Tierra del Fuego, ARGENTINA
Located on the wind swept plains of Tierra del Fuego, Estancia Maria Behety is the largest estancia on the Rio Grande offering more than 30 miles of river access to its guest. The landscape is harsh, yet beautiful, difficult, yet oddly magnetic.
The Rio Grande is the undisputed champion of rivers when it comes to both size and numbers of sea run brown trout, with estimates of around 75,000 browns returning to spawn annually. 10 pound fish are common, 20 pounders are not uncommon, and fish over 30 pounds are possible!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Estancia Maria Behety has terrific access to more river than any other estancia on the Rio Grande, and EMB Lodge is located centrally on the Estancia. This access and location is especially important when fish are holding and staging only in specific stretches of the river.
La Villa is located on the lower portion of the Rio Grande, making it a great spot to stay in January when the majority of the fish are staging in the lower river. Guests staying at La Villa fish the same water as those lodging at Estancia Maria Behety, but avoid the hour-long drive to the runs and pool pools of the lower river.
Tackle and techniques on the Rio Grande are not very complicated. Using single-or double-handed rods anglers match lines, sink tips, and terminal tackle according to the water conditions. Experienced steelhead and Atlantic salmon fishermen immediately feel “in their element.” Quartering downstream with streamers or dead drifting nymphs are the most common methods used, and skated dry flies are terrific when the conditions are right.
Much is said about the winds of Tierra del Fuego and it is seldom that any of it is good. The truth is that the Rio Grande isn’t super wide, casts are seldom seventy feet, and almost never directly into the wind. Competent casters have little difficulty adjusting to the almost constant gusts and even those that struggle agree quickly that the results are worth every effort.
The Rio Grande is one of the easiest streams to wade in the Americas. The river is seldom more than thigh deep, and can be easily crossed between pools. There’s no moss on a bottom made of nothing but perfect spawning habitat ranging in size from pea gravel to golf ball sized rocks. Leave your studded boots at home because there isn’t a rock big enough on the Rio Grande to trip over.
The cozy EMB Lodge overlooks the river nearly 30 kilometers upstream from the entrance to the estancia. The mid-estancia location positions the angling guests within quick and easy striking distance of the very best pools of the Rio Grande. Fishermen have easy access to more than thirty miles of river frontage and enjoy the finest trophy sea trout fishing on Earth.
The very spacious lodge hosts a maximum of a dozen fly fishermen and was designed with every necessary amenity. Each guest enjoys queen-size beds, a wonderful, open bar, fine food, and a club-like, informal atmosphere.
Expect exceptional meals, luxurious accommodations, a fishing schedule designed to maximize your success, heated wader room, and outstanding English speaking guides, all on an original, authentic working estancia.
La Villa is a beautifully restored, historic mansion that arguably qualifies as the most deluxe fishing lodge in all of South America. Guests enjoy the old world charm of the century-old family home, sharing the Rio Grande with anglers from Maria Behety Lodge.
The top guides and best sea trout fishing in the world is accentuated by single occupancy accommodations for each of only six guests, and wonderful food, paired with the finest Argentine varietals selected from a magnificent 9,000-bottle wine cellar. There is a billiard room, Jacuzzi tubs in the private rooms and other luxury amenities that puts this world-class lodge in a class by itself.