El Encuentro Lodge, Argentina

 

Overview

Location:

Corrientes Province, northern Argentina Golden Dorado fly fishing operation.  Trout fly fishing programs are based in Central Patagonia, Southern Argentina. 

Target Fish: 

Golden Dorado and Wild Trout

Time of Year: 

October through April

Lodge Capacity: 

8 guests (varies by lodge)

Nearest Large Airport: 

Esquel Airport (EQS), Argentina

Documents Required: 

Passport (no visa needed for travelers from USA and most western European countries.  Also the reciprocity fee is no longer needed.

 

If you have a passion for fly fishing, Argentina has always been on your list of 'must-see' destinations. Its unique combination of outstanding wild trout fishing, jaw-dropping scenery, and a dynamic culture is unmatched. But with so many options, where does one start in planning the ideal trip?

It's our goal to craft each trip based on your individual needs and priorities. We offer a unique approach with options to fish multiple rivers and destinations as part of your trip. Whether it's staying at our own El Encuentro Lodge, or one of our network of hand-selected lodges and estancias in the region, we're able to 'build' each trip based on your fishing preferences, time of year, budget and non-fishing activities.

El Encuentro Fly Fishing has been hosting travelers for decades, having spent countless hours and miles in search of the best fishing opportunities, best lodges and accommodations, and most appealing experiences for our guests.

El Encuentro Fly Fishing lodge and Wild On The Fly Aventura Travel can custom trip each trip big or small. El Encuentro company whose roots are deep in Central Argentine Patagonia, going back over 30 years. Our lodge, El Encuentro, was built by our grandmother in the early 1980’s to create a place where her children and grandchildren could gather -- right on the banks of the Rio Grande/Futaleufú. In fact, El Encuentro means "meeting place."

By 1985, her daughter Jane Pettit and husband Michael Beale, started welcoming fishing guests. The lodge’s fishing business grew over the years, as guests praised the fishing and the Beale family to friends and family.

Michael, a seasoned guide, taught all five of his children about fly fishing, wildlife and the land they call home. Each of them has guided over the years, and has had a significant role in the success of El Encuentro. The oldest son, Benjamin, now manages the business, guiding when he can. His sister Cecilia welcomes guests to El Encuentro Lodge, making them feel like one of the family. She too loves to guide. Two other brothers, Nicolas and Tomás, work on farms in the region (supplying grass-fed beef and lamb to lodge guests). They guide when needed. Antonia, the oldest sister, lives in nearby Trevelin, and often stops by to greet guests and friends.

Today, El Encuentro has grown into the most extensive fly fishing program in Central Patagonia. An unparalleled number of private access waters, relationships with a variety of fine lodges and estancias, and the authentic warmth of an Argentine family business combine to give El Encuentro Fly Fishing a unique presence in the world of Patagonia fly fishing paradise. 

Fishing Program

The Fishing at El Encuentro Lodge (Esquel/Southern Los Alerces National Park area)

When one thinks about fishing from El Encuentro Lodge, an angler can’t help but think about float fishing the famed Rio Futaleufú (sometime known as the Rio Grande). With the lodge’s unique location right on the banks of the Rio Futaleufú, a fishing day can begin or end at the lodge, and anglers are also able to go out late in the day, right from the lodge, to enjoy the evening hatch. Additional river beats are easily accessed upstream or downstream from the lodge. El Encuentro guides know all the various side channels and the location of deep pools that hold fish; they know where to encourage guests to wade fish and how to best reach large browns under hidden banks. The Rio Futaleufú is renowned for trophy sized rainbow and brown trout and fishes well all season.

In addition to the Rio Futaleufú, one can fish a large variety of waters in the immediate area of El Encuentro Lodge. So many in fact that individual fishing itineraries can be tailored to match any angler’s interests, including several great options for wade fishing. The Beale family has access to all kinds of private waters, including spring creeks, small streams and lakes with large trout. El Encuentro guides can also take anglers to the Rio Frey and lower Rio Corcovado for additional float fishing. As you will find out, El Encuentro Lodge offers a desirable base from which to fish in any season, without much driving (and in some cases, no driving at all). 

The Fishing at Brook Trout Base Camp (Rio Pico/Upper Corcovado Area)

From the Camp, anglers have relatively convenient access to all waters in the area including the the Rio Corcovado, the lakes and small streams of the The Engaño system  and the lakes, spring creeks and rivers of the Rio Pico area to the south. 

