Lago Strobel: Hook, Line and Squirminator…
Lago Strobel Argentina. AKA an angler’s Disneyland. The thought of shaking off a 12 pound trout seems ludicrous right? But tucked away from civilization you stand a good chance of landing a 20 pound rainbow trout, a once in a lifetime fish that is worth every bit of work it takes to get him.
When we arrived at the Estancia Laguna Verde lodge I was blown away by how nice the accommodation is. This place is literally in the middle of nowhere, and yet it has all the comforts of home and more. We immediately got our gear together and headed out to the “warm up pond” and got the trip started. I am fairly new at fly fishing, so the pressure was on as I had never caught anything close to 10 pounds on my fly rod before. But the fight and challenge are what makes this fun and I was shaking, in true Jessica form, as we walked up to the first spot. We put an Olive Balanced Leech on and I tossed it in. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BAM! I’m not exaggerating, that’s all the time it took to hook the biggest rainbow of my life! 8 pounds!! I threw it back in. 1,2,3,4,5 BAM! Down again with another hawg! It went on like that 5 for 5, five of the biggest rainbows I have ever seen or caught with the largest weighing in at a whopping 12 pounds.
Not bad for a novice right? Right BUT the fishing Gods wasted no time in putting me in my place. The rest of the trip was much more challenging, but oh so worth it. My personal favorite fishing spot at Lago Strobel was Monster Bay, which lived up to the name 100%. The first two fish my husband caught were 18 and 16 pounds, unbelievable! The squirminator and black balanced leeches were the name of the game and everybody was catching fish, a must have if you ever get the chance to visit Lago Strobel. Oh, and don’t forget your strong tippet! Our preferred tippet was the Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon in 1X and 0X – the knot strength is simply unbelievable and super resistant against the sharp rocks of Strobel.
Except. For. Me. Same fly, same drift, same cast, same spot. Yet the boys were ripping them on either side of me while my indicator mocked me, very visible, untaken. All day it went like this and I admit, I was frustrated. I feel a responsibility to keep up with the guys and represent the female anglers! I stood shoulder to shoulder in 70 mph winds, and never gave up even though I was getting skunked. I ended that day on a low note, doubting myself and my skills.
The next morning I looked around and I realized that even if I never caught another fish that trip, I still got to see my husband and some of my best friends land the biggest rainbows of their lives. I got to see for myself the magic that this lake has and have an experience that I would never forget. We got back to Monster Bay, I threw my Black Balanced Leech in and within about 15 minutes……
I CAUGHT A 14 POUND RAINBOW! No fish has ever felt so sweet. All the hard work, the tough conditions, and the patience paid off and you know what, it felt like a 20 pounder to me.