Originating from a small lake in Argentina and combined with snowmelt from nearby mountains close to Lago Palena/Vinter, the Rio Tigre or Tiger River flows south of Palena some 22 miles from the Argentine border before it meets the Palena River.
In comparison to the Palena River, this is a small stream with a steep gradient. The upper section of the river near Argentina is at an elevation of 2,300 feet while at the mouth it is at 500 feet. The average drop is 82 feet per mile over the 22 river miles in Chile. The upper 5 miles average a 68 foot drop per mile and the middle 11 miles average a 108 feet of drop per mile. This by no means a navigable river unless one wants to do a lot of dragging and portages.
A short 4 to 5 mile drive below the town of Palena, you find the lower five and a half miles of river is accessible by road. Above town, approximately 13 miles by road, is an access point.
Fishing is done on foot here. This is a fishery for those shorter days when you don’t want to mess with a boat or just plain want to walk and wade. Hiking along the river one finds the Rio Tigre a beautiful, gin-clear river with small runs and pocket water perfect for fishing dry flies and nymphs. The fish aren’t big here but they are beautiful as this river holds only brook trout and they are eager to take the largest of your dry flies.
The casts aren’t long and the lies are obvious – break out your 4 weight for some easy, good-times fishin’!