Quillen River, Back After 20 Years

Finally after 20 years I got the chance to come back, to fly fish again at the Quillen River in the province of Neuquen in Argentina. We went there from Cordoba by car, we drove almost a for a full day till we got to the Alumine area where we had organized to stay at the famous Casa de Campo for 5 nights while we would be fishing in different rivers.

In our itinerary our first stop was the Quillen river, for we had decided to go with Christian, a friend and guide from Alumine.


We arrived at Casa de Campo, our accommodation for the trip, and had a great meal with Dani and Marisa where we enjoyed some amazing pasta and nice red wine from Ventus Vineyard. Judging by the wine, we knew this experience was going to be unique. Ventus vineyard is an exclusive premium class wine produced by the first winery in the Province of Neuquen. Neuquen had been considered a desert for a long time, but it has now became an oasis for wine production given its unique characteristics. This highly awarded winery is called “La bodega del fin del mundo” The Winery from the End of the World, given its position in the southernmost part of Argentina.

After that delicious meal, we spend the night together with Juan and the following day we woke up early. At about 6.30, 6.45, we prepared our rods, our lines, all our flies, specially our dry flies and nymphs that would be the ones that we would use the most. We also prepared some sandwiches with tuna, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and some special cheese that Juan brought for the occasion. We also took some water and gatorade for the day in a nice cooler. We were expecting a waiting day over big rocks and we were prepared to spend a lot of energy around. We picked up Cristian at around 9 am at Alumine with a selection of flies. We had our boxes packed with flies and a couple of minutes later we were driving in the direction of the river. It is not far away, just 20 minutes driving and we got to a middle area of the river where we got the lines in our rods, mostly number 3,4,5 rods, all with floating lines, long, long leads of 15 feet, normally a tippet in the front of the line to get a good presentation. We were always assuming a fish can break our tippet, especially if it gets tied around the trees in the water or the algae.


Lets talk about the Quillen river for a while. It starts in the mouth of the Quillen lake and runs to the east for about 35 km before joining the Alumine waters. The Quillen river has profuse vegetation on its banks, being willow trees the most typical species.

For February the river had very low level of water and its temperature was kind of warm. We arrived in a very sunny and clear day. During the morning there was no wind, which was nice for fly casting but in a certain way the warm temperature of the water made it more difficult to get the nice fish because they were kind of non active during the morning. In the early morning there was no activity on top of the water but later in the morning the water got calm and we saw a lot of small fish. Unfortunately,  we lost two small fish. Juan lost one fish, he lost this nice fish even before we got the chance to see how big it was. Then something similar happened to me when the line got stuck in a branch of a tree. I was landing on the water and the fish got stuck around with this tippet and I did not have the chance to hold it. Cristian was helping us a lot changing flies. We moved to different spots looking for deep waters that most of the time were calm. We looked for correderas of water, channels of water, trying to get some fish. We saw some action in those channels but the fish were not really trophies. We caught a nice one that was about 15 inches that morning and a couple around 16-17 inches. After that we stopped for lunch, we had a nice lunch looking at the river.


That lunch was amazing, we had some meat prepared by the guys of Casa de Campo and we had some great vegetable salads, too. It is nice to have some light food during the day in the water. We all met the other different groups fishing for lunch. We took a short nap, about 15-20 minutes some of us under the shades, others under the sun. When we recovered our energy we were ready to come back to the water.

Cristian, one of the guides, brought a special wine from Mendoza, where he is originally from. We appreciated that a lot. It was a really nice present from a friend. It was a nice invitation, a red Malbec wine. We decided to keep it for the evening though, save it to have it with some good cheese during a nice sunset at Casa de Campo. After lunch we decided to change the area so we came back to the pick up truck and we started to look for a different area after Christian’s suggestion. We had been in an place with lots of trees around in both sides of the river, which make it impossible to fly cast. We did the casting with the rods, the rods casting way. It was not easy, but we liked the challenge and we managed to cast the flies and present them in the right area where we were expecting to get the fish from.

Cristian was very polite, he helped us change the flies, made suggestions, and fixed leaders. Like our friend from Santiago del Estero province said, “if you’re not getting your flies in the trees, you’re not fishing.” We tried to put the flies in the last little corner looking for a trophy.


During the day Cristian was nice to invite us to fly fish in Mendoza province. There’s a couple of rivers he’d like us to go fish with him. It’s in our bucket list now! A new challenge to go to Mendoza and  see how the fishing works over there and maybe visit some wineries, too.

We had to use loads of sunscreen because the sun was really strong. We were wearing our long sleeves Columbia shirts and nsilta shirts, we were also using buffs to protect ourselves, Simms waders and fly fishing gloves and boots.

We used Sage rods, the zxl, Sage 1, Sage Approach and Sage Method. We found this latest was the better for this waters, it was stronger and we enjoyed it a lot. Sage Approach number 3 was kind of short but very interesting when we caught fish. Sage 6 feet was very challenging for this rivers. By the afternoon when the wind picked up and started blowing stronger we put the rod number 3 in the case and we decided to continue fishing with rods number 4 and 5, specially a Sage 5. It was very helpful.

