New Salmon Junkies Chilean Chinook Program

We are very happy to announce that Salmon Junkies has secured an exclusive agreement on the most renowned Chinook river in Chilean Patagonia. Together with the landowner and family of Austral River Lodge, beginning with the 2018 season — running January through mid-March — we will share this stunning fishery with a very limited number of rods.

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past year, you surely have seen the photos and heard the reports. There is an astonishing king salmon fishery now available to the adventurous, traveling angler. Guarded by a maze of pristine fjords and spectacular, glacier-capped mountains in the heart of the Chilean coast — and boasting massive, chrome-plated Chinook — this river system is perhaps the most hyped destination to appear on the salmon atlas since the opening of the Russian Kola.

A Modern Day Salmon Fishing Paradise

Since 2015, rumors of dime-bright, fly-caught 30- to 50-pound Chinook on a stunning river in a remote region of Patagonian Chile have echoed through the spey fishing community like seductive siren songs. With phrases like “the perfect salmon river” or “the best Chinook fishing today” traded in hushed conversation, the destination has assumed the aura of a modern day salmon fishing paradise. Could the rumors and speculation actually be true? After an exploratory season and one full client season, the answer is a definitive YES! With a legitimate chance to hook a bright salmon over 50 pounds on practically any well executed cast, this fishery is absolutely not a fantasy.

To bring this opportunity to you, Salmon Junkies has signed a long-term contract with the landowner 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. Our exclusive fishing program — available to only four rods weekly in the capable and experienced hands of two North American guides — will focus on the river’s lower 40 kilometers where primary resting and holding pools provide optimum water for targeting these magnificent salmon at their fresh-from-sea best.

We invite you to join us for 2018 and beyond at what we believe could truly be one of the world’s last great venues to swing flies 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. No, 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…

Welcome to Valley of the Kings, where legend becomes reality, where salmon dreams come true.

Austral River Lodge and Valley of the Kings is located in the Los Lagos Region of southern Chile, six hours south of Puerto Montt.

Austral River Lodge overlooks the river’s estuary and ocean fjord. Here only four rods per week will enjoy single occupancy rooms, each with attached shower and bath, as well as easy access to power and even cell phone service. Each room has been designed with sufficient 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 of Chilean Patagonia.

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 has access to roughly 40 kilometers of water accessed by foot and jet boat. Most fishing is swinging flies while wading or from the bank but there are a number of productive runs that may be fished from the boat. Anglers will rotate through both upper-river and lower-river beats together with 4 rods from Austral King Camp located a few kilometers from the Lodge.. For the upper beat you will be transferred by vehicle to a point upriver to begin the day’s fishing. For the lower beat, you will fish relatively close to the lodge. The distances are not great, but the roads are unimproved and transfers can take 20 to 30 minutes.
Guests will fish two per guide in the care of an experienced North American guide.

Well, few know better than Jeff Bright, who has been so kind to share his article from Fly Fisherman Magazine titled, The King’s New Crown. Please kick back and enjoy the ride.
Jeff will take care of all our North American bookings. Please don’t hesitate to contact him if you need further information. He can be reached by email at or online at

Click here to read the article by Jeff Bright – sharing his darkest secrets!
Jeff Bright is a writer, photographer, travel specialist, avid steelheader, conservationist, and a true Salmon Junkie. He hosts more than a dozen expeditions for anadromous fish annually, from the Skeena River to Tierra del Fuego to Norway to the Canadian Arctic. He is the author of numerous magazine articles and several books. His most recently published work is Written on Water: Musings on the Sea-run Angle and he is also now onboard with Chasing Silver Magazine as North American West Coast Field Editor.

We at Salmon Junkies feel sure this incredible king salmon fishery will meet the highest expectation any spey fishing angler may have. Below the majestic and spectacular, glacier-capped Andean mountains you will find a pleasing variety of runs and pools enticing you to cast and swing your fly down and across. However, the mythical Austral fishery is a demanding chase for silver and suited for the experienced and committed salmon angler. We at Salmon Junkies are convinced that our Valley of the Kings Austral Chinook program will enchant your soul and forever remain in your heart.

In close cooperation with Austral River Lodge we will be your guardian angel. Our aim is to provide you with a remarkable and unforgettable fishing trip — perhaps the fishing trip of a lifetime.