Fishing days have had two distinct parts and consisted of several types of fishing. Each day you can expect to fish from 7am-12pm, returning to the water to fish from 5pm-9pm, after lunch and a siesta. River conditions dictate how every day is fished, with a mix of wade fishing and boat fishing. Depending on the beat, anglers have been able to wade/swing for Kings or slow swing/strip the deeper pools from boats. Stripping deep pools from the boat has seen the most success this season while swinging flies from shore has been less productive. As everyone knows, sometimes King Salmon can hold in slow deep water where stripping the fly works well!
4-5 fish in one day is spectacular while none may sometimes happen. These big Kings can be frustrating and finicky, especially when you see em rolling in the same pool that you are fishing! We’ve encouraged all anglers to come well practiced on Spey casting and prepared to hit the water…hard.
However, each fish caught has been worth the wait and effort. Over 90% of Kings landed are Chrome fresh and fighting. Some Chinook even had the power to jump 1-2 meters through the air to shake the hook. Depending on the reaction, the fights seem to have two consequences on guests: they either need a nap afterwards or cannot sleep for days. Incredibly, the smallest king this season has been a whopping 25 lbs. while the largest clocked was 52 lbs.
The River runs through a green valley surrounded by glacier-capped granite mountains. Even after heaving rains, the river runs a deep turquoise color and has a variety of fishy structure, from gravel beaches, big boulders, classic tailwaters, and deep runs.
The bulk of the salmon run seems to arrive in mid-January – mid March.The chosen location for Austral Kings Camp is right on the river and we will be able to access five kilometres of water by foot, and 20 more by jetboat. Fishing will be done mostly from the bank swinging flies.
Single hand rods and spey rods with heavy sinking lines work well, however most anglers choose to fish Spey. Single hand 9 or 10 weight rods with nothing less than a 450 grain sinking line will suffice. For double handed, T17 and T20 lines in 15 ft. and 30 ft. lengths work well to get down to where the fish holds.
The weather in summer is generally quite friendly, most of the time 10°–20°C. Due to proximity to the ocean we might have occasional rain or fog.
About 10 km upriver from the mouth sits Austral Kings Camp. With a strong emphasis on glamping and not actually camping, AK camp offers anglers the opportunity to sleep in the great outdoors while enjoying all necessary creature comforts. Teepee style sleeping tents surround the much larger main tent where the sitting and dining area can be found (and full bar if that’s your style)!
- Sunday March 4: Arrive in Santiago and catch connecting flight to Puerto Montt. Overnight at your
elected accommodations in either Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas (independently arranged, not included).
- Monday: At 6-7 AM you will be picked up at your hotel and transported to Caleta la Arena to
catch a ferry across the fjord, continuing on by land to the port of Hornopiren. From there you will board a private boat to take you the remainder of the way (~2hrs) to Austral Kings. Total travel time is 5-6 hrs. Upon arrival the camp/lodge, you will get settled in, have something to eat, and fish the nearby home pools.
- Tuesday-Sunday: Six full days of guided fishing at Austral Kings!
- Monday March 12: Depart camp around 1pm in time to catch private boat back to Puerto Montt, arriving at approximately 7pm. Catch late flight returning to Santiago, or overnight in Puerto Montt and return the following morning.