Challhauquen, Argentina

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Challhuaquen Lodge is located in the Trevelin valley on the Futaleufú river close to Los Alerces National Park. Fly fishermen will enjoy a combination of floating and wading throughout the week, both on rivers and spring creeks such as the, Corintos, Rivadavia, Arrayanes, Desaguadero, and Corcovado rivers. Anglers also have the opportunity to fly fish for selective trout in the famous private waters of Arroyo Pescado Spring Creek.

Challhuaquen Lodge or the "fishing place", is a well-appointed Patagonia fly fishing destination for serious anglers, and interesting for non-anglers. Near Los Alerces National Park, guests can enjoy birding, hiking, visit beautiful waterfalls, go horseback riding, and visit local Mapuche Indian reservations.

Challhuaquen Lodge offers some of the region’s finest accommodations, warm hospitality and a true taste of Argentine’s delicious traditional cuisine.


The Callhauquen Lodge is a beautiful and well-appointed lodge. From the main snug and relaxing great room with its stone fireplace to the 6 double occupancy bedrooms with lots of natural light and river view and comfortable beds and private baths, to the large whirlpool spa, sauna, and Scottish Shower all just waiting for you to come soak and rest up from the day of angling on the rivers and streams. The lodge offers comfortable common areas, a fully stocked bar,  personal massages with a view of the river and Andes Mountains. All rooms access the Futaleufú River and to the “dry-room” to change into and out of waders.

Meals at the Callhauquen are outstanding. To complete your perfect fly fishing or excursion day, the chef of Challhuaquen Lodge has the skills and recipes to accommodate international preferences or typical Patagonian fare with a flair. Meals are served in the dining room with impeccable and imaginative presentation, and are accompanied by the finest Argentinean wines.

The Fishing:

The lodge’s head guide has over 20 years fly fishing experience in Patagonia. He and his local Argentine guide staff are professionals, great teachers, and enjoy being on the water.

The Futaleufu River (also called the Rio Grande) is one of Argentina’s most beautiful and prolific trout streams and has been compared to Montana’s Missouri river. It is a large river containing flat water, riffles and deep pools well suited to catching fish on dry flies. This tailwater fly fishery is one of the best terrestrial rivers in the region where fish average 6 - 17 inches. The Rio Grande River is only footsteps away from the lodge.

In addition to the Rio Grande, the following are also available to fish.

Another fishing area is the Nant Y Fall creek which is a lake fed stream similar to a spring creek. It is a  private fishery and  has rainbow trout with an impressive average size of 17 inches and an incredible backdrop of the Andes Mountains, as well as perfect Patagonia bird habitat. Nant Y Fall is about 45 minutes from the lodge.

The Rio Corrientes is a small stream that flowing into the Rio Grande. With over 30 miles of river to wade, the dry fly fishing for smaller fish on a light rod is a fun addition to your week. The Corrientes is about 30 minutes from the lodge.

The Rivadavia River is considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world flowing into Lago Verde within Los Alerces National Park. The river has pectacular sight fishing. With very limited wading, adventurous anglers may choose to jump out of the boat and fish a small spring creek flowing into the main river. The Rivadavia is home to rainbows, browns, brook trout, and landlocked salmon. The Rivadavia is about 1 ½ hours from the lodge.

There are several other rivers and streams that are located 1 ½ to 2 hours from the lodge and can be part of your Angling adventure.

Fishing licenses are included in your package and are prepared prior to your arrival.

For those who want variety or who do not Fish:

Non-Angling Activities guests may enjoy: horseback riding, mountain biking, rafting, hiking, sightseeing in Los Alerces Park, a  boat trip (to view the Glaciers and Millenarian Alerces forest), a visit to the Welsh Tea House, or the Nant Y Fall, ride to the museum on the Patagonia Express (La Trochita), or take a trip to Rosario Lake.

All guests may also enjoy a Tango Show on the last night with stays of 5 nights or more.

How to get there:

A commercial flight to Buenos Aires where you will most likely overnight then to get to Challhuaquen Lodge you need to make arrangements to Esquel or Bariloche, Arg.Arg.

Getting to the Lodge: You will be met at the airport by a bilingual lodge representative who will transfer you by van to Challhuaquen Lodge (approximately one hour away from Esquel).

