This is marvelous fly fishing in a fish-filled, beautiful, and pro-American part of the world. It is an experience that every serious angler deserves.
There are numerous world-class fisheries out of the Bariloche region, and we use several outfitters to access them all - Patagonia River Guides North, Arturo Dominguez, and Limay River Lodge. Each have their own particular strengths and unique specialties. Between ?them all, we have access to all of the best fisheries in that region, fished by the finest outfitters and guides. There are some overlaps - for example, PRGN offers high-end multi-day camping trips on the remote middle Limay River, Arturo Dominguez does day floats on the upper river, while Limay River Lodge has the only
permanent facility on the middle stretch - but by and large we use specific professionals for those waters they know best and have the best access to.
The Bariloche area has long been considered the hub of Argentine Patagonia fly fishing, which has led to many improvements in lodging and travel infrastructure - numbers of lodge options, extensive road systems, and multiple flights in and out daily from numerous other cites. It is, arguably, the easiest area in Patagonia to access a fly fishing adventure."
Arturo Dominguez is one of the most experienced and hardest-working of the outfitters in the Bariloche region. He lives there, and has been guiding the region's prolific fisheries for more than two decades…he knows them as few others do!
His specialty, and that of his terrific stable of English-speaking guides, is the waters within nearby, spectacular Nahuel Huapi National Park. Created in 1903, this enormous park is a wonderland of amazing natural features, physical beauty, and of course a bounty of fly fishing opportunities, including many rivers, streams and lakes. Using the finest of local lodging for his guests, Arturo fish's rivers like the Manso, Limay and the smallish Pichi Leufu, among others, as well as the unbelievable stillwaters of Fonck Lake, where it is often possible to sight-fish for big, cruising rainbow, brown and brook trout. The nearby and famous Estancia Arroyo Verde on the Traful River is also a favorite of Arturo's, fishing those gin-clear flows for out-sized browns, rainbows, and landlocked salmon. Arturo has a fleet of comfortable 4-wheel drive vehicles, and newer-model rafts with rowing frames and padded seats for the comfort of his anglers.
This large river is justifiably famous for its oversized brown and rainbow trout, and for the fact that it is very lightly impacted by anglers. Arturo has been floating and guiding it for many years, and over that span his guests have caught many true trophies, fish occasionally topping the magical double digit poundage mark. The Limay is fished in true "Rocky Mountain" style, floating in comfortable boats and slapping large foam dries and/or streamers against its brushy banks. 20+-inch fish are common here, and one never knows when a true river monster may roll up and engulf their fly! Every day here is an adventure, and for those searching for a shot at the brown trout of a lifetime, March and April are often the best timing.
A relatively short drive from Bariloche, this smallish river is nonetheless off the radar of many anglers, and its thickly-forested banks discourages all but the most intrepid of walk-and-wade fishermen. Arturo has a
number of different floats here, and guests generally split their days between fishing from the rafts, and wading long stretches of riffles and runs. A somewhat technical river, a day on the Manso can include hatch-matching, floating large foam terrestrials, dead-drifting deep nymphs, or stripping streamers off the banks. A classic Patagonia river.
This little creek wends its way through high desert country, and is often loaded with 15-18 inch browns and rainbows. Too small to float, Arturo accesses this stream by vehicle, then walk-and-wades his anglers. Typically this creek fishes better early season (Dec-Jan) when flows are higher and cooler, and anglers can expect constant action using dries and dry-dropper rigs. A very special little fishery, for those in-country during early summer.
Not the best choice for entry-level anglers, this demanding river offers up perhaps the highest average size of trout of all the wade-only streams in Argentine Patagonia. The gin-clear flows and selective trout means fishermen must be "on their game", but for those up to the challenge, the Traful annually yields many trout and landlocked salmon measured in pounds, not inches. A real draw here is the ability to often sight-fish, picking one's trout visually, then stalking it carefully. One of the ultimate thrills is to watch, heart in throat, as a 25-inch brown slowly rises from the bottom, deliberately sipping in your high-floating dry!
Though most angler's eyes roll back in their heads at the thought of fishing lakes, Fonck is different. No sinking lines and leeches here, when conditions are correct this pretty little mountain lake can produce sight-fish dry fly angling second to none, with cruising, gulping browns, rainbows and brook trout everywhere. If Arturo says it's a good day to fish Fonck, do yourself a favor and do it – you won't be sorry you did! $850 per day, per person.
Estancia Arroyo Verde
Estancia Arroyo Verde is not a lodge, but a traditional Argentine ranch belonging to Meme La Riviere. Former guests include Dwight Eisenhower, Joe Brooks, Ernest Schweibert, Mel Krieger and other Argentine angling pioneers.
The hacienda is charming and deluxe, surrounded by vegetable and flower gardens, stables, and ponds.
The estancia borders 12 miles of the magnificent Traful River (read Schweibert's "Remembrances of Rivers Past," the chapter called "River of Spirits"). It is home to huge and numerous Brown and Rainbow Trout and the occasional Landlocked Salmon. Large Rainbows are often seen sipping dry flies under the willows.
