Las Pampas Style. Go for the fishing, stay for the experience.
Last year when I started planning an excursion to escape the despair of winter I had little clue how much of a lasting impact a trip to South America would make. I thought that getting out of the Inland NW's dreary winter weather to chase trout would be just that. Man was I wrong, it was much more.
Las Pampas was my first experience with South American culture. I've traveled around a bit in the Caribbean and Mexico, but never as far south as the Patagonia region, some 7,000 miles away. Each destination we have fished typically is a good experience with warm and friendly locals, but there was just something different about Las Pampas. From the moment you stepped into the inviting lodge, you were treated as if you were family. Each day and evening the family atmosphere growing more and more.
Las Pampas was more than just fishing. The people that run the operation from the lodge managers, to the guides, chefs and beyond were what really made the experience. I've not been to as many lodges as some, but enough to know that typically after the days fishing is done guests and guides part their ways not to be seen again together until the next mornings scheduled time. Las Pampas does an incredible job of intertwining guests with crew members, cultivating the family atmosphere. An evening of drinks or dinner with your guide really creates a bond that solidifies relationship and makes the days on the water that much more enjoyable.
In addition the egalitarian atmosphere, the Rio Pico region of Argentina provides stunning vistas that photos really don't do justice. Nestled at the base of the Andes Mountains you find yourself within eye shot of towering peaks laced with glaciers and treeless tops of high elevation. The flatlands of Las Pampas provide fertile ground to drain the arteries of the Andes and provide nutrients to it's finned wildlife. Every location we fished offered something unique to view and scenery that could never get old.
So what is the Las Pampas Style? It is more than just the fishing, it's a way of life.