camp Rio Fresco Chile

Description of River and Country :


In the South of Chilean Patagonia, in the region Los Lagos, there is a hidden Garden Eden situated in between tall coastal mountains and the deep blue sea of the Southern Pacific. - Emerald green rivers are meandering through the forested foothills, deep woods of lush green and misty islands are forming the coast. The ever present ice-capped volcanoes towering in the background and deep mountain lakes are the source of numerous pure rivers, full of char, trout, and mighty salmon.

The crystal clear rivers flow to the West and empty into the Pacific, from where the King Salmon return in feisty shape each summer. Nobody really remembers, when this big and heavy race of Chinook have been introduced to these perfect wilderness rivers or where they came from. But they are there, and they are plenty of them. - Some sources are telling us, that these great migrating fish have been introduced already in the late 19. century, only a few decades after Puerto Montt has been colonized and settled by German pioneers in modern times. - The first conquest of the region Los Lagos and of large Chiloe Island took place already in the 16. century by Spanish conquistadores, when this Garden Eden was inhabited by the native Mapuche Indians.

The Gates to the Andes and to Chilean Patagonia

Puerto Montt is the gate to most explorations and fishing tours into Chilean Patagonia, and this picturesque port in the South of the vast country can be reached by railroad or by a 2 hours domestic flight from the capital Santiago de Chile. - We stay overnight at a small traditional hotel in Puerto Varas on the banks of a large lake, overlooking the blue lake and volcano Osomo just above Puerto Montt in the Highlands. - Early morning we travel south across Chiloe Island by minibus and boat to reach our Camp Rio Fresco, after an 8 hour trip through most picturesque marine and coastal environment with dense forests, green islands, deep fjords, ice-capped mountains and blue rivers. - The climate is pleasant in the Chilean Summer, not too hot (20 – 25° C during the day) and there is always a refreshing breeze from the Sea.

The Game Fish Species of Southern Chile

Besides the Giant Chinook, this large-growing King Salmon of the South Pacific, which runs into the big, meandering rivers of this Lake District, there are beautiful wild Brown Trout to be found in every river, lake, and creek. - These Brown Trout with their large black spots and lovely red markings grow considerably large at some rivers, and they make for fine fly-fishing with the dry fly. Two species of Lake Char are living in the numerous mountain lakes, as well as Rainbow Trout at some waters. - 3 days of added fly-fishing are aiming for these various wild trout species.

Full 6 days of fishing are accounted for our main target, the mighty King Salmon, which grows to well over 70 pounds at Rio Fresco. The first Salmon begin to enter the river in December, and so we commence fishing for Chinook from mid January through February until mid March, when the salmon are fresh and bright silver from the sea and in prime condition. We never fish for kelt or black salmon, and therefore finish the season in March, well before the salmon get stained after spawning. - The average size of Kings from our river camp is around 25 to 50 lbs., and at least one salmon per angler a day can be expected, provided the weather conditions are just right. The truly big Kings however, are in the class of 60 to 75 lbs., and such fish have been caught and released in the past two seasons at this new and well-hidden river camp.


camp Rio Fresco Chile camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile camp Rio Fresco Chile
camp Rio Fresco Chile

Traditional Cottage and Pioneer Tent Camp King Salmon

The Cottage Camp is situated on a hill high above the fjord of the river. Every morning begins with a truly breathtaking view for the traveling sportsman, opening far across the deep blue salmon fjord and up the wild river.  The pioneer tent camp is located about 8 miles further upstream and at the middle stretch of the headwaters, - a camp suited for the more adventurous and youthful fly-fisherman. Both camps may be used on a revolving basis and each camp can accommodate 4 anglers in best of comfort and privacy. 

Accommodation at the traditional cottage camp is in bedrooms with 2 single beds, and in single occupancy as well, featuring a small but stylish dining room with a view across the fjord and the surrounding tall mountains of the coast range. A cozy wood-burning stove and separate shower and bath with flush-toilet add to the rural comfort. The native girl-cook works at a well-equipped kitchen to serve a full breakfast and a rich course dinner at the cottage. Electric power is available, as well as a new cell-phone connection from the 2017 season.

The pioneer tent camp is situated directly at the middle stretch of the wild river and is built of robust canvas tents. Each camp tent features ample space at an accommodation of no more than 2 single-beds. Wooden cot-beds with matrasses are part of the interior furnishing, solid wood table and chairs, as well as sideboards for storage of the fishing equipment, waders, and outdoor clothing. A classic wood-burning stove in the center of each pioneer tent provides cozy comfort after a hard day of fishing. The two fishing camps are about 8 miles apart.

