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Old 11-07-2014, 06:54 AM
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Default Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

Hi, first post, normally I am active on saltwater boards, but I need some help from the experts here.

I am in southern Chile for the next few weeks for work. The fishing season is just getting started here. There are two rivers near me, one an hour north, the other an hour south. Two days ago I hit the north river and caught my biggest trout ever here, (still quite small) The north river is very small and fast (deepest maybe 3ft), the south river is wider, deeper and slower.

I have been here a few other years and the biggest trout I have caught was about 8" long until the other day, about 13". I know that the southern river hold some really large browns, I have seen pictures and a few youtube videos that show them, (but seems later in the year). It a much bigger river, and does speed up as I hike upstream, but stays deep for a quite a few miles.

My question is, in the early season, with colder dirtier water, where should I try to find these larger trout? Do they move upstream to shallower water or should I be focusing on the deep, dirty slower water near the mouth. Based on the size of the north river I don't think it can hold the large brown trout that I really want. So I am going to focus on the south river for the next few trips. Upstream or downstream for the big guys in the early season?

I will attach a few pics to help you see the place. Beautiful county, feel free to PM for tips if you ever get down here (right on Magellan's strait).

yes, I am using spinning gear, dont bash me too hard it seems like the only way i can get a bite is to crank a lure almost as fast as I can.

Here is a link to the location on google earth if you wanted to check it out for yourself

Rio San Juan, Chile

and some pics

Northriver1 from 2 years ago, very small fish, had 20 like this one day
Click the image to open in full size.

Northriver2 as it looked 2 days ago (biggest part)
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Northriver3
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Northriver4, my monster
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South river 1, slower portion
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south river 2
Click the image to open in full size.

south river 3, faster portion (actually close to downstream, just a shallower area)
Click the image to open in full size.

south river 4, how the water looked 2 weeks ago, i think its getting clearer by now
Click the image to open in full size.


Thanks for any tips!
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

Krabill: I'm not a spin fisherman and I have never fished Patagonia, so take this advice with a grain of salt. I think you will find Browns in either of those rivers, but if it were me I wouldn't waste my time fishing in that mud bath in the last photo, you would almost have to tap a fish on the nose to get him to react. Have you ever seen any photos of the streams in the driftless area, some are less than three feet wide and hold gigantic browns, so to eliminate that first river on size alone would be a mistake. Here in the states fish have predators, so Browns tend to hang out where there is shelter, logs in the river, big rocks, undercut banks, dark bottoms etc, and they also tend to feed at night or low light. That being said, I have seen YouTube videos of the Browns in New Zealand where those fish hang out in crystal clear water with virtually no cover nearby, so I'm just guessing here but I suspect they have no predators. I have no idea if that is true in Patagonia or not. When I'm after Browns I primarily use streamers and the general advice everyone gives is to vary the retrieve rate until you find something that works. Some days they want a super fast retrieve, other days it has to be much slower to get a take. Also I find I get a lot of hits as I pause the retrieve for a bit before resuming the retrieve.
Here are some links describing Brown Trout habitat you might want to read:

In this link notice the size of the river and that they are indicating the Browns are in the slower pool area with that excellent cover on the right side, not in the riffles, but that isn't always the case.
http://www.nc-flyfishing.com/all-abo...-trout-habitat

Brown Trout Information

This provides some good info, start reading on page three:
http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/wdb/pub/hsi/hsi-124.pdf
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

Last time out I found a brown hiding in a crease under a log that I would have sworn couldn't hide a 12 incher. He would cruise out every now and then and was at least 22-24" and would slide deftly beneath the log exposing only the very tip of his nose. He frustrated me for over and hour while I tried in vain to drift something close enough to get him to feed. The river was only about 10' wide at that point and I'll have to try again soon using a stealthier approach.

Big water doesn't necessarily mean big fish and a little structure can hold more fish than you first think possible.
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:20 PM
 
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

I think the large brown trout that are caught later in the year are sea run brown trout that are entering the river to spawn.

Fly fishing Tierra Del Fuego Chile for wild sea run brown trout

Sea Run Brown Trout Fishing |Argentina Sea Run Brown Trout Season - Nervous Waters

They are not going to be in the river in the spring.

With high flows and muddy water, target the banks and edges. In muddy water you want a lure with a strong silhouette and a lure that puts out vibrations when retrieved. Fish use their lateral lines to locate food through vibrations.

So you want lures that put out vibrations like large spinners with blades in a dark color or spinner baits like bass fishers use. You can also use lures that put out noise like a rattle lure. Also try a large dark plastic worm fished drop shoting style.

You can also try a surface lure like a popper that makes noise.
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

Thanks for all the replys guys. I have been thinking the same about the muddy water, good to know there can still be big fish in some skinny water. I know very little about this finess stream fishing (coming from the Chesapeake area)

It has been fun learning this, and you are exactly right about the logs, that bigger fish was right under a small log.

I did some reading after I posted, and I found some similar info on the sea run brown trout, prob why all the picture and youtube videos I have seen were in january - march

I have my tackle guy already getting me a fly rod setup when i get home. Have a trip planned to mexico (ascension bay) in February, I am going to be back here for some tips...

I will try to keep this thread going for the next few week with some stream updated etc. I have learned a lot from you all already!
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

The above is accurate. The giant Patagonian browns are sea trout and though an early fish might enter a river that goes to sea at your latitude now, February and March are more prime time. Not only sea trout but most large browns and rainbows in Argentina and Chile feed on a crustacean called Panchora, somewhat like a short stout crayfish and flies and lures imitating this mouthful are most effective. One would expect Andian draining rivers to be way off color so early in the season due to snow melt in the high country, you no doubt can see snow still in the mountains. I've never fished in Chile but I have spent time in Argentine Patagonia and rivers near the Straights of Magellan on the other side have yielded browns not of 8" but 8 Kilos to my olive, brown and a little orange "Panchora Bugger".
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

You are absolutely right, still some snowcaps on the mountains, water getting clearer by the week. This is my 4th year here and the earliest I have ever caught a fish was Nov11th, so I have it beat by a week now.

when you say the other side, talking tierra del fuego? I have read about the giant trout they have in some of their rivers, lodges and all down there. Wish I had time to cross the strait and get down there.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Help me read Patagonia brown trout in Chile

Tiera del Fuego has several sea trout rivers, the biggest and most well known being Rio Grande which I had the privilege to fish back in the mid 1980's before it got popular. But north of the straight, Río Gallegos has a good run and even on the Falkland/Malvinas Islands there are sea trout rivers...but they are bit out of the way for most including me. These sea run browns were imported from Scotland in the early 1900s.
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