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THE LIMAY RIVER


The Limay is one of the most mysterious rivers in all of Patagonia. It is the largest drainage basin in the region and flows for 236 miles from its origin in Nahuel Huapi Lake until it joins with the Neuquén River to form the Rio Negro. The Limay is interrupted in this 236-mile journey by five reservoirs.

The upper section from the outflow of Nahuel Huapi Lake is a classic freestone fishery that runs for 30 miles until the first reservoir. From the first reservoir the river flows immediately into two more reservoirs.

At the Pichi Picún Leufú Dam, the river becomes Limay Medio (Middle Limay). Our fishing focuses on this 50-mile stretch, the only tailwater in the region. It ends at Ezequiel Ramos Mejia Lake, the Limay River system’s largest reservoir.

This section of river is one of the most remarkable fisheries in the world. The cool, stable water release from Pichi Picún Leufú Dam creates a wonderful habitat for a large and healthy fish population. It also provides abundant nourishment for several species of large minnows that migrate out of Ezequiel Ramos Mejia Lake and up the river to spawn—and to become food that helps grow some massive trout.

Access is limited on the upper 15 miles of Limay Medio, and the river is virtually inaccessible on its lower 35 miles. However, Andes Drifters concentrates our fishing in the lower areas by floating and camping on islands. Our 40-mile float takes six days and five nights, and we reach parts of the river that see only our boats all season.

Our well-trained crew members set a deluxe camp nightly. You will have warm water for washing up, a hot shower on some nights, and a dining tent. Our sleeping tents with cots, pillows and sleeping bags will keep you warm in any conditions. And our menu, prepared by the best outdoor chef you’ll find anywhere, will have your mouth watering for dinner at the end of each day.

The trout in the Limay are divided into two different groups, resident fish and migratory fish.

The resident fish can be found throughout the entire 50-mile stretch of the tailwater.  These trout range from 19 to 22 inches.

However, the migratory fish are the reason to float this section of the Limay. Large browns have made the river famous. They average between 26 and 30 inches and are measured in pounds or kilos instead of ounces. Trophy fish on the Limay average 36 to 40 inches and is measured in double digits when it comes to pounds. The river also has a large population of migratory rainbows that will travel as far as 20 miles up the river.  They average between 24 and 28 inches, with trophies over 30 inches. 

Fishing on the Limay is not for the faint at heart—bring your saltwater and bass gear to battle these titans!

We use two different fishing techniques on the Limay:

The floating minnows create some dramatic strikes and sight fishing action. You will also see fish balling bait much like bluefish or striper blitzes. 

With the large streamers, we provoke some large fish and serious battles. You will hook some fish that you will never move. You’ll just feel his head shake, and then he’ll say goodbye!

If you want a trophy fish on a fly, and do not want to go to Tierra Del Fiego, the Limay is the trip for you.