TRAVEL: Arrive Rio Grande, drive 45 minutes to the lodge
RECOMMENDED STAY: Saturday–Saturday, 7 nights/6 days only
FISHING: Rivers, wade only
CAPACITY: 12 anglers
RATE: $5,595 – $6,900/angler
INCLUDED: Lodging, meals, open bar, guided fishing and transportation to/from the Rio Grande Airport
NOT INCLUDED: Flights, single rooms, gear, loaner rod, license, Ushuaia Airport transfer, services in Buenos Aires
Estancia Maria Behety Lodge in Tierra del Fuego and its Rio Grande Sea Run Brown Trout fishing are recognized as one of the world’s premier fly fishing destinations. Estancia Maria Behety (EMB) has an impressive 32 private miles on the lower Rio Grande with access to both banks. More than 100 of the finest Sea Run Brown fishing pools on the Rio Grande are accessible within minutes of the lodge. During the short 14 week season, every week offers exceptional fishing.
After 2 decades, Maria Behety Lodge holds many records for pounds and numbers. Most anglers utilize their First Right of Refusal, returning each year on their coveted week attempting to break these records. Those who cannot return leave their valuable space open to eager anglers on a wait list. If you are serious about experiencing the Rio Grande’s Sea Run Brown Trout fishing at Maria Behety, contact us as soon as possible to reserve your space. We have been fishing in Tierra de Fuego, Argentina since 1999 and will put our expertise to work for you.
Estancia Maria Behety Lodge sits on a high bluff overlooking the lower Rio Grande on the north bank. Only 12 anglers per week occupy the lodges 8 rooms, each with double or single beds, private baths and deluxe showers.
The spacious living room at Maria Behety features a centered fireplace and an open, heavily stocked self serve bar. There is also a fly shop, cigar room and telephone and internet service. Meals are a celebration at Maria Behety Lodge, especially mid-day asados, which are eagerly anticipated by guests and guides alike. The lodge lies within the 275,000 acre Estancia Maria Behety (EMB), which was established in 1897 as Argentina’s first ranch and is still today one of it’s largest. The ranch was founded and is still run by the Menendez family with a commitment to excellence.
Anglers seeking more intimate and luxurious lodging should consider La Villa de Maria Behety, located downstream within the ranch.
Estancia Maria Behety boasts more river miles and pools than any other fishing lodge on Tierra del Fuego’s Rio Grande. With access to the lower and middle sections, anglers can intercept trophy Sea Run Browns from the early to late season. In January, anglers will have the first crack at fresh, aggressive fish that are more likely to take staking flies. Late January – to mid-March is mid-season and offers the best weather and consistent fishing. However, the tail end of the season holds some of the best weeks in history and should not be overlooked.
EMB guides are all bilingual Argentines with multiple years on the Rio Grande. Their experience is matched only by their friendliness and devotion to your success, and they will take you to the pools that are fishing the best. Guests will fish with a different guide each day, allowing anglers to absorb the special talents, tips and expertise of each professional.
The EMB fishing schedule resembles all Sea Run Brown Trout lodges with a morning session, lunch and siesta at the lodge followed by an evening session ending around 10pm. Late dinners are the norm.
Before your trip, we will give you a gear list complete with appropriate rods, lines, flies and clothing.
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 Maria Behety Lodge
(7 nights; 6 days fishing)
Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires (EZE). Transfer to the domestic airport (AEP) and fly to Rio Grande (RGA). The Estancia Maria Behety staff will pick you up and transfer you 45 minutes to Maria Behety Lodge. Cocktails and dinner.
Day 2-7: Six days fishing the Rio Grande for Sea Run Brown Trout.
Day 8: Check out, transfer back to the Rio Grande Airport for your morning flight home.
Rate: $5595 – $6900/angler
Included: Lodging, meals, open bar, guided fishing, transportation to/from the Rio Grande Airport.
Not Included: Flights, single rooms, gear, loaner rod, license, Ushuaia Airport transfer, services in Buenos Aires.
6 days Sea Run Brown fishing at Kau Tapen 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.
Anglers staying at Estancia Maria Behety Lodge are picked up at the Rio Grande Airport and driven 50 minutes to the lodge.
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.
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