Distance: 15 miles

Flow: 200 – 400 CFS

Characteristics: The Gualjaina fishes much like a slow flowing meadow stream or large spring creek. It meanders across a large valley of grasslands with few roads. Willows border the stream most of the way and in many spots the water flows through the overhanging willow branches to re-appear for a short distance of open water before disappearing into a mass of branches once again. Other stretches are more spring creek like, with heavy weed growth and nice weed pockets that hold fish. The water is usually slightly off color due to the run-off from the Patagonian Steppe. Visibility into the water is usually 3-4 feet .

Since this is a relatively deep and narrow stream, finding spots to wade all the way across may mean going up or down a few hundred yards. In a few areas the stream spreads out into more than one channel, making for some fun and interesting fishing situations.

The Gualjaina is another exclusive stream offered by Esquel Ouftfitters. Unlike the Rio Chubut, you'll be fishing one of the largest spring creeks in central Patagonia on a private cattle ranch. Until a year ago, the Elvira Estancia was not open to fishing at all, so you can imagine what these trout do when they see a foam beetle floating down their residential lane. These trout love sipping on mayflies too, so you'll have some great dry fly fishing before you return to the ranch. There is 25 Km of private access water to fish on this Estancia and our guides know the best spots. When you finally get your fill of fishing, you'll get your fill of roasted lamb and red wine as well. The ranch gauchos will be preparing a special "asado" style barbeque for everyone to enjoy.

The rainbows and browns are wary in the bright sun, but not at all leader shy. Larger fish here are in the 16-18 inch class but the Gualjaina is just chock full of smaller fish, mostly in the 12-15 inch range. Big flies like hoppers and muddlers drive them crazy! This stream, like many others we fish, has rather large populations of pancora crabs, which are much like crayfish. So olive/ brown crayfish imitations and larger dark rubber leg nymphs are deadly. Large rubber leg hoppers are especially effective when twiched across the water. You will find that the good old standby Muddler minnow is about as deadly as anything in your box. Just slap a small split shot on the head to get it down into the deeper runs. The Gualjaina trout will pounce on this stuff like it is going to be their last meal!

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A long drive on a dirt road, about 2 hours from Cholila, takes you to Estancia La Elvira, where we stay and have private and exclusive access to 25km of the best part of the Gualjaina. This Estancia lies about eight miles below the Arroyo Pescado, one of Patagonia's most famous spring creeks. Your host Federico, has recently completed a wonderful fisherman's cottage for the anglers of Esquel Outfitters. La Elvira is a 60,000 acre estancia. The Gualjaina is formed by Arroyo Pescado and the Rio Tecka, at the border of the estancia. This section of river has not permitted fly fishing for almost 10 years, and now Esquel Outfitters is exclusively using the Argentina estancia to fish the entire river. It yields abundant numbers of rainbows and browns on dry flies, nymphs and streamers. It is solely walk/wading and an angler could easily spend 2 to 3 days there without covering the same water.

We are currently building accommodations for 4 anglers and from this location we are a 10 minute drive to Arroyo pescado and a short walk to the Rio Gualjaina. Estancia La Elvira has several fresh water springs on the property and contains a rich environment for birds. We can arrange horseback riding and riverside asados using the horses to get to different areas for fishing on the river. Our 25 km on the Gualjaina combined with our 55 km of private water on the Rio Segilo gives Esquel Outfitters over 80 km of private water.

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Rio Chubut
Arroyo Pescado

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