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Some fishing destinations must be experienced to be believed. Nowhere is this truer than in southern Patagonia when fishing the famed “Jurassic Lake.” With a seven-pound average and monster rainbows surpassing 20 pounds caught virtually every week of the fishing season, no other body of water on planet Earth can produce the abundance of double-digit trophy rainbows, and this special destination refuses to disappoint. Any angler willing to travel thousands of miles to fish underneath the shadow of the Andes Mountains will be rewarded with what is arguably the world’s best trophy trout fishery and a fishing experience they will never forget.
Clients should fly to Buenos Aires International (EZE), Argentina, where they will transfer to the domestic airport (AEP) via taxi service for a connecting 3½-hour flight to El Calafate (FTE). There are numerous flights per day that service El Calafate on Aerolineas Argentina and LAN Airlines. We recommend that clients either arrive the evening prior to the start of their trip or on the earliest flight possible the day of their scheduled transfer to the lodge. A drive of approximately five hours is required to reach the lodge. The first three hours are by comfortable van or minibus, with the last two hours of the drive by 4WD truck over gravel roads.
El Calafate is a very scenic and culturally authentic town of approximately 17,000 people situated on glacier-fed Lago Argentino. We highly recommend considering one extra day in El Calafate before or after the trip to tour the area or shop, or to take a half- or full-day trip to nearby Glaciers National Park, where clients can experience the Perito Moreno Glacier.
The lodge offers numerous single- and double-occupancy ensuite rooms, each with private baths/showers that can accommodate group sizes of up to 12 anglers at one time (weekly average: eight guests). Rooms are nicely furnished with twin beds, pillows and bedding, towels for showers, heaters, and cabinets for gear and clothing. Inside the lodge, anglers will find a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere while enjoying complimentary Argentinean wines, beer and spirits as well as hors d’oeuvres before enjoying excellent dining prepared by an in-house chef, including a weekly Argentinean asado barbeque. A full-service, English-speaking staff offers daily room service and twice-weekly laundry service. Wi-Fi is available at the main lodge and free to all guests.
Clients will enjoy exclusive private land access, not only to Lake Strobel (A.K.A “Jurassic Lake,”), but also to more than a dozen lagoons, the Barrancoso River and Moro Creek, giving anglers the option to fish numerous bodies and types of water during their stay.
Lake Strobel is a large natural lake approximately 10 miles long by five miles wide that was first stocked with rainbows by the government of Argentina decades ago. Due to an ideal balance of water PH and abundant forage, the rainbows in Lake Strobel grow to unbelievable sizes in a relatively short amount of time. With 14 kilometers of private shoreline access, clients enjoy a seven-pound average fish with a current lodge record standing at 27.5 pounds. Double-digit trout are caught by virtually every angler that fishes here, with trophy fish over 20 pounds caught regularly through the entire season. It is not uncommon for clients to catch multiple trout of this size during their stay.
The numerous lagoons are reached within minutes of leaving the main lodge and vary in size from just a few acres to more than 100 acres in size. Depending on the lagoon fished, trout average two to ten pounds and provide fast action throughout the fishing season.
The Barrancoso River is the only major tributary to feed Lake Strobel, and offers incredible early season fishing, particularly in the months of November and December. Clients will enjoy exclusive access to six beats no other local or guide company can utilize; however, in Argentina it is illegal to fish the outlet of any river and upstream 100 meters. Rainbows can exceed 15 pounds in size and large mouse patterns are popular for targeting large fish.
Fishing is by fly rod only and rod weights of 6 to 7 in 8′ to 10′ lengths are perfect for fishing the lagoons, with 7- to 9-weight single- and double-hand rods recommended for Lake Strobel. Fast-action rods are recommended to cope with the strong winds Patagonia is known for. Quality reels with a dependable drag system are important, as double-digit chrome fish can strip line into the backing incredibly quickly.
Much of the shoreline on Lake Strobel is coral-like, with mineral deposits that easily cut fishing line if given the chance. Fifteen- to twenty-pound fluorocarbon leaders are ideal for the clear, deep waters. All equipment, including rods and reels, flies, leaders, waders and boots, can be provided at the lodge. A packing list is provided to any client that intends to bring their own flies and equipment.
Commercial flights to El Calafate, Argentina, taxi transfers from international to domestic airport in Buenos Aires, tackle and flies provided by lodge, Argentina fishing license ($70), satellite phone calls, voluntary tips (10% to 15% recommended), any before- or after-trip meals and accommodations or optional sightseeing.