The traditional and purely organic country meals are served at a spacious dining tent, while the camp kitchen is accommodated in an attached log-cabin. Petroleum lanterns and a campfire with rural Asado barbeque and best Chilean red wine in the evenings are adding to the authentic pioneer feeling and to the exploration character of this traditional King Salmon Camp. - These impressions and memories from the banks of a true wilderness river amidst one of the last frontiers of Chilean Patagonia will go with You forever.


Chinook Fishing Techniques

The native Chilean river guides and the European fly-fishing guide are responsible for the daily planning of our fishing approach, according to the present weather and water conditions and according to the activity of salmon. We are fishing this magnificent river in the early Chilean Summer, when the water level is usually stable and the river is crystal clear in the warm and dry months, and when the salmon are fresh from the sea.

Each day, from early in the morning, the virgin river is fished at different beats and river stretches by small groups of no more than 2 or 3 fishing friends, and each team is accompanied by their own guide. About 9 productive miles of the meandering river provide ample free space for a limit of only 8 rods in total.  Most of our fly-fishing is done from the bank and by wading, using classic double-handed salmon rods. A few extra deep pools may be better fished from the boat, in particular those close to the river mouth into the fjord, or some deep pools at the far bank underneath steep rocks. But in general, our fishing takes place at perfect fly-fishing spots for comfortable casting with our long Spey rods.

The current of the river is medium fast, with lovely deep runs and typical long stretches of slightly shallower water, speckled with plenty of freestones and granite boulders. River islands of firm gravel and beaches of colorful pebble are forming the banks of the clear stream. This river keeps the angler amazed every moment by its stunning turquoise color of pure water against the emerald green of the lush forest. - A true gem of a river, running through a canyon of wild beauty.

Many of the best pools and productive river beats can be reached on foot along paths through the forest, and some distant pools from camp on field trails by off-road vehicle. Wading in the river is quite easy and comfortable in general, and the use of a wading staff not always necessary. The Chilean Summer is pleasant and warm during the day, and wading just in shorts and wading boots is quite common and very refreshing.

The effective fly patterns for these waters will be introduced by Your fishing guides at river camp. But many of the long, slim-shaped, and weighted Intruder flies, which we are used from King Salmon fishing at the West Coast and from Alaskan rivers, will work well here. Tube flies in various lengths of 3 to 5 inches, and in pink color or in chartreus green are always a good choice for this kind of fishing.


The Wildlife and Nature of Southern Chile

This fishing adventure in Chilean Patagonia with the raw beauty and grandeur of canyon and river, vividly recalls the pioneer times and the good old days of river explorations and wilderness fishing for large game fish. - Deep forests with mighty trees, ice-capped mountains and volcanoes, dark shadows of the Condor of the Andes sailing across the valley, and silver shining salmon rolling on their run up the river. The fishing camp is situated at the gates to the Pumalin Nature Reserve and deer and mountain lion are roaming the misty mountain range. - For the curious naturalist and outdoor lover, for the non-fishing wives and companions we are happy to arrange added eco-trips and nature excursions into the surrounding National Parks on the mainland and on Chiloe Island.


Brief Description of River and Camp

  • Traditional wooden cottage and tent camp at Rio Fresco, region Los Lagos.
  • Sport fishing for King Salmon, wild Brown Trout, and Lake Char.
  • Cottage Camp accommodation for 4 anglers, hot shower & bath, electricity.
  • Pioneer Tent Camp for 4 anglers. Headwaters, 2 single cot-beds per canvas tent.
  • 12 days tour (9 days fishing) with full board of traditional Chilean cuisine.
  • Pleasant climate and warm, dry days in the Chilean Summer.
  • Nature Reserve, limited King Salmon permits, exclusive river and fly-fishing only.
  • Inclusive domestic flight fare from Santiago de Chile (2 hours flight) and back.
  • Inclusive domestic hotel at Puerto Montt. All transfers to camps and back.
  • Extraordinary fly-fishing for Giant Chinook, average weight 25 - 50 lbs.
  • Exclusive river stretch of 9 miles for no more than 4 - 8 rods per week.
  • Inclusive fishing license and King Salmon permit
  • Wilderness river in breathtaking fjord and mountain scenery.
  • Camping gear includes boat, off-road vehicle, teepee tent for river explorations.
  • Small collection of custom fly-patterns for each first-time fishing guest.
  • Recommended tour dates from mid January through February until mid March.
  • Comfortable wading and easy fly-casting from open gravel banks.
  • European fishing guide responsible for the complete leading of each King Tour.  
  • Prime King Salmon Tours with exploration character, - to a very fair rate for some extraordinary wilderness fishing, hardly found anywhere else today.


