Valley of the Kings

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Austral River Lodge, Patagonia Chile

By now, you have most likely heard that Salmon Junkies has secured a long-term contract with Austral River Lodge to operate a fishing program on the most talked about Chinook river in Chilean Patagonia — a river with a significant run of wild-occurring, chrome-bright king salmon. We share this unique fishery with only four rods weekly and for 2019 will be operating only in the season’s prime weeks — from the end of January through mid-March.

The season is short and space is limited. Weeks are already filling for 2019. If you have an interest in joining us for this remarkable experience, we encourage you to contact us now.
Since 2015, rumors of dime-bright, fly-caught 30- to 60-pound Chinook on a stunning river in a remote region of coastal southern Chile have echoed through the spey fishing community like siren songs. With a legitimate chance to hook a bright salmon over 50 pounds on any day in any week of our season, this fishery is absolutely not a fantasy. But don’t take our word for it; see recent articles in Fly Fisherman, Fly Rod & Reel and Chasing Silver magazines for reference.

To bring this opportunity to you, Salmon Junkies has signed a long-term contract with the landowner and family of Austral River Lodge. Situated on the river’s tidal reach, this charming Chilean-style facility is positioned perfectly to take advantage of each tide’s bounty of kings. We will focus on the river’s lower 20 kilometers, where primary resting and holding pools provide optimum water for targeting these magnificent salmon at their fresh-from-the-sea best.

We invite you to join us for 2019 and beyond at what we believe could truly be one of the world’s last great venues for trophy salmon. But do come prepared. These very real and rugged Austral kings will test your angling skill, as well as every element of your tackle. It won’t be easy — such glories never are. But, yes, here you could very well reach the summit of your angling life. Indeed, we believe we are offering passage to a magical land… A place we call Valley of the Kings.

The comfortable Austral River Lodge overlooks the river’s estuary and ocean fjord. Four anglers per week will enjoy single occupancy rooms, each with attached, private shower and bath, as well as 24/7 hours power and cell phone service. Each room has been designed with ample storage for angling gear and tackle. The lodge is built in Chile’s classic countryside style featuring a decorated common area with wood stove for socializing and dining. Without a doubt, Austral River Lodge is unique — a comfortable wilderness palace surrounded by breathtaking Andean massifs, situated perfectly to reveal the enchanting soul and food of Chilean Patagonia.

Fishing Program
Originating high in the glacier-capped Andes, the river flows sparkling and clear with a touch of turquoise. It courses through a lush valley and offers a variety of fish-holding structure, including gravel bars, large boulders, deep runs and classic tail-outs. The upper reaches are steep and lively, while the lower section slows considerably, creating juicy holding water before emptying into the fjord in front of the lodge. With tides averaging 20 feet, there are wonderful opportunities for finding ultra-fresh kings on the moving tides.
The Austral River Lodge program includes many kilometers of water accessed by jet boat. On a daily basis we will rotate with four rods from Austral Kings tented Camp located a few kilometers upstream from the lodge. Anglers will rotate through both upper-river and lower-river beats.

For season 2019 we have leased a private aircraft to transfer our guests between Puerto Montt and Austral River Lodge for our 2018 Valley of the Kings season in Chile. The aircraft, built in 2015 and with only 250 hours on the clock, is a very comfortable 8-seat C208 Caravan EX. Use of this aircraft will reduce transfer time to Austral River Lodge to approximately 1 hours total, instead of 6–8 hours by land and water. This means arrival at the lodge around noon, instead of later in the late afternoon or early evening.

Our experienced and hard working team at Austral River Lodge and the friendly Barril family, who own and staff the Austral River Lodge, will make sure you feel at home in the Chilean wilderness. Each member of our small crew knows their job extremely well and all are an important cog in a well-oiled and very cosy package.

Be sure you are one of the fortunate few to fish with us at Austral River Lodge in 2019!

For more detailed information regarding Austral River Lodge please drop me a mail and visit our trip page on our website

Tight lines

Steffen Juhl