The trout fishing in Argentina is second to none. Explore the rich culture of Argentina while casting for big fish. There are still available spots left for the 2018 season at Chocolate Lab Expeditions. Experience the gin-clear waters of Argentine trout waters around San Martin. Historically the dates that are open in January are peak season. Securing a spot last minute is unheard of.
The cornerstone of Chocolate Lab’s operation is the fact that they can access an amazing variety of world class estancias and over 200 miles of private access waters. Large browns and rainbows dominate the area rivers, streams, and lakes, and steady hatches of mayflies, caddis, and various stoneflies play a role all throughout the Patagonian fishing season. From the crystal-clear, slow-moving waters of the Upper Malleo to the large, narrow currents of the Traful, this region of Patagonia offers unmatched diversity for the angler. Whether your interest lies in fishing small waters with attractors or sight-fishing to large, trophy trout, anglers have a number of options to choose from. Each of the estancias that Chocolate Lab Expeditions fishes employs the English “beat” system of sectioning a river to ensure solitude on the water and an overall first class experience. With a maximum of 10 rods at any of these exclusive estancias, the water is rotated and fish are rested on a regular basis.
The Traful River (Estancia Arroyo Verde)
There are over 10 miles of private access on the world renowned Traful River, a fairly difficult river, but well worth the effort for the angler pursuing the fish of a lifetime. Narrow and clear, the Traful is big fish water with many browns and rainbows in the 25 to 30-inch class. With such incredible water clarity, the river is most often fished using New Zealand style sight-casting techniques.
The Filo Hua Hum River (Estancia Tres Lagos)
There are another 10 miles of private access on the Filo Hua Hum, a small freestone stream that offers excellent opportunities for both beginning and experienced anglers. A short river located between two lakes, the Filo offers very consistent action for rainbows and browns. Experienced anglers can enjoy sight-fishing for trout in the 20 to 27-inch range with mouse patterns and other large dries.
The Chimehuin River (Estancia Tipiluike)
A large freestone river similar in many ways to Montana’s Madison River. It is a perfect fishery for float fishing, sight-fishing, and prospecting with streamers, nymphs, and large attractor dry flies. This river fishes the best from late December into early February, and late March into April.
Collon Cura River (Estancia Collon Cura)
Perhaps the most prolific trout fishery in all of Patagonia and a must-fish river for anglers visiting the area. The water is similar in appearance to Wyoming’s Snake River, but lined with willows and high sandstone cliffs. The river is fairly large, with a mild gradient and broad gravel riffles that make for easy wading. Collon Cura trout are exceptional fighters, with fish averaging in the 14 to 20-inch range. During the Argentine autumn, fall browns can run up to 28 inches.
Malleo River (Estancia San Huberto)
Located in the northern portion of the San Martin fishing area, the Malleo is a very consistent fishery with solid, hard fighting fish. The river is well known throughout the region for spectacular caddis and mayfly hatches, making this lodge a haven for dry fly enthusiast.
Quillen River (The Quillen Lodge)
A mid-size spring-fed stream that has been called “the best dry fly stream in the Northern fishing zone” of Patagonia. Riffles, weed flats, and deep pools provide a variety of fishable water for the angler. The Malalco, a tributary to the Quillen with prolific hatches and large trout, is another incredible spring creek on the estancia.
Boats and Equipment
For float trips, Chocolate Lab Expeditions utilizes a small fleet of top-of-the-line RO Skiffs – the same hard-sided, fiberglass skiffs used on numerous rivers throughout the U.S. This operation also carries plenty of back-up rods, reels, lines, waders, boots, etc. available for rent if you choose to travel light. As far as transportation goes, the rivers and estancias are accessed with 4×4 vehicles – a mix of Isuzu Troopers and Toyota Land Cruisers (roomy and comfortable).
With these totally customized itineraries, guests have access to a number of the area’s famous estancias (ranches). These classic estancias perfectly balance the comforts of Argentine hospitality, history and culture while offering access to some of the best waters in the region. Many of these estancias are steeped in fly fishing tradition, discovered and made famous by some of the most notable anglers in the world. With the addition of first-class accommodations and gourmet food, this region has quickly become recognized as an ideal destination for breathtaking scenery, heartwarming culture, and fantastic fly fishing. Ron Sorensen and Chocolate Lab expeditions have spent the last decade building relationships with the finest estancias and prospecting the region’s best fisheries.
Estancia Arroyo Verde (Green Creek Lodge)
This stunning estancia sits on the upper section of the Traful River, surrounded by expansive lawns, flowers and pine trees. Arroyo Verde is a first-class lodge of international repute that can accommodate up to ten people.
Estancia Tres Lagos (Three Lakes Lodge)
Private access to the Filo Hua Hum and the area’s surrounding lakes. The estancia itself is a beautiful ranch surrounded by national parklands and breathtaking scenery.
One of the nicest estancias in the area, this operation is very popular for couples and non-anglers as well as focused fishermen.
Estancia Collon Cura
Ted Turner’s estancia offers clients access to four different day floats on the Collon Cura. Good food and accommodations along with amazing wildlife, including red stag and Russian boar.
Estancia San Huberto
The Olsen family are the owners and operators of San Huberto, a legendary operation that offers private access to 30 miles of the Malleo River.??
Quillen River Lodge
This lodge provides accommodations overlooking the Quillen Valley and loads of private-water fishing. This is a 45,000-acre ranch with exclusive access to over eight miles of the Quillen and the Malalco Rivers.
Food and Beverages
Where you eat while fishing with Chocolate Lab Expeditions will depend on where you are staying. Options include everything from the classic Argentine estancias to small, boutique restaurants in heart of San Martin de los Andes. All of the area’s estancias pride themselves on offering gourmet food and the finest Argentine wines. In fact, the only aspect of these trips that can usually match the quality of fishing is the quality of meals! If you are staying in the towns of San Martin or Piedra de Aguila, then you will typically eat at one of the local restaurants, which of course will specialize in great steaks and great wine.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Patagonia has much to offer the non-angler, and there is a great deal more to explore than just trout streams. Some of the many activities include flora and fauna tours, horseback riding, hiking, and scenic raft trips, as well as golf in the San Martin area at a Nicklaus golf course. More relaxing pursuits include as wine-tasting, bird-watching, local shopping in San Martin, massage, cultural tours, and photography safaris.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available free of charge at most estancias and at all San Martin area hotels. Please bring your own laptop or PDA to access the internet. Depending on your service plan, some cell phones may also work in this part of Argentina.
January 15 – 23, 2018 – 2 Spaces Available
$6,020.00 5520 USD per person
(8) nights / (7.5) days of guided fishing (based on double occupancy), Three meals per day (except in San Martin de los Andes, where dinners are not included), daily transportation to and from the river, all river beverages, a meet-and-greet upon arrival in either Bariloche or San Martin de los Andes, estancia packages include access to private waters, open bar tab and all alcoholic beverages with all estancia packages
Airfare to Buenos Aires (EZE), Airfare to either San Martin de los Andes or to Bariloche, Transfers, meals, hotel costs and incidentals in Buenos Aires
Alcohol at some locations (Estancias offer a full bar, all-inclusive), Dinner is not included for nights spent in San Martin, Gratuities for guides and staff
**A quick note: This is one of the finest fishing itineraries offered by Chocolate Lab Expeditions that combines the best waters in the San Martin region during the peak season. These dates are hard to find and usually are booked well in advance. **