The Engaño system holds the most pristine populations of brook trout in Patagonia. Combining the waters of the Engaño and the Rio Corcovado system, anglers can expect to encounter strong populations of brook trout, with an average weight of about 3 pounds, and the possibility of hooking a 10+ trophy brookie. Not be overlooked, these waters also hold resident and migratory populations of rainbows, which are a thrill to catch.

The Rio Pico area is known for its spring creeks and small lakes that hold large trout. There are also several smaller freestone rivers like the Rio Pico, Rio Pampa and Rio Nilson that offer fun walk wade fishing. Best of all? There are hardly any other anglers in this region. El Encuentro brings you the advantage of private access to a wide variety of fishing waters, great for the angler who enjoys stalking large fish, with the option to float in certain areas as well. The fishing in the Rio Pico area is excellent all season long.

Seasons

Spring Fishing Season - From November to mid-January 

Spring fishing is an amazing adventure – come prepared for big and hungry trout, and fickle weather that can range from warm and dry to wet and chilly, but which is always beautiful and dramatic. 

Streamer fishing is typical, but you can also find yourself fishing dry flies on a warm afternoon. It’s a very rewarding time of year to fish with us. These months are often marked by high water, which gradually recedes in late December. Due to the high levels of the rivers, most fishing is done from the boat, and less wading is done on the big rivers.  

Fish are normally more active and looking for food after a long winter, and they are more willing to take a fly since they are rested from the off-season. Normally we start the season fishing lots of weighted streamers on sinking lines. Mayfly and caddis hatches beginning in November will intensify in December providing increasingly better dry fly fishing.

Early to middle December will be a good time for dragonflies hatching on the lakes and rivers bringing up the biggest fish and providing exciting and unique dry fly action. Also, it is a great time to find our unique Landlocked Atlantic salmon in the rivers, which later on, they will move to deeper water in lakes. At this time of the year it is great to target migratory fish, such as rainbow trout which are returning from the spawning time to the lakes and also big brook trout and brown trout which will be feeding strongly in the rivers, lots of nymphs, fish eggs and little fry are drifting in the current!!!! 

During Spring season, usually, our fishing programs combine El Encuentro Lodge, Carrileufu River Lodge and Brook Trout Base Camp.

Summer Season: 

Think of summer in Patagonia as running more or less from mid-January through the end of February. During the month of January there is excellent evening dry fly action. Most of the rivers in the area of Esquel show a great variety of mayfly and caddis hatches that bring the fish up, especially early and late in the day. As temperatures warm up in February, water levels are at their best, and it becomes the dry month, allowing terrestrials play the most important role in the trout diet, also mayfly’s hatches decrease as summer progresses. Early January to mid February would be a great time of the season to wet wade small streams using dry flies and dry droppers as well. We mostly fish all the rivers with dry or dry-dropper rigs using either a 5 or 6 weight rod, but we always carry spear rods and if you like streamer fishing, never is a waste of time to do it…, especially in big rivers and lakes where you can always target for big fish. 

At the beginning of March days are getting shorter faster and air temperature drops considerably, especially early and late in the day. Water starts to cool off slowly in the small bodies of water such as small to medium size streams, this will improve fish activity in this type of waters. At this time of the season we fish hardly the begging of the migration of a lake-run brook trout. You have to be ready for everything, from swinging and stripping big streamers, nymphing or even skating some dries!  

For our Summer season, we combine El Encuentro Lodge and Brook Trout Base Camp. 

Fall Season: 

Consider our “fall” fishing season to start in March and go through until the season ends April 30. The fishing in Patagonia just keeps getting better as the season shifts into fall. The weather is variable, so you can have dry fly days and streamer days. All our waters fish well, and our guides know the best times to get you out on them for the most rewarding fishing.

The fall is characteristic for the amazing change of colors in the scenery and of the trout, as they get ready to spawn, the water temperatures begin to cool off again and the fish become more active. Brown trout get territorial and aggressive so it’s a great time to go after them. This will be also a great time of the season to chase big lake run brook trout at the Brook Trout Base Camp which EEFF has located on the banks of the upper Corcovado River. 

An evening hatch of Caddies is characterized by a brief flurry of activity right before dark. Most daytime fishing is with large attractor dry flies or streamers. We will also have some evening "ant hatches" occasionally finding fish in a feeding frenzy. Streamer fishing technique will lead most of the time, but we always carry a dry dropper rig, just in case we have the opportunity of a sight fishing situation!

We keep fishing for the brook trout run and as the fishing season approaches to its end, we also have the chance to hook in to a massive rainbow which start the run just before the end of our season!

