Gear for Chile: Yakoda x Tailwaters Fly Fishing

Gear for Chile: Yakoda x Tailwaters Fly Fishing

Stillwater 201 — Putting it All Together Reading Gear for Chile: Yakoda x Tailwaters Fly Fishing 5 minutes

We outfitted our friends at Tailwaters Fly Fishing in Texas for their excursion in South America earlier this year. They put several products to the test while bouncing from lodge to lodge and landing some incredibly beautiful (and huge) fish in some stunning locations.

Below is an excerpt from their trip report, where they talk about how they used their Yakoda gear on the trip. For the full trip report, including info on the lodges they used as their home base, check out their writeup here.

TAKEAWAYS: Bring Dry Flies and a Well-Organized Gear Bag

Preparing for Chile Fly Fishing

It’s floating, fishing from a jet boat, and walk-and-wading…be prepared for everything in Chile. A streamlined packing list and gear bag will make life easier whether you’re confined for room in a raft or carrying gear on your back.  Check out our top tips below.

A Rod & Reel Combo That Does It All 

Sure, it’s always a good idea to pack two rods - but if you’re fishing from a raft or are venturing out on a long walk-and-wade trip, carrying one solid, all-around rod that can fish dry flies or streamers is ideal. A six weight, medium action rod and reel combo strikes the perfect balance, but a five or seven would work just fine too.  Anglers will fish floating lines 99% of the time, but we also recommend bringing a sink tip for scenarios where you may want your streamer to fish a little deeper.

Dry Flies

Hoppers, beetles, ants, mice…bring them! We packed a dedicated box for larger dry flies, along with floatant and some dry shake, that ended up being the workhorses of the trip. Don’t skimp, either. We lost several dry flies to hungry trees, bushes, and logs each day. A variety of foamy dry flies in different sizes and colors will keep you on the water longer, and make sure you have a spare if your buddy’s fly is more productive than yours. Much of the terrestrial fishing involves giving the fly a little action, as opposed to a dead drift. You won’t want to be sidelined from the fun due to packing light in this area. 

Be sure to check out the Chimera. It checks all the boxes.

A Gear Bag You Don’t Mind Carrying

A well-organized gear bag is essential for Chile. Whether it’s a hip pack, sling, or backpack, the most important factor is that you can strap it to a raft or carry it on you comfortably.  We tested the Yakoda Convertible Utility Pack and found it to be a winner.  Small but mighty, the utility pack has plenty of room on the inside for storing a couple fly boxes and extra spools of tippet, and lots of pockets and compartments on the exterior for stashing all your accessories. 

For additional organization, we leaned heavily on the Yakoda Utility Wallet.  Perfect for storing leaders, an extra sink tip, and - in Lawson’s case - extra SD cards and camera batteries, this zippered pouch gave our smaller items a home as opposed to just being haphazardly dumped into our bigger packs.

Wading Essentials

Waders and boots are a must, but don’t sleep on neoprene socks or a good wader/boot bag. While most days we threw on waders to go out for the day, weather or water conditions may call for fishing without waders altogether (this was a regular occurrence at Patagonian BaseCamp). Packing backup neoprene socks to pair with your wading boots will have you prepared for whatever the day calls for.  

We also got a ton of use out of a wader bag, a last minute addition to our packing list.  We fit both our waders, boots, rain jackets, and smaller gear bags in the Yakoda Gear Transport bag and tossed it in the bed of the truck each day to head out fishing.  At the end of the day, we removed our waders and boots and tossed them back in the bag to enjoy the drive home in normal clothes.  This was so much more comfortable for us and - bonus - we didn’t soak the guide’s truck with our wet waders.  To our surprise, it was definitely the piece of gear (besides our rods and reels) that got used the most on our trip.

Nippers & Hemostats are arguably some of the most essential pieces of equipment when trout fishing. Whether making a quick fly swap or unhooking a fish in fast water, we found these tools to be useful not only when wading but also in a raft. The Yakoda Nipper has quickly become a favorite with it’s quality construction and insanely sharp, replaceable blades.