Travel Itinerary

Arrival in Santiago, Chile (Saturday)

International travelers usually arrive in Santiago, Chile in the morning. Most of our guests transfer to the Ritz Carlton or the Hotel Plaza San Francisco to relax for the day and acclimate.

The hotels are authentically Chilean. The accommodations, restaurant and bar are excellent. They are conveniently located near Santiago’s best shopping, restaurants, cultural center, and nightlife. Anglers traveling with The Fly Shop qualify for preferential rates at both hotels. However, there are other wonderful hotel options in the city.
Day 1 (Sunday)

After a comfortable night in Santiago, guests fly [via jet] to the Balmaceda Air Terminal (Coyhaique). There, they are met by Jose Gorrono who escort the guest to El Saltamontes. The trip to the lodge is about a 2 1/2 hour van trip. The drive is accented by beautiful roadside streams and waterfalls.

Upon arrival at El Saltamontes, you’ll be introduced to the staff and accommodations. The Gorrono’s impressive, single story lodge and ranch house sits in the shadow of the beautiful snow-capped Andes. Each of the lovely guest rooms is well-appointed, with a view and private bath. El Saltamontes Lodge amenities are in stark contrast to the remote Patagonian location. After a brief orientation and a chance to settle in and organize tackle, anglers are free to fish with their guides for the remainder of the day.

El Saltamontes angling is exclusively for Brown Trout. Most fishing is done in the Nireguao River. The rivers oxbow lagoons and excellent water is just a stone’s throw from the door of the lodge. The Browns actively feed on grasshoppers, and the grass bordering the stream is infested with them in January, February and March. Anglers often release trophy Browns during the week. Other terrestrials and dry flies are very effective throughout the short Patagonian summer and anglers seldom have to resort to subsurface patterns.

The after angling cocktail reception always includes “Pisco Sour”, the Chilean version of a Margarita, along with a complimentary bar and fine domestic wines. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. The first evening’s dinner is a little later than usual – this is to allow for a full afternoon of fishing. Dinners, like all meals at the lodge, are informal, superb, and accompanied by the finest Chilean wines.
Days 2 – 6 (Monday through Friday)

These are full fishing days, and the exact schedule will depend on the guests wishes. Breakfast and dinner will be served in the lodge. Fine mid-day meals are served in the field, streamside.

An “Asado”, the traditional South American lamb barbecue, highlights the last evening at the lodge. Neighbors often attend the asado, and native folk music is played – providing a memorable accent to the trip.
Day 7 (Saturday)

Anglers will be transported to the local airport and begin their journey home or to other destinations on their South American itinerary
  Travel Equipment Clothing:

The weather in Patagonia is constantly changing. One afternoon it may be 70° (+) and sunny, down right hot; then only a few hours later it may be rainy, damp, windy and in the low 50°s or cooler. It is not uncommon to have morning temperatures in the mid to low thirties, especially when clear weather prevails, warming to a balmy 50° or 60° degrees by the end of the day. Clothing strategies should be based on the “layering system.” By using the “layering system,” anglers can adapt to whatever Mother Nature dishes out. The whole idea behind layering is to trap heated air (generated by your body and stored between the different layers of insulation), thus keeping you warm.

Here is the formula preferred by the staff at The Fly Shop®:

1. Base Layer: Start off with a synthetic fabric next to your skin. This often is a pair of thermal underwear (tops and bottoms) and they usually come in three weights: light, mid and expedition. According to your individual metabolism, pick what is best for you. Synthetic (non-cotton) materials retain little moisture and “wick” moisture away from your skin. This is very important when you are walking in waders or when outside temperatures heat up.

2.Thermal Layer: Your second layer of insulation should match the weather and conditions you are going to be fishing in. Lightweight insulation for cool weather, mid-weight for colder conditions and heavy weight for really frigid days. Fleece is an outstanding choice here in either tops and bottoms or overalls. Merino Wool is also a good choice as it stays warm when damp, though dries very slowly.

3.Outer Shell (Rain jacket & Waders): Your final layer should be a breathable rain jacket and waders.

•1 set midweight Simms “WaderWick” Wading Underwear, or Patagonia Capilene (tops and bottoms).

•1 set fleece pants–Simms Power Stretch Guide Bibs or Pants, or Patagonia Capilene Fleece

•1 Fleece jacket–Simms Wind Stopper, or Patagonia Synchilla Rain Jacket: High quality Gore-Tex® type products are the best. Your rain jacket should be 100% waterproof and breathable. Rain jackets must be seam sealed, multi-layered, of QUALITY construction and from a recognized outdoor clothing company. Simms G-3 or Guide Jacket and the Patagonia Stretch SST, are excellent choices in fine breathable raingear. Jackets specifically designed for fly fishermen are the best.

Wading Equipment: Stocking foot, breathable waders are the only way to go. Neoprene waders are antiquated, do not permit moisture to escape, are heavy and cumbersome and only appropriate for sedentary fishing (float tubing) where insulation is the only concern. Gore-Tex® “Breathable” waders have totally revolutionized wading equipment. You will experience little or no moisture build-up inside the waders, even after a long hike; they wear like iron, and are comfortable to be in all day. Lastly, Gore-Tex® “Breathable” waders take up a fraction of the space neoprene waders take-up when packed in your duffel bag. All waders should be worn with synthetic fiber under-wader wear for maximum comfort, minimum moisture retention, and warmth. For safety we STRONGLY recommend wearing a wading belt at all times while on the water.

