South for the summer at Malito lodge

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In the northern region of Chilean Patagonia, the fishing this year is excellent. Right now, I am with Tres Piedras Fly Fishing Outfitters in Palena at the Malito lodge.

To get to the lodge from Puerto Varas, where Tres Piedras is headquartered, one must take the ferry, and as we passed through the coastal town of Chaiten, it was evident that the reconstruction effort after the 2008 volcano eruption here is gaining momentum. Electricity and water have been successfully restored, and residents have fought valiantly to reconstruct the city.
The drive southeast of Chaiten is spectacular. Mountains covered with glaciers drop into thick temperate rain forests.  On our drive to Malito, we stopped for the afternoon to fish the Yelcho River, and as I casted my line the granite-faced mountains, some of which I doubt have ever been climbed, were rather intimidating.  The afternoon turned out to be a successful one, the fish were not hesitant to take any form of olive streamer that passed by.
But the Malito lodge is the real destination you need to know about. Tres Piedras uses the lodge for its summer operations from December to March. The lodge sits on a large ranch about 20 minutes from the town of Palena. On the banks of the Palena River, the ranch offers more than 1,000 acres for guests to explore. Horseback riding and trekking are just a short walk from your cabin. The main lodge consists of a large wooden structure used for both dining and relaxing. There is a large stone fireplace and plenty of couches to lounge on after a day of fishing. The lodge also has a deck that hangs over the river – a perfect place for drinks in the evening. And there are four private cabins, each unique and with its own view of the river. The section of the Palena that runs in front of the lodge is almost never fished and is like having your own blue ribbon trout stream for the week off your back porch.
The fishing here is extraordinary. We recently floated a section of the Palena above the lodge and landed countless fish. The trophy of the day was a 26-inch, 12-pound brown caught on an olive streamer pattern. As the sun began to fall behind the mountains, we ended a near perfect day of fishing and walked up to the main deck of the lodge for some wine. Marcelo, the ranch manager, prepared a Chilean asado, or barbecue, for us as the light from the moon soon overtook the scenery.
It is an adventure to get to Malito lodge, but its a trip well worth the effort. Get down here before its too late! 
To find out how to stay at the Malito lodge, or take fishing trips with Tres Piedras this summer, check out their trip packages in the Patagon Store.



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