Carrileufu River Lodge, Argentina

This Argentina fly fishing trip takes you to one of Patagonia's most scenic valleys.

Carrileufu River Lodge, Argentina

Overview

The Carrileufu River Lodge is ideally situated in the midst of a complex of lakes and rivers located between the snowcapped Andes and the arid steppes of Chubut Province, providing anglers with easy access to some of the best fly fishing in Patagonia. It's on the border of Los Alerces National Park, near the town of Cholila and has access to the Chubut and Rivadavia Rivers, where you can float and wade in clear, cool water with healthy trout populations.

This is central Patagonia, about 45 degrees South, and has long been noted for its scenic beauty - Los Alerces Park was founded in 1937 - numerous mountain lakes and rivers, and the wild trout. From the lodge you can venture forth with expert guides to stalk large brown trout on a crystal clear spring creek, float the Rio Rivadavia for the day, or take a three-day wilderness float on the seldom fished, remote, Rio Chubut. Read our Carrileufu River Lodge reviews to learn more about this Argentina fly fishing trip.

Season

Fishing starts in early November and ends April 30. Although there is access to good fishing during the entire length of the season, most anglers prefer to plan their Argentina fly fishing trips during the first half of December through mid-February. This is generally the part of the season that provides the widest variety of fishing, allowing anglers to catch fish on dries, nymphs and streamers.

In November and early December large fish, including landlock salmon, can be caught fishing sinking lines with streamers but very little dry fly fishing is available. The weather is cooler and less predictable, but the fishing can be good. The dry fly fishing starts to pick up in mid-December, as the weather warms, and usually remains productive until early March. Late March and April generally bring cool, clear mornings and signal migratory fish in the rivers. The cooler air and water temperatures can slow down the dry fly action, but streamers can yield surprising results.

Getting There

From Buenos Aires, you have two options. One is a 2-hour flight to Bariloche. From Bariloche, Cholila is 2 1/2 to 3 hours driving. It's a beautiful drive to start getting the atmosphere of Patagonia. Alternatively, you can fly from Buenos Aires to Esquel. The driving distance from there to the lodge is much shorter at about 1 hour and 30 minutes, through the Alerces National Park (where you will be fishing later on).

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary

5-day fishing package

This is just a sample itinerary of our Argentina fly fishing trip to give you a feel for what is possible. During the course of your stay you will work with your guides to decide which waters you will fish based on water levels, weather and individual interests.

Day 1 | Depart USA

Day 2 | Arrive Buenos Aires

Most flights arrive in the morning. We highly recommend spending a few days in Buenos Aires. It’s well worth the stopover and provides a nice break from the overnight flight. Orvis Travel will arrange transfers, hotels and more on request. You can connect directly to a flight to Esquel or Barriloche, but it requires a transfer from the international airport to the domestic airport. Allow at least 4½ hours between flights. The airports are not close.

Day 3 | Buenos Aires to Carrileufu River Lodge

Assuming you stay overnight in B.A., you’ll transfer to the domestic airport for the flight to Patagonia. (Our air desk can arrange this flight.) You will be met at the airport and transferred to Carrileufu River Lodge. The drive takes 2.5-3 hours from Bariloche and 1.5 hours from Esquel. If time permits, you will have the chance to fish until dark with a guide then enjoy drinks and dinner at the lodge.

Day 4 | Rio Rivadavia

The Rivadavia is as technical as it is beautiful, and anglers come from around the world to fish it. Only four miles long, the river is floated in one day and will provide you with frequent opportunities to sight-fish with small nymphs and various dry flies. You may also have the chance to visit one of the river’s small spring creek tributaries before finishing your day on the shores of Lago Verde.

Day 5 | Rio Carrileufu

The Rio Carrileufu is born from Lago Cholila, and is home to wild trout, along with landlocked Atlantic salmon during the early and late season. The river is best fished by floating in one of the lodge’s rafts, although there are opportunities to get out and wade productive runs and riffles. The Carrileufu flows for approximately twenty miles before entering the Lago Rivadavia and Los Alerces National Park.

Days 6 - 8 | Rio Chubut Wilderness Float

For three days you will float the Chubut fishing with dry flies much of the time, and stopping to wade choice sections of water. You will enjoy the scenery, the fishing and the entire experience.

On fishing trips involving camping, you will be provided a hearty breakfast to get ready for a long day on the water fishing and fishing. Lunch would be at a nice location where you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. At the end of each day you will finish at camp and enjoy an Asado before retiring to your tent.

Day 9 | Depart Carrileufu River Lodge

Depending on your flight’s depature, you will have half a day’s fishing today returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch and a short siesta you will gather your gear for your transfer back to the airport and your late afternoon flight back to Buenos Aires and connections to the US.

Activities

The Fishing

Trout were introduced to this region at the turn of the 20th Century and have bred in the wild without further intervention from human beings. The primary species sought by anglers are rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon. Trout in these waters average 14-16” and fish over 20” are common.

