Aug 28th, 2017
Just north of the Straits of Magellan in southeastern-most Argentina flows the lovely and incomparable Rio Gallegos. For many a seasoned rod, this lovely low-gradient system and the charming Las Buitreras Lodge that serves it represent the pinnacle sea trout experience. Why? Well, the reasons are many, beginning with that fact that the international and eclectic cast of anglers that visit the lodge are essentially the only anglers on the entire system. Add to that huge beats of well-rested water, incredible wildlife, some of Argentina’s most skilled guides and a chance at some of the largest and best-fighting sea trout in the world and you will start to understand the loyalty of the river’s many followers.
For more information please contact Kyle at 800.552.2729.
Expert interview with Fly Water Travel’s Patagonia destination manager, Kyle Kolodziejski
1. Las Buitreras has nearly 25 miles of private fishing access on both sides of the Rio Gallegos.
2. Easy walk and wade fishing access along a beautiful and lightly pressured river.
3. The lodge has a relaxed, fun, European atmosphere and is located in a remote setting.
4. Fish with experienced, attentive and knowledgeable guides.
5. The Gallegos offers the most challenging, technical and rewarding sea trout fishing in Argentina.
Where is the lodge?
The lodge is located in southern Argentina 45 minutes outside the city of Rio Gallegos.
How do I get there?
Guests arrive in Buenos Aires on Friday and overnight. On Saturday you take a mid-afternoon flight from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos. A representative of the lodge will meet you at the airport and transfer you 45 minutes to the lodge.
When should I go?
January through mid-April.
Where do they fish?
Las Buitreras has private access to nearly 25 miles of river consisting of 50 named pools on both sides of the Rio Gallegos.
Who is best suited to this destination?
Experienced anglers who enjoy the challenges and rewards of technical sea trout fishing. This is a place where stealth and good casting skills can make a difference.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
The lodge is spacious, tastefully decorated and offers a well-balanced blend of modern conveniences with old world Argentine charm. The lodge’s first floor has one large open room which serves as the guest lounge, meeting area and dining room, a small fly shop and a hallway with hooks for drying waders and jackets. Outside the main lodge, entry is a large covered veranda with chairs for donning waders and plenty of racks and hooks for storing waders and rods. Guests stay on the second floor of the lodge in the seven private guest rooms. The lodge is powered by a generator which runs during the day when guests are at the lodge and shut off from roughly 11PM to 7AM while guests are sleeping. Each room has its own battery powered lantern to use when the power is off but it’s also helpful to bring your own headlamp. Lunch is the “big” meal of the day and is served at the lodge between fishing sessions, whereas dinner is a lighter more casual meal consisting of filling and plentiful finger foods served couch-side in the lounge area after guests return from fishing late in the evening.
Describe the atmosphere and style of the lodge?
The lodge maintains a relaxed and fun atmosphere in an upscale and remote setting.
Is the owner or manager on-site?
There’s always an owner, manager, and/or point person on-site and available to take care of guests’ needs. Additionally, the lodge owner or general lodge manager sits with guests at lunch and dinner and hosts the nightly post-fishing happy hour to assure guests are comfortable and have a good time.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is no cellular service but they do have a fast internet connection with WiFi access.
How do they fish?
They fish two anglers per guide on a split day schedule where guests fish two 4-5 hour sessions punctuated by an extended mid-day break for lunch and a siesta. The beat rotation schedule is set up where each guide works the same beat all week and guests rotate beats (and guides) each session. This system allows every angler to fish each beat twice, one-morning session and one-afternoon session, with the same guide each week. Anglers are advised to bring single hand rods for low water conditions and two handed rods for high water and windy conditions. Swinging and twitching relatively small nymphs on intermediate lines is a very popular technique. There is also a time when larger streamers and or dry flies are very effective.
What fish will I catch?
Sea run brown trout are the target species but anglers frequently catch healthy numbers of resident brown trout.
How many fish will I catch?
Catch rates vary greatly by day, week and by the angler. The lodge keeps good records of catch rates and across the year’s anglers have averaged nine fish landed per person per week.
Will we see other anglers?
You will not see anglers other than those staying with you at the lodge.
Is there wade fishing?
Guests wade fish 100% of the time.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
Travel times to fishing areas are quite short and range from two to 30 minutes.
Do guides speak English?
All of the guides and lodge staff speak varying degrees of English. I’ve found that the veteran guides/staff all speak great English. Some of the new guides and lodge staff have a more limited English vocabulary but do a fine job carrying out basic conversational and fishing English.
What are the guides like?
The guides are friendly and professional and are some of the most experienced sea trout guides in Argentina. They work as a team to ensure each guest gets the most out of their fishing week at Buitreras.
What is the cost?
Please see the Rates and Details section of our Las Buitreras Lodge web page for the current rates: https://www.flywatertravel.com/destination/Las_Buitreras_Lodge
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge has a selection of quality rod and reel outfits available to guests for a daily/weekly fee. There is a small fly shop in the lodge that carries a good selection of productive flies, leaders, tippet, fly lines, and logo apparel for guests.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
A single hand 9-10′ 7-8 weight and a light 11-13′ 7-8 weight spey rod with a Scandi style head will cover most of the water and conditions, most of the time. It’s also a good idea to have a heavier two handed rod in the 7 to 8 weight class for Skagit and sink tip work during high water conditions or to load heavier Scandi heads for punching long casts on windy days.
Are there other activities?
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
My favorite memory was being guided by Solid Adventures’ Rickard Sojberg and The Fly Fishing Nations’ Stephan Dombaj. On one particular evening session, Stephan carefully selected our last fishing beat of the day and immediately directed me to fish the meat of the run. Within a handful of casts, I was hooked up on a mid-sized chrome-bright sea trout! I landed the fish in the golden light of sunset after a short but thrilling fight. Wanting to end the day with a fish to hand, I happily stated, “I’m done!” and after a quick shrug of his shoulders, Stephan casually dug into his pack and surprisingly pulled out a fresh bottle of Scotch and some glasses! He poured us all a modest sampling and we sat back on the bank reflected on the day and exchanged fish stories as we watched the sun fade to the horizon. It was truly a memorable way to end a day on the water with newfound friends.
Are there special skills required?
Be prepared to cast in the wind. Although the Rio Gallegos can be fished with single hand fly rods it’s good to be proficient in two-handed casting techniques (particularly a snake roll off your left shoulder) so you can cover lots of water more efficiently, especially on windy days. Casting quietly with a single hand rod is also very beneficial.
What are the physical demands?
With short walks from the truck to the river and easy wading there are no physical demands worth noting.
Dangers and annoyances?
None that come to mind.
Las Buitreras offers technical sea trout fishing on nearly 25 miles of private access to over 50 named pools on both sides of the Rio Gallegos.
The low-angle grassy banks and slow flows of the Rio Gallegos make for easy walk and wade fishing access.
Guests enjoying happy hour in the lodge’s spacious and comfortable main room.
Sunset is the beginning of the “golden hour” when the fish are often very active.