- The Fishing
- Sample Itinerary
- When to Go
Estancia del Zorro Overview
The “Ranch of the Fox” is a unique operation that allows anglers the rare chance to fish in both in Chile as well as Argentina – at an affordable price point. With exclusive access to a private estancia immediately across the border and an amazing spring creek running through the ranch, guests at Zorro receive a very personalized angling experience with fresh water to fish every day. Identical to her sister operation, Cinco Rios, Estancia Del Zorro operates on a week long, Saturday – Saturday fishing schedule, granting anglers six full days of fishing for a very affordable price.
Estancia del ZorroGo
Estancia del Zorro
The sister operation of Cinco Rios Lodge near Coyahique, Estancia del Zorro is also owned by Chilean partner Sebastian Galilea, and Jay Burgin and Mary Jacques of Five Rivers Lodge near Dillion, Montana. There are a lot of similarities in the style and character with the two operations, however Estancia del Zorro is definitely unique to most Chilean fishing lodges. Located approximately twenty-five miles (45 minutes) up a bumpy Patagonian road from the city of Coyhaique, Estancia del Zorro is actually within sight of the Argentine border. This is more open pampa-like country with rolling hills and enormous sheep ranches.
Estancia del Zorro guide staff also work in conjunction with the sister lodge, Cinco Rios. As a result, Estancia del Zorro’s mix of Chilean and American guides have collectively experienced nearly all accessible water in the Aisen region. Fishing from Estancia Del Zorro has as much of an Argentine type feel to the style and character of the landscape and waters fished when compared to most other Chilean operations. In fact, many of the waters fished from Zorro are located across the Argentine border on a private ranch approximately thirty minutes from the lodge facility. Anglers will go back and forth between Chile and Argentina every other day experiencing new angling venues. All types of lakes, freestone rivers, spring creeks, and lagunas are accessed from Estancia Del Zorro, allowing for a very diverse fishing experience for both browns and rainbow trout.
The jewel of the Zorro operation is its five miles of private Spring Creek that runs through the pasture immediately in front of the ranch house. This is classic creek fishing, usually with large terrestrial patterns for loads of uneducated browns. The creek meanders through the prairie, and nearly every corner seems to hold feeding trout. The Zorro Spring Creek is only fished a few times a week, but is definitely the highlight of the Estancia Del Zorro experience. The only other guests on the river are the occasional stray sheep or fox.
The average sized Chilean brown trout is around 17 or 18 inches, and the vast majority of the fishing is done with cumbersome, high floating dry flies. The typical Chileno fly box should be loaded with lots of foam and deer hair, as juicy terrestrial patterns such as beetles, hoppers, ants, crickets, etc are a huge part of the trout’s diet in Chile.
The newly updated lodge building has recently undergone a facelift restoring the ancient ranch house on the ranch. With six double occupancy bedrooms, the lodge will accommodate twelve guests maximum. Each room has twin king sized beds, is very tastefully decorated, spacious, as well as air-conditioning and a private bath. Each room is also outfitted with a private balcony overlooking the ranch, the spring creek, and the vast pampas.
As is the case at Five Rivers Lodge in Montana, meals at Estancia del Zorro are wonderful with international and local cuisine on the menu. All meals and beverages and a generous wine list are included in the trip cost. The service and hospitality of the lodge is truly first class, with a team of attentive and dedicated staff ensuring your stay is comfortable.
12 Anglers Per Week
Estancia del Zorro operates on a weeklong Saturday – Saturday schedule with travelers from the USA departing on the Friday preceding and arriving home the following Sunday.
Anglers first travel to Santiago, Chile (SCL) via direct overnight flight (9 hours from DFW) from several U.S. cities including Miami, Houston, New York, and Dallas/Ft. Worth international airports. After an early morning arrival the next day, travelers connect on to Balmaceda Airport in southern Chile with Lan Chile Airlines on a three hour flight with one brief stop in Puerto Montt en route. Upon arrival into Balmaceda, guests are collected by a representative of the lodge and driven forty-five minutes towards Coyhaique and an additional forty-five minutes onward to the lodge.
Many guests will prefer to overnight in Santiago on the way down to relax after the long plane ride and see the city. Another option is to push southward to the town of Puerto Montt halfway between Santiago and Balmaceda. The nearby port town of Puerto Varas is a very pleasant and affordable venue to get over jet-lag and hang out before making the onward 1 hour flight to Balmaceda the next morning. Please ask us for details if you are interested.
Afternoon (red-eye) departure from the United States to Santiago Chile. Arrival into Santiago the next morning (Saturday).
Upon arrival into Santiago, guests commute via an early flight from Santiago on to Balmaceda, Chile with Lan Chile Airlines. From Balmaceda, anglers are met and driven approximately one hour and thirty-five minutes to the lodge.
Sunday - Friday
Six full days of fishing with Estancia del Zorro!
Following a leisurely morning hanging around the lodge, guests are returned to Balmaceda in order to catch the afternoon flight to Santiago in time for the late evening connection on to the United States.
