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Jurassic Lake Lodge – Southern Patagonia, Argentina

Jurassic Lake is nothing short of a biological anomaly and must be the most prolific trophy rainbow fishery on the planet. The lake itself is a large desert sink lake measuring approximately 20 by 15 km. It is located at approximately 3,000 ft. elevation in the wide open desolate expanse of the Patagonian Steppe. And 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 near 10 pounds with countless fish in the mid-teens as well as good numbers of fish into the 20 + 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 numbers of big fish virtually every day of the season. The program has numerous fishing zones to access, but by in large the general level of productivity of the lodge water is hard to comprehend.

For more information please give Jake a call at 800-552-2729 


Expert Interview with Fly Water’s Patagonia Destination Manager, Ken Morrish.

Why go?
1.  Fish the most prolific trophy rainbow trout fishery in the world.
2. Legitimate chances at landing rainbow trout in the 10, 15, and 20+ pound class.
3. Location and easy access to the Jurassic Lake’s most consistent and productive fishing area.
4. Direct charter flight service to/from the lodge.
5. Newly constructed and remodeled guests rooms and main lodge.

Where is the lodge?
Jurassic Lake Lodge is located in the Santa Cruz Province in Argentina. The lake is roughly 6-7 hours north of Calafate by vehicle and 1 hour 15 minutes southwest of Comodoro Rivadavia by charter flight.

How do I get there?
Guests on full-week (Saturday-Saturday) packages take a 1 hour charter flight from the city of Comodoro Rivadavia directly to the lodge in a 19 passenger Twin Otter. Guests arriving or departing through the town of Calafate transfer 6-7 hours overland to/from the lodge.

When should I go?
Historically, the most popular time and peak fishing period is from November through Mid-January. During this time fish concentrate in large numbers in the areas surrounding and including where the Barrancoso river flows into Lago Strobel (i.e. Jurassic Lake) allowing anglers to rack up some seriously absurd numbers of fish to hand each week.  Late January through February are traditionally the slowest fishing periods with anglers averaging 5-15 fish to hand each day. If sheer numbers (or pounds, in this case) of fish is not exactly your thing visiting in early March through April can be incredibly rewarding for anglers looking for more of an angling challenge where anglers commonly average 10-25 fish per day.  I’ve found that what may be lost in quantity is well made up for in quality during the latter part of the season.

Where do they fish?
The majority of fishing occurs on several hundred yards of lake shore flanking the river mouth and roughly half mile up 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 much of the time and venture off with guides to beats farther away from the lodge for some variety.

What fish will I catch?
Some of the world’s largest rainbow trout!  Average size is 8-10 pounds.  Many are in the 10-15 pound range with legitimate chance to catch a fish topping 20+ pounds.

How do they fish?
The fishing program at Jurassic Lake Lodge is considered “lightly guided” where guides will show you the general program and fishing beats, give advice on fly selection and technique, help with landing fish, take photos, and assist you with whatever you may need. Guests and guides are assigned beats each morning and rotate water throughout the day to assure guests get equal opportunity to fish each piece of water. The most productive technique for fishing the still water of the lake is to blind or sight cast scud/nymph patterns and employ a very slow retrieve.  The slower the better in most cases.  Nearly every trout technique can be effective when fishing the river whether skating or twitching dries, dead-drifting nymphs or egg patterns or stripping streamers.

How many fish will I catch?
November – Mid January historically has the highest catch rates with many anglers reporting uncountable numbers, mid January – February has typically been the slowest time with anglers averaging 5-15 fish a day, and then the late season typically picks back up with a average of 15 + per day.

Will we see other anglers?

Is there wade fishing?
Jurassic Lake is 100% wade fishing.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
The vast majority 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.

Who is best suited for this destination?
Any angler in pursuit of catching trophy rainbow trout.

What are the accommodations and meals like?
The lodge has 10 rooms for a maximum of 10 guests with private baths, dining room, and lounge area. The rooms are clean, comfortable and have ample storage space for gear. Meals are hearty and plentiful and focus heavily on meats, home made pastas, and other locally sourced goods.

Can you describe the atmosphere of the lodge?
The lodge has a nonchalant and laid-back feel. Meal times are the only things set on a schedule. With the main fishery being merely yards from the lodge guests have the ability to return to the lodge at any time to relax, take a nap or grab a beer.

Is the owner on-site? If not, who is the manager or point person?
Llewellyn Claven, the lodge manager and head guide, is always on-site and available to assist guests. “Lou” is very personable and works hard to assure every guest has an enjoyable stay. Throughout the season the lodge owner Carlos Casanello Lopez is on-site as well to assist in hosting guests.

Is there internet and cell service?
There is no cell service. There is slow yet reliable satellite internet service available.

Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge does not provide equipment.  However, many of the guides have gear to loan you should you need a backup.  The lodge does offer a curated assortment of flies that can be purchased individually or as a package.  Each fly runs approximately $3.  We’ve found this to be a tremendous asset in simplifying the dreaded “Which flies should I buy” dilemma.

What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
A 9′ 8-weight is perfect for fighting the wind and big fish.  If you feel comfortable on the two hand rod front, I recommend a switch and or light spey rod under 12’6″ in length for casting on really windy days in some areas.  I have also enjoyed mixing it up with 5 & 6 weight rods as well.

What are the guides like?
The guides are all friendly Southern Patagonia locals and collectively have a wide range of guiding and fishing experience. 

Do the guides speak English?
Most of the guides speak good conversational and fishing English.

Are there other activities?

What are the physical demands?
The physical demands are relatively low.  The most demanding thing is fighting the wind.

Are there special skills required?
Not really, however having some experience casting in windy conditions can be help, but not necessary.

Dangers and annoyances?
The remoteness is probably the biggest danger.  Should you injure yourself and need medical care it will take a while before you reach the nearest hospital and therefore we recommend considering a Global Rescue plan.

Anything else that is good to know?

On the charter flight to and from Jurassic Lake there is a strict, total maximum luggage weight allowance of 50 pounds per person.  This includes all carry on luggage as well.  This is necessary for space and safety reasons.

Location, location, location. The most productive water is merely steps from the lodge.

At Jurassic Lake Lodge anglers have legitimate chances at landing rainbow trout in the 10, 15, and 20+ pound class.

Fish stack up in the lower pools of the Barrancoso river.

Fly directly to the lodge in just over an hour.

Fish the most prolific trophy rainbow trout fishery in the world.