Located in Northern Patagonia near the border with Chile, Rio Manso Lodge offers a host of activities led by exceptional fly fishing, elegant yet comfortable lodging, and extraordinary cuisine. Nestled in Nahuel Huapi National Park in the midst of virgin waters and lush forests, the caring staff will make your Patagonian experience a very special one. Fly fishing in the heart of Patagonia is a unique experience. Imagine casting to big, healthy trout in crystal clear water without seeing another person all day. There are miles of still and moving waters throughout Nahuel Huapi National Park with very little fishing pressure.
A visit to Rio Manso Lodge lets you savor the Patagonian outdoors while we pamper you with fine food, wines, and our legendary hospitality.
Fishing Program: The waters here offer a complete variety of different types of fishing, from big dry flies and weighted streamers to tiny emergers, nymphs and spinners. You may fish both floating and sinking lines, dry and wet flies at different times of the season and throughout the day. When fishing the Manso River, much of your fishing will be with streamers and sinking lines. Hatches on most of the river are sporadic and the biggest fish are best drawn out with streamer patterns. There are several sections where nymphs are especially effective, and a tiny spring creek where sight casting to cruising fish can be a delightful change of pace.
One section of the river markedly different is the channels of Lago Hess. Justly famous for their unique blend of big fish and technical fishing, the channels smooth currents provide a great dry fly challenge to any angler. Similar in nature to a big spring creek, large fish often cruise this area or setup along the banks making this a required stop for any Rio Manso angler. Even though the fish can be selective, for some of our guests this is their favorite section. Some of the largest fish in the watershed live in this area.
One of the jewels at Rio Manso Lodge is Lago Fonck. This four mile long lake offers big rainbows, browns and brook trout. Depending on the time of year, you may fish streamers and dry flies on the lake, often both during a typical day. Dragon flies, damsels, and caddis flies all hatch on the lake and the trout cruise the lakeshore weed beds in search of a meal. Anglers fish the edges from one of our Carolina skiffs, working the structure where rainbow and brook trout lay, with the occasional brown as well. With the added bonus of spotting an Andean Condor circling overhead, and beautiful Mount Tronador in the distance, a day on Fonck is always a special day.
While there is no such thing as an ordinary day at Rio Manso Lodge, there is sort of a routine that begins most days with breakfast at 8:00 AM. After hot coffee, eggs, cereal, fresh fruit or whatever else you need to get going, you’ll meet your guide in the wader room around 9:00 AM. With the exception of a trip to the Pichi Leufu, or a horse ride into Lago Los Cesares for big brookies and bigger browns, none of our waters are more than 20-25 minutes from the lodge which allows you to spend more time fishing and less time riding around. When departing for the Pichi, or Cesares, you will have breakfast at 7:30 AM.
You will fish until midday, then stop for a streamside lunch which can be either hot or cold, and might include such items as steaks, quiches, sandwiches, salads, cheese, and fresh bread. Some of our guests like to take a siesta after lunch, but we’re not surprised if you want to get right back on the water!
After fishing through the afternoon, you would normally get off the water by 7:00-8:00 PM or so, and return to the lodge to clean up, take a sauna, or perhaps get a message. We serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres before dinner in front of the fireplace. Dinner is usually served between 9:00 and 10:00 PM, although we’ve been known to eat much later if the fish are rising and you just can’t tear yourself away.
Guided Hiking: There are a multitude of guided hikes available from the lodge that range from simple excursions into the woods or walks to the nearby waterfall, to more involved expeditions climbing the surrounding mountain peaks of the Andes. Day hikers near the lodge will be able to explore the temperate Patagonian forest and perhaps glimpse local fauna such as foxes, pudus (deer), or even the elusive puma.
Guided Birding: Birding walks and expeditions are usually led by Dr. Lorenzo Sympson, a noted authority on Andean condors, and founding member and head of the ornithological committee of SNAP (Sociedad Naturalista Andino Patagonica), a regional NGO dedicated to the conservation of Patagonia's unique ecosystems. He participated in the re-introduction of captive-bred condors in Patagonia and is the coordinator of a program designed for researching their biology and behavior. Dozens of species are found in the area including the Magellanic Woodpecker, Austral Parakeets, the endangered Torrent Duck, and the Andean Condor.
Horseback Riding: Riding at Rio Manso Lodge provides a rare glimpse into the surrounding pristine forest. The lodge is located in the southern part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, surrounded by lakes and rivers, snow-capped mountains and hanging glaciers.
At the Lodge: Many of the guests are just as happy relaxing at the lodge, taking a sauna, reading by the fireplace, or just taking in the view. You can arrange a massage, or wine tasting just as easily. No matter what you choose to do, the attentive staff is always there to serve you and address your needs. And when the day’s activities are over, you’ll enjoy our outstanding cuisine and excellent wines.
Accommodations and Meals: Rebuilt in 2004 and uniquely designed, every one of the 9 guestrooms at Rio Manso Lodge face northwest with spectacular views of Lago Hess and the Andes Mountains. Just 15 miles away towers majestic Monte Tronador located on the border with Chile. If the weather is clear, the mountain looks close enough to touch. Each of the rooms is comfortably appointed with either king-size or two full-size beds and private bath. Some are equipped with a Jacuzzi as well. Many guests sleep with their windows open to let in the crisp, cool mountain air. The lodge features a full wader room for tackle and waders, a fly tying area, a small, but well-equipped bar, and a spacious sitting area in front of our river stone fireplace. Many nights it is cool enough to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a roaring fire. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are normally served there each evening. Should you require assistance any time of day or night, the front desk staff is always available. The lodge has a sauna available to drive out the chill and loosen those stiff casting muscles.
Meals are served in the main dining room and are the fitting conclusion to a day on the water or exploring the wonders of Patagonia. The professionally trained chef will concoct delightful cuisine that reflects an international flavor made with the freshest of ingredients. Gone are the days when traveling to Argentina meant eating meat at every meal. You’re as likely to have pasta, fish or chicken as beef at the table. The meals are a wide variety of dishes that reflect both the cultural diversity of the area and the worldly influence of today’s culinary landscape. All the meals are served with complimentary Argentine wines. Should you have any special dietary needs, we are more than happy to develop a special menu for you.
Thursday: Depart home
Friday: Arrive Buenos Aires and overnight
Saturday: Fly to Bariloche and onto the lodge (you may fish on arrival day)
Sunday-Friday: Full days of guided fishing
Saturday: Depart for Bariloche and onto Buenos Aires for an evening flight home.
2018-2019 Rate: $4,750 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations, meals and beverages including wine, beer and alcohol at the lodge, airport transfers to and from Bariloche, laundry, guided fishing, fishing license, and guided non-angling activities.
Not Included: International and domestic airfare, transfers/meals/hotels in Buenos Aires, fishing equipment, flies, and gratuities.
Species: Brown trout, Rainbow trout, Brook Trout
Season: November – April
Capacity: 12 Anglers
Map: San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Time: The time in Argentina is four hours later than Pacific Standard Time (during U.S. winter months).