Eleven Rio Palena Lodge, Chile
Laid back comfort amid majestic Patagonian rivers and lakes
Set in a pristine Andean valley on the banks of the magnificent Rio Palena, Eleven Rio Palena lodge is a superb angling retreat. The Los Lagos region is famous for large, wild brown and rainbow trout and anglers can wade or float right from the front door. It’s great for non-anglers and families too with glacier trekking, hiking, biking, rafting, paddle boarding and wellness all available.
Great guides, great access and great variety
There are numerous full-day sections to explore on the Rio Palena, each with a variety of challenges and surprises, which are accessed by rafts, drift boats and motorised boats. For beginners, fishing large dries like Fat Alberts and Chernobyl patterns can produce explosive strikes. Even experienced anglers enjoy this kind of action – twitching and skating a big dry to lure a large brown or rainbow up from the depths. Long riffles are ideal for pulling over and wading, and while a dry dropper combo can be effective, fishing a Beadhead Woolly Bugger or a pancora imitation on a long swing is truly deadly. Streamer aficionados will find the Palena to be one of the best rivers anywhere for big browns.
The region’s trout average 12 to 20 inches with fish between 20 to 24 inches caught most days. Trophy fish of 24+ inches can be a weekly occurrence. Guests can explore the lower Futaleufú through a series of islands and long placid runs and pools that open into Lake Yelcho. The upper Futa, near the Argentine border, offers classic float fishing with dries and streamers. Lake Yelcho can be explored using a jet boat which can whisk you from reed-laden bays and inlets to cast dragon fly and beetle patterns to cruising trout. Rio Yelcho, flowing out of the lake, provides gorgeous views of Andean glaciers and a perfect habitat for big trout and king salmon.
The guides live and breathe fishing and thrive on showing their guests to some of the most lovely waters in the region.
A gorgeous lodge with no detail-spared style
Perched a stone’s throw from the river, Rio Palena Lodge is an oasis of laid-back comfort. The seven suites are beautifully decorated and feature many locally crafted pieces. Each has en-suite facilities and provides an inviting hideaway after the day’s activities. There’s an expansive deck which is a great spot to enjoy a drink overlooking the river or an Asado, a traditional Patagonian BBQ. Other facilities include a wood fired sauna and hot tubs, wood burning fireplaces, and a gear drying room. The chef prepares wonderful meals which include fabulous local beef, home made pastas, grilled salmon and locally grown produce all of which are enjoyed in the cosy dining room. Fine wines complete the dining experience.
Remote Patagonia at its best
This lovely 35 acre river front property can be reached from either Buenos Aires in Argentina or Santiago in Chile. From either country a mix of commercial and private charters can be arranged to reach the lodge.