After our stay at Challhuaquen Lodge at Los Alerces National park, we drove 150 miles north to the Rio Manso Lodge, in the heart of Nahuel Huapi National Park, near Bariloche, Argentina. Another adventure fishing, hiking, boating, bird-watching, and glacier gazing. We had an incredible time in Patagonia. Big trout, great food, welcoming staff and guides, beautiful lakes and rivers surrounded by the Andean peaks of Patagonia; what's not to love? Find these photos on Flickr here.
The park, located near Bariloche, is the oldest National Park in Argentine Patagonia. The lodge is 30KM up a dirt road from this entrance.
As we drove in to Rio Manso Lodge, we saw several large lakes
Typical of Patagonia
Another log fishing lodge, this one had eight guest rooms.
With an attentive staff, wonderful food, and great fishing.
On this map, you can see the Rio Manso, and Lake Fonck
This is the view from the lodge. You can see Tronador with its glaciers in the distance. It sits on the border with Chile. The fog rises from the lakes near the lodge.
Lake Fonck was surrounded by deciduous trees that have never been logged. Massive trees along the shore provide shade for the fish, Huge logs fallen into the lake provide cover.
Tronador is an extinct volcano in the southern Andes, located along the border between Argentina and Chile, near the Argentine city of Bariloche.
You can see the angular tubes formed by cooling lava. Andean Condors nest here.
In the morning, big Rainbows troll along the shore feeding.
Throw a big black hopper in front of the cruising fish and watch him sip in the fly. Boom!
Fishing the lake
Our guide, Niko, said, "Put it in the shadows." Easier said than done.
The trunk of that branch is larger than most trees. Genie was in the boat again, taking pictures of the lake, the birds, and the fish.
Sight-casting to big trout and catching them on the surface is as good as it gets in fly fishing. 22" Rainbow.
While out fishing, we saw this Condor swooping over the lake.
In these shots, you can see some white on his head, a sign of an immature condor.
On our second day fishing, Niko rows a raft down section six of the Rio Manso. Genie came along to take pictures, enjoy the scenery and the whitewater rapids.
We saw these guys everywhere
Incredibly productive river. I caught 35 or more Rainbows on the surface, and three Browns on a streamer. Three of the Rainbows were 12-15", the rest were under 10"
Check out his reflection in the river
One of the options for Genie besides fishing was rafting. She said, "I'm perfectly happy to ride in a fishing raft and let Niko row."
Each day, the guides would set a table, wine glasses and silverware, before spreading out our lunch.
Genie spotted and photographed an endangered Torrent Duck fishing in the rapids.
This rare Torrent Duck only feeds in the fast water
Under the water, you can see a big round pothole that has eroded away in the current.
The next day we floated another section of the Manso. Here we stopped to wade a gravel bar. This was the only cloudy, rainy, windy day of the whole two weeks.
Only caught a couple of fish this day
The lodge arranged an guide to take us on a day of bird-watching while we drove up to the foot of Tronador.
We drove up to the base of Tronador one day to see the origin of the Rio Manso.
We stopped halfway up the road to the Tronador Glaciers at a beautiful old lodge on this glacial lake.
The Rio Manso starts at the glacier on Tronador, and flows with silt through the first couple of lakes.
The silt drops out in these lakes, and below that, the river and lakes are clear.
Although it looks like the sky is the backdrop, instead it is the lake
Here there is not clarity in the river water, it is full of glacial silt. No good fishing here.
With Tronador in the background
At the end of the road, you can see the eight glaciers clinging to Tronador
With temps in the 90's, there were waterfalls everywhere coming off the various glaciers.
Just two years ago, our guide told us, the glacier extended to the left edge of this picture. Glaciers across the world are in retreat.
The locals call this the black glacier because of the rock and dirt covering the ice. Ground up rock released into the lake as silt, forming the headwaters of the Rio Manso
The U-shaped valleys show the glaciers once went far down the valley, scraping away the rock, leaving wide valleys.
Only a panorama can capture the whole mountain from here.
for a last day of fishing
With an odd number of fishermen, Genie could ride with me whenever she wanted. Glad she did, because she took most of the pictures in lakes and rivers.
Standing up on the deck of the boat, trying to cast under these overhanging branches into the shade proved quite the challenge.
Spotted this guy cruising, and laid a beetle on the surface in front of him
As soon as you reeled them close to the boat, they would bold. They did not like the net.
We had lunch each day on the same gravel bar. The birds came looking for a handout.
as we end our marvelous adventure in Patagonia.