The southern tip of Argentina is home to windswept and scoured plains, mossy forests and saturated bogs, and a river system that harbors the world’s largest sea-run brown trout. It is here where anglers willing to make the long journey and fish through some demanding conditions can be rewarded with the trout of a lifetime.
The name, Tierra del Feugo, was given by Europeans who when they first sailed nearby saw the many fires of the area’s indigenous inhabitants. This name is appropriate because this area is rugged and isolated: a perfect recipe for producing massive trout. Here are our 5 Top Sea-Run Brown Trout Destinations in “The Land of Fire.”
There’s no finer destination on earth for chasing large sea-run brown trout than on the Rio Grande. The massive Rio Grande meanders across the landscape creating undercut banks where large browns love to lie. Since the best fishing is found in the mornings and evenings, days will begin early and end at the last light. Fish in Rio Grande are big where the average sized brown is around 12 to 20 pounds. This is a place where catching a trophy-sized trout could happen any day of the week.
La Villa de Maria Behety shares 32 miles of access with over 100 named pools on the Rio Grande with guests staying at Estancia Maria Behety lodge. Every pair of anglers will be assigned a morning beat and an afternoon beat, allowing all anglers equal opportunity to fish different water each day. Although the lodge is situated on the lower river its guests share full access to over 32 miles of river and over 100 named pools.
Estancia Despedida’s 3.5 miles of riverfront property is located in the middle to lower stretch of the Rio Grande River, known by the locals as the “heart of the river”. In addition to the prime beats and pools of the Rio Grande River, the estancia also provides access to 35 km of the Menendez River, a productive and rarely-fished tributary to the big river. With fish that average near 12 pounds and opportunities to find fish in the 30-pound class, this river is truly one-of-a-kind. Estancia Despedida’s lodge is only minutes away from the most productive waters on the entire river.
Estancia Maria Behety is one of the most well-known and established sea-run brown trout destinations on Tierra del Fuego’s famed Rio Grande. The lodge sits on a high bluff overlooking the heart of the river and shares full access to over 32 miles of river and over 100 named pools with anglers staying at its sister lodge, La Villa de Estancia Maria Behety. With world-class fishing, easy river access, exceptional service, and cuisine coupled with an experienced guide staff Estancia Maria Behety is a solid option for first-timers to the most seasoned and discriminating sea trout angler.
Villa Maria is positioned perfectly to take advantage of the Rio Grande where you can still smell the salt in the air from the nearby ocean. With gravel bars, deep tanks, runs, and pools, catching big trout is the norm and fish of a lifetime come out of these waters weekly. Unlike Salmon, sea-run trout can return to a river to spawn more than just once in their lifetimes. Brown trout born in the Rio Grande will swim to the sea where they can reach sizes of 20 pounds. Once they are of spawning age the trout will return to the Rio Grande to continue the cycle of life.
Known for dramatic landscapes with equally dramatic fishing and massive fish, a trip to Tierra del Feugo, is one of intrigue and excitement.