Press and Testimonials
Focus on Neuquen Province, near Junin de los Andes
Fay Rogers writes: “My friend, Dave, and I fished the Collon Cura, Alumine and Chimehuin Rivers in Argentina this past January with Martin Carranza’s Chime Lodge (786-266-
5068; www.andesoutfitters.com) located north of Bariloche near San Martin de los Andes. We had fished this general area two years ago and loved it. Thankfully, we were able to reach the lodge without a layover in Buenos Aires. It was about a three hour drive to the lodge from the airport in Bariloche.
“The new lodge is managed by Sara and Jonathan Heames who work seasonally in the fishing travel business out West. Specifically, Jonathan is a guide and outfitter in Montana and Idaho, and Sara works at Henrys Fork Lodge in Idaho. The just-complete two-story, stone-and-timber
Chime Lodge is located on the west bank of the Chimehuin River, a few miles from the quaint village of Junin. You can stroll out the door and fish the river. The lodge holds eight fishermen upstairs in spacious double rooms with private baths and greatviews. The lower level has a great
room and dining area, and that is also where the kitchen is. “Our daily routine began with breakfast at 7:45. Pato, the cook, served fresh-baked scones, fruit tarts and other goodies to accompany bacon, eggs, ham, etc. Then we loaded our fishing gear in the trucks for a 15-
minute to one-hour ride to our designated beat for the day. We’d wader up as the guides launched and packed the rafts. Then we’d float and fish from eight to 10 hours with stops
alongside the river for delicious packed lunches. Upon our return from fishing, beer and snacks of cheese, sausage, empanadas and crackers greeted us. The dinners were sumptuous:
steaks, filets, chicken, pasta, troutserved with good wines, large and varied salads – all of this topped off by desserts of flan, pies and fruit cups.
“The weather during our visit varied considerably, with high temperatures from 65 to 85 degrees and lows in the 40s. The wind varied from fairly calm to sustained 35 mph with gusts even higher. We wore waders with fleece at times, while at other times we wet-waded.
“The fishing ranged from good to excellent. On the first day, we fished the “town section” of the Chimehuin, where we took a few nice fish in the 18-inch range, nothing larger. All were quite picky, taking PMXs and Copper Johns on droppers. Day two saw us on the Collon Cura, a much
larger river where Conehead Wooly Buggers in both black and green produced rainbows up to 21 inches. On ay three we floated the Alumine to the Collon Cura and had excellent luck with rainbows in the 18- to 20- inch range on Parachute hoppers, Stimulators and Gypsy Kings fished
both with and without Beadhead Prince and Pheasant Tail nymph droppers.
The upper section of the Alumine saw good-size rainbows taking dries and droppers throughout the day. My two largest fish came that day: a rainbow and a brown, each 22 inches long.
“Chime Lodge offers an overnight float-and-camp option on days five and six. Six of us and our guides floated the lower section of the Chimehuin to its confluence with the Collon Cura. That is too great a distance to float in one day. We took 20-inch-plus rainbows. Camp consisted of spacious tents with cots, sleeping bags and comforters. Dinner was an asado with beef steaks, sausages and chicken grilled over a wood fire accompanied by fine wine.
“The wind rose the night we spent on the river. There were moments when we thought the tent would go airborne and others when it felt as if it would be pushed flat to the ground.
The next morning it seemed that the wind had abated, but that did not turnout to be the case. Thankfully, the stream and the wind were both going in much the same direction. My friend Dave had probably his best day of the entire trip with more than 20 fish landed, several measuring 20
inches or more. For the remainder of the trip, we opted to fish the Alumine. “Throughout the trip, we found the equipment and the guiding excellent. All three of the guides were capable in English. We had fished with head guide Gustavo Sarthou two years before and could not wait to
again do so; he is a wonderful and patient guide. Two other guides, Christian and Marcos, are excellent in their own rights. All really want their clients to catch fish and enjoy the whole experience.
