The Malleo is probably the most consistent high quality river in Argentina, and possibly anywhere. Its character is varied enough to suit just about any anglers tastes. Most of the time you can fish this river with a dry and nymph dropper system and catch as many trout as your skills allow. The rainbow, browns and brook trout average between 14-20 inches. There are a few fish in the 22-24 inch class caught every year and many larger fish have been seen or landed. However the Malleo should not be approached as a huge-trout fishery.
Smaller than most of the rivers of the area, but with amazing water structures, The Malleo river is just paradise for dry-fly fishing and light tackle. Mayflies, caddis and small stoneflies hatches, are really frequent and predictable through most of the fishing season. Classic mid size dry flies (#12 – #16), like Adams, Red Quill’s, March Brown’s, Elk hair Caddis work great earlier in the summer while BWO, Blue Duns, and #16-#20 mayfly patterns are more common from Mid March on…
The river contains a vast array of water types, from the upper meadow spring creek waters, to the rocky canyon fast water, down to the classic riffle, run, pool water near the lodge. The Malleo is just challenging enough to be fun to cast to the rainbows and browns rising under the willows, in the flats, and over the weed beds. The river is so filled with trout of all sizes as to guarantee lots of action, even for the beginner. Most moderately skilled anglers can wade out a bit and comfortably fish the far bank, which makes it very manageable. The numerous willows and the allure they hold for the biggest trout can test the skills of the best anglers. The Malleo is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Patagonia, and consistently wins the hearts of every visiting angler. The ever visible Lanin Volcano heads the gorgeous Malleo valley and as a marker for the Chile-Argentine border gives one a clear sense of just how far you have traveled.
The Malleo is one of few places we think deserves a minimum of 3 days of fishing, if not more. It is conceivable for a dry fly purist to spend an entire week on the river, and still want more.