Rio Manso Lodge, Argentina
This Patagonia fly fishing trip offers unparalleled scenery and trout fishing opportunities.
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Located just 90 minutes south of Bariloche airport, Rio Manso Lodge sits on the shore of Lake Hess alongside the Rio Manso in the Andes Lake District of Northern Patagonia. Surrounded by an ecologically preserved rain forest, Rio Manso Lodge accommodates up to 12 flyfishers in comfortable, cozy rooms with private bathrooms, Jacuzzi tubs. Full-size beds ensure you'll sleep in comfort. All rooms have a spectacular view of Mount Tronador and its glaciers, Lake Hess, and the Manso River. A welcoming fire will greet you after a full day of fishing and the warm living room is the perfect place to sip a cocktail and plan your strategy for tomorrow's fishing. A wading room is conveniently located just inside the entrance and the comfortable dining room and bar will help you relax and enjoy every moment of your stay. Telephone and Internet access are available, as well as a small fly shop that serves as a good backup for those items you mysteriously forgot to bring. Rental gear is also available.
Food & Drink
Meals are served in the main dining room and are a satisfying conclusion to a day on the water or exploring the wonders of Patagonia. Our professionally-trained chef creates delightful cuisine that reflects an international flavor, always made with the freshest ingredients.
Gone are the days when traveling to Argentina meant eating meat at every meal. You’re as likely to have pasta, fish, or chicken as beef at our table. Vegetarian meals are also available for our guests. We serve a wide variety of dishes that reflect both the cultural diversity of the area and the worldly influence of today’s culinary landscape. All our meals are served with complimentary Argentine wines. Should you have any special dietary needs, we are more than happy to develop a special menu for you.
We have not forgotten our roots and the local custom of the Argentine asado. One of the highlights of the week, this traditional Argentine grill features such items as beef, lamb and pork. An asado also includes bread, a simple mixed salad of, for instance, lettuce, tomato and onions, or it could be accompanied with verdurajo (grilled vegetables), a mixture made of potatoes, corn, onion and eggplant cooked on the parrilla and seasoned with olive oil and salt. No matter what you try, it’s all part of the adventure at Rio Manso Lodge.
What is Provided:
Accommodation in double room, guided fishing (two anglers per guide), transfers to and from Bariloche airport, fishing on arrival, and departure days, if time allows, all meals, refreshments, local wines and spirits, Internet access, laundry, fishing permits, horseback riding, and boats. Non-angler packages include guide tours and activities, other than fishing.
International and domestic flights, fishing equipment, gratuities, phone calls, optional transfers from Esquel (approximately $250 each way), and items of a personal nature.
Fly rods: You should bring at least two fly rods: 5-7 wts for streamer fishing and windier conditions and perhaps a 4 wt for evening or small-stream dry-fly fishing. We strongly recommend bringing a third 5 wt as a backup. There are a limited number of rods at the lodge, in the event you break one.
Fly reels: Reels should be high quality, preferably disc-drag models loaded with a minimum of 80/100 yards of backing. The occasional 8-10 lb fish will test your gear to the limit! You may want a backup reel or extra spools for your reel. Having two rods rigged, one with floating line and one with sinking line will maximize your fishing time.
Lines: Floating and sinking lines cover the fishing at Rio Manso Lodge. Weight-forward or double-taper floating lines are fine for dry-fly and small streamer fishing. We recommend that you bring a 30 ft 200-250 gram fast-sink line for your reel. The fast-sinking lines are especially effective in the lakes and the faster, deeper stretches of the river. Most of our lakes have abrupt drop offs along the edges and the sinking lines get the fly down to where the fish are. If you have not cast a fast sinking line before, we recommend you get a little practice in before you come. It's not difficult to learn, but it will increase your fishing success and pleasure if you already have this technique down.
Leaders: 7_ to 9 ft 2X-5X leaders will suffice for most fishing. We like to use fluorocarbon for tippets for its added abrasion resistance and low light reflectivity. Bring some extra spools of tippet in the 2X -6X range. Evening fishing in the channels near the lodge can become very technical at times.
Flies: Much of our fishing during the day is with streamers or large attractor pattern dry flies. We can provide you with a fly list for complete recommendations. We do carry a full assortment of productive patterns at the lodge.
Waders: Breathable waders are the best way to maximize your fishing experience. You can layer poly-pro or fleece underneath in cold conditions and turn them down during hot weather.