The opposite bank of the river is also private, and seldom fished. The Ted Turner family, ardent fly fishermen, own what was once the other half of the ranch. It is self-regulated, like Arroyo Verde, and both ranches allow only catch-and-release angling. A Forbes Magazine article described Arroyo Verde "the best fishing lodge in the world! Period." But as fine as the accommodations are, this is an experience that centers around, and focuses on the tremendous trout fishing in the clear, deep runs of what most experienced fly fishermen agree is one of the finest rivers on Earth.
Trophies are not uncommon on the Traful, and
expert nymph fishermen find it to be an angling paradise. Unlike many of the easily waded, prolific fisheries of Argentina, Arroyo Verde is tailored to the fly fisherman that predicates his trip on trophies, not numbers of fish.
Sight casting to large rising rainbows occupies much of the day, and streamer fishing for carnivorous Browns is very effective in the failing light. Meals are served late in the evening at Arroyo Verde, in the Argentine summer fashion and well after the fishing day is done. They are accompanied by fine wines, delicious desserts, and a sense of genuine hospitality that leaves most guests planning their return before their departure. Each visit is highlighted by a lakeside asado (traditional Argentine barbecue) on the last afternoon of the visit. Non-anglers often enjoy morning rides on the ranch with hostess Meme la Riviere.
The estancia accommodates only 10 guests, and does it in style. Rooms are well-appointed, and usually have private baths. Cost is approximately $6,300.00 per week, per person.
Limay River Lodge:
The lower Limay is ideal trout habitat and develops super-healthy populations of resident brown and rainbow trout.
The Limay River is rated by veteran Argentina anglers as one of the richest fishing resources in Northern Patagonia. Even more attractive to fly fishermen is the isolated, lower portion of the Limay below Pichi Picun Leufu Dam. The tailwater nature of this fishery helps insure consistent flows, ideal water temperatures, and clarity as the river travels through the rugged, near-roadless, semi-arid terrain of the Patagonia high steppe before emptying into the fertile lake formed by El Chocon Dam.
The lower Limay is ideal trout habitat and develops super-healthy populations of resident brown and rainbow trout. This section is often broad and covered with the rings of rising trout. Some of these fish are enormous double-digit monsters that spend much of the year in the giant, fertile lake below before beginning a mid-summer migration. Occasionally the river breaks into a series of intimate channels. This is surface action at its best, with large fish feeding on large foam terrestials all day long. It is simply one of the most unique and rewarding fly fishing experiences in all of Patagonia!
This off-the-beaten-track section of the Limay has been relatively inaccessible in the past, and considered a tiresome angling destination until this year when, under the guidance of
famed Argentine outfitter Jorge Trucco, a new lodge was created in the heart of the angling. Improved and near-exclusive access points will allow guests at the Limay River Lodge to fish "Montana-style", using drift boats, utilizing a cadre of talented, English-speaking Argentine guides.
This new addition to the world of Argentina fly fishing is the brainchild of master outfitter, Jorge Trucco, and offers predictably superb accommodations, wonderful meals, terrific guides, and convenient access to a 50-mile stretch of one of the finest rivers in Patagonia.
Few Argentine outfitters command more respect and admiration than Jorge Trucco. He was among the first of his generation of accomplished, professional fly fishing guides in Patagonia and part of a crowd of intrepid anglers that made fishing below the Southern Cross an irresistible experience. He was Patagonia before Patagonia was cool.
Now under his skillful watch, the new Limay River Lodge has been fashioned, incorporating both the hard-core angling tradition and that same standard of overall excellence that has been his hallmark for decades.
$6,230 per week, from November through mid-April
Rio Manso Lodge: Rio Manso
Trout were planted in Patagonia around the turn of the 20th Century and have flourished in almost all lakes and streams that they entered.
A relatively short drive from Bariloche, Rio Manso Lodge sits on a bluff overlooking the beautiful and productive Hess Lake, and all rooms have a view of the spectacular Mt. Tronador. Only ten anglers at a time are accommodated here, in spacious, comfortable rooms; each room has full size beds and en suite bathrooms, and the lodge has a Jacuzzi for guest use. There is a large great room with a fireplace, the perfect place for guests to gather and recount the fishing stories of the day. For fly tiers there is a desk to sit and invent at. The dining room turns out delectable meals, and there is a bar to relax at while waiting for the evening meal. Both email and phone services are available at the lodge.
The fishing options from Rio Manso Lodge are extensive, and wonderful. The Rio Manso itself has several different float options, and is
a wonderful river both to fish from the boat, or wade. Dry fly fishing is often productive, as is nymphing and streamer fishing. The Hess Channels – narrow arms of Hess Lake below the lodge – are often a great place to end the day, sight-casting to cruising rainbows. Nearby Fonck Lake is one of the best kept secrets in the area – a relatively small stillwater loaded with big rainbows, brookies and browns – a fishery that lends itself to casting dries all day to sighted trout cruising just beneath the surface. Anyone who has fallen in love with the "gulper" fishing at places like Hebgen Lake and Cliff Lake in Montana will find this little lake spectacular. In addition, there are other lakes and streams in the area which can be accessed from the lodge, making it the perfect home base.
$850 per day
Making Reservations to Bariloche, Argentina
To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.