Species
Trout, Rainbow Trout
Destination Type
Lodge
Fishing Style
Dry Fly, Private Waters, Sightfishing, Wading
Season
October - April
Fishing Days
6
Rate
$$$
Why We Go
  • Experience the most prolific trophy rainbow trout fishery in the world
  • Fish with legitimate chances for rainbow trout in the 10, 15, and 20+ pound-class every day
  • Experience Jurassic Lake's most productive water within walking distance of the lodge
  • Take a direct charter flight service to/from the lodge
  • Enjoy newly constructed and remodeled rooms with a comfortable main lodge
Overview

If we were put on the spot and asked specifically where the most prolific 100 yards of trophy trout water in the world was, our response would be instant, and our tone would be confident. “It is where Argentina’s Rio Barrancoso flows into Lago Strobel.” We have been there and fished it and must say that in all our years of fly fishing, we have never seen, heard of, or experienced anything remotely like it. Some label it surreal or incomprehensible, but for simplicity and accuracy let us call it the one and only Jurassic Lake Lodge.

Jurassic Lake is nothing short of a biological anomaly and is the most prolific trophy rainbow fishery on the planet. The lake itself is a large desert sink lake measuring approximately 20 by 15 kilometers. It is located at approximately 3,000 feet elevation in the wide open, desolate expanse of the Patagonian Steppe. While it looks like a saltwater body of water with its wind-chopped, blue water channels and shelves, it is teaming with small scuds and massive rainbow trout. Here the rainbow trout average over eight pounds with countless fish in the mid-teens as well as good numbers of fish into the 20-plus pound class. These fish are extremely stout, and most are incredibly strong and acrobatic.

The lodge has the good fortune of being located at the mouth of Jurassic Lake’s only significant tributary. With no outlet, this is far and away the best location on the lake with anglers stacking up big numbers of big fish virtually every day of the season.

Fishing Program

All fly fishing is done while wading or standing on the bank and guests fish two anglers per guide. Anglers fish stations in nearby bays, on the peninsula, near the river’s mouth, and in the lower stretches of the Barrancoso River. Anglers cast, often into or across the wind, with floating or intermediate lines and employ a slow retrieve. There are also several excellent upper river beats that we encourage all anglers to rotate through during the week. There are a wide variety of flies that work well, with woolly buggers, zonkers, various sizes and styles of dry flies, and especially assorted nymphs tied on heavy wire hooks being the staples.

There are certain times and specific bays where, during certain conditions (especially during the low-light evening hours), the big fish (most often pods of them) come within a few feet of the banks and cruise the shallows like massive bonefish. Even in harsh wind, keep mindful of sight-fishing opportunities as one can often make out dark pods of fish. The guides are a combination of camp hosts and guides. They share the general fishing program and fishing areas, give advice on fly selection and technique, help with landing fish, take photos, and assist with any guests’ needs.

Accommodations

This newly-remodeled and improved lodge facility can take as many as twelve anglers, housed in eight rooms with private bath and shower. Private rooms can be arranged with advance notice. The main lodge structure has a spacious lounge area and dining room area complete with wood burning stove, comfortable couches and craft whiskey and wine bar for guests to enjoy. Excellent and hearty meals feature local meats, homemade pastas, and locally-sourced goods and are served in the main lodge.

Itinerary

Full Week (7 night/6½ day)

Friday: Arrive in Buenos Aires in the morning. Transfer to the domestic airport, fly to El Calafate and overnight.

Saturday: Transfer from El Calafate to Jurassic Lake Lodge. Fish upon arrival.

Sunday - Friday: Six full days of fishing.

Saturday: Transfer from Jurassic Lake Lodge to El Calafate. Book a flight leaving El Calafate no sooner than 3PM. Overnight in El Calafate, or Buenos Aires.

First Half Week (3 night/2 ½ day)

Friday: Arrive in Buenos Aires in the morning. Transfer to the domestic airport, fly to El Calafate and overnight.

Saturday: Transfer from El Calafate to Jurassic Lake Lodge. Fish upon arrival.

Sunday - Monday: Two full days of fishing.

Tuesday: Depart the lodge and transfer to El Calafate. Overnight in El Calafate.

Second Half Week (4 night/3 ½ day)

Monday: Arrive in Buenos Aires in the morning. Transfer to the domestic airport, fly to El Calafate and overnight.