•Simms Gore-Tex® Chest High Classic • Simms G3 Gore-Tex® Chest High • Patagonia’s WaterMaster Wader Socks: Anglers should bring enough socks to alternate on a daily basis. For a week’s fishing trip, three pairs should be fine. Do not wear the same socks every day, but alternate, leaving one pair to dry and air while wearing the other set. Wool, polypro or a combination of both are the best choices in sock material. Try on your socks with your waders and wading boots before you leave for your trip to insure that you have plenty of room to move your toes. Being unable to move your toes and cramping of your feet in your wading boots are the biggest reasons for numb toes and cold feet. We’ve experienced great success with the disposable air-activated heating pads available at many outdoor stores. Removal from the cellophane wrapper activates them and then simply sticks to outside of socks for hours of cozy warmth.

• 3 to 6 pairs of Simms or Patagonia Wading Socks.

Wading Boots:

Felt soled wading boots are highly recommended as they offer superior ankle support and are exceptional for hiking to and from waters. Simms, Patagonia and Chota make some good models to consider.

Cleats or studs are not needed, and are tough on rafts. No Studded Boots Please! Gravel guards are a must.

•Simms Guide Boot, Freestone, Chota Wading Boot, Patagonia River Walker

Wading Staff: If you use a wading staff on your home waters, then bring it to Chile. It will come in handy.

Wool or Polypropylene Gloves: Fingerless gloves are great for cold, rainy days. Neoprene gloves are fine, but retain a lot of water when wet. We have had the best success with synthetic or wool gloves.

•Simms WindStopper Half-finger Gloves or Flip-mitt Gloves.

Fishing Vest or Tackle/Vest Pack: For vests, we like a high quality product, in a ‘shorty’ model. Choose one that has room for a rain jacket, or camera in the back. Brands we like are Simms and Patagonia. If you prefer a tackle pack, take a good look at William Joseph, Fish Pond, or Patagonia.

•Simms G-3 Guide Vest, Fish Pond Shooting Star or Backwater, and Patagonia’s Hip Pack.

Small Day Pack: This can be an important article to include while packing. We like a waterproof, top-loader day pack that can hold extra gear, clothes, flies, camera, snacks, etc.

Boat Bag:

A waterproof boat “dry bag” can be extremely handy for storing extra clothes, tackle and camera equipment while on a raft. The white water type “dry bags” are the best.

Fishing Hat:

Look for a hat that is comfortable, relatively waterproof, and that has a good size brim to shade your eyes and face.

Line clippers, Pliers, Hemostats, & Hook File: These are essential to any fisherman and should not be left behind.

Polaroid Sunglasses:

Fly fishing in Chile is a very visual experience. Spotting the fish is part of the excitement, and part of the challenge. Good quality polarized sunglasses are a must. Polarized sunglasses not only let you spot fish more effectively, but protect your eyes from the intense sunlight experienced in Patagonia, as well as hooks. Action Optics and Costa del Mar make some of the best in the industry.

Camera & Film:

Waterproof digital or splash-proof 35mm pocket cameras are handy. Digital SLR cameras with a good zoom lens (28 – 80) are the best. Choose high speed film, Kodak or Fuji in ASA 200 or 400. If you are going to take your 35mm SLR camera, make sure you have a waterproof case for it. The best waterproof cases we have found to protect expensive camera equipment are made by Pelican

Products,’t forget your flash unit.


Our favorite is one of the Black Diamond headlight models with an LED bulb(s).

Sun Protection:

The summer weather in Chile Patagonia is generally pleasant. Average temperatures range between the low 50’s and mid 80′s. Though usually not hot, the ultra-violet rays of the sun in this part of the world are very intense and will burn even the most sun-seasoned anglers. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and frequent use of a strong sun block (SPF 30+) are highly recommended. Sun gloves will save the backs of your hands.

Camp Shoes:

After a long day of fishing, it’s nice to get out of your waders and slip into a comfortable pair of shoes to wear around the lodge. We suggest moccasins, duck boots, or your favorite tennis shoes — something really comfortable.

Non Anglers:

Non-angling guests should be prepared for a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking, horseback riding, visits to neighboring substance farms, local artisans, carriage rides, birding and photography are some of the activities available. Non-angling guests should bring good raingear (jacket and pants) hiking boots, a warm fleece, camera, binoculars, daypack, and a good sun hat.

Things guests can bring for the lodge: Certain items are nearly impossible to find and purchase in Chile Patagonia. If you would like to bring a gift down to the lodge, things to consider would include: CD’s – a couple of your favorites for the lodge’s music selection


•Fly tying materials are always a crowd pleaser.

About Our Tackle and Equipment Recommendations:

This tackle and equipment planner is a guideline to help anglers assemble a reasonable collection of flies and the necessary equipment. It’s not necessary you have all of these flies and assorted equipment, just a good cross section. You are by no means required to purchase all of this equipment. The suggested tackle and clothing is what we have found to work best for most fishing conditions.

Some of the flies and tackle selections we recommend are items The Fly Shop® does not stock or sell. In this case it may be necessary to tie your own flies, or purchase from another retailer.

Although selling fly fishing tackle and flies is part of what The Fly Shop® does, it is not our main concern. Our main concern is that people have a great trip. We feel that properly outfitted and prepared anglers have the best chance of having a trip of a lifetime. If you have any questions concerning tackle and equipment recommendations, please feel free to call us toll-free at 800-669-3474. Thank you.

Note: Guides normally have a complete selection on hand in case you don’t have the right fly for the situation.

Flies are not for sale at our Saltamontes Lodge. (A great gift for guides is tying materials. They are always running low).