TRAVEL: Arrive Rio Gallegos, drive 45 minutes to the lodge
RECOMMENDED STAY: Saturday–Saturday, 7 nights/6 days only
FISHING: Rivers, wade only
CAPACITY: 12 anglers
INCLUDED: Lodging, meals, open self-serve bar, guided fishing, license and transportation to/from the Rio Gallegos Airport
NOT INCLUDED: Flights, license, gear and services in Buenos Aires
Las Buitreras Lodge and fly fishing the Rio Gallegos offers an unparalleled Argentina Sea Run Brown fishing program. Catch statistics for size and numbers on the Rio Gallegos and Rio Grande are practically identical; however, serious anglers remain loyal to the Rio Gallegos for its beauty, low gradient, technical characteristics, exclusivity, wildlife and outstanding guides. Las Buitreras Lodge manages the Sea Run Brown Trout fishing so that all 12 guests fish in solitude for unpressured trout on 25 private miles of both sides of the Rio Gallegos. The guide and beat rotation ensures that all 50 pools are well-rested and anglers get to learn from each professional, bilingual guide. Estancia Las Buitreras Lodge offers the world’s largest and most aggressive Sea Run Brown Trout and a classic Patagonia ranch with modern conveniences, fine cuisine and Argentine hospitality.
Estancia Las Buitreras Lodge is located about 300 meters from the Rio Gallegos and only 45 minutes from the Rio Gallegos Airport. The lodge is a renovated traditional Patagonia ranch house, with one large open room on the first floor where guests can dine, lounge, check email and converse with the chef. The upstairs has 5 double bedrooms and two single rooms. The bedrooms are surprisingly spacious with huge windows and private bathrooms. Las Buitreras Lodge has a well-stocked wine cellar, a self-serve beverage cooler and an outdoor and indoor tincho specifically for barbecues.
The manager and hostess at Las Buitreras Lodge are extremely gracious and treat all guests’ needs as a top priority. The atmosphere is more relaxed than other lodges while the service is nothing short of excellent. Las Buitreras is the least “Americanized” Sea Run Brown Trout fishing lodge in Argentina and attracts serious angler from all over the world.
Las Buitreras boasts 25 private miles of the best water on the Rio Gallegos. Anglers have exclusive access to both sides of the river and over 50 named pools. Compared to the Rio Grande, the Rio Gallegos is shallow, easier to wade and has more structure along the banks like trees, cut banks and high rocky bluffs. With the help of expert guides, anglers will have to adapt their approach to each pools specific characteristics. The Rio Gallegos’ shallow and gentle waters require stealth and delicate presentations with light tackle thrown on single or double handed rods. Wading is discouraged or kept to a bare minimum.
The Las Buitreras bilingual guide staff are some of the most talented casters and instructors in Argentina. They are loyal to Las Buitreras and work as a collective unit with no competition amongst each other. Some were fishing the Rio Gallegos long before Las Buitreras came along. The guide and beat rotation is opposite to most Sea Run Brown Trout lodges. Each guide works one beat all week, and it’s the guests who rotate and fish a different beat every session. Anglers end up fishing with the same guide for two or three sessions. This is a major advantage to the anglers because the guide knows exactly what is happening on his beat during a particular week. At the start of every week the guides swap beats and brief each other on how their beat is fishing. When you come to Las Buitreras, be prepared to learn a great deal about fishing, casting and Sea Run Brown Trout.
Sea Run Brown Trout fishing on the Rio Gallegos is a must for serious sea trout and salmon anglers and for all anglers who have fished the Rio Grande. The Rio Gallegos is full of character and challenges, and it is similar to the Rio Grande with respect to Sea Run Brown Trout population and quantity of 15-25lb fish.
The Gallegos River lies in the Santa Cruz province of Patagonia, Argentina and stretches over 300 km from the southern Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike the Rio Grande, the Rio Gallegos has some high rocky cliffs, a few boulders and willow trees that dot the river corridor. Wildlife such as Guancos (llamas), Silver Foxes, flamingos, geese, ducks and grebes are seen at almost every pool. In mid-March Ashy-headed Geese congregate in huge flocks all along the river before heading north for the winter.
The river itself is shallow and easy to wade. Often times anglers will be using small nymphs, light tippets, floating or intermediate lines and single handed rods. Stealth must be practiced in approaching each pool and in fly presentations.
There are an estimated 70-90,000 Sea Run Brown Trout that return to the Rio Gallegos every year, yet they are scattered over 300 km of water. Therefore, the fish are simply less concentrated than they are on the more famous, deeper and considerably shorter Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego.
The Sea Run Browns on the Rio Gallegos start to enter in late October. January, February and March are peak months and fresh, silvery Sea Run Brown Trout exist all season long. By April, spawning beds can be seen in the middle to upper portions of the Rio Gallegos and by May 1st, sea trout are also spawning in the Penitente and Ruebens tributaries. By mid-June, returning fish are back in the Rio Gallegos estuary fattening up over the winter.
Estancia Las Buitreras Lodge
(7 nights; 6 days fishing)
Day 1: Fly from Buenos Aires (AEP) to Rio Gallegos (RGL) in the afternoon. Guides will pick you up and transfer you 45 minutes to Las Buitreras Lodge. Cocktails and dinner.
Day 2-7: Six days fishing.
Day 8: Check out and transfer back to the Rio Gallegos Airport for your morning flight home.
Included: Lodging, meals, open bar, guided fishing, license, transportation to/from the Rio Gallegos Airport
Not Included: Flights, gear and services in Buenos Aires
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