ESTANCIA ARROYO VERDE, ARGENTINA
Arroyo Verde is perhaps the most beautiful estancia in southern Argentina, and one of those truly special places in the world. The remote ranch is embedded in an enchanted valley of wind-and-water sculpted rock spires, minarets, and chimneys, with the scenic Traful River flowing through it. At the western end there are breath-taking views of the crystal clear Lake Traful with its backdrop of lush forests and the white-capped Andes.
The main house is lovely, elegantly appointed and very comfortable, with open views of its manicured gardens and the Patagonian countryside beyond. There is also a remote, romantic guest cabin perched on a cliff overlooking Lake Traful, with one of the most wonderful views imaginable, across the lake to the Andes beyond.
Arroyo Verde, apart from its world famous fly-fishing, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a perfect setting for horseback riding across the open valley, up the mountains through forests to hidden lakes and caves with Indian paintings, viewing the amazing flight of condors.
There are superb walks or hikes to a crystal lake for water-sports or a lovely beach for relaxing or taking a cold swim. Trout and landlocked salmon fly-fishing is in one of the best rivers in the world: the Traful. On a typical evening at Arroyo Verde, you will take in the magnificent views from the cabin's terrace as the sun sets, with a cocktail in hand and the smells of a delicious asado, the typical Argentine barbecue, wafting in on a gentle breeze.
The Traful is exclusively a catch-and-release fly-fishing river. At the beginning of the season the river runs high and fast, turning lower in December but usually with fast water till the beginning or middle of January (depending on weather conditions, especially the snow in the mountains). Then the river runs slowly till the first rains of autumn. Its width varies from 60 to 90 feet (20 to 30 meters). Fishermen will need chest waders throughout the season. Good boots with felt soles are a must because of the stones on the river-bed. They must bring their own gear as "Arroyo Verde" does not provide any equipment.
The river is a typical mountain stream with pools and rapids. The water runs pure and crystal clear. More than ten miles run through "Arroyo Verde". Parts of the riveršs banks are lined with bushes and trees, making fly-casting more exciting and sometimes a rather challenging task.
Your favorite trout flies will work well but you should also bring some streamers, wooly worms, wooly buggers, muddlers, etc. Nymphs are very efficient throughout all the season; small ones (12 to 14) can be as good as big ones like the Bitch Creek or Montana Nymph (4 to 8). During the day, the Spruce fly and the Mickey Finn are very good for land-locked salmon. For late hours, a Black Bunny can offer the best chance to get a big brown. Dry flies in sizes 6 to 16 (Adams, Royal Wulff, Humpies, etc.) are a must on the Traful, especially in the second half of the season. Finding good-size Skating Spiders can be real fun.
You must remember the Traful river is a very special river. It holds all the different kind of "salmonids": rainbows, browns, land-locked salmon and occasionally brook trout and perch. Although the average weight of the fish is around 3 pounds for trout and 4 pounds for salmon, it is not unusual to catch fish from 7 to 10 pounds. A salmon of 18 lbs., a rainbow of 23 lbs., and a brown trout of 16 lbs. have been caught in the Traful recently.
Special notes on the flyfishing at Arroyo Verde:
While much of Argentina offers wonderful opportunities for fly-fishing, Arroyo Verde was singled out by renowned author Charles Gaines in Forbes Magazine as "The Greatest Fishing Lodge in the World. Period."
Ernie Schwiebert's book "Remembrances of Rivers Past" dedicates a chapter called "River of Spirits" to the Traful.
The Estancia Arroyo Verde is located 1,000 miles southwest from Buenos Aires in northwest Patagonia, an hour and a half drive north of Bariloche. It is also possible to float the Limay River to get part of the way there. There is a daily two-hour flight from Buenos Aires west to Bariloche on Aerolineas Argentinas, and in one hour one can self drive through lovely scenery to the ranch.
Accommodation: At Arroyo Verde, you will be the guest of the Lariviere family at their exquisite ranch home and enjoy fine food and wines. Arroyo Verde usually accommodates only eight guests and is very popular with anglers who may be traveling with non-fishing spouses or the more casual fisherman. They also have a lovely cabin on the upper portion of the property that overlooks the lake. This can be booked privately. Each of the four bedrooms has its own private bathroom. The guest cabin, a few kilometres away in the forest overlooking the lake, has one bedroom and a bathroom).
The place is ideal for many different horseback excursions.
There are shorts an easy ones that are fun an allow you to see some places you can only reach on horseback. Longer ones -depending on how far you want to go -last from half-a-day to many days (it is understood that these last ones include camping). They will take you up the mountains where you can see lots of exciting things, such as real Indian paintings on cave walls and the majestic flight of the Condors.
There are many natural paths to follow up and down the mountains, along the river and around the lake. Some include climbing so make sure you bring suitable shoes.
There are plenty of birds to be seen. The friendly Magellanic woodpecker, the shyer torrent duck and the splendid condor are on the list.
Sightseeing tour to neighbouring locations can be organized upon request and has an extra charge.
Summer temperatures allow you to plan a whole day outdoors, which is the best way to enjoy the peace and quiet of the place
Hunting and shooting
Red deer and wild boar hunting expeditions can de organized during the month of March, April and May. While quail shooting can take place only in May.
Length of Stay
Most guests find that 3 to 4 days is adequate, as the amount of water available on the Traful is limited in comparison to other Patagonian properties.
Rates for fly fisherman. Season - November 2004/ April 30th 2005.
Price per night per person in double room USD $490
Price per night per person in single room USD $590
Accommodations in the fishing area; cocktails; all meals with dinner wines in fishing area from arrival through departure (no meals in Buenos Aires); all fishing services including guiding, transportation, and license where applicable.
A deposit of 50 percent per person of total land cost secures a reservation. Deposit is NONREFUNDABLE unless client is replaced. Final payment due 60 days before departure. At this point, participant is responsible for total land costs and no refund will be made. There is no refund for any unused portion of the land package.
If you consider fishing at Arroyo Verde, combine a stay there with any of the other superb fishing ranches operated by Patagonia Outfitters, such as Estancia Quemquemtreu, Hosteria San Huberto, or Tipiliuke.
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