ESQUEL REGION & LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK (TREVELIN LODGE)
PRG’s Trevelin area programs are arguably the most sought after in all of Argentina. The area surrounding Trevelin and Esquel offers over two-dozen rivers and the most diverse fishing in all of Argentina. From temperate rainforest in Los Alerces National Park to the arid Patagonia steppe – all within striking distance of The Lodge at Trevelin – the area is a fly fisherman’s dream come true. Since the waters, fishing, and scenery are so distinct, we recommend trying PRG’s signature “fish a different river daily” program to make the most of the experience. Those that do will enjoy casting flies in every kind of water imaginable and catching a variety of strong wild trout. The area’s rivers boast rainbows, browns, brook trout, and landlocked salmon in their waters.
There is such a large selection of large rivers, small rivers, spring creeks and lakes in the Trevelin area that anglers can choose to wade or float daily. Guests can also choose and enjoy as much or as little sight fishing, match the hatch dry fly fishing, terrestrial fishing, streamer fishing, and spot nymph fishing, as they wish. Novice as well as the most seasoned anglers will take pleasure in the sophistication of PRG’s outfitting and the diversity of the fishing. Their talented guides specialize in fishing diverse waters and have the necessary flies and tackle required to change tactics daily, and since each professional guide has an assistant, walk fishing guests will always enjoy a single guide.
Weeklong programs are standard at Trevelin, but trips as short as three days can easily be designed. And for those that want a completely customized itinerary, combining our programs at PRG North or Rio Pico with Trevelin is easy.
The Esquel region resembles fishing in the American West in many ways. Rivers in this area originate in the Andes Mountains or the Patagonia Steppe, and all the rivers except for the Arroyo Pescado, Tecka and the Chubut flow west to the Pacific Ocean. What? The continental divide is actually on the Eastern side of the Andes Mountains! The rivers in this area are as varied as the countryside and there are many creeks, lakes and rivers all of which contain excellent numbers of trout. Some of the rivers are large and carry a substantial volume of water year-round; others are small and intimate and require a stealthy approach. About half of the area rivers can be floated while the other half need to be waded.
Los Alerces National Park was formed to protect one the last stands of giant sequoia trees, Los Alerces, in Patagonia. These trees aren’t as large as their cousins in the United States but older (amongst the oldest trees in the world). Los Alerces encompasses more than 500,000 acres and contains over two dozen rivers and lakes. Most of the national park never gets touched because of the limited access on just the eastern edge of the park. The ecosystem would be described as valdivian rainforest making it different than much of Argentine Patagonia. Most guests enjoy the scenery of park as much as the fishing.
Trout were planted here in 1964 and they have flourished. You can catch rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and even land locked salmon in the emerald colored waters and sight fishing is the norm. The visibility of the water is astounding and in most rivers, every fish can be spotted before you cast. Get off the beaten path a little bit and anglers will find fish that will confidently swallow size four dry flies.
EXAMPLES OF THE RIVERS FISHED IN THE ESQUEL AREA:
EXAMPLES OF RIVERS FISHED IN THE LOS ALERCES ARES:
RIO PICO REGION
PRG has been offering exceptional expedition-style trips to the Rio Pico region in combination with other PRG programs for over a dozen years.
While Rio Pico has historically provided lodging with less luxury and comfort, PRG at Rio Pico now operates the new Tres Valles Lodge – a beautiful facility up to the higher standards of anglers familiar with Trevelin and the estancias up north. In addition to upscale accommodations, Tres Valles has also brought miles of private water including Las Pampas River, Arroyo Negro, and Lake Ness. Tres Valles can be combined with other PRG programs with a stay as short as three nights, but should definitely be considered a stand alone program accommodating anglers with tremendous diversity in waters fished for a week+.
