Jurassic Lake, locally known as Lago Strobel, has garnered a reputation as the most prolific Rainbow Trout fishery in the world. Located in the rugged Steppe or “messita” region of southern Argentina’s Santa Cruz province, Jurassic Lake is the place for trophy Rainbow Trout on a fly. Lago Strobel is a 40 square mile lake and the average Rainbow landed from Jurassic Lake is close to 10 pounds, with fish breaking the 20 pound mark caught almost weekly.
Jurassic Lake is popular among anglers looking for their personal best Rainbow, but it’s not a destination for everyone. It’s located in one of the world’s most desolate, windswept landscapes, 5 hours from the closest airport, El Calafate City. Anglers who make the long journey stay at Estancia Laguna Verde Lodge.
Estancia Laguna Verde offers more than 6 miles of Jurassic Lake coastline accessible from the lodge and a few more remote areas only accessible by boat (when the weather allows). Guests at Estancia Laguna Verde have access to “Monsters Bay”, which was named after the consistent numbers and size of the trout landed in the bay and considered to be the best fishing area on Jurassic Lake. Anglers will also fish the productive Camelot Bay, Moro Bay, Horse Shoe Bay, Finger Bay, Sea Bay, Tazmania Bay, Dry Fly Bay, Puesto Bay, and The Aquarium. Fishing in the Bays offers some protection from the ever present wind. On calmer days, the sight fishing with small nymphs or large dry flies can be spectacular in all of the bays.
Estancia Laguna Verde is a 37,000 acre ranch on the southern shore of Jurassic Lake. The estancia encompasses 12 chain lakes connected by Moro Creek, and 5-miles of the Barrancoso River, which is the sole tributary to Jurassic Lake. The smaller chain lakes each have their own stock of big Rainbows. The Estancia and Lodge’s namesake, Laguna Verde, is full of 4 – 8 pound Rainbows, with fish over 10 pounds caught regularly, and is a short walk from the lodge. Many anglers catch their personal best Rainbow while “warming up” on Laguna Verde, before making a single cast into Jurassic Lake. Estancia Laguna Verde has made substantial improvements to the exiting roads inside the estancia and added new roads, allowing anglers easier access to the best fishing areas. The new infrastructure has improved the efficiency of travel, resulting in more time on the water for clients. Also added was a “lake cabin” on the shore of Jurassic Lake, where anglers can enjoy lunch, a siesta, or just take a coffee / matte break out of the wind. Estancia Laguna Verde now has access to 4 beats on Moro Creek, which are accessible by 4-Wheel Drive ATV’s or by truck.
Unlike the short sea-run trout fishing season on the nearby Gallegos or in Tierra del Fuego, Jurassic Lake has excellent fishing for almost 6 full months, from November – April. The higher water levels in November & December offer sight fishing on the Moro Creek and there are lots of large Rainbows still in the Barrancoso River, as well as in Jurassic Lake. Lower water in January – mid-March focuses fishing for big rainbows in the lakes, with mostly smaller trout in the Barrancoso River. As water levels start to rise in late-March – April, there are more big rainbows running back into the Barrancoso River, preparing to spawn.
The lodge on Estancia Laguna Verde is a traditional “Estancia House” with 7 guest rooms, accommodating a maximum of 12 anglers, each with a private bathroom. Estancia Laguna Verde Lodge is not luxurious, but given its remoteness, it is quite comfortable. Guests enjoy amenities like 24-hour electricity, 24-hour hot water, satellite TV on a 42″ LCD TV, wireless internet, and twice weekly laundry service. There’s also a changing room/drying facility, located by the entrance to the lodge for anglers to change before and after the fishing day, as well as to store / dry fishing gear, such as waders, wading boots, rods, reels, vests, etc.
Fishing Jurassic Lake requires rods capable of handling strong winds and fish that could go over 20 pounds. Fast action 9 / 10 foot rods in the 7 – 9 weight range are excellent choices, with a high quality, large abor reel. Almost all of the fishing is done with floating lines, but having a variety of lines like floating, sink tip, sinking lines with a medium sink rate and a shooting head type fly lines is recommend so you can adapt to conditions. Jurassic Lake trout aren’t leader shy, so heavy tippets are recommended to keep the enormous fish from braking off. For the Barrancoso River, 8 / 9 foot rods in 5 – 6 weight are adequate. When fishing the beautiful Barrancoso River, 9 ft. leaders in lighter tippet sizes (8-10 lbs) are recommended, as the water is clear and the fish can be spooky and challenging at times.
Top dry flies are: Mice, Chernobyl Ant, Tarantula, Madam X, Gypsy King, Stimulator (yellow and green), and Stimulator Rubber legs in sizes 6 – 10. Estancia Laguna Verde suggests a variety of weighted and unweighted Woolly Buggers, scuds, zonkers, and matukas in sizes 4 – 10. Don’t forget a selection of nymph’s and typical western flies for some of the more technical fishing. There is also a small fly shop at the lodge with a limited supply of waders, jackets, leaders, flies, tying materials, lines, rods, reels, and other fishing equipment. Also, in the event that something gets broken or lost, the lodge has some loaner tackle (Echo Rods and Islander Reels) that anglers can borrow. Don’t forget the “Flexi Stripper” stripping baskets, helpful when making long casts in the lake as well as protecting lines from the rocky coastline.
Estancia Laguna Verde strives to offer the best cuisine Argentina has to offer. The chef combines what Argentina is famous for: Great “asados” (barbeques) and Patagonian lamb, with tasty international dishes, all served with great wines from Mendoza, San Juan, Salta and Neuquén.
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Estancia Laguna Verde 2017 – 2018 Rates
(subject to change)
The cost for a 7-night / 6-day fishing package is $5,400 per person based on double occupancy accommodations and a shared guide daily.
Included: pick-up and return to Calafate Airport; daily guided fishing with 2 anglers per guide; accommodations; all meals; beverages (including water, wines, beer, sodas, cocktails, liquors); 24-hour electricity; satellite television; WiFi; laundry service twice per week.
Not included: airfare; departure and reciprocity taxes; transfers between airports or hotel to airports; hotels in Buenos Aires or El Calafate City where applicable; tips to guides or at hotels; tackle; flies, Argentina fishing license ($70 US per week, subject to change); possible meals or sightseeing during layovers in Buenos Aires (sport coat optional); Satellite Telephone use; other items of a personal nature.