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“Perfection”
Review of Puma Fishing Lodge

Puma Fishing Lodge
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Puma Fishing Lodge
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I have been fortunate to be able to fish in some wonderful locations over the past several years. My experience at Puma matches or surpasses all of them. The food, accommodations and hospitality were only surpassed by the scenery and most importantly the incredible fishing. The fishing was nothing short of spectacular.
Glenn Sikura

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Glenn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4 - 7 of 7 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

This was a trip of a lifetime for me. I am an avid fly fishing person and have fished the western US and Alaska. The opportunity for me to go to the Chilian Patagonia and fish in beautiful surroundings on both river and lake was the best fishing experience of my lifetime. The fact that I caught a huge rainbow trout (over 20 lbs) on a streamer fly was just the icing on the cake.

The trip involved 4 legs of air travel. The lodge provided support from Santiago to the lodge with people meeting each flight and transport to the lodge. That in itself was wonderful for a person that is saddled with only one language (english). The lodge is remote and only approached by boat from the river. A team of oxen transport your luggage to the lodge where I stayed. There are individual cabins at the lodge as well. The fireplace was going and food was wonderful. Everything was cooked on a wood stove and a generator provided electricity with back up batteries for electric use at night. You never realized that you were off the grid. After about 20 hours traveling I deposited my luggage into my room, found a guide and went fishing an hour or so before dinner. Never was a problem catching fish the whole trip and the surroundings were breathtaking. I fished every one of the 10 days I was there. After fishing on the river for about half of my stay we went to the Yelcho Lake by little boats and stayed on the floating lodge mother ship and fished the lake. The mothership would find a spot, anchor and the fishing parties would go out in small boats. Most of the fishing was with streamer flies and a sinking line while I was there. There were a couple of days of dry flies on top, which is my favorite. One of the problems fishing this area was that the scenery was so spectacular that you found yourself looking around and missing the strikes while fishing. Sometimes i just spent time looking.

The Lodge's website tells the story better than I can, ( www.pumafishing.com) but the experience of being there is one that I will never forget. A memorable trip!

Room Tip: No problem. Rooms in the Lodge are all nice and comfortable. The rooms on the boat are small but wo...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank DMNUN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

The detail from another reviewer is right on the money. I can only add that if you are giving any thought to a fly fishing adventure that is unlike any I've had in terms of quality dry fly fishing for truly huge trout, not only is the Yelcho River the place to try, but doing it with Steve Selway's Puma Fishing Lodge is absolutely the best decision you can make!I cannot say enough with respect to the first rate service, food attention to any & all needs. Based on the level of overall quality, while not inexpensive, the trip may be one of the better values in high end fly fishing anywhere in the world.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank gregthewineguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

The Yelcho River flows 40 miles westward from 28 mile long Lago (lake) Yelcho. Steve Selway's Puma Fishing Lodge, located on the Yelcho River, allows access to some of the best (and most isolated) trout fishing in Patagonia.

PUMA FISHING LODGE

There is no road to the Lodge. Rather, guests, luggage, and gear are picked up in outboard equipped rafts (which double as driftboats) and run upstream on the Yelcho about 1/2 mile upstream of the Lodge. The main lodge is very well appointed, with comfortable dining and living areas, and a front deck that faces the river. The front deck includes a custom made hot tub, heated by a wood stove placed in the center of hot tub. A glass of wine and a good soak is a fine prescription for whatever ails you after a hard day's fishing from very large rainbow and brown trout. Accompanying the main lodge are two very comfortable cabins, also with views to the River, each with two beds, full bath, and small, but attractive, wood stoves to stave off the chill on cool evenings. Lodge staff, all native Chileans with fair to excellent command of English, are meticulously attentive to guest's needs, often executing stealth visits to the cabin to straighten out beds or stoke the wood stove fire. I can remember sitting in the hot tub (with a glass of Chilean wine) watching 7 Condors lazily circling the mountain directly across the River from the Lodge, noting that there were no noises of any kind other than the sounds of the River running past us to the Pacific.

A day on the River begins with a hot breakfast at the Lodge at 8 a.m., fishing the River in outboard outfitted rafts from 9 a.m. until 1 or 2 p.m., a hot lunch back at the lodge around 2 p.m., a nap or wade fishing in the River from 3-5 p.m., then 4 more hours drifting the River until 9 or 9:30 p.m. (it stays light until about 10 p.m.). In addition to brown and rainbow trout, Coho and King Salmon enter the River in February and March.

THE PUMA; A MOTHER SHIP

Anchored in Lago Yelcho at the mouth of the Yelcho River is The Puma, Puma Fishing Lodge's 65 foot long mother ship, from which guests of Puma Fishing Lodge can fish the length and breadth of Lago Yelcho. I've always considered myself a river fisherman, but Lago Yelcho is an unbelievably beatiful setting affording anglers unique access to the Lake. There are a few houses at the downstream end of the Lake, and an apparently abandoned former fishing lodge at the other end, but the Puma offers access to fishing like no other. The Puma sleeps 6 plus crew. We fished the Lake from 3 skiffs that were towed behind the Puma, and were fortunate enough to be there for the dragonfly hatch. Within one hour, our host, Steve Selway, hooked a 24 pound rainbow, and then a 32 pound rainbow, both on dry flies. I've been flyfishing for 40 years, and fished the Lodge with 5 other friends, most of whom had also been flyfishing for decades. All 6 of us caught the largest trout of our lives on this trip. I caught a 12 pound Brown trout on a wooly bugger, and another 12 pound rainbow on a dragonfly imitation. The rainbow was about 3 feet above the surface of the Lake when I set the hook, a first for me. The odd Atlantic Salmon, escapee from coastline salmon farming, can add a bit of spice to your trip as they are as acrobatic as any fish I've ever seen. There are even steelhead in a River within an hour's drive from the Lodge.

I think you get the picture. If you're looking for comfort, solitude, beautiful scenery, and stout trout that like to play, Puma Fishing Lodge is the place to be. The only warning I would give is that you should diet before you get there, because the chef-prepared meals (including from a live wood-fired grill on the mother ship) are a delicious blend of exotic local seafood and more traditional fare, and you get three well-spaced shots at them, with tasty Chilean wine to boot. I've been on a lot of highly touted fishing trips that don't often meet expectations. I've never seen the Lodge advertised in any flyfishing magazine (I don't think Dr. Selway advertises), and I became aware of Puma Fishing Lodge through a friend. I've been there twice in the last three years, and plan to return often. I haven't included photos with this review, but if you go to the photo gallery at www.pumafishing.com you'll see photos of the Lodge, the mothership, and trout like you've never seen before.

Room Tip: I enjoyed being in one of the two separate cabins from the main Lodge, but I'm a bit of a hermit...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank steveshah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Puma Fishing Lodge

Address: Sector Rio Yelcho/Puerto Cardenas | Hijuela 51 Rural, Chaiten, Chile
Location: Chile > Los Lagos Region > Chaiten
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Chaiten
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
High end fishing lodge operation consisting of a land based lodge which accommodates 8 in 2 private cabanas and 2 suites in the main lodge on Rio Yelcho. Non-fishing activities include treks to Pumalin Park and glaciers. ... more   less 

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