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Rio Manso Lodge is located in the heart of Argentina's Nahuel Huapi National Park on the banks of Lake Hess and the Rio Manso itself. In an area that seems both wild and incredibly remote, the lodge is actually only 90 minutes away from the city of Bariloche, making it very easy to access on a regular and direct basis. When fishing out of the lodge, guests have access to such diverse fisheries as the Rio Manso, Quieto, Pichi Leufu, and numerous area lakes. Each of the lodge’s eight rooms faces northwest, offering spectacular views of Lago Hess and the nearby Andes Mountains. The main living room and sitting area in the lodge (complete with a huge river stone fireplace) is where cocktails and hor d’oeuvres are served each evening.
Most trips to Rio Manso Lodge are seven nights and six days long (typically a Saturday to Saturday). Because Bariloche is so easy to access, and because there are so many flights in and out of Bariloche on a regular basis, however, trips of any length can be arranged. Shorter trips can easily be accommodated, and many of our clients will add a short stay at Rio Manso Lodge on to another Patagonian adventure.
Uniquely designed, every room at Rio Manso Lodge faces northwest with spectacular views of Lago Hess and the Andes Mountains. Just 15 miles away from the lodge towers majestic Mount Tronador, and massive glacier-topped mountain located on the border with Chile. Each of the lodge's eight rooms is comfortably appointed with either large double bed or two single beds. Every room has its own private bath, and several of the rooms are equipped with a Jacuzzi as well.
As far as the amenities and overall accommodations go, Rio Manso is one of the nicest, most complete lodges in all of Patagonia. It is also our favorite operation in Patagonia for couples, non-anglers and families. The lodge also features a complimentary dry sauna, and massages can be arranged for a fee upon request. The main lodge features a full wader and drying room for tackle and waders, a fly tying area, a small bar, and a spacious sitting area in front of a huge riverstone fireplace. Many nights it is cool enough to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a roaring fire. This is where the lodge will normally serve cocktails and hor d’oeuvres each evening.
Rio Manso's professionally trained chef has created a menu that reflects a worldly influence, with each dish featuring only the freshest of ingredients. Breakfast is cooked to order each morning, and dinners are served in the main dining room; a fitting, gourmet conclusion to a day on the water or a day spent exploring the wonders of Patagonia. One of the highlights at the lodge is the weekly asado, the traditional Argentine grilled BBQ, that features such items as beef, lamb and pork.
Fishing in the heart of Patagonia is a unique experience. Imagine casting to big, healthy trout in crystal-clear water without seeing another person all day. The fishing season in Argentina runs from the beginning of November until the end of April. It is the exact opposite of the North American season, with the longest day of the year falling on December 21. Rio Manso Lodge is open for the entire season, and here is an idea of what to expect when fishing the region:
Early Season (November – December)
These months are often marked by high water, which gradually recedes in December. You will typically start the season fishing lots of weighted streamers on sinking lines. Sporadic mayfly and caddis hatches in November will intensify in December, providing increasingly better dry fly fishing. Early to mid-December will see dragonflies hatching on the lakes and rivers, bringing up the largest fish and providing exciting surface action.
Summer Season (January - February)
Falling water levels coupled with solid hatches provide excellent evening dry fly action in January, especially in the channels near the lodge. Both mayfly and caddis hatches bring the fish up early and late in the day. As temperatures warm in February, the mid-day fishing can slow down on both the river and in the lakes. Terrestrials play an increasingly important role in the daily diet.
Fall Season (March - April)
As fall approaches, water temperatures begin to cool and the fish become more active. Evening fishing is characterized by a brief flurry of activity right before dark while most daytime fishing is with streamers or large attractor dry flies. Big rubber-legged dries work well in the lakes. April is when the big browns become aggressive prior to spawning season.
The lodge fishing the Rio Manso utilizes rafts outfitter with fishing and rowing frames. For the lakes, the lodge utilizes a number of different watercraft, including motorized Carolina Skiffs. While there are a limited number of rods at the lodge in the event you break one, it is recommended that anglers bring their own equipment, including rods, reels, waders, boots, flies, and all terminal tackle.
For guests looking for other things to do besides fishing, Nahuel Huapi National Park and the surrounding area offers many interesting diversions. The area around the lodge is a paradise for hikers, horseback riders, and birders.
Hiking - There are many options for hiking the trails near the lodge to explore the lush, unspoiled forest. There are a number of lakes within walking distance that offer peaceful destinations and beautiful views. Just a short walk from the lodge is the Cascada Los Alerces, the first falls on the Rio Manso below the lodge. If you’re observant, you may spot the rare torrent duck, a species that inhabits the rushing waters of the river and swims for its dinner in the fastest currents. Should you choose to exert yourself more, you can climb the surrounding mountains which offer a breathtaking view of the lodge, the river valley and nearby lakes. Within an hour’s drive of the lodge, guests can visit the glaciers of majestic Mount Tronador and enjoy the famous Black Glacier and the Devil’s Throat, a waterfall that forms the beginnings of the Manso River. Longer treks are also available.
Horseback Riding - For those who enjoy exploring on horseback, the lodge can arrange to have you taken to a number of remote locations that few people ever get to see. Roaring waterfalls and picturesque forests are all a part of the lodge's neighborhood. If you’re extremely lucky, you may see a wild boar or the extremely rare puma. The lodge's expertly trained guides will be with you every step of the way.
Birding - Birders have the opportunity to view one of the greatest birds on earth - the Andean Condor. With a wing span of 10 feet, the condor is the largest land bird in the western hemisphere. You can expect to see condors nearly every day at Rio Manso and in the surrounding area. It is not unusual to see several of these majestic birds at a time.
Golf - If golf is your game, there is a beautiful course not far away on the outskirts of Bariloche - the Arelauquen Golf & Country Club. This brand new 18-hole course looks out on the snow-capped Andes in the distance.
The lodge is near the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, which makes access extremely easy. There are several flights a day connecting this city with Buenos Aires. Upon arrival at the Bariloche airport, a staff member from the lodge will be waiting to take you to Rio Manso Lodge (a drive of approximately 90 minutes).
You can arrive and depart Bariloche for your lodge package on any day of the week, at any time.
All prices are per person. A trip of any length of stay can be arranged. Please call Yellow Dog for custom package pricing.
7 Night / 6 Day Angling Package -------------------------------------------------------------- $4,375.00
7 Night / 6 Day Non-Angling Package -------------------------------------------------------- $2,800.00
* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
Right in front of the lodge there is one of the best fishing spots in all of Patagonia - the Hess Channels, where almost every evening reliable hatches of odonata, tricos and ephemeropteras take place (depending the time of the year.) Is not uncommon that after a journey of fishing in some other stretch of water, guests request to come back for afternoon and an evening spent fishing on their own.