Also Known as Lago Strobel
Dates: December 3, 2011 through December 10, 2011
Party: My good friend and coworker Jason, his wife Cindy and myself.
Where to start? How do you describe the absolute best fishing experience you have ever had? How do you break it down to people that have their own stories and try and convince them that NOTHING they have ever experienced will probably not even come close to the fishing in Lago Strobel (Jurassic Lake)? The closest description I can even come up with is just “WOW!” It has taken me a couple months just to process this trip it was so amazing.
I will start by saying I am ruined, I live in Alaska, where up till my ‘Strobel Experience’ I believed I lived in an area with some of the best fly fishing available. I had steelhead in the spring and trout/char all summer and fall. I also had all the salmon fishing I wanted. From April to November I could walk less than half a mile from my front door, to fishing that some people dream about.
To break it down a little more what I thought was great fishing prior to and after the trip to Jurassic Lake. Personally, every day of fishing is good, but if I had to pick how to classify each trip as good or great it would go something like this.
Pre “Strobel Experience”: The thought of catching a 20 inch, 4 pound trout was a nice fish. My biggest trout caught was 26 inches. A 30 inch, 8-10 pound trout was a dream I hoped to achieve. A great day of fishing was landing 10 or more fish greater than 15 inches.
Post “Strobel Experience”: A 20 inch trout is small. A 30 inch, 10 pound trout is an average fish. My biggest trout now stands at a 34 inch, 24 pound rainbow trout caught on a fly rod on a fly I designed and tied (more later). A great day of fishing is catching 30+ fish all measuring more than 25 inches.
The ride in was everything we had read about. Each guide drives their party in his own personal vehicle. Our guide Juan had a diesel Nissan Xterra and after experiencing this vehicle get tested harsher then it would on Top Gear, I would love to get my hands on one up in Alaska. The ride to the camp was long and bumpy, 3 hours on highway mostly dirt, another 1 hour on a dirt path and 3 hours across a boulder field that you could barely make out where the road was. It was a true four wheel experience into the middle of nowhere. Wildlife was everywhere and the scenery nothing short of amazing.
Diesel Nissan Xtera on ride in
The lodge is not luxury lodge, and honestly I did not want that. I don’t go fishing to have a butler wait on me and change my sheets. The majority of my fishing trip are done in tents or in cabins. At Jurassic, I had my own room with a comfortable bed. It had a propane heater so it was warm and dry. The new dining and relax house was also warm and very comfortable.
Lodge at Night
Every night the food was excellent. Three nights we had all you could eat steak. Argentina loves their beef. Included with the lodge was all we could drink wine, beer, soda as well. Our group would finish several bottles of great Argentinian wine every day. We would load up on several beers and wattle bottles in the morning and head to fish until lunch. Our guide would even bring us cold beers when he came out to check on us.
Beer brought cold upstream by our guide
First the guides and camp manager were awesome. Guides may not be an apt word for them. They spoke great English and were super helpful. They would join you on the lake or river if you wanted them to. However I prefer a more hands off approach. By doing that, they turned from a guide to a friend, joining you in your experience as any friend would instead of as a person getting paid to stand there with you.
Our guide Juan was an excellent photographer. Outside of fishing, photography was his favorite hobby. As such he joined us throughout the trip and took over 700 pictures of our experience in which he uploaded to a spare SSD card I had at the end of the trip. This allowed me to have all the pictures of my experience. These pictures are some of my favorite pictures and some of the ones in this story were taken by him.
The guides were also excellent educators. Loop has a new spey rod coming out. They had test rods at the camp. I wanted to learn and my friend Jason wanted to get better. They taught us well and at the end of the trip, my buddy Jason was casting like he had been doing it for years and I was successfully using spey techniques in fishing.
Spey caught Jurassic Trout [
On a side not these new LOOP spey rods were awesome by the way, but I am new to spey so I may be enamored by my first time
Once again I was thoroughly impressed by the professionalism of the LOOP camp staff and the LOOP camp. Even if the fishing was mediocre they would have made the trip worthwhile.
Thinking back, even having experienced it with pictures and video proof, I still have a hard time believing it.. The fishing or should I say catching was nothing short of amazing. But sometimes it isn’t just about the catching, sometimes it is that challenge in fishing. Even at Jurassic Lake it exists, the difference is you are guaranteed to catch giant fish while overcoming those challenges.
There were days where you had to find that fly that worked the best as they were a little picky that day.
Picking a fly
There were days where the ever present Patagonian wind would challenge your casting skills.
Casting into ever present Patagonia wind
Another one is that had never fished dry flies in fast water before. Learning how to read the river to find those hydraulic cushions, perfecting my casting to gently lay that dry fly for a good drift was a challenge for me.
Fast water fishing
Landing a 30 inch plus Rainbow trout in fast, boulder strewn plunge pools on a 5 wt, was a challenge.
Big Trout on Dry Fly
Fighting and landing a monster rainbow (34 inch / 24 lb monster) that had taken you through most of your backing and worrying that your 20lb maxima leader or 8wt rod was going to break if you didn’t play that fish exactly right, was a challenge. For more details on this see The Tale of the Fruitloop Leech linked below.
I Can’t pick this fish up
24 pound Rainbow Trout
All told we caught hundreds of fish with an average size of over 8 lbs.
We caught four fish that were definitely over 20 lb and about a dozen in the 18-20 pound range
We literally lost count of how many trout exceeded the 30 inch mark on our rods. It was almost common there.
One afternoon we fished until we couldn’t cast with either hand anymore due to muscle fatigue from fighting fish. Our group estimated over 100 fish landed in about 5 hours. Most were over 8 lbs. That afternoon the wind made casting challenging but you didn’t have to cast far. Almost every cast generally resulted in a big bright fish.
I went through every fly in my stuffed boxes and did not find one that did not work, even the Fruitloop leech
SEE STORY OF THE FRUITLOOP LEECH HERE
I will let these other pictures talk for me. Each one has a story and a good memory but if I am to ever finish this Blog/Forum post I cant describe them all.
I dont think i can stay away. I have already started saving for my next trip to Argentina.
Pics of Fishing
Late Evening Fish
Relaxation at its finest
Mid Day Fight
Boulder Fishing a new extreme sport
Helping Cindy pick a fly
Landing a fish in the river
One of Many Doubles
FISH PICS CONTINUED IN NEXT REPLY