Wading shoes: Sturdy shoes with good felt or rubber soles. While the footing is good, the Manso has many stretches of fast water with strong currents. Please be sure your waders and wading shoes are clean and dry before visiting to prevent the spread of invasive species like whirling disease, zebra mussels, or didymo. We recommend the new rubber-soled wading shoes and waders.
The climate in our part of Patagonia is very similar to the northern United States. You can expect temperatures to range from the mid 40s early in the season, to the 80s during the summer months of January through March.
Clothing: Layering is the mantra when fishing. Today's high-tech garments offer almost limitless options for staying warm and dry. Fly-fishing specific clothing is best, but light cotton sweaters, short and long sleeve shirts and trousers, long underwear, wool sweaters, windbreaker, wool socks, etc. will work as well. Big temperature changes can occur in a matter of hours in the mountains, so make sure you are prepared. Contact us if you have any questions.
Critical Items: A breathable (GORE-TEX' or similar) rain jacket, hat, polarized glasses, sunscreen.
What to Bring:
- Small day pack or tackle bag
- Fishing hat
- Polarized sunglasses
- Digital camera
- Sun screen and lip balm
- Insect repellent, BuzzOff' clothing is very effective
The Rio Manso fishing season runs from November through April and is easily divided into three sections:
EARLY SEASON: NOVEMBER - MID JANUARY
The early season is often marked by high water, which gradually recedes in December. We'll start the season fishing mostly weighted streamers, often on sinking lines. Mayfly and caddis hatches begin by the end of November and intensify in December providing increasingly better dry fly fishing. Early to middle December will see dragonflies hatching on the lakes and rivers bringing up the biggest fish and providing exciting dry-fly action. Dragonfly nymphs and wooly buggers are effective at this time and dry-fly fishing often lasts all day.
SUMMER SEASON: LATE JANUARY - MID MARCH
Excellent evening dry fly action continues through January. The river channels near the lodge feature multiple mayfly and caddis hatches that bring fish up, especially early and late in the day. As temps warm in February, day time fishing can slow down on both the river and in the lakes. Terrestrials play an increasingly important role in the daily diet as summer progresses.
FALL SEASON: LATE MARCH - END OF APRIL
As fall approaches, water temperatures begin to cool with the first southern cold front and the fish again become more active. Evening fishing is characterized by a brief flurry of activity right before dark with caddis patterns, while most daytime fishing is with streamers or nymphs. April is when the big browns and brook trout migrate into smaller tributaries.
Rio Manso Lodge sits in a secluded portion of Nahuel Huapi National Park in Argentina's Northern Patagonia region. The largest and oldest national park in Argentina, the park encompasses nearly two million acres. The Rio Manso starts high on the eastern flanks of Mount Tronador, the park's tallest mountain at 11,453 feet. Tronador means 'thunder', and on some days during the summer, avalanches high on the mountain can be heard by guests at the lodge, a dozen miles away. Surrounded by old growth forest, the lodge itself is located just 2,500 feet above sea level which eliminates any worries of altitude sickness. Like many rivers in Patagonia, the Rio Manso flows undammed on its journey to the sea. Unlike many of the rivers in this area, the Rio Manso actually flows into the Pacific Ocean rather than the Atlantic. The river, small streams, and lakes near the lodge offer a variety of fishing conditions from spring creeks to roaring fast water to calm deep pools. The nearby forests are ideal for horseback riding, birding, rafting, hiking and exploring. Some guests have even skied the glaciers on Tronador!
Like many alpine locations, weather can be variable during the fishing season. Early season tends to be cooler and wetter with daytime temps running from 50-80 degrees. November mornings can be just above freezing, although they often warm quickly. Summer air temperatures average around 70-75 degrees F. February is the warmest and driest month with temperatures that may reach the mid to upper 80s during the day. Early and late season have a higher chance of rain and often see daytime temperatures in the mid-50s. The climate is very similar to Montana's Rocky Mountains, upper Michigan, or northern New England.
2021-2022 Season & Rates:
Season: Beginning of November through the end of April.
|Duration||November 2019 - April 2020|
|4 nights/3 days||$3,200|
|5 nights/4 days||$4,000|
|6 nights/5 days||$4,800|
|7 nights/6 days (weekly discounted rate)||$5,200|
|Non-Angler Rate (per night)||$495|
|Non-Angler Rate (weekly discounted rate)||$3,100|
*Pricing is based on per person, double occupancy.