Early morning arrival back into the U.S.
When to Go
Estancia del Zorro is open from the first week in November through the first week in May.
Spring in Chile begins in December.
Trees have dropped their blossoms and warm summer weather lands in Patagonia before Christmas presents have been opened. Trout season in Chilean Patagonia swings into high gear by the New Year, and continues until leaves turn crimson and drop with the arrival of winter in late April. The summers of Patagonia are abbreviated, much like those of Montana and Wyoming. Warm days often begin with cools mornings and can be punctuated by sudden thunderstorms. But for the most part, the best time to visit this fantastic part of the world is from mid-November through mid-April.
Opening day in Chile is in November, traditionally a time when North American fishermen are preoccupied with family and holidays. Schools in South America release their students just before Christmas and the rivers of Patagonia don’t see much pressure until after the first of the year. landscape is ablaze with a mind-baffling wildflower display, known locally as "Chocho" (Chilean word for “Lupine Season”). European Lupine carpet the landscape in an explosion of violets, reds, purples and yellows. Fish are on the surface, targeting caddis and mayfly emergences, as well as blizzard hatches of small creamy moths.
Their January is our June/July. Spring snow melt is gone, the weather’s reliable temperatures are pleasant, and the hatches are predictable. Mosquitoes aren’t a concern in most of Patagonia, but the Lake District of Chile can be plagued for a few weeks with Chulihuachos, a pest resembling a horsefly that has all but disappeared by the end of the month.
By the first of February trout begin to key on the caddis hatches and hoppers, stag beetles and other terrestrials that dominate mid-summer fly fishing action. Probably because of the weather, February and March are the most popular months to travel to and fish Patagonia. Too, our winter is a great time to escape to Patagonia’s summer and trout fish for a week or so; something difficult to do when Michigan or Vermont is frozen solid.
April is the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Kids go back to school and the traffic is light on the streams and rivers of Chile. Like the Rockies, the weather is less reliable in the fall; days are shorter and temperatures are cooler. Dress for a full range of weather possibilities and plan on some of the best mayfly hatches (especially callibaetis on overcast days) as well as streamer fishing.
The country of Chile is divided into 15 regions with the vast majority of fly fishing taking place in the XI Region, called Aysén, that stretches from Puerto Montt to O’Higgins. Within this vast region of more than 109,000 square kilometers fly fishing outfitters base out of the communities Lago Verde, Coyhaique, Aysén, and Cisnes. Weather in this part of the world is complex a mixture of heavy maritime climate with cold water influences from the Pacific to an increasingly dry continental climate as you head east toward the Andes and Argentine border. There are four different recognized climates with the Aysén Region, (cold rainy temperate), (Andean degenerating to steppe), (cold steppe) and (high altitude icy).
Trout fishing is the predominant activity at Estancia del Zorro, however anglers enjoy a few casual non-angling distractions. The city of Coyhaique is loaded with excellent shops and restaurants and offers a nice break from fishing to explore town, grab lunch, or enjoy the café. There are also professional river rafting guides in the area, an endless number of hikes, mountain biking, and the more photographic opportunities than you can imagine.
7 Nights / 6 Days
$3675 per angler
(based on double occupancy)
7 Nights accommodations at Estancia del Zorro; 6 Full days of guided fishing; All meals and beverages including wine, cocktails, and bottled water; Applicable ground transportation; Fishing Licenses
What's Not Included
Round-trip Airfare to/from Balmaceda, Chile; Use of fishing equipment and flies; Gratuities; Items of personal nature including telephone calls; Laundry service; $140 Chilean Entry Fee; Airport departure taxes; Meals, Hotels, Ground Transportation and other travel expenses before and after the Estancia del Zorro portion of the trip in Puerto Montt or Santiago
Terms & Conditions
Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides and lodges which it represents. Estancia del Zorro’s policy follows: A fifty percent refundable deposit is due at the time of booking to secure your reservations with Estancia del Zorro. The remaining balance is due 60 days from arrival. Deposit is non-refundable unless written cancellation is received 90 days or more prior to departure. Cancellations made within 90 days of arrival are non-refundable unless a replacement angler is found. However, please note that a $100 handling fee will be charged to all customers to process all cancellations. Refunds or credits cannot be issued for fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Refunds of deposits/payments made on credit cards will be charged a 3.5% service charge to fully compensate Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company for all bank charges incurred. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgement that registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses.<
Consider Travel Insurance!
Given the inherent strict refund policies associated with nearly all fishing packages, we cannot stress the importance of obtaining travel insurance to protect your investment. Travelers can obtain coverage for pre-existing health problems (related to yourself, your family, business partners, or your traveling partners), emergency evacuation, lost baggage, delay, life insurance packages; even “no questions asked” or “for work reasons” coverage.
We will provide you with more detailed information about travel insurance from our sponsored provider, Travel Guard, when you book a trip with Tailwaters Travel. We can conveniently process a very comprehensive insurance policy for you in-house after asking a few simple questions.
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Please review our Policies & Cancellations section.