Tuesday: Depart from El Calafate to Jurassic Lake Lodge in the morning, arriving at the lodge at lunch. Fish the rest of the day.

Wednesday - Friday: Three full days of fishing.

Saturday: Transfer from Jurassic Lake Lodge to El Calafate. Book a flight leaving El Calafate no sooner than 3PM. Overnight in El Calafate, or Buenos Aires.

Rates & Details

2024-25 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 ½ day package: $8,000

Mid-January - April:

  • 3 night/2 ½ day package: $4,200
  • 4 night/3 ½ day package: $5,200

Included: Accommodations, meals and beverages including wine, beer and alcohol at the lodge, guided fishing, round-trip ground transfers to/from the lodge and El Calafate, and fishing license.

Not Included: International and domestic airfare, hotels/meals/transfers in Buenos Aires and El Calafate, fishing equipment, laundry and staff and guide gratuities.

Species: Rainbow trout

Season: October - April

Capacity: Up to twelve anglers

Location: Jurassic Lake is located in the Santa Cruz Province in Argentina. The lake is roughly six to seven hours north of Calafate by vehicle, but only about 380 kilometers (236 miles) away, and one hour southwest of Comodoro Rivadavia by charter flight.

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? Any angler in pursuit of trophy rainbow trout. Folks that like large numbers of fish prefer the early season and folks who like the highest quality fish like the late season.

Where is the lodge? Jurassic Lake Lodge is in the Santa Cruz Province in southern Argentina. The lodge is located on Strobel Lake or “Jurassic Lake” which is roughly 5 – 6 hours north of Calafate by vehicle and 1 hour by charter flight.

How do I get there?  Guests typically take an evening flight from the US to arrive early morning at the Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE) in Argentina. Upon landing, guests will clear customs and transfer to the domestic airport (AEP), expect 4 hours for this transfer. From here, all guests will head to El Calafate to overnight before being transferred to the lodge.  Guests will book their flights leaving El Calafate no sooner than 3PM on their departure day, and it is recommended to stay Saturday evening in El Calafate or Buenos Aires, before returning home on Sunday.

Since the start of the pandemic, all guests are ground transferred in and out of the lodge.  The lodge anticipates the charter flight will be operational for the 2023/24 season, but this is yet to be confirmed and all anglers will be notified of special charter availability as soon as it is online.

When should I go? It is possible to catch a trophy rainbow trout at Jurassic Lake any day during their season from October – April.  Each of the three different seasons have their own merits and reasons to go. From mid-October through mid-January fish concentrate in large numbers in the areas surrounding the mouth of the Barrancoso River, where it flows into Lago Strobel (i.e. Jurassic Lake). The river’s lower reaches allow anglers to catch large numbers of fish during this time. Late January through February offer lower catch rate with anglers averaging 3-10 large fish to hand each day. This is still a great time for opportunities at a true trophy rainbow trout and a great way to add on to a trip to Patagonia with a half week visit to Jurassic Lake. If quality over quantity sounds best, then mid-March through April can be incredibly rewarding for anglers. Anglers commonly average 5 - 15 quality fish per day and we find the trout are in excellent shape with no signs of the earlier spawn. They are very strong, acrobatic, and seemingly more willing to eat dry flies during this part of the season.

How will I fish? The fishing program at Jurassic Lake Lodge is considered “lightly guided”. The guides will show guests the fishing beats, offer advice on fly selection and technique, help land fish, take photos, and assist throughout the day but are not “over your shoulder” at all times. Guests and guides are assigned beats each morning and rotate water throughout the day to assure guests have equal opportunity to fish each piece of water. The most productive technique while on the lake is to blind or sight cast scud/nymph patterns and employ a very slow retrieve. Nearly every trout technique can be effective when fishing the river whether skating or twitching dries, dead-drifting nymphs, or stripping streamers.

Is there wade fishing? All fishing is done while wading.

Where will I fish? Most of the fishing occurs on the several hundred yards of lake shore flanking the river mouth and roughly half mile up the river from the lake. The lodge also has access to several upriver beats, small lakes, and bays should you want to see other water away from the lodge. By in large most guests opt to fish the productive waters within walking distance from the lodge. For variety guests can venture off with guides to beats farther away.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Most of the prime fishing waters are a few minutes’ walk from the lodge. Other areas are accessed by 4×4 truck in 30 minutes or less.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Some of the world’s largest rainbow trout!  

