Remote, way out there, untouched, in the middle-of-nowhere: Jurassic Lake Argentina. It seems long dirt roads to get to prime fishing locations were my forte while traveling Argentina. Each and every dirt road I took was well worth the effort, including the 5 hour drive, primarily on dirt, to get to Lago Strobel… aka Jurassic Lake. Getting here alone had been an adventure in itself. A second day fishing for resident rainbows and a small number of sea run brown trout proved uneventful  in Tierra del Fuego. It had rained, snowed, and hailed all day without a fish coming to hand  and with that we packed it up and headed north.


We arrived in Calafate in south central Patagonia and made a quick trip out to the Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier was one of the most amazing sights I had ever seen in my life. I feel privileged and humbled to have traveled to several places throughout the world and can think of few vistas that have left me in such awe! The next morning we headed out toward the lake and along the way we saw several herds of Guanaco (Argentine Lamas), hawks, Rhea and a fox that was just as curious about me as I was of him, until he ran off barking and howling at me.

As we drove toward the lake I contemplated why the name Jurassic? Could it be the landscape seems to have existed in the same manner since dinosaurs walked the earth or could it be the fish were like prehistoric trout? I hope for the latter; although, either would be fitting. The answer to my query would have to wait for the time being, our first day would be spent on Laguna Verde. Laguna Verde is the lake for which the Lodge servicing Jurassic Lake (Estancia Laguna Verde) is named, it could also be aptly nicknamed Jurassic Lake’s ugly little sister. I use the term ugly loosely since Laguna Verde is not the breath taking vista Jurassic Lake is, but I am willing to bet it is one of the best fisheries most trout anglers have ever fished. After all the water is stained a tint of green or “verde” and the fish are not monstrous trout that appeared to be isolated from the last ice-age or could pose as a fair sized steelhead in British Columbia. The trout average 4-6 pounds and fight with the best of them. There are larger trout that inhabit the waters, some up to 8 lbs and are eager to put a deep bend in your rod. Upon arrival at Verde we rigged up with woolly the bugger, and began exercising our arms pulling against a live dumbbell. It was an amazing way to start out the stay at the lodge and introduce us to their fishing program. Bows, Browns and Brookies were all eager to play.

After we fished Laguna Verde for a few hours we decided to visit Rio Barrancoso (some call it Jurassic River), the only tributary to Jurassic Lake. The guide said during January/February the Rio Barrancoso runs low, there would not be nearly as many fish and they would be spooky but if we were lucky we should be able to catch something. Anxiously approaching the first pool I could see a few large fish hanging out by a truck sized boulder. The name Jurassic River A quick few casts sent the fish heading for cover so a move to a lower pool was in order. Creeping behind boulders and slowly moving into position allowed a few good casts but nothing showed interest. Digging through the fly box tying on a new fly still didn’t perk any interest so the guide suggested trying the last of 3 holes before heading back for dinner. Unfortunately the last pool was empty of large fish so we headed back up stream toward the lodge. As we approached the first pool I could still see a few large trout lazily kicking at the head of the pool near cover. These were the largest trout I had ever seen in a small stream and had to take one last shot at hooking up with a trout that seemed completely out of place. I carefully positioned myself and peered over the rock boulder concealing my location and dropped a cast softly in front of the biggest fish in the pool. The fly drifted slowly toward it and I watched as with a quaint movement of its head it ate my fly. Instantly the peaceful stream erupted into a violent torrent of waves as the fish splashed on the surface. After the water calmed from what looked more like a bowling ball being dropped from the surrounding cliffs than a trout breaking the surface the fish bolted under the chevy aka like a rock, strewn in the center of the stream and parked himself there. I thought well that’s that, but my 20 pound maxima (the common leader strength used at the lodge) had other plans as it held firm amid the rod doubling efforts to pull the trout from its lair. I slowly worked the fish out and the guide was there to guide the trout into the net. Yes!!!!! I screamed from among my laughter. I couldn’t believe I got the fish, especially since it was the biggest trout I had ever seen from such a small stream. A quick photo and the trout was on his way. It had been the best introduction day I could have imagined.

About The Author

Hawg Wrangler

Derek Olthuis, raised in the wilds of Montana like the Jungle Book's Mowgli. Totally obsessed with fly fishing, exploring and adventure. When not guiding he enjoys fly fishing and Squatching for Unicorns. Fishing is fun!

7 Responses

  1. Kyle

    Finally!!! Totally worth the wait. Brovo guys. The most epic of epic reports this year! Too cool!


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