Chilean Fjords Hosted Trip Report – Derek Hutton:
“Exploring the remote waters of the Chilean Fjords in Patagonia with Andes Journeys aboard the Rio Azul, a luxurious 53 foot Hatteras Motor Yacht, was an exceptional and truly unique angling experience. The Dufflocq brothers Marcelo and Cristian are well known for their authentic Chilean hospitality, an extraordinary level of guest service and attention to detail. Our experience on the Rio Azul reinforced this reputation and was simply world class.
After flying into Balmaceda, Chile we were transferred, by private Mercedes Sprinter Van, to the Loberias Del Sur Hotel in Puerto Chacabuco. After resting one night at the hotel we boarded the Rio Azul on a beautiful, sunny summer day in February, with calm waters. We spent the majority of Sunday taking advantage of the calm conditions cruising further into the Chilean Fjords, in and around a destination island, which had numerous rivers reaching the Pacific. As we navigated the Fjords we were captivated by the landscape shaped by glaciers while observing the abundant marine wildlife of penguins, sea lions, whales, and dolphins.
We arrived at our first river late afternoon on Sunday. We were focused on fishing the falling tide in the inter-tidal zone. As the water level in the lower runs recedes with the falling tide, sea-run brown trout predate on the minnows being pulled through the channels. Our professional captain securely anchored the Rio Azul in a protected cove and we launched inflatable zodiac motor boats to the river mouth and fished the inter-tidal zone. We separated into two groups and began to fish the falling tide. It wasn’t long until Cristian’s radio snapped to life and the first brown of the trip had been landed by Kathy Stuck and guide Nano. The first brown of the trip measured 27”, the largest trout of Kathy’s angling career, until later in the week!
The general itinerary each day was coffee at 7am, full breakfast at 8am and fishing the intertidal zone on either an incoming or falling tide. We all agreed that during our week, the falling tide was without question the most productive fishing. We were able to catch a falling tide in the evenings the first few days of our trip, which switched to a morning tide later in the week. There were two fishing sessions a day. We would return mid-day for a late multi-course lunch and our dinners routinely began at 10pm. All our meals were prepared by a professional chef, with three years of culinary training in Valparaiso. Our private chef, Christian Vasquez, prepared many fresh seafood and hand made pasta dishes during our trip. He prepared fresh ceviche from fish we caught, fresh abalone that we collected from the ocean rocks, and fresh stone crab the crew caught while we were away fishing. Enjoying the bounty of the sea was wonderful and Chef Christian was excellent.
As anglers we realized that the overall yield was measured, but most sessions resulted in 1 to 5 fish. There was only one morning session where our entire group failed to catch a fish. The fish we did find averaged between 18” and 24”. During the week we had 4 fish over 25” and the best fish of the week was caught by Rick Stuck, sight fishing an un-weighted rabbit strip streamer to a 30” sea-run brown in a beautiful pool, as the tide was falling one evening.
Our last fishing session occurred on Thursday morning and then a strong storm of significant rain and intense winds closed in on the coast. Our Captain made sure we were in a secure and calm cove where we weathered the storm. On Friday the decision was made to use a favorable weather window to return safely to Puerto Chacabuco and refrain from fishing on Friday. We lost our last 3 fishing sessions to the storm. Fortunately, everyone in our group had caught browns and Rick and Kathy each had landed several of the best browns of their angling careers.
The Rio Azul was a comfortable and an indulgent base camp from which to fish such a remote region. The yacht has 2 staterooms, with the main stateroom having a double bed, private bath and plenty of space. The second stateroom provides two single beds in a smaller space with a bathroom immediately across a hallway. As far as accommodation there is a significant difference between the two staterooms. The yacht is spacious, well appointed and well taken care of. The fishing program allows for a reservation of 2 to a maximum of 4 anglers, with a crew of 4.
We found large, beautiful brown trout. The voyage is spectacular, and the food and service are 5 star. We always felt safe in the hands of our highly experienced Captain Freddy. We had wonderful weather and calm seas to start and then we experienced the legendary Patagonian winds and rains at the end. It is a trip that I will never forget, and one I would love to enjoy again.
WorldCast Anglers Head Guide
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