I was the Head Guide here for 5 seasons. I arrived to the lodge while the construction of it was still in progress. My friend and I developed and implemented the fishing programs here as well as organizing the everyday scheduling and operations a typical fishing lodge adheres to throughout a season. I had heard rumors of this ledgendary place well before I had the opportunity to work there. It was said that it was possible and common to land a rainbow trout over 15 pounds on your fly rod from the shore! Hard to believe...yes, possible....absolutely! I have seen 15 pound fish caught on Streamers, nymphs and small dry flies/terresterials. It is the most amazing Rainbow Trout fishery I have ever fished. I have a hard time thinking of a place that compares to it. It is a must do and a "bucket list" destination for any avid fly angler. The fish here are spectacular. They shine bright chrome and fight like a sea run fish. Its the most unreal place I have had the fortune to throw a fly. By unreal, I mean that literally too. A place like this is hard to believe and process in your mind once you have stepped foot upon it and taken in the reality of the fishery. I can not say enough great things about Estancia Laguna Verde. From its owners to it's fishing, it is a 5 star, top notch lodge. I am proud to have been able to work there and find great pleasure in still reserving trips for them.
The season starts in early November and runs throughout the middle of April. The best time to be there is when there is no wind.....when that is all depends on Mother Nature. Fishing can be good at anytime during the season, with or without the wind. However, because of the wind, I suggest to everyone that you stay a mimimum of 5 days or more. A good average stay would be 7 days. That will give you opportunity to catch some good conditions while you are there. I will further explain the wind and weather in a later section of this outline.
In November and December a large number of Rainbow's that reside in Strobel begin their spawning run into the Barrencoso RIver. This is a small, high gradient river that hosts hundreds of large rainbows during this time. Reservations for this time of year fill fast and as soon as you can committ it is a good time to reserve. These times are sought after and booked well in advance. Lake fishing at that time is good as well, the lake fishing is usually always good and will provide opportunity for a large fish on a fly. My favorite time to be there was in January and February. The river at that time has fewer fish and is a bit more challenging. You can target pods of fish in the river holding in pools and tailouts, choose the fish you want to catch and cast for it. They will take mice, dries, streamers and nymphs. It is exciting and unique. It is the only place where I have been able to sight fish to Rainbow's over 10 pounds with dry flies and mice and find success more often than not. To be sure there are still some fish in the river, booking a trip within the month of January is safe. Most of the time there are still a few fish in the river in February as well.
This fishery is far from dependant on the Barrencoso River for fishing success. There will be plenty of opportunity for even larger fish in Jurassic Lake. In fact, the largest fish you will catch 98% of the time will be in the lake itself. The reason these fish are so large is because of the infinite amount of fresh water shrimp (scuds) that thrive in the lake. I myself have never seen so many Scuds before until I was introduced to Jurassic Lake. By simply picking up one stone you can see over 30 shrimp attached to it. It is truly unbelieveable. The fish are constantly eating and gaining weight. It is said that these fish will put up to 2 lbs of weight on a season! The lake is the home of legends and fame. Do not concentrate all of your efforts on the river if you decide to visit Estancia Laguna Verde, the lake is where the truly giant specimens lurk.
Toward the end of February the river begins to drop to its normal flow levels. It is full of resident Rainbow Trout eager to eat anything presented to them. There will be a few large fish still lingering within the river system toward the end February into early March. Once mid March arrives and into early April the second run of Rainbow's begin their journey up the Barrencoso River. This run is not as large in quantity but in quality it is just the same.
Upon arrival to the lodge you will be greeted by an always pleasant and charming staff. They will ask you what you would like to drink and or eat while the guides bring your bags to your rooms. More importantly though, just behind the lodge within 200 yards is Green Pond (Laguna Verde) In Laguna Verde are perhaps some of the nicest trout one will catch upon arrival to any other lodge in the world. When you arrive, you will fish this lake for the evening. Jurassic Lake is between a 30 and 60 minute drive of the lodge and by the time you arrive to its shores it's not worth the travel to go there on the arrival of the first evening. Laguna Verde is full of large Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout. They too feed upon an ever reproducing population of Scuds. While I was there, 90% of fishermen hooked the largest trout of their lives on their arrival in this lake! The following day is when you target the real trophies in Lake Jurassic and the Barrencoso River.
