlyFishingNation
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#futalodge #flyfishing #nervouswaters #fishinglife #flyfishingaddict #flyfishingjunkie #outdoors #adventuretravel #pechemouche #fishinglodge #chile #trout #troutfishing #onfly #onthefly #futalodge #fishing #explore #wildlife
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Hiding under the overhanging vegetation of the Futaleufu are hungry trout of epic proportions. A splashy cast with a big dry fly is all it takes to get your prize to poke its head out from the shadows!
📷 Brian McKnight
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#futalodge #flyfishing #nervouswaters #fishinglife #flyfishingaddict #flyfishingjunkie #outdoors #adventuretravel #pechemouche #fishinglodge #chile #trout #troutfishing #onfly #onthefly #futalodge #fishing #explore #wildlife
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Fishing the pocket water up the Futaleufú’s tributaries is one of the most beautiful and prolific ways to spend a day in the Chilean Andes.
📷 @marcosfurer
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#futalodge #flyfishing #nervouswaters #fishinglife #flyfishingaddict #flyfishingjunkie #outdoors #adventuretravel #pechemouche #fishinglodge #chile #trout #troutfishing #onfly #onthefly #futalodge #fishing #explore #wildlife
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The rainbow trout of the Futaleufú have a beautiful, almost bluish tinge to them as they blend in with the water and the granite rocks below.
📷: @marcosfurer 
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#futalodge #flyfishing #nervouswaters #fishinglife #flyfishingaddict #flyfishingjunkie #outdoors #adventuretravel #pechemouche #fishinglodge #chile #trout #troutfishing #onfly #onthefly #futalodge #fishing #explore #wildlife
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Wild trout like this stunning rainbow abound in the endless miles of classic fly waters surrounding our lodge in the Chilean Andes. Infinite rise forms line the banks during our prime hatch season when every trout in the system is looking up to the surface for their bug buffet.
📸: @theflyfishingnation
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#futalodge #flyfishing #nervouswaters #fishinglife #flyfishingaddict #flyfishingjunkie #outdoors #adventuretravel #pechemouche #fishinglodge #chile #trout #troutfishing #onfly #onthefly #futalodge #fishing #explore #wildlife
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Combine your Trip

Double down on your sporting adventures and experience all The Kautapen Group has to offer by combining your stay with another of our hunting or fishing lodges.

Our research and experience tell us that over 65% of anglers are also actively interested in bird hunting and big game hunting. If you are a part of that majority and are interested in adding variety to your sporting life, look no further than David Denies Bird Hunting and Red Stag Patagonia. All three brands are owned and operated by the same company, The Kautapen Group, and each operation is dedicated to making your outdoor experience fun, memorable, and productive.

Sea-Run Brown Trout Golden Dorado Pacú Pirá Pitá Brown Trout Rainbow Trout Bonefish DOVE perdiz DUCK PIGEON BLACKBUCK ANTELOPE AXIS DEER RED STAG FALLOW DEER WILD BOAR

Golden Dorado

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