“This trip cost $3,850. Dave and I will certainly return to Chime Lodge.
The water and scenery are beautiful and the fishery is excellent.”
olah; I didn,t want to go on the trip because I new how difficult it would be to say goodbye, to people and country that I love so much. The parting was a sweeter sorrow than my sons and self could have imagined. Johnathon and Sarah were absolutely wonderful. Like young, grandparents to us all. A better choice could not have been made! Pato, as a person and chef is amazing. Her meals were delicious. and served in a loving manner. Shore lunches deserve an A+. Gustavo is one of a kind, with Christian close to him. Our boys loved Christian; his personality, knowledge of fishing, and holding Greg in place (water ovwer waders) whild he cast to beautiful browns on the Mallejo. Will never forget. Lake Tromen SP, was a defining moment. The shore lunch at the end of the lake, with the peaks, refelctions on the water etc, and Brad knocking them dead with pin point casts made for unforgettable day. The lodge is wonderful. Love the location; far enough out for solitude, and the night sky's display of stars, bright and closeness that you felt you could reach up and touch them. The heavens opened and blessed us with incrediable weather as you know. Thank you, and all you have employed, for giving us an intense fishing experience. That is exactely what we wanted. Next time we will bring duck tape with us to strap the rods to our hands when we can no longer hold them.
Please keep us informed of the season.
Warmest regards to all.
Bob S. and sons Idaho
I wanted to write to let you both know of the wonderful experience these last few days provided me at Chime Lodge. I arrived late on the 6th of January with Pudge Kleinkauf's crew and we left on Saturday, the 16th. Tom, I am a returning guest, having been there January 2009 with Pudge's group, too. Even though we thought everything went very well last year, this year with the addition of Sarah and Jonathan Heames, the lodge was top of the line.
It was also very gratifying to see the pressure come off of your head guide, Gustavo, and your treasure of a magnificent cook, Pato. I would suggest that both Gus and Pato are irreplaceable. I am definitely coming back next year.
Martin, it was so great to meet you and special thanks to you for your fishing help and encouragement. I would like to give you a big hug for your casting instruction. I used the cast you suggested with the Rio 200 gr. integrated line and it really helped get the flies out there on Friday at Lake Tromen. Marcos took Pudge and me on Friday, fixed me up with the perfect streamer which helped me catch five bows from 20-23 inches. I really like Marcos and think he has a great future as a guide.
The previous day on the long float (I loved it), I caught fish after fish, using his PMX and sometimes a dropper. Fantastico, I kept telling him. It must have been over a 20 fish day. I lost track early. Leslie and I even had a double with two very healthy bows. I learned so much this last week and I am so grateful. My fishing confidence went way up, thanks to you and your staff. Fantastico to all of you. Thanks so much. Martin, I don't know if I will go to Charlotte, and if not, please know I love the Chime.
In gratitude and with best wishes,
Julie T. North Carolina
Martin -- We had a terrific time at your new lodge in Argentina. The
experience was exceptional for everyone. We love your accommodations, staff,
location, guides, and fishing program.
We will be back!!
John W. North Carolina
"I had my best day of streamer fishing EVER with the head guide Gustavo on the Chimehuin! I found the diversity of fishing was incredible. I wish I had more time to see all the rivers and I will defiantly be back to fish'em all."
Ian D. Bozeman, MT
Thank you for thinking of me and sending me your recent news.
Without exception, the accommodations and guiding at Chime were exceptional. The setting, individual rooms, common area, and most certainly the staff at Chime set a standard to be admired by all. While having been fortunate enough (and old enough) to have tried fishing destinations from Labrador to Alaska, none would compete with the professionalism, attention, and friendliness of your guides. They are superb. I have sung your praises to many up here. And, naturally, Martin, I have a special recollection of your kindness in retrieving my long lost rods, bringing them up from Bariloche so that I might finally give them a real taste of Argentinian waters.
Blake P. Newfane, VT