Tranquility and sublime fishing are the first attributes anglers notice upon arrival at Futa Lodge—on the enchanting Futaleufu River. The river slices through some of the most remote and breathtaking countryside on the planet. Fishing pressure for wild rainbows and browns is next to nil. And the only tweets are sent by birds. Chile’s superlative Valle de las Escalas defines the area, offering a Patagonia trout fishing experience beyond compare.
- A robust fly-fishing program: from float trips for quality trout on Patagonia’s Futaleufu River to exploring intimate tributaries and hidden trophy lakes.
- Prolific hatches and excellent terrestrial fishing throughout the season.
- Quality brown and rainbow trout, with seasonal shots at sea-run species.
- Trophy trout lakes with fish in the 15-20+ inch class.
- Excellent homewaterfly-fishing, right at the lodge doorstep—great for after hours sessions.
- Spectacular private, and romantic, lodge setting.
- Horseback-access guided fishing excursions, walk-and-wade fly fishing, and full-day river floats in our well-equipped rafts.
- Relaxed pace at the lodge: no cars, engine noise, or city smog—just pure mountain air. Imagine the American West… 150 years ago.
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.
In addition to delicious days on the river, Futa Lodge takes pride in providing its guests with wonderful, hearty cuisine. Our “a la carte” menu includes local, organically raised meats, fresh vegetables, and divine deserts. A traditional asado (BBQ) will be held once during your stay, and you can sample prime cuts of lamb and beef alongside an array of tasty salads.
The main lodge has a fully stocked bar, featuring spirits, beer, and award-winning regional wines.
Fly-fishing at Futa Lodge starts on the Futaleufu River, which flows past our front door. The river’s wild brown and rainbow trout have deep roots in the area—first stocked in the 1800s—and today have developed into healthy, prolific populations.
In addition plying the Futaleufu, your Patagonia fly-fishing adventure wouldn’t be complete without exploring local lakes and coastal fisheries with our expert guides. A large number of Chilean rivers play have runs of anadromous fish. Every year their numbers grow. Principal species include chinook and silver salmon, with select opportunities for sea-run browns.
The fly-fishing equipment suggestions that follow are drawn from years of experience fishing the Futaleufu River and its surrounding lakes and tributaries.
The Futaleufu, its tributary streams, and local trophy lakes all offer extraordinary fly-fishing for adept anglers. Because drys, nymphs, and streamers produce throughout the season, the best rods are versatile 5- or 6-weights—and many anglers choose to bring one of each. There are times when you’ll fish larger streamers or have to deal with strong winds and we recommend Sage One and Method rods—sticks with enough backbone and finesse to deliver flies consistently on target.
Futaleufu brown and rainbow trout average 14 to 20 inches in length, however there are much larger fish present. Therefore, we recommended reels with smooth, adjustable drag systems and enough capacity to hold 100+ yards of 20-pound backing. Check out premium offerings from Abel and Sage.
Anglers should pack at least three lines when visiting Futa Lodge. We recommend 5- and 6-weight floating lines for fishing drys and nymphs on the Futaleufu. For casting larger streamers,full-sinking and integrated sink-tip lines deliver great results—allowing you to present big streamers to large fish lying deeper in the water column.
Futaleufu trout aren’t particularly leader shy. However… during the peak of the summer, especially in low-water conditions, these trout can become wary. Our guides recommend carrying a range of monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders from 1X to 5X. Pack tippet spools in similar diameters.
The lodge has a good selection of local patterns both for the Futaleufu and its tributaries. If you’re bringing flies from home, popular attractor patterns, terrestrials, caddis, and mayfly dries and nymphs in a range of sizes and colors are a great start. And don’t forget your streamer box.
Woolly Buggers (conehead or bead head variety)
Rabbit-Strip Leech Patterns (varying colors; generally darker patterns)
Sculpins and Dog Nobblers (varying sizes small to large in varying colors)
Traditional Scottish patterns for sea trout and salmon (low-water) will also work.
