Thank you for the opportunity to tell you a little bit about Collon Cura Lodge in the Junin de los Andes region of Patagonia, Argentina, not far from the mountain village of San Martin de los Andes.
Collon Cura Lodge sits on the banks of the lower Collon Cura River, a wide, fish-filled Patagonian steppe river. This secluded stretch of the Alumine is on an enormous ranch, and is virtually exclusively for the use of lodge guests, due to limited (and private) access sites. It is a classic riffle-run-pool river with classic willow-lined banks, fished both by floating in drift boats, and by wading. The river is filled with powerful rainbows and browns that can be fished for with dries, nymphs and streamers.
GPS Coordinates: 40°18’44.68″S 70°39’8.18″W
Collon Cura Lodge is managed by Jorge Trucco of Patagonia Outfitters, a living legend and one of the most respected names in Argentine fly fishing. Jorge has assembled a talented, seasoned crew of professional guides, lodge staff and chefs that are committed to offering a world-class experience.
Reservations & Rates
November 30, 2019 to May 1st, 2020 Lodge Stay:
• 7 nights / 6 days fishing: $5,950 per person, double occupancy
• 6 nights / 5 days fishing: $5,100 per person, double occupancy
• Shorter duration trips are available at a rate of $850 per night, per person
• Private room request add $80 per night, per angler
• Single (private) guide add $180 per day, per angler
• Non-angling rates are available, please call for details
Round trip driving transfers between the lodge and Bariloche: $300 per person, round trip
Included in your package at Collon Cura Lodge are round trip driving transfers between Chapelco Airport in San Martin de los Andes and the lodge, accommodations, fishing license, all food and drinks including an open bar and beer and wine, all guiding (2 anglers/1 guide), ground transfers between fishing areas, and WiFi internet at the lodge adequate for sending and receiving emails. Though the lodge suggests guests bring their own waders and fly fishing gear, they have high-quality loaner gear available, on request.
Not included in your package at Collon Cura Lodge are international and domestic airfares, gratuities, and extras at the lodge such as phone calls, laundry and gift shop purchases.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Collon Cura Lodge
The season starts at Collon Cura Lodge in late November, often with dense mayfly and caddis hatches. These continue through December and January, the favorite months for those who like to match hatches as well as throw large attractor dries. As well, the famous “Inchworm Hatch” occurs in January. The numbers of big fish on the surface gobbling insects in these months can be unbelievable!
As the summer days get longer and warmer in February and March, the insect hatches tend to occur in the mornings, followed by tremendous
action pounding the banks with large foam dries. These are the months anglers normally begin to see a smattering of the huge brown trout that migrate up from the downstream lake, and it is not unusual to hook them on big dry flies. In February the unique “Minnow Hatch” occurs, with tens of thousands of small baitfish running up out of the downstream lake, migrating for miles upriver, then turning around and running the trout gauntlet back downstream. It is not unusual to hook dozens of beautiful big fish on small streamers during this phenomenon, often casting to fish that are blowing small baitfish into the air!
For those who really want to concentrate on huge lake-run browns, April is a prime month, and anglers should be ready to throw large streamers on sinking tip lines. The river’s many rainbows will often continue to come up for dries this month, but the days are getting cold!
Getting to Collon Cura Lodge
Arrival Buenos Aires:
Getting to Patagonia is not difficult. It is actually very simple: take an overnight flight to Buenos Aires from one of several major cities in the U.S, get a good night's rest and awake in Argentina. If you have so pre-arranged, you will be met by our professional agents at the airport and transferred to your hotel or to the domestic airport for immediate departure to Patagonia.
Our agents in Buenos Aires will re-confirm flights, make dinner reservations, share a cocktail, and take you on a city tour, if you wish.
Buenos Aires has two airports, an international and a domestic. You will arrive from your country of origin at Ezezia (EZE) and depart to San Martin de los Andes from the domestic airport, Aeroparque (AEP). It is necessary to transfer by ground from the international airport to the domestic airport for your flight to Patagonia. Our agents can set up your inter-airport transfers. Depending on the time your international flight lands, you might be able to travel directly to Patagonia on the same day (if you want to travel directly to Patagonia, you should plan on two hours to clear immigrations and customs, one hour to transfer between airports, and one hour to arrive at the domestic airport before your flight to Patagonia.).
Flying to San Martin de los Andes and transferring to Collon Cura Lodge:
San Martin de los Andes is a hub city for tourists and skiers, so flying there is normally possible on all days of the week and there are often a couple of options per day. You will be met at the Chapelco Airport (CPC) by a driver (with a sign with your name on it), and transferred the 90 minutes hours to the lodge.
When you arrive at Collon Cura Lodge, your luggage will be taken to your room and you will have a chance to get un-packed, settle in and organize your fishing gear. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served in the dining room at approximately 7:00 p.m., and then dinner in the dining room at around 9:00 p.m. During cocktail hour the host (sometimes Jorge Trucco) will provide an orientation on the week ahead and answer any questions you might have.