Travel from the lodge to the fishing destinations usually requires several types of transportation. All in which are fun and give you a true sense of adventure. A typical day starts with an 8 am breakfast then leaving sometime after 9 pm. The reason you don't have to get up with the sun here is because the water needs a bit of a chance to warm up due to it's already cold temperture. The fish will become more active as the water warms. Due to the later start you will also fish later into the evening finishing at 6 pm and beginning your travel back to the lodge. When you leave from the lodge you usually leave in one of the many vehicles. At times, you will leave on a quad with one of the guides driving or if you are comfortable driving you may have your own. The terrain is rugged and the closer you can get to a fishing spot the better off you are. The terrain is rugged and the wind can be relentless.
The most facinating concept while fishing Jurassic Lake is the fact that you can use just a floating line and succeed and catching plenty of fish throughout a day. The water there is so cold and stays a steady temperature throughout the summer that the majority of the fish live withing 10 feet of water and most cruise within 2 feet of water! I cant tell you the amount of times I have spotted cruising pods of large rainbows for guests and had them cast, attract and hook a fish. Its similar to salt water fishing when the wind cooperates with you. It is unique to this fishery and hard to find anywhere else. This lake is a diamond in the ruff. The surrounding terrain would lead one to believe that such a place would not or could not exist here. When you finally lay eyes upon it the lake is a sight to behold.
8 Weight rods are the most common rod seen in the hands of fishermen here. Some folks like to go a bit lighter when fishing the river but can be challenged when hooking a fish over 10 pounds. I have used Switch Rods and Spey Rods many times myself and do suggest it for people who are familiar with them and know how to use them.
The lodge sits overlooking Laguna Verde. It is cozy and quaint with superb customer service. The majority of the time guests share a bedroom, typical to lodges. At times you can check ahead and it may be possible to request a room for yourself if it is available. There are additional fees that apply if you decide you would like this option. Each room has its own bathroom and shower. The accomodations are more than enough after a hard day fishing. You will be pleased with the overall setting and amenities.
The lodge has working Wi-Fi along with phone service as well. Since you are so remote at this location, there are times when neither function. It is a part of the experience here at Laguna Verde. I can assure you that 90% of the time both are working perfectly fine. There is a television with cable available as well. Over the many years there I noticed that it is not used that often except during sports events.
Anything that you need or any questions you may have while at Estancia Laguna Verde are a pleasure to the staff. Please just ask and it will be taken care of promptly.
The weather at the lodge is usually great. More often than not you have blue skies....however, what really puts a damper on the beauty at times, is the wind. It is the most tremendous wind I have felt to date. At times it can blow up to 70 or 80 knots. Fishing is still possible in some of the protected bays and effectivity of fishing still remains in good standing. I always suggest to guests to stay at least 5 days and if you can up to 7 or more so you will be sure to have an opportunity when the wind is not blowing sideways. It is a pleasure to fish when the wind is minimal.
When looking for plane tickets your search will consist of Buenos Aires(EZE) as your destination. Most people like to spend one night there to enjoy the city, others fly directly to Calafate which is another four hours South. To find tickets to Calafate(FTE) you will search for Aerolineas Argentina. Once you have arrived in Calafate, dependant on the time and day, we will either be at the airport or we will pick you up the following morning at your Hotel. Once your guide meets with you, a travel time of four hours via automobile awaits. Prior to leaving Calafate your host/guide will be sure you have eaten or have purchased anything you may need prior to your departure from the city. Recently the lodge has made a landing strip to make the convience of the travel from Calafate much easier. I need to find out more details before I list them here as an option. I do know that the availability of the flights will depend on the wind in most cases. I know it seems like a lot of travel but honestly, once you are there its such a pleasure and you forget about it all. Odds are you will leave with the largest Rainbow Trout of your life caught on a fly......
*Programs are negotiable, just let me know how many days you would like to stay and most of the time I can accomodate you.