Until 1992, there were no roads connecting the small town of Lago Verde with the rest of the Region of Aysén; thus, residents of this small border town depended on trails, small aircraft or their proximity to the roads of Argentina, to access regional services and commerce. Connecting the town with La Junta presented significant engineering challenges, in part because of the need to chart a course between so many lakes, rivers and streams. Imagine how complicated the tropeo was (movement of animals) from the estancias and farms of Lago Verde to the livestock markets in La Junta and Puyuhuapi! Ranch hands rode up to 15 days, just to get to La Junta, bordering interconnected systems of lakes, rivers and streams, and finally crossing the headwaters of the Rosselot River on hand-crafted wooden rafts, animals and all!
Now things are much easier! You can reach Lago Verde in a little over an hour and a half travelling along beautiful Route X-13, and much of the livestock leaves on truck. Of course, if you are a fisherman, you’re likely to delay several hours or even days within this 70 kilometer stretch; the variety and quality of these waters are sufficient to seduce just about anyone who is a fan of rods, reels and flies. World-renowned Route X-13 is a true corridor of lodges and waters where fanatics of fly-fishing pay millions and millions of pesos to have the privilege of coming for a few days and testing their skills and luck. If you are looking for this type of specialized experience, you can choose between several different styles of service, accommodations and packages, including: Lodge El Ensueño (www.ensuenolodge.cl), Lodge Chucao Rosselot (www.chucaolodge.com), Lodge El Patagón (www.southernchilexp.com), el Martín Pescador Lodge (www.martinpescadorfishing.com) and Patagonia Basecamp Lodge (www.patagonian-basecamp.com).
If you don't want to invest the resources for a specialized fly-fishing itinerary, or if you just want to spend a day or two fishing, there are many options you can explore on your own or you can hire an area guide who know the secrets of every river and lake and can help you find the hiding spots for wild Brown and Rainbow Trout, ranging in size between 30 and 50 cm and the specific areas and times of year for finding Atlantic and Chinook Salmon.
Here are some tips to start you on your quest:
- Palena River: You can fish from a boat or from shore in several sections of this river, given the large number of tributaries and changing conditions it presents. There are sections suitable for the use of dry flies and nymphs, especially in the muddy areas and shallows. You will also encounter several sections with downed trees and roots; the use of streamers here will attract the fish that await in the pools these obstructions create.
- Quinto River: A brief detour from route X-13 takes you to the Quinto River, located in the valley of the same name. Here you can enjoy a great fishing from the shore, using dry flies and nymphs.
- Claro Solar Lake: Located in the Mirta Valley, a few kilometers off route X-13, this lake presents good opportunities for both fly fishing and trolling. In both cases, the use of deep streamers are recommended.
- Rosselot Lake: The inflow areas for the two tributaries that feed this Lake, the Bordali and Figueroa Rivers, are ideal sectors for fishing from the shore. If you have boat, you can find several areas with downed trees and rock cliffs, ideal places for deep-dwelling trout.
- Rosselot River: This River is a corridor for trout moving between Rosselot Lake and the Palena River. Look for Brown Trout in pools and trees root systems and Rainbow Trout in the muddy areas and swirls.
- Figueroa River: Near the town of Lago Verde you’ll find another trout corridor, this time connecting the Verde and Rosselot Lakes. In the quieter sections, like the convergence with Rosselot Lake, there are excellent fishing spots. Dry flies are most commonly used, but you can also try other flies and streamers for deep areas.
- Pico River: Close to the border with Argentina, this river is perfect for shore-fishing fans and for those who like the challenges of river flows and backwaters. The Maitenal Fishing Camp ((09) 91566856; firstname.lastname@example.org), is a great place to base for these waters. You’ll find excellent access, good guiding and if you want, you can finish your day with a fantastic Asado al Palo.
- Lago Verde: Fishing in the turquoise waters of this lake is an entertaining experience and there are tons of photography opportunities if the fish aren’t biting! Its waters feed the Figueroa River which in turn, feed into Rosselot Lake. It is a great lake for shore fishing and if you have access to a boat, there is excellent deep water fly-fishing and trolling.