Gear and Equipment
We recommend long-sleeved fishing shirts and nylon fishing pants, as well as a good hat and polarized sunglasses. Remember, the sun is very intense this far south, so be sure to bring sunblock.
Evening attire at the lodges is casual. Jeans or khakis and a fishing shirt will be appropriate. Bring a sweater or light down jacket to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine outside in the cool night air. A casual shoe or slipper to wear inside the lodge is recommended.
Laundry services are available at all lodges. El Encuentro Lodge includes laundry service during your stay; other lodges may charge a nominal fee.
Gear for Rent: El Encuentro offers fishing gear for rent at US$150 per person for the duration of your trip. This includes Simms waders, Simms boots, Simms rain jacket, two rods, two reels, extra spool, floating and sinking lines, leaders, tippets and all the necessary gear to ensure a great day of fishing.
We recommend breathable stocking-foot waders and wading boots with either rubber or felt soles. While you may choose to wet wade some days, there will be days it will be better to have waders. Be sure your waders and especially your wading boots are CLEAN and DRY before arriving in Argentina. Upon arrival, we will wash your waders and boots and give them the right treatment to reduce the chances of spreading invasive species.
Pack warm socks and long underwear to wear under your waders.
Please bring two to three rods. We recommend a 5-weight and a 6-weight rod. The 6-weight will help you cast through any windy spells and the 5-weight will be helpful for casting dry flies, dry droppers, and small streamers.
Your reel should match to each rod and have enough backing to hold up against the feisty wild trout!
Floating lines for each rod, and a sinking tip for the 6 weight, 175 to 200 grains are the most effective lines in general. The two best sink tip lines are the Scientific Anglers Streamer Express (short head, 26’) and the RIO Outbound (24’ head), both in 200 grain.
These will pair well with a 6 weight.
Leaders and Tippet
Typically, 0X or 1X leaders 7.5’ long, and 3X leaders 9’ long, are the most versatile leaders for the area. Bring a range of tippet material from 1X to 5X or 6X just in case. Our guides have leaders and tippets, but best if you bring your own as well.
Many traditional flies are terrific for the rivers in Patagonia. Our guides will have most of the flies you’ll need, but it is a good idea to have a box with you in the event you find yourself needing a change and your guide is working with your fishing partner for the day.
The guides from El Encuentro Fly Fishing will help you fill in any gaps in your selection of flies. We sell a good assortment of patterns at the lodge to help round things out. The price is US$2.50 each. We also offer a special deal on a small waterproof fly box with our logo plus 40 flies of the patterns we recommend for US$160.
Recommended Fly Patterns
Parachute Adams, Royal Wulffs, Grey Wullfs, Elk hair caddis, black ants—all sizes 10-16. Rusty spinners (we prefer the parachute style spinner tie, easier to see and floats best), Harrop’s paraspinner is a good choice here, sizes 12-18.
Some bigger attractor patterns will also be useful: PMXs (or bugmeisters) with rubber legs in sizes 6-10, Stimulators, yellow, orange or green, sizes 8-16, and a good variety of grasshoppers, various colors, sizes 6-10.
Larger terrestrials would include: Chubby Chernobyl, Willy’s Ants (black), Fat Alberts (black and tan), Gypsy Kings/Ninja Cicadas (black), Eldon’s Ant (tan), and any other foam and rubber-legged concoctions that you like in sizes 4-10.
Hare’s ears, pheasant tails, princes, copper johns. You should have some with bead heads (tungsten is best) and some with no bead, varying from size 10 to 18. Also a few San Juan worms (we like claret and tan).
Woolly Buggers with bead or cone heads (olive, black and some with rubber legs), sizes 4-10. A few egg-sucking leeches and zonkers (olive, natural) can be handy in sizes 4-6. A small olive zonker in a size 10 makes a good dragonfly nymph, a small wooly bugger would be sufficient here as well. Clouser minnows (natural), sizes 4-6, Double bunnies (olive/white, tan/white, black/silver) sizes 4-6, any streamer with a mix of black and orange is good for the lakes in Rio Pico. Yuk bugs, black with white rubber legs, sizes 4-8 also work well.
Other good gear to bring includes: dry fly flotant, fly line cleaners, hemostats/forceps, clippers and leader straighteners. Remember to bring sunscreen 30 SPF or higher to keep in your fishing vest or boat bag.