In terms of a sea trout property, the Estancia Maria Behety (EMB) is the greatest brown trout fly fishing lodge in all Tierra del Fuego. Boasting 32 miles of the lower river’s prime water, easy wading, access to both sides of the river, skilled fly fishing guides, and high catch rates, it is no wonder that dedicated anglers from around the world covet their dates at Estancia Maria Behety.
Exactly how good is the fly fishing at EMB? Well that depends on a number of factors including weather, water levels and returns, but with that said, we feel that you will be hard pressed to find a more impressive or consistent trophy sea-run fishery anywhere in the world. Rio Grande fish average roughly 14 pounds but bragging rights are reserved for fish of 20 pounds or more. Most seasons will see an angler reap the river’s ultimate reward, a husky ocean going brown trout in excess of 30 pounds.
Built solely to facilitate anglers, the Maria Behety Lodge has set a new standard for simple elegance and efficiency. Come and experience firsthand the fly fishing lodge that has made the lower Rio Grande one of the most sought after systems in the world.
Location: Estancia Maria Behety is located on the Rio Grande in the Tierra del Fuego region southern Argentina, roughly 45 minutes from Ciudad Rio Grande.
Fishing Program: At Estancia Maria Behety, angling days begin in the morning and end late, when the fish are most active. The beats are rotated enabling anglers to see 32 miles of the Rio Grande. The “split-shift” angling schedule enables anglers to return to the lodge for a wonderful lunch and mid-day siesta, returning to the water later in the afternoon for the best of the daily fly fishing. Every two anglers are assigned a vehicle and guide for your stay. All guides are bilingual, talented experts, and thoroughly familiar with all the intricacies of fly fishing the Rio Grande.
Daily Schedule: Anglers begin each day with coffee and juice. Breakfast is served between 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM. Then, it's off to the river! Anglers usually return to the lodge at approximately 1:00 PM for a mid-day meal and rest, venturing back to the river and evening fishing beat at approximately 5:30 PM. Dinner is normally scheduled between 11:00 PM and 12:00 PM, with cocktails and appetizers served beforehand. It is not unusual to fish until 10:00 PM or later during the long December and January days, returning late to the lodge. February, March, and April days and schedules are shorter:
Rio Grande Legal Reference Fishing Hours:
December: 06:00-22:30; January: 06:00-22:30; February: 06:00-22:00; March: 08:00-21:30; April: 08:00-21:00
Accommodations and Meals: Maria Behety lodges was built to be the most comfortable and tasteful fishing lodge in Tierra del Fuego. The timber-framed great room at Estancia Maria Behety features 20 foot high ceilings with banks of elevated windows allowing streaming sunlight to naturally illuminate the space and add warmth. A roaring fireplace anchors the main room and several sitting areas are the gathering spot to relive the fishing of the day and relax with wonderful appetizers and a cocktail. A full bar is well stocked with all the right libations including the finest Argentine wines and plenty of ice cold beer. Dinners are served in the main dining room just off the great room. For those who enjoy smoking there is a special room at the front of the great room called “The Bad Boys Room.” Additionally, there is a computer with internet service to check emails as well as a complete gift/tackle shop.
There are eight double occupancy rooms in the lodge that can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests, though they limit occupancy to 12 anglers. The extra rooms allow a handful of anglers to secure a private room for a nominal, additional cost. Each large guest room is attractively decorated and features two double beds with a shared nightstand, a full dresser, and ample closet space. A full bath with two vanity/sink areas and a walk-in glass shower complete each guest room. Each two guest rooms share a sizable common room to store extra gear, get organized, tie some flies or sit and relax with a good book.
Meals at Estancia Maria Behety revolve around the split day fishing schedule. Usually anglers are up at 7:00 AM and fresh coffee and hot tea available. In the dining room a sideboard is topped with fresh fruit, hand-squeezed juices, yogurt, cereals, toast and pastries. For those who prefer a more traditional American breakfast, cook to order eggs, omelets, potatoes, bacon and ham are available from the kitchen. As is typical in South America, the mid-day meal is a grand, full sit down meal with great wines, delicious desserts and good strong coffee. Dinners are served later than usual in order to accommodate the late evening fishing session that is typical on the Rio Grande. Dinners are usually lighter than the mid-day meal and a perfect night-cap before getting some sleep.
Thursday: Depart home
Friday: Arrive Buenos Aires and overnight
Saturday: Depart Buenos Aires to Rio Grande and transfer to the lodge
Sunday-Friday: Six full days of guided fishing on the Rio Grande
Saturday: Depart the lodge. Fly from Rio Grande to Buenos Aires
Sunday: Arrive home
2018 Rates: $5,520-$6,900 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, transfers to/from Rio Grande airport and the lodge, wine/beer/alcohol, and fishing license.
Not Included: International and domestic airfare, transfers/meals/hotel in Buenos Aires, transfers to/from Ushuaia and the lodge, gratuities, and fishing equipment.
Species: Sea-run brown trout
Season: January - April
Capacity: 12 anglers
Map: Rio Grande, Argentina
Time: The time in Argentina is four hours later than Pacific Standard Time (during U.S. winter).