TRAVEL: Arrive Rio Grande, drive 50 minutes to the lodge
RECOMMENDED STAY: Saturday–Saturday, 7 nights/6 days only
FISHING: Rivers, wade only
CAPACITY: 6 anglers
INCLUDED: Lodging, meals, beer and wine, guided fishing and transportation to/from the Rio Grande Airport
NOT INCLUDED: Flights, license, gear and services in Buenos Aires
Estancia Despedida Lodge is dedicated to the best experience fishing the Rio Grande in Argentina for Sea Run Brown Trout. Its 5-star reputation is based not on luxury, but rather on solely outstanding fishing. It offers some of the best (and most famous) pools on the river, no time-consuming drives and long hours on miles of private water for just 6 anglers. Despedida Lodge’s well-seasoned fishing guides continually make anglers successful and play a major role in the high percentage of repeat Sea Run Brown addicts.
Estancia Despedida Lodge offers warm hospitality, exceptional value and world class Sea Run Brown Trout fishing. It attracts humble, highly skilled international anglers who share a common, genuine bond that is the Despedida experience. Of all the lodges that fish the Rio Grande in Argentina, Estancia Despedida is the number 1 choice for the diehard, dedicated Sea Run Brown Trout angler who seeks world class fishing and expert guides all at a great price.
Despedida 2020 Availability
Mar 28-Apr 3
Contact us now for rod space during the 2021 season!
Estancia Despedida Lodge is located in the middle Rio Grande on the south bank, below Kau Tapen Lodge and across from Estancia Maria Behety. Built in 1999 from imported Montana logs, Despedida is a modest but well-appointed lodge with nothing overstated or overlooked. It accommodates only six anglers in 3 double bedrooms with double beds and private baths. The log structure offers a spacious living, dining and bar room with panoramic views.
Compared to other Rio Grande fishing lodges, Despedida has the most intimate atmosphere. It’s a family run lodge, with managing outfitter Danny Lajous, his wife Helen and their son Tomas taking a personal interest in your satisfaction, comfort and success. Danny, Helen and their right-hand man, Ozzie, have run Despedida Lodge for over 20 years and understand the intricacies of fly fishing for Sea Run Brown Trout in Argentina. Their son Tomas is continuing the legacy as a renowned guide on the Rio Grande.
Estancia Despedida serves delicious Argentine and Italian cuisine paired with fine wines. The breakfast spread includes fresh fruit, yogurt, toast, cereal and eggs to order.
Like all Rio Grande fishing lodges, Despedida anglers will fish hard in the morning and from late afternoon until dark when Sea Run Brown Trout are most active. After a 7:00 am breakfast, anglers will drive 5-15 minutes to the river and return to the lodge for lunch and siesta before the 5-10pm evening session. With dinner ending after midnight, everyone takes advantage of the mid-day rest.
Despedida Lodge is known for having some of the best water on the Rio Grande producing around 3-6 Sea Run Browns per angler, per day that average 11lbs. By the end of a week, most anglers will have hooked or landed a fish near the 20 pound mark. There are epic days that make averages irrelevant such as a 36 lb record landed in 2008 and the angler who caught 33 fish in one evening in the pool now named, 33. Other famous pools at Despedida are the Boca of the Menendez, Condor and Arturo and all anglers will rotate through them during their stay.
Despedida’s fishing guides were born in Tierra del Fuego and have fished the Rio Grande, most of their lives. They are an experience team of enthusiastic professionals devoted to your success.
In 1935, John Goodall stocked 60,000 Chilean salmo trutta eggs in 2 tributaries of the 70 km Rio Grande. Today, young Brown Trout spend an average of 2 years in the river before their first migration to the sea where they’ll spend 6 months before returning to the river with an average weight of 6 lbs. Sea Runs that spawn 4 times in the Rio Grande weigh over 20 lbs and some fish have been known to complete the cycle 6 times.
Studies show that the Sea Run Browns in Tierra del Fuego’s Rio Grande are about 17% heavier than other sea trout of the same length. Their size and high return rate are factors of low predation, biologically rich salt waters and a strict Catch and Release policy employed by all lodges. Rio Grande’s Sea Run Brown Trout population was estimated at 75,500 adult fish in 2008.
Today, the average daily catch rate on the Rio Grande is an amazing 3-6 fish per rod. The key to success is to adapt your fly fishing technique. Sea Run Browns are rather moody and will strike when the fly is presented well, at the right time and in the right spot. Be flexible with your tactics and listen to your guide. If a fly moving evenly and slowly still does not produce a strike, consider modifying the depth or fly pattern. Fly placement is also a factor. Like other anadromous salmonids, Sea Run Browns generally move up river at night, congregating at the head of the pool in the evening and at tail of the pool in the morning and against cut banks during the middle of the day. On overcast days the fish could be found in the middle of the pools.
Chromed Sea Run Brown Trout begin to enter the Rio Grande lower pools in early December and continue to enter until May. The peak weeks are unpredictable and fall sometime during the busy early January to late March timeframe, but regardless of the month, if conditions are good, the fishing is good. April is often overlooked and can be equally exciting and productive as mid-season. In April, all the fish that are going to return are now in the river with spectacular fall colors and weighting at their peak. Water levels are at their lowest, fish are more concentrated and the strong Tierra del Fuego winds are significantly diminished.
Estancia Despedida Lodge
(7 nights; 6 days fishing)
Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires (EZE). Transfer to the domestic airport (AEP) and fly to Rio Grande (RGA). Guides will pick you up and transfer you 50 minutes to Despedida Lodge. Cocktails and dinner.
Day 2-7: Six days fishing
Day 8: Check out, transfer back to the Rio Grande Airport for your flight home.
Included: Lodging, meals, beer and wine, guided fishing and transportation to/from the Rio Grande Airport.
Not Included: Flights, license, gear, spirits and services in Buenos Aires.
6 days Sea Run Brown fishing at Las Buitreras Lodge.
6 days Golden Dorado fishing and/or dove shooting at Parana Sunrise Lodge
4 days Wilderness Trout Fishing Expedition in Junín
With our intimate knowledge of Argentina and our specialized travel agent, we take all the guesswork out of travel so you can concentrate on packing.
With our variety of destinations and lodges, we’ll have the skinny on whatever you’re looking for. We often combine multiple destinations and adventures for our guests.
Our previous travelers want to speak with you about their trip(s) with Fly Fishing Patagonia. Questions about a specific trip, or general questions on the experience?