El Encuentro Lodge, near Esquel, Argentina, is located on the edge of the massive Futaleufu River (Rio Grande), overlooking both the river and the spectacular, snow-capped Andes separating Argentina from Chile.
The Lodge is just 20 minutes from the border crossing with Chile. It is run by the Anglo-Argentine family that owns it, and most of the family are trained and certified, bilingual guides in their own right, including the daughters.
A ‘two-country’ programme is availablefropm this lodge, combining fishing here with that at Isla Monita Lodge on Lake Yelcho, a short drive across the frontier into Chile.
Rainbow and Brown Trout are the major quarry. The fishing begins on the home river, the Futaleufu (Rio Grande). Typically the Futaleufu will be good for fishing dry flies, from stimulators to mayflies and caddis. Other times it may be necessary to use a sink tip and streamers to get down to the big browns. The river can be waded year around but it is better from January onwards because of lower water levels.
Depending on the length of stay there are several other rivers also that will provide a variety of different challenges. These waters range from large rivers with pools and runs, through to creeks such as the famous spring creek, Arroyo Pescado.
If time permits, a day or two can be spent in the national park Los Alerces floating down the gin clear Rio Rivadavia. The float begins at one lake and ends in another. All three waters can be fished.
If it is still waters that are preferred a day trip to Wilimanco can be included, a lagoon in which large trout abound. There is a great section to wade and site cast to these enormous browns.
The Lodge is situated on the banks of the Futaleufu (Rio Grande). From your window you will be amazed by the spectacular view of the Andes. It is located just 5 miles from the Chilean border.
El Encuentro, with a privileged riverside location, offers modern and comfortable accommodation for up to 8 guests. The owners have nurtured a family style business with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. They are assisted by their daughter and son-in-law. Most of the guides are family members and all are bilingual.
Every meal is an experience with home-baked breads and home-grown vegetables freshly picked from the garden. No Argentine lunch or dinner would be complete without the famous wines from Mendoza. Midday meals can be enjoyed by the riverside with your guide attending you, or you might prefer a leisurely ride back to the lodge and lunch on the veranda. After lunch there is always the option of a siesta before heading out for the evening hatch.
WiFi is available for those with their own laptops.
There is no fixed programme at El Encuentro, since the fishing may be booked by the day. However, given the variety of fishing available a minimum stay of 4 fishing days is recommended.
Your arrival into Argentina will be at the international airport of Buenos Aires, EZEIZA. From there you will need to transfer to the domestic airport, AEROPARQUE, to take your 2+ hour flight down South to the city of ESQUEL where you will be met and transferred to El Encuentro.
The programme for each day’s fishing is entirely subject to your preferences, and your guide will discuss this with you at the outset – both in terms of preferred hours as well as preferred types of fishing. At El Encuentro it is quite normal to take full advantage of daylight fishing and not to return for dinner until about 9.30/10pm. This is often the most convenient arrangement for the more distant locations. If fishing closer to home, it gives the opportunity for lunch at the Lodge followed or not by a siesta. Alternatively an earlier dinner can also be made available.
The season runs from 1st November to 1st May. The Arroyo Pescado opens later (1st January).
For non-anglers, or for those wanting to combine fishing with a bit of Patagonian experience, Patagonia has a lot more to offer than just fishing. Depending on your interests we can offer:
Horseback riding from right outside the back door: Depending on your experience you can ride for a couple of hours along the river, or ride for a half, or full, day up in the mountains.
Half day trip into Chile: El Encuentro is only 5 miles away from the Chilean border. The town of Futaleufu has some great restaurants where you can enjoy some excellent pacific seafood and Pisco Sours. After lunch go for a drive around the area or go for a nice hike. You will be surprised at the change of scenery and life style.
Rafting on the Futaleufu River in Chile: This river is world-famous for rafting.
Discover the Welsh Heritage of the area: Visit the town of Trevelin and it’s museums to learn about the fascinating Welsh settlers. Enjoy a traditional tea with some delicious home-made cakes and breads.
Day trip to The National Park Los Alerces: Take a boat tour or a hike. Enjoy some stunning scenery and wild life. The park was created in 1937. The National Park has the largest alerce forest of Argentina . Alerce is one of the longest-living trees in the world; some trees in the park are around 3,000 years old, with many of them over 1,000 years.
Half day trip on La Trochita: One of the only narrow-gauge trains still operating in the world.
Hiking and Bird Watching
Rates – 2009/10:
Rates at El Encuentro are chargeable by the day. These are from US$530/person/day. Non-angler rate is from US$320/person/day.
Included: A full day’s guided fishing, shared boat; accommodation, double occupancy; full board and finest Argentine wines; Transfers between Esquel airport and Lodge.
Not included: Air flight tickets; Fishing tackle and equipment; Fishing Licences – US$16/day (Arroyo Pescado US$80/day); internet and telephone; gratuities
Supplements & Extra Services:
We can arrange for an airport reception in Buenos Aires, intercity transfer, and hotel reservations (for those staying overnight in the city). We can arrange for trusted city guides.
We are also able to offer a customised ‘Two Country Programme’, combining the fishing at El Encuentro with that at Isla Monita, Chile (see Chile page) just 1½ hours drive from the Argentine border.
A 50% trip deposit is required to hold your reservation. The balance is due 60 days prior to commencement of the programme.