|Two rods, floating lines, quality reels and a small kit bag serves you well on Lago Strobel
You will need at least one four-piece seven or eight weight rod. I recommend bringing at least two rods. On my last trip, I managed to squeeze in three Mystic Tremor series rods. The Tremor series is a fast action rod designed for windy saltwater flats and performed well.
Two rods, one seven weight and one eight weight, were always rigged and ready to go. The third was simply along as a backup in case of an accident. Some might wonder about long a ‘switch’ rod to cope with the wind. Based on my experience and talking to the guides, who spend the season on the water, a switch or two-handed rod isn’t necessary. In fact, some of the Estancia Laguna Verde guides felt that the surface disturbance casting these rods creates actually works against you as you end up spooking fish.
|Long casts are rarely needed
|Rods are always rigged and ready
Lago Strobel fish are large, robust and full of energy. Once hooked they are more than capable of taking you well into your backing, sometimes two or three times during the course of a fight. Bring a good quality reel with a good smooth drag and at least 150 yards of backing. Disc drag reels are preferred over conventional click and pawl systems. If you can, bring at least two reels if you have them. I used Islander 3.8LX reels. They performed flawlessly.
Although I brought a cross section of fly lines you only need a floating line. I also brought along Midge Tip, InTouch Camolux and InTouch Hover lines but in the end, they were never called off the bench as a floating line met all my presentation needs. If you want to work flies deeper or on a different presentation angle using a floating line I would recommend bringing a few Versileaders, in a cross section of sink rates.
When working off the deep rock bluffs or for fishing Booby's, Lago Strobel trout love Booby's, a fast sinking InTouch Deep 5 or 6 line is useful.
|Working fast sinking lines and a Booby off a rocky shore
Line profile is also important. As Strobel can be windy at times your floating line should or perhaps I should say must be designed to perform in the wind. RIO’s InTouch Outbound Short and InTouch Xtreme Indicator are excellent choices. The new InTouch Big Nasty should also work well. Make sure the line you choose is suited for temperate conditions to avoid memory issues.
I also recommend using low stretch, InTouch, lines. Low stretch lines offer superior bite detection as not all Strobel takes are crunching. In addition, low stretch lines offer improved casting efficiency. Once a fish is hooked you can exert more pressure subduing the fish in less time while reducing potential stress.
When you pack any extra lines place them in marked Ziploc bags to avoid both weight and bulk. Bring along a RIO Cranky and a spare line spool. If you wish to change lines, either by choice or necessity, the operation will take just a few minutes.
Tippet and Leaders:
Leader and tippet requirements are simple. Bring Powerflex Plus tippet in 2X (12#) to 1X (15#) for dry flies. Watching a monster trout slurp down a Chubby Chernobyl or crush a mouse pattern is a trip highlight. For subsurface presentations, I used 0X (15#) pound Fluroflex Plus tippet.
Even though large bulky flies aren’t needed, leaders designed to turn over large flies in the wind work best. RIO Saltwater or Bonefish leaders work well. I also had good success using Powerflex Plus Leaders.
You should have at least a half dozen leaders in the 10’ (Saltwater) to 12’ (Powerflex Plus) lengths.
As mentioned earlier in this post, having a few Versileaders in various sink rates is a good idea.
Other Equipment Considerations:
As with all fishing excursions, quality polarized sunglasses are a must. If possible, bring two pairs. A hat with a large bill that stays in place when the wind is up is recommended. Buffs are an excellent accessory for keeping the sun off your face and your hat on your head. Bring two if you can.
Wading Jacket and Waders:
95% of the fishing on both Lago Strobel and the surrounding Lagunas takes place from shore. Although deep wading isn’t necessary or recommended you need waders and a wading jacket. Depending on the conditions, you may have waves crashing around and into you. A wading jacket and waders keeps you warm and dry while providing relieve from the wind.
|A wading staff helps navigate the rocky shallows
Lago Strobel isn’t the place for lightweight wading boots. Good ankle support is critical due to Lago Strobel’s rocky shoreline. A combination of felt and studs or Vibram and studs provides sure footing.
Lago Strobel sits at approximately 3000 feet above sea level. The weather is unpredictable and changes quickly. A layered philosophy works best. Even during mid-summer, it is possible to have a frost at night. In the fall late March into April, a wool hat is also recommended. Rain, however, is unlikely at any time of year.
|Having the right equipment makes all the difference
Sun gloves are also a welcome accessory. They keep the sun and wind off your hands. As with most Lago Strobel kit, a second pair is a welcome relief to replace a wet pair should it turn cool.
The only recommended equipment I haven’t mentioned, flies. Don’t worry I will cover those in detail in a future entry.