The day went by very quickly. We could not believe it when we saw it was 6.30 and time to make our way back to the lodge! We were going to meet Rell Tipton, a friend coming from Cordoba where he had been wingshooting; he was joining us for the rest of the fishing trip.


We finally met Rell Tipton that evening at Casa de Campo. He made a great connection: Cordoba, Buenos Aires, San Martin de los Andes. He left in the morning and he landed around 1.30 pm at San  Martin de los Andes in Neuquen Province. Someone from our staff picked him up and took him straight to the river and Rell had some action over there and after some hours he continued driving up north to Casa Campo. 

Casa de Campo is a beautiful lodge located in the town of Alumine in the province of Neuquen. This lodge offers the unique calm typical of rural settings in the foothills of The Andes. Marisa and Dani, the lodge owners, offer the guests the most comfortable experience and wonderful breakfasts in a lodge that offers great accommodations.

The day had been really good to us, a good beginning for our trip! We enjoyed a delicious dinner together with the Malbec wine Cristian had given us. That night we were all excited for the days we had ahead.

Stay tuned and check the following reports about the rest of our experience in Patagonia!


Pablo Aguilo


Pointer Outfitters


Fly fishing Casa Blanca

Dear Friends of Pointer Outfitters. I just came back from a great fly fishing trip again. Casa Blanca is an angler’s paradise. Situated on the northern tip of Punta Pájaros with immediate access to the prime fishing areas of Ascension Bay, our guests spend less time travelling to the fish.


The lodge is built right on the water, overlooking a beautiful flat visited daily by bonefish schools, permit and tarpon. Some of the best fishing takes place right off the lighted pier after dark.

We were fortunate to catch good weather for most of the week. For the two preceding weeks, the weather was pretty bad.

A very wealthy fellow who lives in Mexico owns the 24 mile long island on which Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca are located. It is about a 55 charter flight from Cancun. Casa Blanca is located on the north end of the island (and such north end is on the sound end of Ascension Bay). Playa is located around 15 miles south of Casa.


The fall group that I go with consists of 14 fisherman who all stay at Playa. I have been a member of this group for 4 years. Pretty good fly fisherman.

A typical day at Playa Blanca, Like Casa Blanca, the fishing program at Playa starts with the sunrise, hand delivered coffee, and a delicious made to order breakfast from six to seven. Anglers then load up into the lodge truck for the five-minute ride to the Santa Rosa Lagoon pier or the ten-minute ride to Sacrificio flat, where skiffs and guides await.

Fishermen return home at approximately four p.m., and are driven back to the lodge for waiting appetizers and drinks. Many guests choose to spend the hours before dinner at our beach palapa. Ten feet from the water with a stocked bar, beach towels and snorkel sets, it’s a fantastic place to pass the late afternoon hours.


I do not recall the final fish count but will see if I can locate the same and send to you. We have a bonefish tournament mid week which results a decent bonefish count since the losing boat has to wear tutus the next day.

IMG_GR_testimonials1465855041.jpgPlenty of good shots at permit this year. A couple of 25 plus pounders with the rest being in the 10 to 15 range.

Lots of snook this trip. One day on my boat we caught 15 snook including 5 very nice sized fish. Could have caught more. Probably saw 60.

In one of the lagoons the snook and tarpon were stacked up. Folks probably saw 200 or so tarpon and 80 to 100 snook.

A number of us walk the beach with spin casting rods with spoons or top waters. Not too good this trip. Frequently catch barracuda and jack crevaile.

We have limited wifi at Playa. Cannot stream anything but can send and respond to emails.

The boats are 16 foot Dolphin boats with 40 or 50 horsepower hand driven Yamahas.

Casa is the bigger lodge that fishes Ascension Bay. Playa is the smaller lodge that fishes south of the lodge. Only one other lodge (located a further south a fair amount) is licensed to fish the waters that Playa fishes (and we infrequently see a boat from that lodge). Casa Blanca is remote but not disconnected. The main lodge has wireless Internet for guest use. There is no regular telephone service, but satellite phones are available for a small fee.

IMG_GR_testimonials1465855062.jpgThe group I go with are all from the States. My son Park has been with me once (in March of 2013). We both caught permit the same day.


My best

Rell Tipton



Fly-fanatics from Japan

At Strobel Lake fly fishing Lodge we had a great season in 2014, and we would like to share with you some lines from a week in January 2014.

More Info


Battling gruesome monster rainbow trout with light fly gear is unquestionably one of the finest ways to start your fishing season. A group of dedicated fly-fanatics from Japan couldn’t agree more. They had traded hectic New Year’s preparations for the sacred silence of our Jurassic Lake River Mouth Camp, firecrackers and rockets for chrome and screaming reels, suits for waders… IMG_GR_testimonials1410980062The sporting virtues of this area lived up their world-renown reputation and our guests executed the task of chasing these chrome fighting-machines flawlessly.