Stonefly nymphs, dragonfly/damsel nymphs, bitch creek and other rubber-legged nymphs. All beadhead style nymphs down to #18 and as large as #6. Finally bring a good selection of caddis pupa imitations (#14-18).
Dave’s hoppers and parachutes, #10-14; Parachute Adams, #12-18; Elk Hair Caddis, #14-16; Humpies and Stimulators, #10-18; Parachute ants, #16-18; foam-bodied terrestrial patterns like beetles and hoppers, #8-16; Spent patterns like Lunn’s Particular or Houghton Ruby, #12-18.
Wading isn’t difficult on the Futaleufu, and you’ll spend most of your fishing time in our well-equipped rafts. That said, bring chest waders for warmth and to stay dry when needed. Patagonia has some good options. Wading boots cannot have studs. Felt is also forbidden, and Vibram, rubber-soled boots are best. Given Chilean Patagonia’s sometimes-surly climate, be sure to layer up withwarm long johns, wool or fleece pants, and wool socks.
The summer climate in southern South America is extremely variable, and a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions should be expected. We recommend layering, so you can add or subtract warmth throughout the day. Pack Gore-Tex rain shells from Patagonia or down insulated jackets, thermal pants and underwear, polar neck warmers, wool socks, and warm hats.
Lodge attire is casual, but neat.Laundry service is available.
To avoid scorching midday heat, anglers generally depart the lodge and hit the water early, around 8 a.m.Guests return to the lodge for lunch and drinks at noon. After lunch and a siesta, boats leave the dock at 4:30 for late-afternoon/evening sessions. Fly-fishing hours will change slightly depending on the season.
Non Angling Activities
Non-fishing activities at Futa include hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, canoeing and wildlife tours. These trips should be arranged in advance with the head guide.
With several horses on the property, we can take groups on full-day adventures. A great trail ride takes you to Don Benny’s sheep estancia. Cheese is made onsite and fresh eggs are always available. Sit-on-top kayaks, singles or doubles, will be waiting for you at the beach on beautiful Espolon Lake. Its clear, glacial fed waters are perfect for swimming, fishing, and taking in views of waterfalls and the adjacent mountain peaks.For more adventurous guests, whitewater rafting down the Futaleufu River—class IV and V rapids—will take your breath away.
Welcome to Patagonia’s Tierra del Fuegoarchipelago, a fly-fishing frontier split vertically by the Argentina and Chile border at the southern most tip of the South American continent. Kau Tapen has lived in the region for more than 30 years and is located southwest of the coastal city of Rio Grande. The lodgesaddles theArgentine side of the town’s namesake river—home to world-renowned fly-fishing for record-size sea run brown trout.
The Rio Grande flows west to east, from its headwaters in the Andes to its Atlantic Ocean outlet, and through approximately 45 miles of Argentine territory. The wind-swept landscape of Tierra del Fuego is reminiscent of Wyoming or the Scottish lowlands. It has a stark oceanic climate and features sparsely populated wilderness spotted with sheep farming estancias, herds of wild llama-like guanacos, red foxes, soaring condors and, of course, impressive annual returns of sea run trout.
Rainbow TroutIs there a more beautiful or popular fish? Depicted on corporate logos, ball caps, and gas station signage, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchusmykiss) is an angler’s favorite because it fights hard, looks sexy, and requires some skill to catch.The rainbows of Chilean Patagonia and the Futaleufu River are of the wild variety and can grow to impressive sizes, pushing 20+ inches throughout the system. Opportunistic feeders, they fatten up on the river’s rich supply of macroinvertebrate life and—depending on the season—can be fooled with an array of dry-fly, nymph, and streamer patterns.
Brown TroutThe Futaleufu’s wild brown trout population boasts some beautiful specimens.These territorial fish ranging from 14 to 20+ inches prefer structure-rich environments in and around cutbanks, deadfall, and boulder-strewn runs. And they feed on everything from small minnows and rainbow parr to mayflies, caddis, and larger terrestrial insects.They’re also known to be nocturnal predators, and skating mouse patterns under the moonlight is a great way to stalk some of the river’s bigger fish.