Monday, September 6, 2010

Patagonia, March 2010, Jurassic Lake (Lago Strobel)

Lago Strobel is a 100 sq km lake in remote, central part of Argentinian province Santa Cruz.  About 12 years ago this fish-less alcaline water was stocked by rainbow trout, which florished.  Now it is popular sport-fishing destination; in the ads it is often called "Jurassic Lake".   

Our road to the lake was long.  To reach it we had to drive from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Argentina, and then head north on the famous Ruta Quarenta, Road #40.  The lake is surrounded by the lands of private estancias (ranches), which are also organizing sport-fishing. Our host was waiting for us at the 1006 km of the road.  From here we crossed a river (Rio Chico)

and started to climb huge plateau.  This plateau is called Mesetra de la Murerte (Death Plateau) and is formed by volcanic eruption.

The top of the plateau is flat and covered by countless sharp bazalt rocks.  Its altitude is 900-920 m.  It is true "Death Plateau" for suspension and tires of the trucks.  In many places we cound not drive faster than one can walk. 

The lake is situated in a huge caldera (depression) surrounded by 100 m high walls of bazalt rocks.  Along the water edge the rocks are covered by the limestone, which was created by microscopic algae.  This white layer shows the ancient water level in the lake. 

The same algae continue their work

The lake has the most amazing skies with strange clouds

We were starting to fish early, before the sunrise 

The fishing tectnic is simple - long cast with #10-4 dark wet fly and retrieve with jerks.  We were using Wooly Buggers and rubber leg nymphs, but different wet flies can also work.  Sometimes the orange flies are the best.  Most of the fish in catches are fat, silver and very strong rainbow trout; average fish was about 60-65 cm long.

Some trout were ill-looking, skinny specimens.  Such ones are never shown in the ads on the "Jurassic Lake fishing".  It looks like these ones are spent fish, which had recently finished the spawning. 

The biggest fish which my partner Arthur had landed was 75 cm long

.. and had huge girth.  Regardless to its thickness, this fish fights well and jumps a lot. 

On the way back from the plateau - we are heading east  and will start the descend into the valley.


  1. Darn, if I went through all that then there better be some fish on the end of my line! =)

    Those are some cool looking clouds.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

  2. You'd never catch me driving across a river, thats awesome. The shot of the clouds look crazy and the fish pics are awesome.