As it’s known, Lago Strobel or Jurassic Lake is a world-class freshwater fly fishing destination found in one of the most isolated parts of Southern Patagonia, Argentina. This remote body of water, located over 115 kilometres from the nearest town of Gobernador Gregores, covers an incredible 65 square kilometres and is carved into the Patagonian desert. The lake is large, deep, gin clear and filled with a vast supply of freshwater shrimp (aka scuds), resulting in an unequalled growth rate for the Trout that reside within. Its shores are rocky, pebbled and almost devoid of vegetation, and the region is dry, extremely windy and very cold. These conditions may seem harsh and its location daunting, but it’s these things that have helped create one of the best trophy Rainbow Trout fisheries found anywhere in the world.
Jurassic Lodge itself is strategically situated on a protected bay only a stone’s throw away from the mouth of Barrancoso River, Strobel Lake’s only significant tributary, and it’s here where some of the most productive fly fishing is found. The mouth of the Barrancoso is one of the most outstanding freshwater fly fishing spots in the world and one of those magical, mystical places where most fly anglers dream of fishing. It’s the area responsible for the “Jurassic Lake” reputation. With fish averaging 6lb to 8lb, with 20lb fish unremarkable, it’s a destination where anglers will have a chance to hear their reel sing like no other location on earth.
Lago Strobel is a large desert sink lake found in the remote and desolate rangeland in Southern Argentina, deep in the heart of Patagonia. Wild and windswept, its cold, turquoise water is filled with vast numbers of Rainbow Trout, which feed on the lake’s incredible populations of shrimp and other aquatic insects. With a seemingly endless supply of food, relative lack of angling pressure and little natural predation, the Trout have grown to impressive sizes in a short amount of time.
The fishing on Jurassic Lake extends along many miles of shoreline and offers the angler the chance to fish in many wind-sheltered, productive bays and coves.
As the only tributary, this small river is the lifeblood of Jurassic Lake and might be one of the best trophy Trout streams in the entire world. Often the sheer number of fish holding in the runs and pools of the Rio Barrancoso is simply unbelievable. When the water is high during the early season, the river becomes the spawning destination for every Trout in Lago Strobel; the fish cycle in and out of the river, from the mouth to the headwaters jockeying for position and feeding aggressively after the long winter. Later, when flows drop, the fish continue to move in and out of the Rio Barrancoso and gather at its mouth to feed opportunistically in its cool flows.
The large majority of the entire Rio Barrancoso, including the fantastic water at the mouth and along with the lower-most beat, is accessible to Jurassic Lake Lodge guests, meaning travelling anglers enjoy exclusive, private access to this incredible river every day of the season.
The lower is the most productive section of the river, and see’s huge Trout migrating via the inlet all year round. Due to this, the catch rates on this stretch are genuinely staggering. In this area, you’ll also find the pool known as ‘The Aquarium’, a larger expanse of water midway up the lower section, which the fish use as a holding area before carrying on their upward migration.
Even though most of the larger fish from the lake cannot access this section of the river, it still offers incredible fishing in the breathtaking scenery. This section is a 10-kilometre freestone that holds fish up to the 10lb mark, still a considerable trout by most other rivers’ standards.
More than 20 kilometres of the river in the upper section of the Barrancoso still haven’t been fished, so if you’re looking for a challenge in some of the most untouched waters, then this area ticks all the boxes.
Almost unexplored, the Barrancoso headwater is a 15 kilometres section. Even with difficult access, the upper section is a dream come true for those anglers looking for a pristine and untouched river.
The mouth of the Barrancoso is part of a very limited collection of outstanding fly fishing spots in the world, one of those magical and mystical places where most anglers dream of fishing and the responsibility for the “Jurassic Lake” reputation.
Moro Creek, and its interconnected network of ponds and lagoons, are a beautiful and unique feature of Jurassic Lake Lodge. This small, wild creek is a tributary of the upper Rio Barrancoso, and during the Spring runoff, it fills with snowmelt from the mountains and attracts to its intimate waters. Moro Creek offers a complete change of pace from Lago Strobel.
The Trout are plentiful but not nearly as large as their heavy cousins in Lago Strobel and the Rio Barrancoso, but they are eager to eat flies because very few anglers fish these waters throughout the year.
Except for Jurassic Lake Lodge, the area of Patagonia, South America where Lago Strobel is situated is almost totally devoid of human contact, a place so inaccessible only the most adventurous travelling fly anglers would consider fishing its banks. However, it’s precisely this environment that has allowed the fishery to develop into what it’s seen as today; probably the worlds most prolific Rainbow Trout fishery.
Decades ago, Argentine Fish and Game decided that the Rio Barrancoso, which runs into Lago Strobel, had the raw ability to become a good Trout stream, so they stocked a McLeod strain of Rainbows from California. These fish quickly migrated down into Lago Strobel, which had no other fish populations, but because the water’s higher alkalinity was absolutely loaded with freshwater shrimp (aka scuds). So naturally, the fish gorged themselves on these, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The immense fish that inhabit Jurassic Lake’s pristine aquatic environment are totally wild and so large and powerful they make regular Trout fishing tackle redundant – the graveyard of broken rods is a testament to this fact. The fish average 6lb to 8lbs, and a 20lb fish is unremarkable.
Nearly every angler who has visited Jurassic Lake’s shores have returned home with the largest Trout of their lives and usually within the first hour of the first day. It’s hard to describe the fishing experience, crazy, outrageous, insane – pick your words. You’ll run out of superlatives before the week is over.