**Single angler supplement - $275 per night for a private room, $275 per day for a private guide.
***Single angler rates do not apply if you are willing to share the guide with another angler.
Accommodations in double room, guided fishing (2 anglers per guide), transfers to and from Bariloche airport, fishing on arrival and departure days if time allows, all meals, refreshments, local wines and spirits, Internet access, laundry, fishing permits, horseback riding, and boats. Non-angler packages include guide tours and activities, other than fishing.
International and domestic flights, fishing equipment, gratuities, phone calls, optional transfers from Esquel (approximately $250 each way), and items of a personal nature.
Which airport do I fly into?
Most guests fly into San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC) from Buenos Aires where we pick them up at the airport. Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM both have direct flights from BA.
What is a typical fishing day like?
If you've fished with a guide, outfitter or lodge in North America, our daily schedule will feel quite familiar. Unlike most lodges, however, we are usually out on the water for 9-10 hours. If you really like to fish, you'll love the length of our fishing day. For those who consider fishing just one part of a great Patagonia experience, we're happy to bring you in whenever you're ready.
While there is no such thing as an ordinary day at Rio Manso Lodge, we do have sort of a routine that begins most days with breakfast at 8am. After hot coffee, eggs, cereal, fresh fruit, or whatever else you need to get going, you'll meet your guide in the wader room around 9am. With the exception of a trip to the Limay, Lower Manso, or a horse ride into Lago Los Cesares for big brookies and bigger browns, none of our waters are more than 20-25 minutes from the lodge which allows you to spend more time fishing and less time riding around. When an early departure is the case, you will have breakfast at 7:30 A.M.
We fish until around midday, then stop for a streamside lunch which might include such items as steaks, quiches, sandwiches, salads, cheese, and fresh bread. Some of our guests like to take a siesta after lunch, but we're not surprised if you want to get right back on the water!
After fishing, through the afternoon, you would normally get off the water by 7 P.M. or so, and return to the lodge to clean up, take a sauna, or perhaps get a massage. We serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres before dinner in front of the fireplace. Dinner is usually served between 9:00 and 10:00, although we've been known to eat much later if the fish are rising and you just can't tear yourself away.
We are very flexible when it comes to arranging your day. If you have a special request, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you to give you the best experience possible.
What are the best arrival and departure times?
Our fishing week normally begins with guests arriving on Sunday. However, we have no set booking days and will work with you to develop your visit for any day of the week.
Is there a minimum stay requirement?
There is no minimum stay requirement. Visit us for a day or two or stay for a week or more. However, since a trip to Argentina and Patagonia takes some time to get here, we usually recommend you come for at least a week.
Can I mix fishing and non-fishing days?
Yes, you can mix fishing and non-fishing days together during your week, if you desire.
Can we rent tackle?
Rio Manso Lodge has tackle available for rent on a daily basis that includes rod and reel, waders, and wading shoes. We also have some terminal tackle such as leaders and flies available for purchase at the lodge.
There are a multitude of guided hikes available from the lodge that range from simple excursions into the woods or walks to the nearby waterfall, to more strenuous expeditions climbing the surrounding mountain peaks of the Andes. Dayhikers near the lodge will be able to explore the temperate Patagonian forest and perhaps glimpse local fauna such as fox, pudu (deer), or even the elusive puma.
Our birding walks and expeditions are usually led by Dr. Lorenzo Sympson, a noted authority on Andean condors, and founding member and head of the ornithological committee of SNAP (Sociedad Naturalista Andino Patagonica), a regional NGO dedicated to the conservation of Patagonia's unique ecosystems. He participated in the re-introduction of captive bred condors in Patagonia, and is the coordinator of a program designed for researching their biology and behavior. Dozens of species are found in the area including the Magellanic woodpecker, Austral parakeets, the endangered torrent duck, and the Andean condor.
We offer several ways to explore the waters of the surrounding park. Our Motorized Boat Tour of the lakes or a River Float Trip will both take you into areas that are unreachable on foot, and give you the opportunity to see more of the beautiful Patagonia forest and ecosystem. You can combine them with a Birding Trip for even more enjoyment. There are miles of Class I-III rapids to float near the lodge, as well as wilder waters further down river.
RIDING AT RIO MANSO LODGE
Riding at Rio Manso Lodge provides a rare glimpse into the surrounding pristine forest. Much of this forest is old growth with ancient alerce trees, some of the oldest on earth.