Lodging at Collon Cura Lodge
Up to eight (8) guests per week can enjoy all the comforts of Collon Cura Lodge's exclusive first class fishing lodge located near the banks of the Collon Cura. The lodge features four spacious and beautiful rooms, each with en suite bathrooms. The lodge also has a “great room” gathering area allowing guests to gather after fishing and share stories with friends while enjoying a drink. The lodge is completed by the beautiful, separate dining room where you'll enjoy a healthy breakfast in the morning and gourmet food (some of the best in Patagonia), prepared by a talented chef, in the evening.
World-class Food, Wines, & Beverages:
Collon Cura Lodge will provide all food and beverage during your stay. Breakfast is hearty and consists of eggs your style, toast, jams, meats, fruits, cheese, meats, juice, tea and coffee. Lunch is a culinary delight and is normally served streamside. Lunch includes a nice combination of area meats, cheeses, vegetables, wine, and dessert making this an experience that you'll be looking forward to daily. Dinner is typically served around 9:00 pm - after cocktail hour - which gives guests a chance to tell others about their day, and those who choose to fish later a few more minutes to get back to the lodge and ready for dinner. Dinner is typically three courses and features not only Patagonia's famous beef and lamb, but also pork, chicken, rabbit, fish, pasta and vegetables. Malbec wine is typically served with dinner as this is the best variety that Argentina produces and one of the hardest to find in other countries. The lodge provides a nice selection of top Malbecs for you to sample.
Fishing at Collon Cura Lodge
Collon Cura Lodge has a straightforward, high-quality approach to its fishing program. Each guide has all of the finest equipment necessary to make your fly fishing experience ideal including: trucks, drift boats, flies, lines, leaders and tippet. For anyone who needs those, the lodge will also provide rods and reels, and waders and wading boots. Two anglers fish together with a professional guide to give every angler the finest experience possible.
A typical day of fishing with Collon Cura Lodge:
Fishing programs start on your schedule, which is normally an 8:00 to 8:30 am departure after a hearty breakfast and a meeting with your guide. The lodge is centrally located to the best drifts on the river and the various different floats you’ll fish are normally within a 15 - 45 minute drive from the lodge. Most days end around 6:00 to 7:00 pm, at which time you are driven back to the lodge for a hot shower, cocktails, and then a magnificent dinner complimented by a great bottle of Argentine wine served by the lodge hostess.
The fishing is done via driftboats, floating 5-10 miles per day. You will be treated to a blend of floating, wading and often a combination of both on each unique float. You can choose to fish from the driftboat, tossing big foam dries to bankside structure and in shallow riffle drops, or jump out of the boat and spend part of a day wading through extensive side channels, casting to big trout rising in small water. Your options depend on your desires and what is fishing the best. Fishing techniques include dry fly, dry-dropper, and streamers. Collon Cura Lodge guides try to fish dries at all times when the conditions are right and the fish are feeding; however, it is necessary to go under the surface at times. The rainbows in the Collon Cura average about 18 inches, and are screamers – some will take anglers well into their backing! The browns average about the same size, but there seems to be a higher incidence of them in the 20 – 23- inch range, amazing fish on dry flies!
The Collon Cura River region resembles fishing in the American West in many ways. Huge vistas, high desert terrain, riverside cliffs... it is very reminiscent of some of the drier climates in Wyoming or Idaho. Water flows and temperatures are tied to snowfall, rain, and outside temperatures, and tend to stay fairly constant through the season, and the insect biomass is strong; this makes for happy fish, and even happier anglers!
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Collon Cura Lodge is a classic Patagonian lodge, with a simple, understated elegance. With only four double rooms, the feeling is very intimate and private. The hostess and lodge staff are wonderful, and go out of their way to meet all guest needs. The food is excellent, including breakfasts and dinners at the lodge, and the picnic lunches that are sent out with the guides to be taken in the field. With classic Argentine lodging and cuisine and old world service you will be well looked after at Collon Cura Lodge, and only need to concentrate on having a great time and catching an abundance of trout.
• Due to the size of the ranch the lodge is on (75,000 acres), the miles of river inside the ranch, and the numerous private and exclusive put in and take-out accesses, the fishing here is nearly untouched, and simply amazing. The emphasis is on fishing dry flies for browns and rainbows. There is no reason to rush to the water each morning, as you won’t be sharing it with other anglers outside your lodge mates. Fish here are “happy” with the lack of pressure, and come aggressively to flies.
• Collon Cura Lodge guides use RO skiffs (low-sided drift boats) with knee braces, which are very stable and comfortable to fish out of all day long. No sitting on the edge of an inflatable pontoon for hours on end. If your best wading days are behind, fish from a drift boat; you’ll cover more water, catch more trout – all in the comfort of a proper hard-sided drift boat rowed by professional guides.
• The lodge guides have multiple daily access options to miles of the very best stretches of the Collon Cura River. This means you can choose a long float, a short float, a float that includes a lot of wading options, or a float with the option to hit some of the lagunas on property that hold large fish. The fishing program is very flexible, and the drives to the fishing are short and easy. No wasted time driving to distant rivers, and plenty of fishing variety to keep anglers engaged and having fun!