History of trout in Patagonia

Browns, rainbows and giant king salmon

First class tradition of fishing for Salmonidae

Fly Fishing in Patagonia

History of trout in Chile 

Pesca de salmónidos en la PatagoniaThe first stocking of Chilean waters with trout took place in 1865. After further unsuccessful attempts a hatchery – the first in Chile - was built at Rio Blanco in 1905. Rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon were shipped in from Germany. In 1907 the first catches from Chilean rivers were reported. In the same year several rivers were stocked with fish from the Rio Blanco hatchery. Shortly afterwards the Maullin and Lautaro hatcheries were set up.

Different projects – many of them ventures of private enterprise were carried out in the following decades. The result was trout in virtually all the waters on the Chilean mainland from streams up in the altiplano in the region of Arica and Parinacota to the secluded fiords in the southernmost tip of South America

In the first half of the 20th century several types of salmonidae were by then established in Chile, chief amongst them rainbow trout and brown trout

Written accounts mention groups of British anglers fly fishing in Chile.

The first hotels catering for anglers from Europe and the United States were built in the 1930s. At the same time oarsmen called “boteros” were hiring their services – rowing to inaccessible parts of a river – to visiting anglers from abroad.

The 1940s saw Chile´s first foreign fly fishing guide – Alfred Heusser. In 1963 the first fishing lodge was opened - Cumilahue Fly Fishing Lodge - still operated by founder Adrian Dufflocq.

Pesca a mosca en la Patagonia

History of trout in Argentina

Between 1904 and 1910 Patagonia in Argentina imported numerous consignments of fertilized eggs of brook trout, landlocked salmon and lake trout from Canada. Patagonia also received shipments of brown trout eggs from Germany, France, Belgium and Great Britain. A consignment of rainbow trout eggs came from the United States and Germany. Rainbow trout eggs were reintroduced from Denmark between 1959 and 1970. The United States was the source for the fertilized eggs of sockeye, coho and chinook or king salmon.

In the years up to 1970, the hatchery “Centro de Salmonicultura” in Bariloche carried out programs to raise different species of trout and salmon and then stock Patagonian waters with them.

From the 1950s onwards Tierra del Fuego became the favourite destination of a select few. Fly fishing in Tierra del Fuego saw the start of fly fishing guides - mostly British who accompanied other European anglers.