Given the great trout fishing we have in Utah and the west in the past we tended to shy away from trout trips that offered a similar experience to what we have in our own back yard. That all changed after our first adventure to Argentina with Ron and Vanessa Sorenson. The first thing we discovered is it's really not like what we have here in the west. It may look like the western US, and we do have good trout fishing, but that's where the comparisons end.
Based in San Martin de Los Andes, Chocolate Lab Expeditions(CLE) offers some of the best fishing in all of the Patagonia region. Owners Ron and Vanessa Sorensen have been guiding and outfitting anglers in northern Patagonia since 1996, building a reputation for dependable excellence and sharing their passion for fly-fishing Patagonia. Vanessa's three generations of family history in San Martin has enabled CLE to access properties and establish an incredible staff of local Argentines. Ron's fly-fishing guiding career began in '91 on the Madison River, then for Mike Lawson from '92-2002, and finally under his own Montana license starting in 2003. His background and knowledge brings the perfect blend to Argentina allowing he and his wife to offer a unique and personable fly-fishing experience to this prolific region of Argentina.
CLE offers a range of fishing options by utilizing a mix of public and over 260 miles of private waters on over 12 local rivers, 7 estancias (fishing ranches), private leases, and various overnight camp floats. World famous rivers such as the Malleo, Chimehuin, Collon Cura, and Limay serve as the focus of their operation plus many lesser known rivers that fish well seasonally. This area of Patagonia offers very diverse types of fishing: from sight casting to rising trout on spring creeks, to stalking big browns on crystal clear mountain streams, throwing big dries on faster freestones, and fishing tactical tail waters. From the often prolific mayfly and caddis hatches of the early summer (Dec-early Feb) and fall (late March-April) to the inch worm infestation and minnow runs during mid-summer, this rich area always has something to offer the visiting angler.
Trips of any length (typically 6-10 fishing days) are custom designed for each client based on fishing preferences, trip timing, and budget. We have really enjoyed the flexibility of mixing time at the top notch estancias with the miles of private access water and the more simple but quality overnight camp trips.
The CLE team offers excellent guides, great meals, wines, and top quality equipment. They are one of the few outfitters in Argentina operating a full fleet of drift boats- which might not sound like much until you spend a day hung up on the straps and buckles of a raft.
For Western Rivers Flyfisher our relationship with Ron Vanessa and CLE's staff of guides has made a trip to Argentina now an annual adventure. Besides having a great time, we've been impressed with the CLE guides' hard work, fly-fishing knowledge and commitment to a flexible fly-fishing experience. The dynamic nature of these rich fisheries allows the guides to approach the rivers with a variety of techniques- we often have multiple rods set up in the boat while floating to make the most of rising targets and productive runs and riffles. Altough CLE uses a variety of fly-fishing techniques to make your trip a success they have a definite focus on dry fly fishing. This is a departure from most outfitters in Argentina and one of the many reasons we will continue to return to this region and to fish with Ron, Diego, Saggy and his other professional guides.
Come join us on one of our shop hosted trips to Argentina or let us help you develop a customized fly-fishing adventure to this incredible trout country. See for yourself why we'll be visiting Ron and Vanessa for years to come. He and his wife truly offer a very unique Argentine experience in the shadow of the Andes among some of the worlds most incredible trout streams and lakes.