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Last week I arrived home from a two week long holiday trip to far away Chile with my brother. This was my first visit in Latin America and as youd expect I had to do some fishing there!
A while back I had seen some fishing videos from the northern parts of Chile and their catches were very impressive. Moreover I knew about Patagonia being a major fly fishing destination for salmonids so I was in high hopes for my results. What surprised me though was the limited info on fish species (especially in the south) and the lack of any articles, blogs etc about fishing there (except fly fishing). This got me worried a bit but after looking at the topography of the coast in Google maps i was convinced that there had to be more fish than just salmon and trout!
The first area i wanted to fish, was the central coast near Valparaiso and there some issues started arising..
First off, one look at the coastline and the open sea there and I realised that the gear i took with me was way too light. Unfortunately this couldnt be helped as my heavier reels were on service and my heavy travel rod needs new guides... Secondly, for the duration of our stay there was red flags on the beach as the swell was significant and most rock marks I wanted to visit were just too rough.. Thus I managed one quick session in Valparaiso harbour and had some feisty little fish (baby rollizo) on light metals. The harbour is quite big and i wish I could have fished at the lighthouse but ,as is becoming increasingly common these days, it was out of bound to the public..
I had a couple more short sessions here and there but to be honest I didnt believe in the place and was planning to do my serious fishing down south.
We then headed south to Puerto Montt at the los Lagos area (Chile's lake district) which is also were the first fjords start to appear and I had identified some rock marks from Google Earth.
On our first day there we drove down to the aforementioned marks and after a tricky descent I was soon fishing. I had opted for the light rod just so I could 'scratch' around for what was there and started with metals. I soon had my first take and then the fish cut me on the rocks, Then another one cut me off again and I tied on a 10lbs leader (on 0.4 PE mainline!) this seemed to do the trick and the next fish came up after a good fight. It was my first rollizo (Pinguipes chilensis) and the first of many... For three days I fished the rocks and was catching rollizo after rollizo! Not species hunting at the least, but immense fun from a true rockfish!
On the end of the third day I finally caught another species the area is well known for, the robalo (Eleginops maclovinus) from which i have no photo (it jumped off my hands and broke the already frayed leader!) but at least I got it on video!
The rollizo showed some similar characteristics with our own wrasse, though they were far more predatory and they fought with shorter, yet more explosive runs. Metals and Texas/cheburashka rigged plastics were the most effective lures.
The sessions were only a few hours long each and Im sure I only scratched the surface fishing-wise but I was well happy! Holiday fishing at its best!
I was very impressed with Chile and especially the South has vast fishing potential for the open minded angler. Hopefully I will visit again sometime...
Here are some pics:
https://goo.gl/photos/VM1vzUcZevWWVzaZ8

And the videos.
 

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Really enjoyed that - thank you. Looks like a fascinating stretch of coastline!
 
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Reactions: Dimitrios Chariskos

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Thanks for sharing this report! I've always wondered what there was to catch down that part of the continent...it's funny how little we tend to think about Southern coldwater fish in the New World. I guess the same niches exist as everywhere else, but I just don't know much at all about the predators there. Absolutely enlightening. Thanks again!
 
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