The watershed fished by Carrileufu River Lodge begins in the Tres Picos Mountains, where snowmelt feeds the Lago Cholila and ends at the Rio Grande (which is named the Rio Futaleufu in Chile). The rivers surrounding the lodge flow clean nearly all year, with most sediments settling in the deep lakes. The clarity of the rivers allows anglers to enjoy sight-fishing as well as prospecting from a raft or while wading. The waters predominantly fished by the lodge’s guides are the Rio Rivadavia, Rio Carrileufu, Rio Frey, Lago Menendez, and several small tributaries that can hold surprisingly large fish.

In addition to the numerous waters found in Los Alerces National Park, the lodge can also arrange a three day wilderness float on the Rio Chubut from December to late February. The lodge can take two to six anglers on this adventure and they will provide all camping equipment with well prepared wilderness meals.

Non-Angling Activities

Although primarily catering to anglers, non-angling companions have a variety of local activities to participate in while at Carrileufu River Lodge. Examples include touring Butch Cassidy’s cabin or "LeLeque Estancia" Museum. You can also go horseback riding, hiking or trekking on the many trails around the park and see alerce forests, Torrecillas glacier, condors, pudu and other wildlife. Guided tours and activities are included in all non-angler packages and can be set up on short notice. We recommend discussing the options with your hosts upon arrival.

If you are an avid photographer let us know ahead of time and we may be able to set up a workshop with the noted Argentine photographer Diego Ortiz Mugica. There is an additional fee associated with this venture.

Lodging

Lodging & Meals

The new lodge was finished in 2014 and is currently managed by Pancho Panzer, a friendly, professional fly fishing guide with an infectious enthusiasm for fly fishing in this scenic mountain valley. The new Carrileufu River Lodge was built to make anglers feel comfortable. There are 6 spacious double rooms with queen sized beds for 12 guests, it is intimate, yet has a large gathering room that has beautiful views of the Tres Picos. It has WiFi internet access and VOIP phone service so you’re not entirely isolated.

A hearty breakfast is served between 8:00am and 9:00am (this is Patagonia, you can fish till late in the evening); lunch is usually on the river; there’s an open bar for drinks in the living room after a day of fishing; and a three course dinner is served late, in the Patagonia style, with an emphasis on the famous local grass fed beef and lamb. The food is great: homemade bread, fresh salad, fruit, vegetables, cheese and sausages that reflect the European immigrants who settled the region in the 20th century. Good Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and other Argentine wines are included, as are soft drinks and beer.

Pricing & Dates

Pricing & Dates for Carrileufu River Lodge

Season: November 2014 - April 2015
Rates are per person, based on double occupancy

Duration Per Angler Per Non-Angler
4 nights / 3 days $2,840 $2,040
5 nights / 4 days $3,550 $2,550
6 nights / 5 days $4,260 $3,060
7 nights / 6 days $4,950 $3,570

Private room supplement is $180 per room, per night.
Private guide supplement is $250 per angler, per day.

Included:

  • Ground transfer from Esquel or Bariloche
  • All meals and accommodations at Carrileufu River Lodge
  • All beverages at the lodge, including alcohol
  • Guided fishing (2 anglers per guide)
  • Transportation to / from fishing locations
  • Optional 3 day wilderness float on the Rio Chubut (includes meals, beverages and camping gear)
  • Laundry service

Not included:

  • International and domestic air fare
  • Argentina fishing license approximately $85 US per person paid in cash on site
  • Optional park entry fees approximately $15 US per person paid in cash on site
  • Fishing equipment
  • Optional photography course with Diego Ortiz Mugica
  • Tips to guide & staff

Reviews

Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 3 reviews

5-star:
3
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0
3-star:
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1-star:
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3 of 3 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    Great guides, great food, great lodge! - 9/13/2014
    By: from Bozeman, MT
    Expert

    I have had the good fortune to visit Carrileufu River Lodge on two trips to Argentina. Pancho and his team of guides are true professionals and this is one of the finest lodges in South America. As a fishing outfitter in Bozeman, Montana I lead annual hosted trips to South America and have had the good fortune to visit several lodges in both Argentina and Chile. Carriluefu definitely rises to the top. The diversity of fishing is awesome and includes great dry fly fishing with big foam attractors, streamer fishing for big browns and even site casting on crystal clear lakes. The lodge is incredible with great views, great food and very nice rooms. The chefs are outstanding and definitely go the extra mile. We have a lot of experiences with fly fishing lodges both in Montana and numerous destinations around the world and I can honestly say this is truly one of the best!

  • 5/5

    Beautiful Place and Great People - 3/17/2012
    By: from The Woodlands, TX

    We were blessed with both great scenery and great guides. The food and accommodations were perfect. Also, we had one person lose a rod and reel in cascade through willows. Orvis replaced both without a blink.

  • 5/5

    I enjoyed this trip very much - 3/9/2012
    By: from Schenectady, NY

    Andreas, Diego, Juancho, Focco were superb guides, great fun and very knowledgeable; Andreas was especially patient and kind with inexperienced anglers. The chefs at this lodge are very talented graduates of a culinary college. Overall, the service and the accommodations were positively without equal. I enjoyed this trip very much.

Contact the expert at Orvis Travel:
Jeremy Kehrein
Carrileufu River Lodge
800-547-4322
Mon-Fri, 9am - 5pm (ET)
Orvis International Travel

800-547-4322 | 802-362-8790
orvistravel@orvis.com

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