TRAVEL: Arrive Esquel and drive 2.75 hrs to the lodge
FISHING: Rivers, spring creeks, still waters
CAPACITY: 8 anglers
RECOMMENDED STAY: 11-7 nights
WEEKLY RATE: $6,300/angler
INCLUDED: Lodging, meals, open bar, nonguided activities on the property, guided fishing, transportation in Patagonia
NOT INCLUDED: Flights, license, gear and services in Buenos Aires
From the lodge to the fishing, Las Pampas Lodge offers all the aspects of the ideal Patagonia trout fishing dream. The Central Patagonian Rio Pico region of the Chubut province is home to quintessential trout waters surrounded by raw beauty and complete with sheep, gauchos and the occasional ox-drawn cart. Modern life has overlooked this rugged expanse of a trout heaven that embodies tiny creeks, rivers, lakes and Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout of unusual size. The luxuries and sophistication found at Las Pampas were imported to create a top shelf Patagonia fishing experience, complete with farm to table delights, 360 degree views of the Andes and a welcoming environment that beacons anglers to return.
Well beyond where the pavement ends, you’ll find Las Pampas Lodge and unparalleled trophy trout fishing.
The corner stone of the main lodge in a central common or living area where quests relax comfortably around a large fireplace to enjoy appetizers, cocktails and share stories of the day. On the upper level, guests find a quieter lounge area with TV, fly tying table and private guest office with computer and phone. The lodge can sleep 8 anglers in four spacious bedrooms, each with two twin beds, private baths and two of the rooms have fireplaces. When guest exit their rooms onto the covered veranda, they are greeted by majestic views of the Andes range.
Gourmet meals at Las Pampas comprise of local ingredients and showcase true farm-table cuisine. The head chef is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and brings only the finest organic and local meats, dairy and veggies. Breakfasts include fruits and made to order eggs while streamside lunches are prepared in the kitchen or on an impromptu river side grill. Vegetarian dishes are gourmet but the barbequed lamb, choice beef cuts and chicken dishes with paired wines result in rounds of applause.
The greats aspect of La Pampas is the quantity and variety of true trophy trout water, both public and private, most of which is fished on foot. Within a small radius, an angler fishing for 2 weeks would never run out of new water. On the main stage is the Rio Pico with big Rainbows, Browns and Brook Trout in both the upper glassy water to the lower floatable sections. It’s tributaries, Rio Pampas and Rio Nilson, are two freestone streams that offer incredibly picturesque wading waters.
For spring creek fanatics, Las Pampas has access to many, all which feed Rio Pico. They vary in size and character, but all hold great rewards for persistent anglers who love technical waters and big trout. Lake fishing in the region should not be bypassed, particularly the famous Lago Tres, where Rainbows grown to legendary size.
Every two anglers is paired with one guide and an assistant guide. The assistant guide’s roll is to assist with set up and breakdown of lunch and equipment and be present when needed. While it might seem like overkill, it results in anglers spending more time with a fly in the water.
To add to this, is the stunning beauty of this small portion of Patagonia. The remoteness is actually felt just when driving along dusty dirt roads and when one is able to take a break from fishing and quietly look around. The rugged beauty is breathtaking and will cause you to say, “Wow. I can’t believe I am the only one here.”
Most of the upper Rio Picos’s winding corridor is lined with willows but as it moves west it takes on waters from multiple spring creeks and the Rio Pampas and Rio Nilson. It eventually opens up to flow through lush grasslands and soon becomes wide enough float. Most of the Rio Pico is private and only accessed by Las Pampas guests. Aside from Rainbow and Brook Trout, the stream is known for its oversized Brown Trout that seem misplaced in such small water. The stream is a dry fly anglers dream as these fish are all too eager to strike a well-placed terrestrial such as the threating looking Cantaria Beetle. Pacific Salmon are sometimes spotted and even caught in this small river although they are generally spent from their long journey from the Pacific Ocean.
Among the 5 lakes of the Rio Pico region, all creatively named # 1 thru 5, Lago Tres, still carries the trophy. And trophies it holds. Most of the 5-10 lbs. Rainbows are caught by casting to the reeds and rocky banks, using streams and large terrestrials. While it makes sense to concentrate efforts on the shores and edges, great success can be had blind casting within the lake’s interior. Calm days make the fishing more technical but also offer sigh fishing opportunities. When your guide suggests to fish the lakes of the region, be it Lago Tres or one if it’s sisters, we highly recommend you say yes!
There are about a dozen spring creeks that feed Rio Pico and most enter one of the many side channels of the Rio Pico. These creeks are rich in aquatic life and weed beds. Both side channels and spring creeks offer classic technical fishing for fewer but larger Brown Trout. Some are several yards wide while other you can step over. These intimate waters are the dream of those who love lighter equipment, spot and stalk fishing and welcome the failures as well as the successes.
The standard program is 7 nights, 6 days. Anglers will more time should consider adding a few days at one of their satellite destinations for trophy Brook Trout or Chilean Brown Trout.
Las Pampas Lodge
(7 nights/6 days fishing)
Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires (EZE). Transfer to the domestic airport (AEP) and fly 2.5 hours to Esquel (EQS.) The lodge staff will pick you up and transfer you 3 hours to Las Pampas Lodge. Settle in, assemble gear.
Day 2-7: Six days fishing rivers, creeks and still waters around Rio Pico.
Day 6: Check out, transfer back to the Esquel Airport for your flight to Buenos Aires and home.
Included: Lodging, meals, open bar, guided fishing with license and all gear and transportation to/from the Esquel Airport
Not Included: Flights, gratuities and services in Buenos Aires.
4 days Trophy Brook Trout Experience
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