Patagonia: The Final Stretch

Monday, February 18, 2013

The third and final leg of our trip down to Argentine Patagonia had us heading up into Nahuel Huapi National Park. Fly Fishing Patagonia had us staying in a truly spectacular fishing lodge, the Rio Manso Lodge (, which is located right on the Chilean border. Every room of this quaint lodge has a spectacular view of Lake Hess which sits directly beneath the Andes. This is one of those lodges that is perfect for the whole family and a great way to see Patagonia. The drive up to the lodge is about an hour and a half drive from Bariloche and you will have the camera out the entire time. The further you drive, the deeper you get into the park which is also a rain forest. There are mountains, lakes, rivers and greenery as far as the eye can see, it is pretty spectacular and I'm sure my pictures will do it very little justice.


There are an endless amount of activities at Rio Manso Lodge. The fishing is obviously the highlight but they also have whitewater rafting and kayaking, horseback riding, birding and great hiking. Greg and I along with our guide Alex took a hike the day we got there up to Segunda Cascada which was an amazing group of falls on the Manso River. 


One of the things we enjoyed the most about the lodge was the staff, they really made you feel like you were family. They were always there with helpful tips and suggestions on different things to try out around the lodge. One night, they prepared a traditional Argentine Asado, which is a big grill fest of beef, lamb, pork, chorizo, sweetbreads and puddings. They really wanted us to be a part of it though so we were out there while it was all cooking, learning about the history of these traditions. Greg even started jamming with one of the cooks around the fire which made for great entertainment. The owner of the lodge was always right there with the guests as well. He ate dinner with us and the other guests every night and you could tell, he had a true passion for his little piece of paradise.

The fishing at Rio Manso offered a great variety, all within a short drive of the lodge. We fished Lago Hess right out front multiple times which was a blast. This was a beautiful lake sitting right beneath a giant glacier, it was really a stunning setting to fish for trout. Being that it was January, the fish were honed in on one bug in particular, the dragonfly. Tying on big dragonfly patterns, tossing them along the banks, and watching big rainbows inhale them was a sight to see. The lake was so calm some days that you really had to quietly stalk feeding fish or they would spook, it was kind of like bonefishing. 

One of the days, we floated and fished the Rio Manso. We really enjoyed the Manso for it's diversity of water, some stretches were very serene and calm, where as on others, we were hanging on as we shot rapids. We had pretty good fishing on the Manso as well with one or two good honker rainbows.


When our time at the lodge came to an end, we loaded up and headed back to the airport in Bariloche. We had an early flight into Buenos Aires and were able to spend the day exploring BA before our plane back to the states took off. Buenos Aires is an amazing city and one I really want to get back to spend more time in. It is a very culturally diverse city with lots of unique little districts. We walked around the Recoleta district and toured the Recoleta Cemetery. This cemetery is quite an experience as it is the size of a small town. It also holds the grave of Evita Peron so we got a good lesson on a major part of Argentine history.

                                   Recoleta                                            The resting place of Evita Peron

Our trip down to Argentina will be something I remember forever. The food, the wine, the camaraderie and most of all the fishing, were second to none and I credit that all to Justi Campa and the guys at Fly Fishing Patagonia. If you are thinking of heading down to this part of the world, give them a look, you won't regret it.

                                                                       Cheers to a great trip!!!