There is not a paved road in the entire region and anglers often have to ford rivers and open several gates on the way to remote fishing locations. PRG’s professional guides, some of them that grew up fishing the region, are well equipped to fish in the isolated region and all have rugged 4×4 trucks, inflatable rafts with custom-designed fishing frames, and years of experience in negotiating the terrain.
PRG’s Rio Pico fishing program combines quite possibly the best lake fishing in all of Patagonia with exciting spring creek and small stream fishing. Both rainbow and brown trout, averaging six pounds and exceeding twenty pounds, can be targeted on one of the area’s many productive lakes, and often times these “hogs” can be landed on large dry flies.
Unlike other locations such as Jurassic Lake, Rio Pico offers a diverse valley with more than a dozen productive lakes, each with its own distinct character. Guests could fish for an entire week never touching the same lake twice. What’s more, the area also offers not only trophy rainbows, but also brown trout and brook trout. No other stillwater destination offers the beauty, variety, or productivity of the Rio Pico.
Guests may also choose daily between one of several wade fishing adventures for trout averaging sixteen to twenty inches. It is necessary to walk or hike to the best sections of area streams, but those willing to explore will encounter some of Argentina’s best-kept secrets.
The Rio Pico Area is located about three hours south of PRG’s main lodge at Trevelin, and offers anglers the chance to explore and fish off the beaten path rivers and lakes while enjoying incredibly nice accommodations at Tres Valles Lodge. Their research, experience and knowledge over the past ten years has been aimed at opening this frontier for you to enjoy. This is an area which gives you the chance to catch some large fish and to enjoy a part of Patagonia without any influence from tourism. Nightly barbecues, fine wine, and stories told around the fire add to this amazing experience. Lake fishing can be very exciting because of the size of the fish and the potential to sight-fish when condition are right. Lakes are not the only reason to visit this area because there are several rivers and spring creeks in the area which will provide plenty of action and exciting moments.
EXAMPLES OF LAKES AND RIVERS FISHED FROM RIO PICO LODGE:
Rio Las Pampas
Lagos Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Cinco (and more)
GUIDE TRUCKS, BOATS & EQUIPMENT:
PRG’s equipment is extensive, and it has to be to get to all the places they fish. Each guide is required to have a comfortable, safe, and rugged 4×4 – most choose the Toyota Hilux, and there is no other truck like it. Each guide also travels daily with a boat designed for the area. PRG Trevelin and Rio Pico guides use Northwest River Supply self-bailing rafts, and frames because they are light, durable, safe, and designed for fly fishing. PRG invented collapsible frames and a rack for the back of each truck so that boats can go anywhere – places those trailering a boat could only dream of. PRG North guides utilize mostly comfortable RO drift boats designed in Montana. PRG guides also have a fleet of motorboats with new low emission four-stroke motors enabling them to reach remote areas.
Each guide carries nearly the same kit including (but not limited to): VHF radio to keep in constant communication, tackle bag loaded with hundreds of dozens of flies, tippet, leaders, extra reels and lines, first aide kit, and extra clothing in case of inclement weather. Each guide is also equipped with Simms waders, boots, hip pack, and backpack to use depending on the location, and can always pull out an extra pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, superglue, leatherman, etc. to provide for guests that might need something.
ALL FISHING EQUIPMENT PROVIDED
Clients are outfitted with any and everything they might need for their fishing trip. PRG is supported by Simms and provides their high end breathable waders and boots for any guest that might not want to travel with their own. PRG also has over 40 Winston Boron IIx, IIIx, IImx, and IIIsx six-weight rods to loan to guests for the day or for the week, and Hatch Reels loaded with RIO floating and sinking lines. Each guest is also provided with a Simms dry bag to hold extra clothing, sunscreen, license, etc. Guests should only have to pack a rain jacket, sunscreen, hat, and fishing clothing to enjoy an adventure with PRG; although, some choose to bring their own waders, rods, and reels. We encourage all guests to bring their favorite rods, reels, and custom waders, but it isn’t necessary if you just don’t want to pack a full kit.