Trout Measured in POUNDS Not Inches
Trout measured in POUNDS not inches!
Lago Strobel, or as many have come to know it Jurassic Lake, is a bucket list trip for any serious angler and worth traveling to experience at least once in ones lifetime. I have been fortunate to fish here twice now and will certainly be back…
When I arrived at the Estancia it was cold and snowing! Quite different from the 75-90 degree weather I just was in while fishing Golden Dorado in Northern Argentina. After while the sun appeared and Laguna Verde in front of the lodge had black necked swans, a few Chilean Flamingos, and some Patagonia geese with goslings running around. For the afternoon I opted to catch up on some work and wait for the guys to return for dinner. Paul and the others had already caught many fish the past few days. Several in the 15-18 pound range!
The first morning we drove to the other side of Strobel Lake to fish and stay a night at the small lodge they have on the eastern shore for one night. The bumpy long road reminded me how remote we were here in Southern Patagonia.
Here at Strobel Lake it is a much slower strip and more technical retrieve. When a trout strikes it is often a subtle bump or the indicator slowly goes under and its “fish on”!
I lost two fish before hooking and landing my first one of the trip. It was a chrome hen that was 14 pounds! Holy $hit! I forgot how big these fish are. After lunch I hooked another good fish that quickly tore me into my backing and went on multiple runs. I never got to see it before the hook came out, a heart breaker for sure. That may have been my shot at a 20+ pound fish. I am back in the land of giants and so happy to be here. The fish I did hook and land woke me up!
The small lodge on the east side is more rustic but still plenty nice and comfortable with great food. Great option especially for guys who have been down to fish Jurassic Lake before as it offers new water that is fished even less than other parts of the lake.
One of our mornings was very calm when we woke up and the first fish I sight cast to with a big dry fly. He cruised over looked at it and swam a few feet then turned back and slurped it down! It was about a 12 pound fish on a dry fly!
Later that day best fish of the week came on a dry dropper rig with a very small nymph below. I saw the fish cruising and cast to him a few times with nothing but I could see him open his mouth every now and again so I knew he was feeding. Another cast just in front of him and I saw he moved over to my fly and took the dropper. Immediately on the first run the big male took me to my backing. I worked him in close many times and he would again dart out toward the middle of the lake pulling 40-50 feet of line. It was all I could do to keep him out of the big calcified rocks. I was by myself so luckily after tug of war I finally got him into shallow water and tailed the beast. The line was frayed from the rocks and I couldn’t believe the tiny fly held. I made a mark on my rod and got photo of him laying next to my leg before he swam back into the depths. He roughly measured 34” and I would guess 18 or more pounds and that’s me leaning on the conservative side. The fish was tall and was as wide from the top as my 8wt Lamson reel. That fish alone was a trip maker and my personal best rainbow!
Some days can be slower than others and there is no rhyme or reason for it. If a school of fish moves into where you are fishing you could have an incredible day and catch up to 50 trout over the 10-pound mark. If a school doesn’t move in you may be working hard for 3-5 quality fish but still when you think about it and compare it to other places this is unreal fishing!
One of my clients Bob, who I had guided in Alaska, came down to fish with me this time and on his first day he landed the fattest 16-pound rainbow I have ever seen. She wasn’t overly long, perhaps just 25-26” but the girth on her was so impressive.
Later I had one that completely schooled me from the hook set. Immediately swimming at me and out of the water like a submarine. I couldn’t collect the line fast enough. Then she tore out into the lake showing her self a few times before my leech fly pulled free. She was also a beast!
The last day we were burdened with very strong winds that sustained 40mph and gusts to 60mph. The morning was tough and it seemed everyone had one or two chances at fish with a few landed. After stopping for a hot lunch and drinks we set back out. We went to a bay that was more protected by the wind and we really got into em there. I mean we hammered em! There were many doubles and a few triples had by the 4 of us. Together we must have landed 60 trout in the afternoon session and all of them were over 8 pounds. What a day to end my time in Argentina!
On this trip I was happy to fish a few new areas of the lake and river that I didn’t get to last time. The lodge improved many roads from last year and work on more every year to allow for easier access and better traveling around the lake and lagoons. Everything here is top notch and I love sending clients and friends here, I know this place will not disappoint!
I’m leaving Argentina at least a few pounds heavier from all the empanadas, quality meats and wines I consumed in my time here. I can’t wait to get back to South America again next year!
I am never ready to leave this place and always looking forward to and planning my next trip to Patagonia.