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Guanaco Season report 23/24

Guanaco fishing report season 2024/25

Our plan, developed in December following previous seasons of scouting, proved to be quite successful. Despite the Guanaco River’s tendency to fluctuate due to mud brought in by various tributaries, the migration of king salmon is very consistent, putting you through an exciting test of patience and perseverance. Proximity to the Andean Cordillera means conditions may vary in this initial month, yet there remains ample water for the salmon to swiftly navigate to their spawning grounds within the protected area of Glaciers National Park.

Our initial three groups collectively encountered around 14 fish, although some were unfortunately lost along the fight. Numerous fish were observed moving through small pools, showcasing the abundant fish presence during December with many bright, silvery chromers. January typically sees a shift towards a bit more colored fish while still actively swimming upstream. As February progresses, the fish migration gradually declines.

king salmon 45pds

King salmon in Patagonia presents distinct characteristics compared to those in Alaska. In Alaska, these fish are known for their aggressive response to flies, resulting in consistently high daily catch rates, unlike the Patagonian counterparts. However, the king salmon in the rivers of Patagonia, including our other destination, can grow to impressive sizes of up to 60 pounds or more, with the largest catch on record being a whopping 94 pounds at Glacier King.

Our accommodation at Estancia La Sofia is strategically situated in the upper mid-section of the river, known for its exceptional productivity. Notably, the home pool, just a brief 2-minute walk from the lodge, is one of the most fruitful spots for fishing. The estancia also provides a welcoming environment with accommodation for up to 6 guests in single and double rooms. In addition to excellent service, guests can immerse themselves in nature through various activities such as horseback riding and ecotourism, catering to non-fishing companions and ensuring a memorable experience for all.

Patagonia fishing lodge La Sofia

January is prime time for King Salmon on the Guanaco River! Every fishing group in January had a chance to land at least one fish, with some anglers catching up to three.

We typically offer half-week trips that can be combined with trout fishing at Estancia Río Pelke or extended for more king salmon adventures at Estancia Cristina. The Guanaco River boasts a healthy population of King Salmon throughout January, so our experienced guides will help you locate them in various sections of the river.

Effective Fly Patterns

While classic streamer patterns like intruders and leeches are always productive, we’ve also seen fantastic results with smaller bonefish flies.

Gear Up for Success

For tackling these powerful fish, short and strong rods are essential. We recommend 8-weight rods in lengths up to 126 feet. Interestingly, some of our guests have even achieved success using single-handed rods.

Our Guide’s Choice: SPEY R8 8126-4

A Remote and Scenic Adventure

The Guanaco River offers three distinct fishing beats, all requiring anglers to walk and fish most of the time. This remote and wild area boasts stunning scenery, blending the Patagonian plateau with the majestic Andes and nearby woodlands.It’s a truly unique experience within Santa Cruz Province.



Prime King Salmon Season: December & January

December and January offer the peak season for King Salmon fishing, with excellent water conditions for swinging flies.However, the river is quite sensitive to weather changes, so be prepared for adaptability.

Catch Stats & Opportunities

While the average catch rate is 1 out of 3 hooked fish, there’s still a good chance of landing a trophy. The biggest King Salmon caught here weighed a whopping 45 pounds, and the top angler in a half-week trip reeled in 5!

Location & Logistics

This exciting fishery is situated just 2 hours from El Calafate, making it a convenient fishing getaway.

Things to Consider

    • Fishing is done walking with very little wading. 
    • Be prepared for the possibility of challenging weather conditions that can affect the fishing.
    • The average catch rate requires some patience and perseverance, but the potential rewards are significant.
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