Sea Run Brown Trout
Normally when you start researching about fly fishing in Patagonia the first thing internet shows you is people holding huge brown trout’s, I’m talking of 16 pounds on trout’s. Well most of the times this are Sea Run Brown Trout’s.
In Patagonia is not rare to find pretty big trout’s, but a nice trophy resident brown trout is normally around 5 to 8 pounds, could be more but is very rare. In other hand the average sizes of trout’s in this area is between 2 to 4 pounds and they are almost a 95% of the times brown trout’s, rainbow trout per example is only found in very specific spots, at least on this area of Patagonia.
Now what are the Sea Run Brown Trout’s?
In simple words is an adapted brown trout that learnt to migrate to the Ocean, for a more rich and constant source of food and stable temperature.
I’ve heard that this anadromous (migratory) trout gains at least 2 pounds every time they come back from the Ocean to spawn in the specific rivers they do it. This phenomenon happens only in certain latitudes in Patagonia and the most famous area to find this massive trout’s is in the island of Tierra del Fuego, just at the ends of the South American continent. From our location we are pretty close to Tierra del Fuego, in a day driving and taking a ferry we can be the next day fishing at the famous Rio Grande, but here comes the secret; actually for us is not necessary to go there, from one hour driving from our headquarters in Puerto Natales we have one of the only runs in the continent of Sea Run Brown for our own. They run upstream to spawn in the body of water of the rio Gallegos (Argentinian side) and rio Penitente in the Chilean side. This run normally starts at March and they can be in the river all the rest of the fishing season. This depends on the conditions of the river, it needs to be high enough for this big fish to run up.
This trout in general is not an easy fish to catch, I’ve notice they don’t behave like normal trout’s, we could say their behavior is more similar to a salmon. They are normally hanging in deep pools or holes, with current fast enough for them to hold and in the middle of the river. So, it means long cast with heavy lines and flies all day long in cold water. Most important they are not as abundant as the resident trout’s and they are much into feeding mode, I imagine they respond more to irritation like a Salmon.
But this is what many fly fisherman’s are looking for, the challenge of fighting and landing a trophy fish like this on the fly. We are talking of massive trout’s that normally hangs between 15 to 25 pounds, this could be the fight of your life with a fly rod, they tend to run a lot and they have a hell of endurance. So you have to be smart, patience and prey not to snap your leader.
King Salmon (Chinook Salmon)
Other famous trophy fish in Patagonia that most of fishermen know is the King Salmon, the mythical Chromers, of course they are only chrome when they are fresh from the Ocean. Well this is one of the most abundant salmons in Patagonia, they run in many rivers in Patagonia, but jus at our Headquarters backyard we have one of the most famous runs, they called it the Valley of the Kings, located with the amazing backdrop of Torres del Paine National Park in the Serrano river, just one hour and 30 minutes from Puerto Natales.
This river is one of the biggest runs of King Salmon in Patagonia an also an interesting fact, is that here you can find the biggest and strongest Kings, cause of the characteristics of the river. Is a quite short and big glacial river that runs for a few miles and ends in the Patagonian fjords, being also not very fast makes them to arrive in their spawning pools fresh and strong, almost at their 100%, being very abundant.
Every spawning season, normally between mids of December through ends of February being the most abundant time, many fisherman’s come and try to catch one of them and many success and other have strikes with no landing , but always you can see them jumping out of the water in their spawning pools.
In this river Salmons are normally between 18 and 40 pounds sometimes little bit more than 50 and rarely bigger than that.
This is a compile of my personal knoledge of the area we operate in, I’m open to any different opinions or contributions of the info I’m sharing and adding that in other places in Patagonia you can find other trophy fish like Steel head, Coho (Pacific Salmon) and Salar (Atlantic Salmon).