Three of us fished Lago Strobel (Jurassic Lake) at Estancia Laguna Verde (ELV) for 11 days in February and then met up with another friend and we went to World's End Lodge and fished the Rio Irigoyen for sea run browns for 6 days. It was another fantastic trip.
This was my third trip to ELV and Strobel. It was very windy this trip, and we had 2 days of heavy rain which is almost unheard of for February. We did have a few hours of no wind and flat calm conditions which is bad because the fish get really spooky. As always, we caught lots of really nice rainbows at Strobel. This year we also caught lots of small fish which is unusual, but hopefully bodes well for the future. It looked to me like these small fish were in two distinct year classes based on size. The biggest fish of the trip for me and the group was 15 pounds, but we all lost bigger fish. This year we fished lots of scuds and nymphs on size 12 and 14 hooks as opposed to 6, 8, and 10s. We hook more fish on the smaller flies but we lose more fish. There were others at the lodge who caught fish of 18-20#. We also did well on small (8-10) black simi seal leeches. There were only a few afternoons where we did well on foam dries because it was so windy. Also this year we caught quite a few fish on balanced leeches fished under an indicator. This year we had fairly windy weather and it was also cold in the mornings so we fished several of the small lakes on the Estancia, including Ocho, Verde, Horse Shoe, and Potraedo. There are not many other places in the world that I know of where you get bored fishing lakes where you catch 3 to 8 pound fish, with the occasional 8 to 10 pound fish. Best flies on the small lake were olive or gray scuds and unweighted black leeches. I began the trip with a 9' 7 wt Sage One with a Rio Powerfly line. I then switched to a 10' 7 wt Sage One with an OPST Commando Head and ended up using that for the rest of the time. As always, the guides were great, the service in the lodge fantastic, the rooms comfortable and clean, the food amazing and the Malbec was pretty much bottomless. We are already booked for 2 weeks next year.
After. Strobel, we flew to Ushuaia and traveled to World's End Lodge and the Rio Irigoyen. This is an extremely remote spot on the eastern most point you can drive to on Tierra del Fuego. The lodge was very comfortable and we all had a single room with our own full bath. They have decided the river fishes best with only 4 rods per week. There were 2 guides, a maintenance guy, two young ladies who do the cleaning and cooking and an absolutely incredible chef of the ripe old age of 21. The food was amazing. The guides know the river really well and tell you exactly where to fish and where the logs are. There are lots of logs. We all caught sea run browns but the fishing was pretty difficult because the fish have been in the river for over a month. We did catch smaller fresh fish on 2-5 pounds. Fishing during the day was with nymphs and EMB rubber legs in size 6-10. The fish just pick these up and we missed lots of takes. At night we swung large articulated leeches and the fish hammer those. The fish we caught were mostly in the 10-12 pound range, but one of us hooked and lost a monster. I saw it jump and estimate that it was about 20#. The program here is to fish beginning about 9 am until about 12:30, come in for lunch and a siesta and go back out about 5:30 and fish until just after dark or about 9:30. The last 30 minutes of the day is what we all looked forward to because the big fish get less spooky and come out from the logs and hammer the leeches. This was an incredible experience.
Here are some photos: