Sep 27th, 2017
While there are a great many appealing and productive steelhead rivers in the world, the argument for Argentina’s mighty Rio Santa Cruz being far and away the most unique is near bulletproof. The reasons are many; its massive size, the harsh and surreal Daliesque landscape through which it flows, the subtlety of its lies and structure and the fact that it is the only true Atlantic steelhead return in the world. We have no real idea as to how many fish it holds but what we do know is that after more than a decade of commitment to the system by some of Argentina’s top guides, that its secrets have been revealed exposing a consistent and viable gem that might possibly be the last major river to be added to the cannon of steelhead classics.
For more information please contact Kyle at 800.552.2729.
Expert interview with Fly Water Travel’s Patagonia destination manager, Kyle Kolodziejski
1. Fish the only true Atlantic steelhead run in the world.
2. Learn from Argentina’s most experienced steelhead guides.
3. Experience the surreal Daliesque desert landscape surrounding the Rio Santa Cruz.
4. Very little angling pressure.
Where is the lodge?
Los Plateados is located in southern Argentina nearest to the town of Piedra Buena which is 130 miles north from Río Gallegos.
How do I get there?
Most anglers fly from Buenos Aires south to the city of Rio Gallegos and are transferred by truck three hours to the lodge.
When should I go?
Mid-March through April. See current availability.
Where do they fish?
They fish four different zones with 30 named pools on a stretch of the mighty and massive Rio Santa Cruz roughly 50 miles upriver from its terminus at the Atlantic.
Who is best suited to this destination?
Experienced and well-traveled steelhead anglers interested in fishing all the great steelhead rivers in the world. It is a great choice for anyone who likes remote places and enjoys the challenge of steelhead angling.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
The lodge is small and utilitarian with a cozy dining/living area, a brick fireplace, shared bath and shower and two double occupancy rooms. The seasoned chef prepares a variety of fresh, hearty and thoughtfully prepared meals using locally sourced ingredients.
Describe the atmosphere and style of the lodge?
The lodge has a simple, rustic and no frills feel that fosters an environment where anglers are treated as fishing friends rather paying clients.
Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Claudio Martin is the on-site host and head guide. Claudio is a super nice, friendly guy who is always available and on site to assist with guests needs.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is no internet or cell service.
How do they fish?
Guides use trucks and power boats to access the river. Guests rotate among the different zones to fish the most productive pools and runs. A typical day at Los Plateados starts early and ends late. Anglers head to the river following an early breakfast, fish until mid-day, take in a riverside lunch, and fish into the evening hours before returning to the lodge for a late dinner. Guides will rotate among paired anglers, giving guests the opportunity to fish with multiple guides throughout their stay. Depending on the particular pool or water conditions, anglers will find themselves swinging flies in a traditional manner or more likely imparting motion to the fly by stripping in line.
What fish will I catch?
How many fish will I catch?
Anglers typically average 1-3 hookups and one fish to landed per day.
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 range from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours by way of a vehicle or motorized boat, or both.
Do guides speak English?
All of the guides and lodge staff speak very good English.
What are the guides like?
The guides are friendly and professional and are some of the most experienced spey guides in Argentina. They work as a team to ensure each guest gets the most out of their fishing week.
What is the cost?
Please see the Rates and Details section of our Los Plateados Lodge web page for the current rates: https://www.flywatertravel.com/destination/Los_Plateados_Lodge
Does this trip combine well with other trips?
Yes, this program marries well with travel itineraries to the Rio Grande, Rio Gallegos, and Jurassic Lake. The easiest and most natural fit is to add a week of late season sea trout fishing on the Rio Gallegos with Las Buitreras Lodge before a stay at Los Plateados Lodge. The same outfitting team manages both destinations making for a seamless exchange between the programs.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge can provide quality fishing equipment for an additional cost if needed. However, if you have specific fishing preferences I highly recommend that you bring your own arsenal of gear. The guides have a small selection of productive custom flies for sale if you need to complement your own supply.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
Any medium-fast action 13′ – 13’6″ spey rod capable of throwing a 525-625 grain floating Skagit head with a 12-15′ tip of T-14 or T-17.
Are there other activities?
Are there special skills required?
The ability to cast medium to heavy sink tips with large flies 80+ feet is a good skill to have under your belt. Although single handed casting is doable the large majority of visiting anglers use spey techniques to cover more water with ease and effectiveness.
What are the physical demands?
Dangers and annoyances?
Wind can be a big factor here, but it is not a given.