Alongside the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego, the incomparable Rio Gallegos is home the biggest, best and strongest sea run brown trout in the world. The river meanders more than 360 km before it finally merges into the Atlantic ocean close to the Magellan Straits. While the sheer size of these amazing sea trout of up to 30 lbs leaves anglers and spectators alike awestruck, it’s their raging temper beyond compare that feeds the addiction of getting connected to these fish. Estancia Las Buitreras is located about 40 km from the mouth of the river, and is home to the most prolific beats on the Rio Gallegos. These consist of over 40 km of private water and more than 50 named pools! And in 2018 a whole new zone was included offering more than ten new, prime pools to add to the already abundant amount of water!
The Las Buitreras section of the Rio Gallegos is an authentic southern Patagonian fly fishing paradise. The area features varied terrain ranging from deep pools with steep banks to fast-moving stony runs and flowing streams atop shingle beds. The variety of pools and fishing techniques, in combination with the visually inspiring mountainous landscape, makes this part of the Rio Gallegos one of the most spectacular stretches of fly fishing water in Patagonia.
Being relatively shallow, the river makes for easy wading, eliminating the need for fast sinking lines, while providing both an exciting and challenging fishing environment. This location is mainly fished using light double hand-rods, or single-handed rods, rigged with floating or slow intermediate lines. Despite the normally windy conditions, the Rio Gallegos does not require anglers to be expert casters. At this location, the fish move and take in all parts of the river and it’s not unusual to have a fish take your fly right in front of your feet. The strikes are often violent and it’s typical for a fish to lunge into the air several times, making for an excellent fight.
All of our guides speak English and have spent several seasons fishing and guiding on the Rio Gallegos, in fact some of them have spent their entire lives fishing the river and they’ll make sure that you are maximizing your chances of landing a fish in every session. If you are unfamiliar with double-hand rods, we suggest that you dedicate time to practicing your casting prior to departing on your trip. This practice will ensure that you get the most out of every session should the conditions negate single-hand fishing. Our guides are also be happy to provide instruction on how to improve your casting skills if you’d like some additional pointers.
Most of the fishing requires you to strip the fly, generating violent strikes. There are also pools where the sea trout can be taken by simply swinging the fly as one would for Atlantic Salmon but generally speaking, these fish don’t favour the same types of flies as salmon do. They lie in quieter seams and tails, and the motion imparted by stripping the fly produces some fantastic “induced” takes. We like shooting heads because the maximum effective fishing distance with each cast is much greater than with that of a normal line. It is nice to have a two-handed rod in heavy wind, but most of the fishing can be accomplished with a one-hander. It comes down to a matter of personal preference. WF lines in weights #7-8 Float or Clear Intermediate heads (a line built up like a shooting head) are the most popular depending upon the size of the fly.
Estancia Las Buitreras offers a perfect blend of luxury and rustic living. The cozy lodge is just a 10-minute walk from the river’s edge and offers guests a haven from the expansive windy plains. The lodge is equipped with six double-bed and two single-bed rooms, all offer private bathrooms with showers. Although it can accommodate up to 14 guests at time, a maximum of 12 fishermen per week is the group maximum.
On the first floor of the lodge is the indoor winter garden, a perfect place for the after-fishing beer or glass of wine. Just outside is a spacious courtyard, protected from the wind, where there is a large fixed outdoor stone BBQ grill, and a terrace for hosting traditional Argentine asados. These amenities provide guests with space, comfort, and an at-home feel throughout the duration of their stay.
The lodge also has Fly Shop which is proud to feature the Solid Volterra Wading Jacket. Designed by the Solid Adventures team, this premium jacket is offered exclusively to Solid Adventures guests visiting this destination. Also to be found are destination-branded Patagonia Nano Puff jackets, caps, and a selection of essentials such as leaders, tippets, selected flies and more. The Las Buitreras Fly Box is always available and is stocked with a selection of the best flies for Rio Gallegos and the lodge’s particular beats.
Visiting Las Buitreras requires an international flight to Buenos Aires followed by a Domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos. Each segment uses a different airport.
Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) is the biggest airport in Buenos Aires and where most International flights from Europe and North America arrive. It is located at a distance of 21 miles / 34 kilometers southwest of the city of Buenos Aires.
Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport (AEP) is the domestic airport in Buenos Aires and caters for most flights to Patagonia as well as some international flights within South America. It is located only 15 minutes by car from downtown Buenos Aires.
Estimated transport time by taxi between the International airport (EZE) and the Domestic airport (AEP) is 45 – 60 minutes depending on traffic.
Rio Gallegos International Airport (RGL) is the name of the local airport in Rio Gallegos to where you fly from Buenos Aires.
The domestic flight between Buenos Aires and Rio Gallegos takes appr. 3 hrs. The transport from Rio Gallegos airport and Estancia Las Buitreras takes appr. 45 minutes by car/shuttle bus.
The package is Saturday to Saturday.
Fishing is Sunday – Friday. Arrive Saturday afternoon at the Estancia. Depart the following Saturday morning from the Estancia.
Max 12 guests + 1 host
On Arrival: Depart from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), Saturday at 04:55 AM
Arrive Rio Gallegos (RGL), Saturday 08:05 AM
A representative will be there to meet you at the airport on arrival in Rio Gallegos and will transfer you to an ocean side café to have something to eat and explain the routines at the lodge and the fishing for the week.
12.30 – Transfer to Estancia Las Buitreras. The transfer time is appr. 1 hour.
14.00 – Lunch at the lodge. After lunch clients are free to relax, sip some wine, prepare tackle. You are also free to walk down and fish Home pool for those who are keen to try their luck and fine tune their set ups.
Please note that there is no guiding on Saturday so fishing is done on your own.
20.00 – Dinner
On Departure: Depart from Rio Gallegos (RGL), Saturday 09:15 AM
Arrive Buenos Aires (AEP)12:05 PM
The fishing season at Las Buitreras runs from late December to the middle of April.
Rates – 2019:
Season December 29- March 31:
2 rods/ beat with 1 guide: USD6.490/ rod and week from Rio Gallegos.
3 rods/ beat with 1 guide: USD5.490/ rod and week from Rio Gallegos. (max 2 beats and 6 guests per week can be 3 per beat)
Non-fishing guest: USD1.990/ week from Rio Gallegos
Season April 2 – April 13:
2 rods/ beat with 1 guide: USD5.990/ rod and week from Rio Gallegos
3 rods/ beat with 1 guide: USD4.990/ rod and week from Rio Gallegos. (max 2 beats and 6 guests per week can be 3 per beat)
Non fishing guest: USD1.990/ week from Rio Gallegos
Note: The reduced price for April is because of the days being shorter than during high summer. We still fish 8-10 hours/ day. There is a strong fresh run of fish coming up the river throughout the whole month making it one of the best months to catch those fresh comers!
A deposit of 50% confirms a reservation. The balance is payable 60 days before commencement of the programme.