Accommodations

El Encuentro Lodge (Esquel/Southern Los Alerces National Park area)

For over 30 years, the lodge and the family have been welcoming anglers from all over the world, many of whom return year after year to enjoy extraordinary fishing experiences. Staying at El Encuentro Lodge lets you experience Argentine hospitality at its most authentic – warm, genuine and familial.  

With four rooms in the main house (private bathrooms across the hall) and two rooms in an adjacent cottage (en suite bathrooms), El Encuentro can comfortably accommodate up to eight guests. It’s an ideal setting for a small group of friends who want to enjoy the lodge’s privacy and warmth. WiFi is available. 

At El Encuentro, the Beales proudly grow most of the organic vegetables in the one-acre kitchen garden and serve eggs from their own chickens. Lamb, beef and other products are locally sourced from family and local markets. Breads are baked daily at the lodge.  Not to be forgotten, superb Argentine wines are served at lunch and dinner, even when you have lunch on the riverside. Guests are treated to a traditional Patagonian “asado” (barbecue) with the family and all the guides – a most memorable dining experience!

Brook Trout Base Camp (Rio Pico/Upper Corcovado Area)

The Camp can take up to eight anglers, housed in four double-occupancy Safari-style wall tents imported from South Africa. Each spacious tent is equipped with two comfortable beds with linens, electric lights, screened and shaded windows, places to hang clothes, and a propane heater for colder weather.

 There are two separate bath facilities set just behind the tents. Each has a sink and shower with very hot water, and a flush toilet. The small building is kept toasty warm with a wood stove. There is a very comfortable dining and living room tent with deck overlooking the river. It’s a wonderful place in which to relax – outside on the deck or inside, warm and cozy -- swapping fish stories, savoring excellent food and enjoying fine Argentine wines (or cocktails).  

El Encuentro proudly states that the Brook Trout Base Camp is an eco-friendly camp. Solar power produces all of the electricity used in the tents, bathrooms and the living/dining tent, as well as creating more tan enough hot water for the showers. Heat in the living/dining tent and the bathrooms is provided by wood burning stoves. 

Getting There

FLYING TO ARGENTINA 

From the US: United, American, Delta, Aerolíneas Argentinas, and LAN have non- stop service to Buenos Aires from Miami, New York, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. Your flights should be booked from your city of origin to Buenos Aires.

From England: British Airways has a direct flight from London to Buenos Aires.

AIRPORTS: Buenos Aires has two airports - Ezeiza (EZE, international) and Aeroparque (AEP, domestic). Almost all international flights arrive into Ezeiza and most domestic flights in Argentina depart from Aeroparque. It is necessary to transfer by taxi or shuttle from the international airport to the domestic airport for your flight to Patagonia.

Depending on the time your international flight lands, you might be able to travel directly to Patagonia on the same day. Please keep in mind that you should plan to land in Ezeiza at least 3 hours before your domestic flight. This gives you at least one hour to clear immigrations and customs, one hour to transfer between airports, and one hour ahead of your flight time to check in for your domestic flight to Patagonia.

We recommend staying a night in Buenos Aires on your way down so that you arrive into Patagonia well rested and ready to start the week of fishing the following day.

In either Esquel or Bariloche, one of our staff will be present to meet you for your transfer by car to the lodge.

On your return, please keep in mind that the flight from Esquel lands in Aeroparque at around 6.30, so you need to plan for half an hour to claim luggage and an hour to an hour and a half to transfer to Ezeiza international airport. For flights out of Ezeiza, you need to arrive 2 to 3 hours before departure time. So you shouldn’t book a flight before 10 pm. We recommend you stay a night in Buenos Aires to keep your travel back home more relaxed, and we can help arrange activities in the city for you to enjoy before your departure. 

BUENOS AIRES: If you decide to stay in Buenos Aires for a night (or more), and we do recommend it, El Encuentro Fly Fishing and Wild On The Fly can help you organize your stay. We have a good network of people who can help you enjoy your time there safely. We are happy to help with any domestic flights, hotel recommendations or reservations, transfers, city guides and tours, tango shows, restaurants, etc. Buenos Aires is quite an incredible city with remarkable culture, architecture, entertainment, dining, polo matches, and is of course the birthplace of Tango music and dancing. It is recommended that you overnight either on the way to Patagonia or from Patagonia (or both) to enjoy a day or two in the city. You'll need to make reservations for hotels.

Rates

El Encuentro Lodge

(Rates Valid Through May 2021)

Cost per angler: (7 nights / 6.5 days of fishing): US $5,950 double occupancy

Cost per angler: (7 nights / 6.5 days of fishing): US $6,720 per single angler

Rates include:

  • Accommodation in a double room with private bathroom.