How many fish will I catch? Mid-October – Mid-January historically has the highest catch rates with many anglers reporting uncountable numbers. Mid-January to February has typically been the slowest time with anglers averaging 3-10 fish a day. The late season typically picks back up with an average of 5-15 per day.

Will I see other anglers? No

What are the guides like? The guides are all friendly southern Patagonia locals and collectively have a wide range of guiding and fishing experience. Most of the guides speak good fishing English.

What are the physical demands? The physical demands are relatively low but dealing with high winds is very common.

Are there any special skills required? Not really, however, having some experience casting in windy conditions can be helpful.

Does the lodge provide equipment? The lodge does not provide equipment. However, they have a small selection of single hand rods in 5- to 7-weight and many guides have backup gear if needed. The lodge does offer a curated assortment of flies that can be purchased individually or as a package. Each fly runs approximately $3. We have found this to be a tremendous asset in simplifying the dreaded “Which flies should I buy” dilemma and you can purchase them all on-site based on the conditions during your stay.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? A 9-foot 8-weight is perfect for fighting the wind and big fish. If comfortable with a two-hand rod, I recommend a short 6- to 7-weight Spey or switch rod for casting on windy days and in specific areas. A 5- or 6-weight rod is fun while fishing in the Barancoso River. Note when traveling in Argentina you must pack all fishing gear into checked luggage, thus two-handed rods can be more burdensome due to their size.

What are the top flies? Scuds are a predominant food source in the lake, although anglers fish an assortment of classic trout flies depending on conditions, including big and small dries, nymphs, and balanced leaches. The most important factor in fly selection is a stout hook to ensure you can land the fish without the hook giving out.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? Wind is a constant at Jurassic Lake so you must be prepared for challenging wind conditions. Their mantra is to “Be friends with the wind.” If conditions are too challenging, guests can choose to sight-see local petroglyphs or hang out with a drink at the lodge just a short walk away from the most productive waters.

What is a typical day like? Guests awake and head to the main dining area for a freshly prepared breakfast around 7:30AM. Guests then learn their fishing beat for the day. After breakfast anglers get suited up and depart for their respective waters. Lunch is served back at the lodge at about 1PM and after eating guests can take a siesta or continue fishing. In the afternoon, anglers will rotate their beat and fish the remainder of the day until drinks and appetizers are served. Dinner in Patagonia is notoriously late, so be prepared to eat no earlier than 9:00 PM or later.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? The lodge has a laid-back feel. Meals are generally the only things set on a schedule. With the main fishery being merely yards from the lodge guests can return to the lodge at any time to relax, take a nap or grab a drink.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? There is always a manager on-site and available to assist guests. Throughout the season, the owners Carlos and Julian are also often on-site to help and assist with hosting guests. 

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Meals are hearty and plentiful with a heavy focus on meats, homemade pastas, and other locally sourced goods.

What is the alcohol policy? Beer, wine, and alcohol are included in the package. They also have a selection of premium whiskeys that are available by the shot or bottle for additional expense.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The lodge has 10 rooms for a maximum of 12 guests. All rooms have private baths. A large dining room, and lounge area are shared by all. The rooms are clean, comfortable and have ample storage space for gear. The rooms are based on double occupancy, but single accommodations are available for a limited number of guests each week at additional expense. Single rooms must be scheduled in advance.

Is there internet and/or cell service? There is no cell service. There is slow, yet reliable satellite internet service available. We recommend downloading WhatsApp messenger on your phone/table to communicate with family and friends back home.

Are there other activities? The main event is the fishing, and guests should be prepared for a fishing-focused trip. Additionally, guests can enjoy hikes to ancient petroglyphs.

Are there any other expenses? Fishing licenses are included in the package and are issued on-site. Single occupancy rooms and premium alcohol are an additional expense if desired.

Do I need a visa? No. Argentina no longer requires a reciprocity fee or visa. Guests must have a valid passport that expires no less than six months prior to the trip date.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? Wind should be expected as part of the experience. Should a guest experience an injury requiring medical care it will take considerable time to reach nearest hospital. We recommend Global Rescue medical evacuation insurance.  When the charter flight operates to and from Jurassic Lake there is a strict, maximum luggage weight allowance of 50 pounds per person. This includes all carry-on luggage as well. Please consult with the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites to get current recommendations before traveling internationally.  

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