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.
The 290,000 acre Estancia Las Buitreras has private access to nearly 25 miles of the most prolific beats of the Rio Gallegos, consisting of 50 named pools on both sides of the river. The lodge itself is full of rustic charm and modern conveniences. It features seven comfortable rooms, traditional camp styling, a large veranda, a spacious wind-protected courtyard, a fully stocked beer and wine bar and a beautiful covered terrace complete with a stone grill where they host their weekly classic Argentine asado.
The spectacular beauty of the Gallegos watershed is otherworldly and the likelihood is high that you might find yourself fishing alongside silver foxes, guanacos, rheas, flamingos and wild horses. Fishing for the mighty sea run browns of the Rio Gallegos can be very challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Together with the highly skilled and experienced guides of Las Buitreras, the warm charm of the Argentinean culture and the extreme beauty of this pristine and unpressured system, you’re assured to have the angling adventure of a lifetime.
Location: Las Buitreras Lodge is located in southern Argentina 45 minutes outside the city of Rio Gallegos.
Fishing Program: Like Atlantic salmon and steelhead, sea-run browns are most active early and late in the day. At Las Buitreras the fishing hours are scheduled accordingly, providing the best angling opportunity. The guides and staff are quite flexible about the timing for fishing sessions and meals, but a typical day at Las Buitreras starts with breakfast at 7:00 AM. Anglers depart for the river around 8:30 AM time is allotted for relaxing and a siesta. Starting at 4:30 PM tea is served and anglers depart for the river between 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM with sandwiches, soup and fresh fruit. When fishing is over for the day, anglers return to the lodge and a buffet-style dinner is waiting for you. This "split-shift" angling schedule is typical of lodges in Tierra Del Fuego and southern Argentina which enables guests to get the most out of their fishing week. It is not unusual to fish through the evening hours so don’t forget your headlamp!
All of the guides speak good English and are talented instructors, casters and anglers. Guests can use single-hand or two-handed fly rods as most of the time it’s a matter of personal preference. 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 the line in. In faster water or when the wind picks up two-handed rods work great, although many times single-handers are preferred as they can provide for a more stealthy approach. Traditional Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead flies can work well in most cases. Typical trout flies also are good to have on hand including those like the Muddler Minnow, Bitch Creek Nymph, Yuk Bug, Egg-sucking leech or various Wooly Buggers. When the water is stained from rain and runoff, bigger tube flies and leeches can also be good.
Accommodations and Meals: The lodge at Las Buitreras is furnished with traditional “campo” style antiques and was completely renovated and updated with new heating, water, electrical and gas systems. The wine cellar houses a fantastic selection from the Mendoza and San Juan regions of Argentina. Cerveza Isenbeck is a local beer and is always on hand. A large veranda, a spacious wind protected courtyard, a large fixed stone grill and a beautiful terrace for outdoor barbecues are all hallmarks of Las Buitreras. The lodge can accommodate up to 12 anglers in eight guest rooms.
Meals are represented by an eclectic mix of local cuisine and international fare. The traditional Argentinean Asados (BBQ) will show you what beef is all about!
Thursday: Depart home.
Friday: Arrive Buenos Aires and overnight.
Saturday: Fly from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos and transfer to the lodge.
Sunday-Friday: Six full days of guided fishing on the Rio Gallegos.
Saturday: Depart the lodge. Fly to Buenos Aires and connect with your return overnight flight to the States.
Sunday: Arrive home.
"I have been fishing far off destinations for the last thirty years. I have been fortunate to have fished all over the globe. Fishing some of the most wonderful places and having caught some great fish. But to the point, I have never returned to any of those destinations as often as I have to Las Buitreras on the Rio Gallegos. The reason, well its simple, a fishing trip abroad is about so many things, the more things that are right the more you remember the trip, the more you want to return. At Las Buitreas the Lodge is like home, the food is fantastic, the guides are like friends with fishing knowledge to surprise even the most experienced of anglers and the quality of the fishing will take your breath away. What more could you want from your trip. I cannot wait to return."
$6,490 per person for a 7 night/6 day package (January-February)
$5,990 per person for a 7 Night/6 day package (March-April)
Included: Meals and accommodations at the lodge, transfers to/from lodge and Rio Gallegos, laundry, wine and beer, and guided fishing
Not Included: International and domestic airfare, fishing tackle, flies, and equipment, alcohol, and gratuities
Species: Sea run brown trout
Season: January – April
Capacity: 12 anglers
Map: Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Time: The time in Argentina is four hours later than Pacific Standard Time (during U.S. winter).