Modern sport fishing in Chile got its start in 1893, when Isidora Goyenechea, wife of a wealthy mining magnate, created the country's first fish hatchery. Before this, trout did not grow here, but once introduced they found southern Chile's rivers and lakes to provide ideal habitat. As often happens when non-native species come into contact with Chile's isolated fauna, these strong, aggressive fish soon marginalized the native percatrucha.
Today, rainbow, brook, and brown trout are widespread throughout the south, attaining truly immense proportions in many of the larger lakes and rivers. Atlantic salmon, cohos, and steelhead trout, all introduced within the last twenty years, inhabit a more limited range, making their upriver dash to spawn mid to late summer (February - April). Fishing season in most regions lasts from October to April. A few blue-ribbon areas enjoy special regulations, though regulations lag behind the growth of the sport, especially in Tierra del Fuego. Catch and release is spreading but is still rarely practiced.
Fly fishermen from North America and Europe will find that fish here generally respond to the same flies used at home, only more aggressively: most have never seen a fly before. Wooly buggers are a local favorite.Thanks to the Tourism Promotion Corporation of Chile : 202-530-4109