Trout Bum Rio Pico
Big Fish Water, without Breaking the Bank
The Rio Pico region of Chubut province, Argentina is known somewhat privately amongst area guides and outfitters as the best "big trout" country in all of Patagonia. An immense network of interconnected lakes and west-flowing Pacific drainages that cut their way back through the Andes, this water is as far off the beaten path as it gets. And the Rio Pico Trout Bum package offers a unique, low-cost entry into this country for anglers who don't mind a less luxurious trip as long as it will get them into incredible fishing. These itineraries are planned to utilize simple cabins, campgrounds with facilities, and sometimes even back-country camping set ups in order to fish a variety of spectacular environments, as a means of maximizing time spent on the waters themselves with rod in hand. There are no mints on the pillows for sure, but the Hemispheres Unlimited team does make certain that all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed in the way of preparations, meaning you’ll have everything you need to make the most of your time in pursuit of the fish that brought you all that way from home in the first place.
* Let us be the first here to give credit where credit is due: The term "Trout Bum" was coined (or at the very least first published) by fly fishing writer John Gierach, as the title of his popular 1986 collection of essays.
Though the local environment hosts an almost unbelievable quantity of waters in diverse types, shapes and sizes, the fact that a much higher than average number of these hold fish of true-trophy size is what accounts for the region's fame. The ones we're willing to name online (and there are many we are not) include the famous "numbered lakes" 1 through 5, the Rio Pico herself, her tributaries the Rio Nilson and Rio Las Pampas, and also the world famous Rio Corcovado, which drains an eighteen hundred foot deep, gin-clear lake called Lago Vintter.
Rainbows, Brookies, and Browns, including many of “unusual size” swim these waters, from the big lakes and rivers all the way out to the tiniest pastoral spring creeks, and we pursue them with a wide variety of tackle and techniques. Anglers planning for the Rio Pico Trout Bum itinerary can express their preferences with regard to fishing styles at the time of their booking, as well as at any point during the trip. And with such an incredible array of waters in the immediate area we can have you throwing dry flies with a three weight, chucking six inch streamers on a heavy sink tip, or even spey casting pretty much any day of the week. With this much water at our fingertips it really just all boils down to the client’s personal preference.
Accommodations for the Rio Pico Trout Bum itinerary can vary based on climatic conditions and client preferences, but generally consist of rental cabin set ups with the option of back-country or lakeside tent camps. Final decisions on which cabins will be used or whether or not camping will be part of the itinerary can generally be made via personal consultation with the group in advance of the trip, and our planners are happy to spend as much time as necessary consulting with guests as those details get worked out.
While there are certainly no chef’s hats or dainty Hors d'oeuvr trays on our Trout Bum excursions, folks who are accustomed to good, solid, home cooking or fireside campsite fare will find nothing lacking on the menu either at meals or while out on the water with our guides. Snacks, tea, coffee and soft drinks, as well as the classic argentine Máte are all available all day long in addition to the three square meals that keep you fueled for your adventures every day. Alcohol is not included in the Trout Bum package, but your guide will be more than happy to stop by the store so you can pick some up on your way into and out of the back country any day.
Flights for the Trout Bum Rio Pico Itinerary should arrive in Esquel, Argentina (Airport code ESQ). You will most likely arrive in Argentina by landing at Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE) and will then need to board a ground transfer (bus or cab of approx 45 minutes drive across the city) to Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP) for your flight down to Patagonia.
Several reliable ground transport services are available including Manuel Tienda Leon, which runs both buses and private cars between airports with departures approximately every thirty minutes (+/- $15 US dollars for bus, or +/-$35 for private car). You will likely see their ticket counter upon exiting the baggage claim area; if not then just ask any airport employee and they will point you in the right direction. Independent taxis parked at the curb without reception-desk representation are not reliable and should not be used.
Our staff will meet you just outside baggage claim at the airport in Esquel, and all of your transportation will be provided from that point on until you are dropped off at the airport again for your return flights home.
For the Rio Pico Trout Bum itinerary, the preferred airport of arrival is Esquel, but sometimes flight schedules require our guests to fly into Bariloche (three hours drive to the north) instead. In these cases an additional ground transfer fee of $350 will be added to the trip’s total cost.
The season for our Rio Pico Trout Bum Program runs from November 1st until May 1st each year. Early season (Nov/Dec) and late season (Mar/Apr) see spring and fall runs of migratory spawners in their respective environments, while the middle of summer (Jan/Feb) generally holds the most stable weather patterns and warmest temperatures.
Package rates are per person based on double occupancy, and include everything except flights, fishing licenses, alcoholic beverages, laundry, and guide/staff gratuities.
- Full week program with six days of fishing, seven nights - $2,750 per person (double occupancy)
- Week and a half week program with nine days of fishing, ten nights - $3,900 per person (double occupancy)
- Two week program with twelve days of fishing, thirteen nights - $4,900 per person (double occupancy)
*Custom planned trips are also available for this destination; Contact us today for available dates and details, and get started on your way to this dream-trip of a lifetime to see just why the Rio Pico Trout Bum has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many fly fisherman from across the globe.
Contact us today for available dates and details, and get started on your way to this dream-trip of a lifetime to see just why Patagonia has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many fly fisherman from across the globe.