After all the turkey and fixings for Thanksgiving, I packed my bags and jumped on a plane to head to Patagonia to escape the Montana winter, see some good friends, make new memories and honestly get in some fishing for myself. My destination was the Limay River Ranch.
My good friend Ron Sorensen has built a very nice, secluded lodge on a huge ranch on the Limay River about two hours north of Neuquen, Argentina. The following eight days proved to be well worth the effort to get down south.
When I left Bozeman, MT it was -7 the night before. We had plenty of snow falling and shoveling the snow off the driveway and decks had already gotten a little old. Checking the weather, it was forecasted to be in the mid 80’s and plenty of sun. Our winters in the Northwest can be long and slightly depressing, so going on an adventure south of the equator sounded spectacular. I was actually all packed a few days before I was do to depart, as I was super excited to make my third trip to Patagonia to fish. I have explored many rivers in Patagonia with Ron and his team of guides, but this was going to be six days intimately learning the Limay River. It took many years of legal wrangling, but Chocolate Lab Expeditions (Ron’s Outfitting Service) has secured a lease for multiple ranches on the banks of the Limay River. This gives him over 30 miles of river front access to fish. This is where 25+ inch trout live and I have witnessed, some very large trout caught in years past. Will this be my turn this time?
After a few flights I arrived in Buenos Aires and met up with some of the group flying in from other destinations. We then flew into Neuquen, Argentina and were met by Ron and continued on to the lodge, I had seen many pictures, but wasn’t prepared for what he had done with the lodge. There is six, well appointed cabins, and a very nice “dinning hall” which also serves as a great place to hang out with the group. In total, the lodge can accommodate 12 anglers very comfortably.
On day one we split up and headed out the river with our guides. With over 30 miles of river to access, everyone can have there own piece of water to fish. Ron has made many different new roads to provide multiple put in’s and take outs along the river. To say the river has very limited pressure is an understatement. We did see an another boat here and there, but 98% of the time we had the river all to ourselves. The Limay River is a massive water way and the guides where super knowledgable and new exactly where to go to find the trout.
There were good early season hatches of Caddis, March Browns, and PMDish mayflies present. We fished dries to rising fish, and threw streamers and big attractor dries in deep water looking for the big resident brown trout. The river didn’t disappoint, with rods bent most of the day and a few big brown trout finding their way into the net. We stalked the banks to sight fish, fished deep runs dredging down deep, and we anchored the boat and worked many different pods of rising trout.
Every day was a new adventure in a new area of the river. Each section providing new water to explore. Each section providing lots of action, both on the surface and below. I would swear that some of these trout have never been hooked before. They fight incredibly hard, and many times I thought I had a huge trout on, to land a moderate 18-20 inch trout.
Every evening, when we returned to the lodge, the staff met us with cold drinks and a great spread of Hors D oeuvres. Assorted olives, thinly sliced meats, various cheeses, hit the spot with a cold Argentinian Beer. Sitting on the deck, watching the sun set and swapping stories of everyones daily experiences was a perfect cap on the day. Around 9pm we would all headed inside and sit down for dinner. All the meals served where exceptional. There was great dishes of beef, chicken, pork, and pasta served throughout the week. To put an exclamation point on the meal was Cynthia’s deserts. As a trained pastry chef, she had some fabulous deserts to complete the meals.
In closing, the fishing was excellent, the guides where great, the lodge was impressive, the food was over the top and the entire experience was awesome. I will be back soon.
If you have interest in fishing with Chocolate Lab Expeditions in Patagonia, give me a call or send me an email and I would be happy to provide more information. They fish many different rivers in the area as well, and I am trying to put together a group of five for February 2024. .