  • Accommodation in double base tent with a separate bath building for every two anglers.

  • Full-board: breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner with excellent Argentinian wines and open bar.

  • All ground transport from Esquel airport to the lodge and fishing destinations in this program.

  • Fully equipped Argentine fishing guide. Two anglers per guide.

  • Line, leaders, and tippet.

  • All private water and access fees.

  • All Non Fishing Activities.

  • Laundry service. Except at Brook Trout Base Camp.

  • WIFI.

Not Included:

  • Airfares.

  • Transfers, hotel, and meals in Buenos Aires

  • Ground transfer to and from Bariloche Airport (if applicable)

  • Personal, Health or travel insurance. (We strongly recommend it!)

  • Fishing license. (It can be prepaid for you and ready for your before you arrival.)

  • Staff and guides gratuities.

  • Phone calls.

Note: The guides from El Encuentro Fly Fishing will help you fill in any gaps in your selection of flies at the river. Your guide will have plenty of the right flies to catch even the most selective trout.

The Daily Rates Are:

$850 per angler, double occupancy

$960 per angler, own room and guide

$600 per day non-angler

Brook Trout Base Camp

(Rates Valid Through May 2021)

Cost per angler: (7 nights / 6.5 days of fishing): US $5,950 double occupancy

Cost per angler: (7 nights / 6.5 days of fishing): US $6,720 per single angler

 Rates include:

  • Accommodation in a double room with private bathroom.

  • Accommodation in double base tent with private toilet tent and shared shower trailer.

  • Full-board: breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner with excellent Argentinean wines and open bar.

  • All ground transport from Esquel airport to the lodge and fishing destinations in this program.

  • Fully equipped Argentine fishing guide.

  • Line, leaders, and tippet.

  • All private water and access fees.

  • All Non Fishing Activities.

  • Laundry service. Except at Tres Valles Lodge and Brook Trout Base Camp.

  • WIFI.

Not Included:

  • Airfares.

  • Transfers, hotel, and meals in Buenos Aires

  • Ground transfer to and from Bariloche Airport (if applicable)

  • Personal, Health or travel insurance. (We strongly recommend it)

  • Fishing license. It can be prepaid to us in the US and we will purchase it before your

  • arrival.

  • Staff and guides gratuities.

  • Phone calls.

Note: The guides from El Encuentro Fly Fishing will help you fill in any gaps in your
selection of flies at the river. Your guide will have plenty of the right flies to catch even the
most selective trout.

The Daily Rates Are:

$850 per angler, double occupancy

$960 per angler, own room and guide

$600 per day non-angler

El Encuentro Lodge & Brook Trout Base Camp Combination

7 Days / 3 Three fishing days at each location

Cost per angler: (7 nights / 6.5 days of fishing): $5,950 double occupancy

Cost per Single Angler $6,720 (own room and own guide)

Cost per non-angler $4,200

Price listed are per person, double occupancy and are subject to change and may be modified or withdrawn without notice.

Rates include:

  • Accommodation in a double room with private bathroom.

  • Accommodation in double base tent with private toilet tent and shared shower trailer.

  • Full-board: breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner with excellent Argentinean wines and

  • open bar.

  • All ground transport from Esquel airport to the lodge and fishing destinations in this

  • program.

  • Fully equipped Argentine fishing guide.

  • Line, leaders, and tippet.

  • All private water and access fees.

  • All Non Fishing Activities.

  • Laundry service. Except at Tres Valles Lodge and Brook Trout Base Camp.

  • WIFI 

Not Included:

  • Airfares.

  • Transfers, hotel, and meals in Buenos Aires

  • Ground transfer to and from Bariloche Airport (if applicable)

  • Personal, Health or travel insurance. (We strongly recommend it)

  • Fishing license. It can be prepaid to us in the US and we will purchase it before your

  • arrival.

  • Staff and guides gratuities.

  • Phone calls.

 Note: The guides from El Encuentro Fly Fishing will help you fill in any gaps in your
selection of flies at the river. Your guide will have plenty of the right fly to catch even the
most selective trout.

Gear for Rent: El Encuentro fly fishing offers fishing gear for rent at US $150 per person for the duration of your trip. This includes new Simms waders, Simms boots, Simms rain jacket, two rods, two reels, two rods, two reels, extra spool, floating and sinking lines, leaders, tippets and all the necessary gear to ensure a great day of fishing. (Rental price subject to change)

Fishing Licenses: they are not included in the price of your trip. The price for non-residents in is US $120 per week or US $130 for the season. If you don’t want to worry about your license, we can get it for you in advance and include the price in your final bill. (License pricing subject to change)

Additionally: We offer our clients a program combining fly fishing and wild California quail hunting. We run our Fishing and Wingshooting program from El Encuentro Lodge throughout the month of April, until the 1st of May (last day of our fishing season).