We have opened several riding trails thru the lush evergreen forest that lead to secluded places such as lagoons, cascades, lakes and rivers. Most of our programs are easy to medium difficulty. All of our trips are guided by an experienced English-speaking horseman who is adept at helping you spot wildlife.
Our horses are young, sturdy animals that have been raised in the back country, used to moving around our dense forests and very tame, ideal for inexperienced riders, but still fun when cantering comes into mind!
Reservations, Deposits & Payments
The deposit is 50% of the trip price unless stated differently in the itinerary. Deposits may be made by check or credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card. The balance of the trip cost is due 90 days before departure, except where specified differently on individual itineraries. The balance will be charged automatically to the credit card used for the deposit, unless otherwise specified. Any changes made to the method of payment after the final balance has been collected are subject to processing fees.
A reservation form and release are required prior to departure.
All prices must be paid in U.S. dollars. Deposits are not transferable from one trip to another.
Prices quoted are based on foreign exchange values and tariffs currently in effect and prices are subject to change. Orvis Adventures reserves the right to adjust prices accordingly until the time of departure.
When your reservation is confirmed, you will receive planning information to guide you through trip preparations. Details about arrival and departure, clothing and equipment, trip cancellation insurance, pre- and post- trip extensions, visas and documents and activities are included in the planning information.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
Although cancellation fees may be higher for some trips, the following minimum cancellation fees will apply:
|Days Prior to Trip||Fee|
|+ 90 days||$300 per person|
|89 days or less||100% of cost|
For trips that include an Orvis gift card or Orvis merchandise, the retail value of the gift card or merchandise is non-refundable upon delivery. Cancellation fees cannot be waived for any reason, including health, business or personal emergencies, or weather.
We strongly urge you to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
No refunds will be made for unused portions of a trip, including late arrival or early departure. Guide fees and hotel costs are not refundable if unused as outlined in the itinerary. Orvis reserves the right to modify an itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control. In the unlikely event that Orvis must cancel a tour, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes a full settlement.
Orvis is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation of any canceled trip, including airline tickets and visas fees.
Your planning information includes information for travel insurance covering cancel for any reason, cancellation for medical reasons, trip delay, medical expenses, lost baggage and medical evacuation. We urge you to obtain this coverage.
Trip prices are based on double occupancy. Single rooms & cabins are limited. If you request a single room, a single supplement will apply as noted in the itinerary. We will confirm the single room as early as possible, but in some cases it may not be earlier than 30 days prior to the trip. If you request a roommate, we can usually pair you with another guest of the same gender, and no single supplement will apply. If you request a roommate, and one is not available, we will only charge you the single supplement if required by the lodge or facility used in the trip.
Children under 18 must share a room with a parent or other family member. In some cases this may be waived.
Passports and documents
International trips require a passport. Check your passport early and make sure it has six months validity at the time of travel. A visa is needed in some countries and we will send you complete details and instructions.
Arrival and Departure
Group transfers from a central location such as an airport are described in the itinerary, and are included in the land cost.. Transfers are not included in the land cost if you arrive early or leave after the scheduled departure day.
Equipment & Clothing
You will receive a detailed list of appropriate gear with your trip planning information.
The land cost of your trip does not include airfare.
Limitation of liability
This section defines Orvis Travel’s responsibility with regard to all travel arrangements made by Orvis Travel, including individual travel and pre- and post- trip extensions. Please read it carefully.
Upon sending your deposit to Orvis Travel, you acknowledge that you have read and understand all the terms and conditions outlined here, and agree to be bound by them.
All trips that involve outdoor sporting activities such as shooting or fishing, or travel through remote places by vehicle, boat, small plane or on foot, put you at risk for accidents and serious injuries in the normal course of the activity. That is the nature of travel to such destinations and you acknowledge that you accept these hazards as a condition of participation.
Orvis Travel, its Owners, Employees, Associates and Agents give notice that they act only as the agent for the owners, contractors and suppliers providing means of transportation and/or other services and assume no responsibility howsoever caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service resulting directly from: acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays, expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, thefts, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, terrorism, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or changes in transit or hotel services over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.
Baggage and personal effects, including items purchased, guns, fishing equipment or sporting goods are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times and no employee/agent of Orvis Travel, its subsidiaries, affiliated or associated companies is authorized to accept these for storage, safekeeping, or transportation.
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