The season at Jurassic Lake opens in October, and from then until the first part of January, anglers can expect some incredible sport. At this time of year, Lago Strobel’s huge Rainbows are hungry, un-pressured and plentiful. As a result, catch rates can be mind-blowing, and it’s common to lose track of the number of big Trout caught each day. As the melting snow and rain in the mountains feed Rio Barrancoso, Moro Creek, and the networks of lagoons across the landscape, the fish spread out, and everywhere you look, trophy Trout are chasing flies.
The Rainbow Trout spawn during the Spring, and the Trout of Lago Strobel is no exception. The Rio Barrancoso is the only tributary to Lago Strobel, and this makes it the focal point of every Trout in the lake during the early season. Just one of the reasons why the founders of Jurassic Lake Lodge wisely built the accommodation only a short walk from the mouth of the Rio Barrancoso. During the early season, the river gets packed with fish, and travelling rods have exclusive, private access to the very best water of the entire system.
This early part of the season is historically the most popular time to visit Jurassic Lake Lodge and many of the stories that made the destination famous worldwide are from this particular time of year.
The summer weather settles over Argentine Patagonia sometime in the middle of January and remains until the temperatures begin to cool again in March. It’s about this time of year the water levels drop in Moro Creek and the Upper Rio Barrancoso, and the hungry Trout cruise the shoreline of Lago Strobel and move in and out of the Lower Barrancoso to feed.
Because the Trout spread throughout the lake, catch rates during our Summer season usually slow slightly compared to the sometimes unbelievable numbers of the early season. However, anglers can still expect many opportunities each day to catch trophy Rainbow weighing over 10lb each.
Relaxing in the comfort of the Jurassic Lake Lodge, visiting anglers look out upon a spectacular panoramic view of where the Barrancoso River joins Strobel Lake. The waters in this sheltered bay and the lower Barrancoso are easily among the greatest trophy Rainbow Trout fisheries in the world and they are only a short walk from the Lodge’s front steps. On any day of the season, a guest sitting in the Lodge’s comfortable front room could watch another travelling angler catch the biggest Rainbow Trout of their life.
During the first seasons at Strobel Lake, visiting guests stayed in a modest tent camp near the shore. The fishing was exceptional but the lodging left room for improvement. Since those early days, the camp has been transformed into a beautiful, modern lodge. Completely remodelled and expanded in 2016, Jurassic Lake Lodge can host up to ten visiting anglers. Single and double occupancy rooms are available, and each includes a private bathroom and hot shower.
Despite the remote and windswept location in Southern Argentine Patagonia, the Lodge remains connected to the outside world through satellite phones, satellite television and high-speed internet access. In addition, electricity gets provided around the clock with our solar power system.
A dedicated chef prepares Meals at the Lodge. They are hearty and generous, including the famous Argentinian “Asado” barbecues and dishes prepared with delicious Patagonian lamb raised on nearby estancias. Meals get paired with a beautiful selection of Argentinian wines, and a full bar featuring an extensive collection of single malt and blended whiskies is available for guests to enjoy during their stay.
Due to Jurassic Lakes’ remote location, it was only ever accessible by a seven-hour ground transfer; however, every Saturday (arrival day), we can now offer an exclusive charter flight to the lodge at no extra cost. The flight to the private airstrip takes around one hour.
Note: If the chartered flights don’t work for your schedule, a ground transfer from El Calafate is still available. It’s also possible to arrange a charter flight on a different day of the week – speak to us when booking, and we can look into it for you.
To find out more about the Jurassic Lake Lodge in Argentina and Rainbow Trout Fishing, visit our YouTube channel.
Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart Any international Airport (See Details)
Arrive in Buenos Aires.
You will need to clear customs and transfer to the J.Newbery Domestic Airport (AEP) to make your connecting flight to El Calafate Airport.
Arrive El Calafate Airport
A representative from Jurassic Lake Lodge will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Overnight Accommodation: Los Alamos Hotel (Twin room) B/B
A representative from Jurassic Lake Lodge will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to El Calafate Airport for the special charter flight to Jurassic Lake an hour before the charter flight departure time.
Depart El Calafate Airport
Arrive Jurassic Lake
Departure time is usually around 8 am but this may change according to the weather. The flight time to the lodge is between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Upon arrival at the lodge, you can get settled in and then head out for a full day of fishing.
Overnight Accommodation: Jurassic Lodge (Twin room) F/B
Six full days of guided fishing.
Each day you will fish both a morning session and an afternoon/evening session.
Overnight Accommodation: Jurassic Lodge (Twin room) F/B
Early morning after breakfast you will depart on the charter flight back to El Calafate.
The flight time to El Calafate Airport is between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
From here you will fly to Jorge Newbery.
Arrive Jorge Newbery
On arrival, you will take a taxi to your hotel.
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin room) B/B
You will take a taxi back to Buenos Aires International Airport.
Depart Buenos Aires
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 94%
"If you love your freshwater fly fishing then you must sample the fishing that Jurassic Lake has to offer! I've fished a few destinations around the world, but had never been to South America or Argentina, but what a place! From the moment we landed to the moment we left everything was brilliant. A huge thanks to everyone at Jurassic Lake Lodge, especially the guides. Please pass on my best to them. Those Rainbows fight hard!"
"From the moment I left home to the moment I returned everything went so smoothly and far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to everyone who was involved with it, including all the fantastic staff at Jurassic Lake. I can't wait to return next year!"
"I'm just back from a week of fishing at Jurassic Lake Lodge and all I can say Is wow! The destination and fishing blew my mind... Our group lost count of the number of big Rainbows we landed. On the 4th day we fished an area on the Rio Barrancoso known as the 'The Aquarium’ and the action there was unbelievable, I think it's the best morning of fishing I've ever experienced. A massive thanks to all the guides who looked after us, they really knew their stuff!"
The season runs from October To April.
Season: October to April
Peak: November to January
Weight: 5lb to 25lb
Average Weight: 12lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on two anglers sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharges.
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