We strongly recommend our clients purchasing trip cancellation and rescue insurance for your trip. We will arrange coverage for you. Please ask.  

Prices are in USD and subject to change prior to booking.

Non-Fishing Activities

El Encuentro offers a great variety of non-fishing activities and day trips. 

For those who don't want to fish every day or don't want to fish at all, Patagonia has so much to offer and explore. Depending on your interests we will make sure you have a wonderful experience and plenty of stories for your angling companions with a local, knowledgeable, and English-speaking guide. 

HORSEBACK RIDING

Horseback is available right near the El Encuentro Lodge. Depending on your experience you can go for a couple of hours along the river, or go for a longer ride into the surrounding mountains.

HIKING AND BIRD WATCHING

As you will come to see, Patagonia is full of hiking trails and incredible views, and luckily El Encuentro is right near some of the best hiking in Patagonia. Los Alerces National Park lies directly across the Rio Futaleufu from the Lodge, inviting exploration; longer hikes are available in other parts of the park (see below).

Patagonia bird watching is also very exciting, with many different birds to appreciate. While you can see birds while fishing and our fishing guides know their birds, spending more focused time at a lagoon or marsh area can produce exciting and colorful sightings!

DAY TRIP TO LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK

We can set you up with a full day visit to Los Alerces, enjoying a boat tour and/or a full or half day hike (see below for one of our favorite hikes in Los Alerces). The Park is home to the Alerce (lahuan) trees (Fitzroya cupressoides) from which the Park takes its name. Created in 1937 to protect the Alerce forest and other typical examples of the flora of the Patagonian Andes, this park has the largest Alerce forest of Argentina . Alerce is one of the longest-living trees in the world; some in the park are around 3,000 years old, with many of them over 1,000 years.

HIKE TO TORRECILLAS GLACIAR

This excursion starts witha 40 minute boat ride accross a spectacular mounatin lake, going as far as Puerto Nuevo, where the hike starts. This particularly beautiful hike takes you to the glacier by going through the Alerce forest and the pristine landscapes of Los Alerces National Park.

HALF DAY TRIP TO CHILE

We are only 5 miles away from the Chilean border. The town of Futaleufu has some great local restaurants where you can enjoy some excellent pacific seafood and Pisco Sours. After lunch your guide can take you for a drive around the area or go for a nice hike. You will be surprised at the change of scenery and even the lifestyle in Chile. And why not get the stamp on your passport that you visited two countries in the same trip, with hardly any driving?

DISCOVER THE WELSH HERITAGE OF THE AREA

Visit the town of Trevelin and its museums to learn about the fascinating Welsh history of this region’s pioneers. Enjoy a traditional Welsh tea with some delicious homemade cakes and breads. On the way back to the lodge visit a small museum featuring one of the area’s historic water mills that used to produce flour in the early 1900’s. The Welsh successfully grew wheat and supplied flour to the country from this area for many decades.

HALF DAY TRIP TO LA TROCHITA

One of the only narrow-gauge trains still operating in the world. Departing from the local train station of Esquel, the train heads east to the small station of Nahuel Pan, an aboriginal reservation, located at 20 kilometers from Esquel. The round trip to Esquel lasts for 3 hours approximately. One can enjoy a variety of landscapes and sceneries, combining the native forests and “mesetas patagonicas”. In Nahuel Pan one can visit a small museum about the original cultures of the region.

RAFTING ON THE CORCOVADO RIVER IN ARGENTINA

One can also do more of a "scenic float" on the nearby Rio Corcovado, with class 2 and 3 rapids. The scenery is stunning making for a lovely day. Just know that our fishing guides love to take their guests down this river to fish as well. 

SPA DAY AT ESTANCIA LA PAZ

There is no better way to relax while your companion is fly fishing than a day at the spa. Twenty minutes away from El Encuentro Lodge, our friends from Estancia La Paz offer a private full service of spa and pool. Combined with great healthy cuisine, this allows to relax and enjoy a full day where you will be treated specially. Estancia La Paz offers a bath circuit, Scottish showers, dry sauna, climatized swimming pool, indoor jacuzzi, cold pool, wet sauna, outdoor jacuzzi, all this combined with different massage techniques and beauty care sessions.


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