Getting back home:

On your day of departure, a lodge employee will drive you to the airport (either Esquel or Bariloche) to catch your flight home. For those flying out of Bariloche it is best to make afternoon flight arrangements to allow plenty of time to reach the airport.

Travel Notes: Esquel, Argentina is somewhat limited and only has three flights per week departing on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Transfers between Esquel and the lodge are included. Transfers between Bariloche and the lodge are not included but can be arranged.


The summer weather in this region of South America is extremely changeable, you can expect a  wide range of temperatures (85 degrees F to 40 degrees F) The sun can be very strong during the day, but the wind chill factor makes the use of protective gear necessary all season long.

What to pack:

Dress at the lodge is neat but casual. It is recommended that anglers layer their clothing, enabling the adding and subtracting of garments throughout the day.

  • Pack polar fleece jacket  
  • thermal underwear
  • Smart wool socks
  • a wool cap( to be prepared for the extreme)
  • Flannel or chamois cloth shirts
  • A reliable windbreaker or rain jacket.
  • laundry service is available.
  • Long pants


Trout  -  For all months: Woolly Buggers, Matukas, bunny rubber legs, Marabou leeches
Rods: Fast action (3 - 5 piece) 6 weight travel rods are the best choice rod in Argentina. Typically you will have 2 rods rigged all of the time (floating and sink-tip). An ideal combination of rods would be a 5 or 6 weight for dry flies and nymphs, and a 6 or 7 weight with a 200- 250grain sink tip (20 plus foot only) for streamer fishing. A 3 or 4 weight rod can be fun on the spring creeks with small flies.
Reels: Match your rods with your favorite freshwater reels. A quality reel with a reliable drag and at least 75 yards of backing is recommended.
Lines: Most experienced anglers believe that the only line necessary is a floating line, though we believe a 200 grain sink tip (20 plus foot heads) for streamer fishing in Argentina is mandatory. 75-100 yards of backing is sufficient.
Leaders/Tippet: Dry fly leaders are typically 9-10 feet with 4X most common tippet choice, occasionally using 3X and 5X. The same configuration is used for nymph fishing. For streamer fishing, plan on short leaders tapered to 1X or 2X.

Futaleufú River
Dries: Size #14 to 16
Nov: Adams-Parachute, Adams-March, Brown-Cahill
Dec: Adams-Parachute, Adams-Humpy, Chernobyl Ant, Stimulator
Jan - April: Parachute Adams, Caddis (Elk, Goddard), Chernobyl ant, Tarantula, Madame X, Beetles
All months: Emerger of May Flies, Caddis and Crippled dry flies
Nymphs: Size # 14 to 20
Dragons(Nov-Dec) For All Months: Prince, Pheasant Tail, Brassie, Zug Bug, Hares Ear, Copper John
Streamers: Size: 4 to 8
For all months: Rabbits, Wooly Bugger, Marabou Muddler, Marabou Leeches, Matukas, Rubber legs wooly and rabbits

Rivadavia River
Dries: Size# 12 to 16
Nov - Dec: Royal Wulff, Adams, Humpy, May fly Duns
Jan - Feb: Caddis, Gray Wulff, Stimulator, Chernobyl ant
Mar - Apr: Caddis, Beetles, Humpy Royal
Nymphs Size 14 to 24
Nov - Dec: Montana, Prince, Dragons
Jan - April: Prince, Pheasant tail, Copper John, Brassie (#20-24)
Streamers: Size # 4 to 8
For all months: Rabbits, Wooly Bugger, Marabou Muddler, Marabou Leeches, Matukas, Rubber legs wooly and rabbits

Arroyo Pescado Spring Creek
Dries: Size 12 to18
Jan - Feb: Parachute Adams, March Brown, Cahill, Madame X, ants, flying ants, beetles
Mar - Apr: Gray Wulff, Adams-Parachute, Adams-Caddis (Elk, Goddard), Chernobyl ant, Madame X, Flying Ants, Grass Hoppers
CDC dry flies are very effective (spinners, caddis) May Fly and Caddis Emergers and Crippled dry flies are very effective. Streamers: size 6 and 8.

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