A Swank Bed in a Patagonian Fishing Paradise
By Christopher Solomon
In Argentina, a country lousy with world-class trout rivers, the Rio Limay may be the most remarkable. It’s been called the most mysterious. Much of the 240-mile river is very good fishing. But the stretch known as the Limay Medio (the Middle Limay), with its cold, clear water and abundant insect hatches that are ideal for trout, is one of the most stunning fisheries in the world. Here live some of the larger river trout on earth.
And now, for the first time, the Limay Medio has a lodge to match.
In November, Jorge Trucco, the entrepreneur who popularized Patagonia’s flyfishing worldwide (and a true character), and partners will open a five-star lodge on the river, where no lodges now exist. For passionate fly fisherman, this is going to be a must-visit.
The trout that live in the Limay Medio are enormous: The ‘resident’ trout are usually 18 to 24 inches—gorgeous fish grown football-fat on grasshoppers and other bugs. These fish, which are bigger even than those on other well-known Patagonian rivers, are catchable by less-experienced fishermen, often using dry flies, and also nymphs under the surface, says Trucco.
But you might say the Limay is two rivers in one. The most ardent and talented fly fishermen really come here to make long casts for the mythical brown trout that migrate upstream from yet another large reservoir far downstream to spawn; they’re usually caught in the Patagonian fall but have been caught as early as December. These monsters are nickel-bright and can measure nearly a yard long. They’re weighed not in pounds but in kilos. Sometimes, 36- to 40-inch trophy browns are caught. That’s unheard of.
There long have been two problems with this Brigadoon. The first is that the Limay is a massive river, more than a quarter-mile wide in spots. You need a drift boat and and a savvy guide.
The second problem is access. The river is lined by huge ranches that don’t permit the public. As a result this world-class stretch of river is extremely inaccessible, and so sees very few rods. Stay in nearby Piedra del Águila? Well, you could… but “the accommodations are atrocious,” Hank Ingram, who oversees fishing world-wide for high-end travel company Frontiers Travel, who’s fished the Limay, says of the few local “no-tell motels.”
The swank new 7-room lodge—Peruvian chef, outside asado pit, nice selection of Mendoza wines— will open in November with access to the river throughout the Limay Medio. Phase II will open on a bluff beside the river in November 2015.
Oh, and you’ll pay handsomely for the experience of a lifetime: $850 a day.
To book your bucket-list trip, contact high-end outfitter Frontiers.