The best Tour Offers 

Tour Dates :    Tour I :   09.01. - 20.01. (12 days),    Tour II :   21.01. -  31.01. (12 days)  

                        Tour III : 01.02. - 12.02. (12 days),    Tour IV :  28.02. - 10.03. (12 days)

Description :   Rio Fresco (Chilean Patagonia),  12 days tour (9 days fishing),  - Summer

Accommodation :  1) Traditional Cottage Camp,   2) Pioneer Tent Camp.   - Full board.

Group Capacity :   4 - 8  fly-fishermen per tour.

Tour Guiding :   Native Chilean guides, European fly-fishing guide at all times.



Sport Fishing for :

King Salmon, wild Brown Trout, Lake Char, Rainbow Trout

Fishing Techniques :

Fly-Fishing only in National Parks and Nature Reserves. - Spin fishing at the coast and outside of National Parks.


Fishing Tackle for King Salmon :

Double-handed rods :  1) 12 - 14 ft., # 9/10    2) 15 ft., # 11/12,  rods with deep action.

Fly reels :  1) Caged frame # 10/11, backing 300 y.   2) Disc-brake reel # 12/14,  400 y.

Fly lines :  Floating & Intermed. with shorter belly and 18 ft. sink tips.  Backing 60 lbs.

Leaders :  Medium & long tapered leaders, heavy butt - tough nylon.  Tippets 30 - 50 lbs.


INCLUDED  in the tour rate :   

Domestic flight Santiago - Puerto Montt and back.  - Domestic hotel at Puerto Varas on arrival and return. - All transfers by minibus and boat to river camp and back. - Fishing license and King Salmon permit. - 9 days guided fishing by native and European fishing guides. - Full board at camp. - Beer and wine for dinner at camp. - Small collection of custom-flies (Guide Flies).   

NOT INCLUDED  in the rate :

International flight from Europe to Santiago de Chile.  - Internat. hotel in Santiago.  - High-percentage alcohol.  - Restaurants & meals outside of our river camps.  - Tips to camp staff.


Brief Travel Itinerary :

Day 1)  - Arrival at Puerto Montt from Santiago (2 hours domestic flight) and beginning of the fishing tour. - Overnight stay at a small traditional hotel in Puerto Varas, overlooking the large lake and volcano Osomo, north of Puerto Montt in the Highlands.

Day 2)  - Transfer in the morning to Camp Rio Fresco by minibus and boat on a picturesque trip of 8 hours to the South. Breaks for taking photos at scenic views.  - Arrival at river camp in the late afternoon. Introduction to the camp facilities, unpacking of luggage and preparing the fishing tackle. - Practice casting at the camp pool and commencing fishing in the evening. First sundowner and a bottle of best Chilean red wine at the river camp.

Days 3 to 8)  - Intense fishing for King Salmon every day from early in the morning. Relax around noon. Explorations into the headwaters of the river.  - Switching between camps (River Tent Camp and Cottage Camp, 8 miles apart) on a revolving basis, if desired by the fishing guests.  - Full 6 1/2 days of salmon fishing.  

Day 9)  - Fishing in the morning and packing luggage, leaving Camp Rio Fresco after lunch.  - Transfer to Chiloe Island for trout fishing. Accommodation at a traditional wooden cottage and river fishing in the evening.

Day 10 and 11)  - Fly-fishing for wild Brown Trout and Char at various rivers and a mountain lake on Chiloe Island.  - Full 2 ½ days of trout fishing.

Day 12)  - Fishing in the morning and packing luggage after lunch, leaving Chiloe Island in the late afternoon. Transfer to the domestic hotel at Puerto Varas and overnight stay.  - The end of the fishing tour.

Day 13)  - Departure from Puerto Montt with the morning flight back to Santiago de Chile, to catch Your intercontinental flight back home.  - Most travelers like to spend another day with culture & sightseeing at the Chilean capital, before they fly back to Europe or to the States.  


"There is a fellowship more quiet even than solitude and which, rightly understood, is solitude made perfect."

-         Robert Louis Stevenson,  from "An Inland Voyage"