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Chile on the Cheap - Frequently Asked Questions

Are you thinking about taking a fly fishing trip to Chile with Stream Side Adventures? The following frequently asked questions provide brief answers to many common questions about our Chile on the Cheap adventure, and how to prepare for your trip. Please check here for answers before calling or sending an email to Stream Side Adventures with your questions - it could save both of us some time.

Any time between January 16th and February 26th?

Find the dates in that period that fit your schedule and come on down!  Our basic trip is 7 days and 6 nights but if you want to spend more or less time with us we can arrange it.

Where are we going?

Our base of operations is Coyhaique, the major Chilean city in Patagonia.  Coyhaique is the destination city for the majority of fly fishers.

How do I get there?

The simplest way is to fly to Balmaceda (code BBA) the regional airport.    Balmaceda is about 50 km from Coyhaique.   Delta, American, and LAN fly between most US cities to Santiago.  The final leg to Balmaceda is via LAN or Sky Airline (   Sky Airline does not show on most searches and is generally much cheaper but does not fly as frequently.  If you want an additional adventure by taking an overnight bus from Santiago to Pourto Montt ask us about it.

How much does it cost to get there?

Price of course varies depending on where you are flying from and the days you fly.  Expect to pay between $1,100 and $1,700 for a round trip ticket from a major US airport.

What about money?

The exchange rate between the Chilean Peso and the US dollar varies depending on the strength of the dollar.  It is generally in the range of 475 to 525 pesos to the dollar.  There are numerous ATM machines in Coyhaique where you can make withdrawal of Pesos.  Prices in the grocery stores and restaurants are lower than in the US.  A nice meal in a local restaurant will be around 6,000 pesos.

Is it safe?

Chile is not a second or third world country populated with “banditos”.  It is relative poor by US standards and many areas are very remote but it is safe and the people are friendly.  You can drink the water in Coyhaique. The same safety precautions you would use around Missoula, Montana apply around Coyhaique.

What will the weather be like?

Being in the southern hemisphere their seasons are the opposite of ours.  January in Patagonia is like July in Montana so pack accordingly.  A light mist is not uncommon but days are generally clear by mid morning.

What equipment should I bring?

We will be fishing primarily small to medium sized rivers and streams.   Like the weather, the Montana analogy works with your gear as well.  Bring what you would take to Montana.  While it can be windy sometimes on some of the streams in the pampas, for the streams we will be fishing it won’t be a serious problem requiring a heavy rod.  We suggest that you bring a light rod (2, 3 or 4 wt) and a mid weigh (5 or 6 wt) rod. The trout are not particularly leader shy.   7’ 6” 4X leader are the norm with some need for 9’ 5X’s as well.

What Flys Should I Use?

The fly you will want to take with you are not that much different than those you would find on the fly board in any western fly shop.  Our experience tells us that the majority of your fishing will be with dries and terrestrials. The dry fly fishing is so good that we rarely use nymphs or streamers.   Bigger flies tend to work better than smaller flies.  A box filled with size 14 and 12 Elk Hair Caddis along with some Adams and Blue Wing Olives in size 16 – 12 and you will be just fine for most streams.  In the pampas area’s hoppers and other big bushy flies are always good .  Finally, bring some beetles.  There is a fly shop in Coyhaique where you can pick up anything you forgot.   We always have extra gear and supplies as well.If you want specific information on the flies that you may want to use, review the recommendations on our "Fly Selection for Chile Fly Fishing Adventures" page.

Other Questions? Call us at 913-645-1994 or E-mail