Due to a late arrival of the inbound flight, the first day started with an unexpected delay. Our chef extraordinaire Luis Montivero used the time well to welcome our anglers with a classic “Asado Argentino”- nothing prepares you better for fishing than a glass of Malbec and the scent of fire-roasted beef after a long journey.

Despite the New Year preparation, the River Mouth Camp watershed performed in well-known manner. The excitement of finally getting out to fish was soon overtaken by the revelation why the Lake earned its reputation as the world’s most productive trout fishery. The weather was holding up and the fishing was nothing short of spectacular.

No firework in the world can mimic the night sky over the lake. Mother Nature in all her greatness, some bottles of champagne, good camaraderie and the joy of living a perfect New Year’s Eve. Hard to top? Well, how about 8 fish over 20 pound amongst the 8 of them on the first day?


The biggest fish had tipping the scale at 22,5 pounds.

Would you like to try yourself?

Fishing Dorado at San Javier Lodge Argentina

tn_dorado_1024_68A7262We have been fishing Dorado for 2 amazing dates at San Javier River Lodge (Santa Fe, Argentina) and marshlands with Robert and Todd (who have a great first name: Parrish), from Texas.

San Javier Lodge

San Javier Lodge

We had the strongest rain somebody can remember the day before, what was giving us a kind of bad feeling, but on Wednesday, weather was not that bad. Any way we had rain on the morning so we all had our raining gear and did our best to get some fish. Piranha was very active and we have some of them too.

The afternoon was much better, and with some sun over our shoulders, we had one lovely sunset on the river, and for Todd and Robert was a unique experience far away from the office.

One of them just told us yesterday before supper that he sent an email to his best friend with the following note:

“I have rate San Javier Lodge as excellent because of its very nice Argentina Estancia setting close by to the famous River and effort by all the lodge staff members to make you feel welcome and at home in their home. A very courteous personal service for food and wine, also scrambled eggs for breakfast with great bacon is a treat North Americans rarely find on the table in Argentina. The staff spoke excellent English which was very comforting when wanting to relax after 10 hours of fishing. I highly recommend this place.”


South America‘s Golden Dorado is a rare game fish known for its unique beauty, ferocious fighting, explosive runs and tarpon-like acrobatics.  Though the fish has been famous among South American anglers for quite some time, very few outsiders had even heard of the Golden Dorado – let alone fished for them.  In the last 10 years, however, the Dorado\’s reputation as one of the world\’s best freshwater fighters went global.  Today, adventurous anglers from around the world are flocking to South America in pursuit of this magnificent game fish.


Today, we expect to have another great day… we will tell you later… J


More information on our website: http://www.pointerflyfishing.com

Strobel Lake: Shelter of Huge Rainbow Trout

tn_DSC_16381Fishing in this lake is definitely a unique experience. You have the feeling of being in a space where you cannot distinguish what is real from what is not, like a dream.

Here, the rainbow trout fishing is one of the most inhospitable and extreme of all the country.


“Strobel Lake” is located in the central plateau of Santa Cruz province, which has approximately 20 km long and 15 km wide and is 900 meters above sea level. It is a desert area, very rugged, with very little vegetation and full of volcanic rock, which makes it very difficult to reach. In fact, the last few miles are done very slowly to avoid damaging the trucks. You can see plenty of species of migratory birds and some endemic species such as the Hooded Grebe. Also, in the area inhabit lots of wild pumas (a large feline that resembles a lion) and guanacos (similar to a llama).


Even though we all see pictures, watch videos and read comments of other travelers before making our own trip, it is very hard to put in words or pictures how it is here in this wonderful fishing place, where is found one of the largest and wildest rainbow trout populations of the planet. Not only is the size of these fish what amazes people, but also, their vitality and strength.

It is possible to catch trout in between 4.4 pounds and 26 pounds, with an average size of 11 pounds; and it is not crazy to think that with the lake in good condition, an average angler can get 30, 40 or even more of these fish.

tn_foto 11

It is hard to think that a fish of this size has so much energy during “the fight”, creating endless runs and jumping over and over again. With this in mind, there are plenty of different possibilities and options for anglers. You can choose to fish in the lake with heavy hand equipment or with a two handed #7, and a streamer or tube fly. Or you can fish in the area close to the mouth of the only stream that enters the lake area, the Barrancoso River, since this is an obligatory route for the trout that try to enter the River. In the area near the mouth, we can try with lighter equipment, depending on the strength of the wind. But, there is no doubt that the most intense experience is exploring the crystal clear water of the Barrancoso River.


“Our stay was fantastic; the staff of the lodge is always paying attention to the guest’s needs, the food is excellent and the guides are very professional. And most important of all: “the fishing was from another planet”.

For more information, visit our website: http://www.pointerflyfishing.com