PRL sits surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Andes looming high above the nearby valleys, with their glacial mantles giving rise to the cold, rushing rivers that make this place an angler’s dream.
This region is sparsely populated, with most residents traveling by wagon or horseback. Most of the other residents are eagles, condors, llamas, guanacos and other unique animals. Catering in comfort to only four rods each week, the lodge is close to all of the best streams, rivers and mountain lakes in the Paloma Valley, with very easily accessed fishing—very little time here is spent in the vehicles.
The Paloma River flows from its headwater of interconnecting lakes—Lago Paloma, Lago Azul, and Lago Desierto—about 30 miles through the remote Paloma River Valley before it empties into Lago Caro. Lago Elizande is also connected to the Paloma River system via a small outlet river near the terminus of the Paloma River at Lago Caro. This myriad of interconnecting lakes, tributary streams and spring creeks provides an infinite variety of fishing for good numbers of brown and rainbow trout.
The principals in this lodge are American Paul Kinney and his Chilean wife Maria. Their local guides were born in this area, and have been fly fishing and guiding since they were young. All speak good English and greatly enjoy teaching, guiding and spending time with enthusiastic clients on the river.
PRL specializes in dry fly fishing—about 80% of each day will consist of throwing big dries. Because of the more constant water flow moderated by the headwater lakes, these waters host prodigious stone fly and May fly hatches as well as five kinds of beetles, hoppers and many other terrestrials and trout are accustomed to pounding large bugs on the surface. Streamers are also productive all season, but their key role is in the lakes, and late in the fall.
Most rainbow and brown trout here are between 14 and 20 inches, and it is common to get shots at bigger bows and browns up to 25 inches. Paloma River Lodge has provided many anglers with their personal best days on trout.
The best dry fly fishing generally occurs from December through March, although October and November are great early spring months and very large trout on the move can be taken on streamers. March brings cooler mornings and evenings and the rivers reach their lowest water volume, but the cooler days bring the truly large fish out of the lakes and into the rivers for spawning.
Top equipment, skilled and caring guides, great Chilean hospitality and meals, consistently productive rivers, lakes and spring creeks, along with a stunning valley location make Paloma River Lodge truly a fly fisherman’s dream come true.
Rates: $3495 per angler – 6 nights/5 days fishing – Sunday to Saturday
Included: Private room and bath, meals, house wines, liquor and beer, ground transportation to/from the Balmaceda airport and fishing license.
Not included: Commercial air travel, flies, phone calls, tips for guides and staff (suggested 10% of package price), and miscellaneous personal or travel expenses.
Many carriers, such as American, Delta, United and LAN Chile offer flight service to Santiago from Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, New York, Miami, Atlanta, or Los Angeles with connections on LAN or Sky Airlines to Balmaceda/Coyhaique.
After clearing Immigration, you will collect your bags, clear Customs and take the elevator to the 3rd floor, to the domestic flight departure area of the airport. You will recheck your luggage and continue on to the LAN or Sky Airlines flight to Balmaceda/Coyhaique (2 hour, 45 minute flight). Note: for this flight, you can check one bag, up to 44 pounds without additional charges.
Upon arrival in Balmaceda/Coyhaique, you will be met and transferred to Paloma River Lodge – a one hour and 45 minute drive.