“El Encuentro” translates to “the meeting place” in English, which is a very apt description for the Lodge, which serves as the centerpiece of the Beale family’s outfitting operation in the stunning Chubut province of Argentina. The Beale siblings—all five of them—were born and raised in this area and have continued the legacy their family started over 30 years ago; theirs is a legacy of land stewardship, fly fishing, and of course, a rich tradition of Argentine hospitality. Today, El Encuentro Flyfishing is now the name of the main Lodge as well as the name of their trip planning company which offers fully customized fly fishing itineraries to some of the very best fishing lodges throughout Central Patagonia. Anglers will enjoy unparalleled access to private waters as well as the opportunity to experience Argentine culture on the most intimate level; when you stay with the Beales, you become part of the family and the legacy they have built.
LOCATION: Esquel, Argentina
SEASON: Late November through Mid-April
CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB: Buenos Aires, Argentina (Ministro Pistarini International Airport – EZE/Jorge Newbery Domestic Airport – AEP)
CAPACITY: 6 to 12 anglers, depending on the lodge
TARGET SPECIES: Wild rainbows, browns, brook trout and land-locked salmon
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Valid passport. No visa required for citizens of most countries
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO 888-777-5060 INTL 01-1-406-585-8667 info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com
The beauty of El Encuentro Fly Fishing’s trip planning model lies in the flexibility it affords to anglers. There are a total of eight lodges that can be incorporated into a custom itinerary, one of which is El Encuentro Lodge—the namesake and base of operations for the Beale family business. The family has spent nearly 30 years cultivating relationships with the various lodges so anglers can also choose to experience these fine destinations and the exclusive fishing access that each of them provide. Combining these lodges allows anglers to fish a huge range of different waters from big rivers to intimate spring creeks and lakes without having to drive more than 90 minutes each day. Please call us at Yellow Dog to discuss your goals for your next trip to Argentina and we will help tailor an itinerary that allows you to achieve them all. See below for a brief description of each of the unique properties on offer with El Encuentro Fly Fishing (listed North to South):
Carrileufu River Lodge
Located just outside the northern border of Los Alerces National Park is a magnificent fly fishing lodge that was built by anglers for anglers. This is a great early-season destination for healthy rainbows and browns. Guests can enjoy half- and full-day floats on the Rio Carrileufu as well as the other productive rivers inside the park nearby and even a multi-day float trip on the Rio Chubut. The lodge has WiFi as well as a sauna and massage services.
El Encuentro Lodge
Nestled on the banks of the mighty Rio Futaleufu, El Encuentro Lodge has served as the hub of Patagonia’s first fly fishing outfit for the past 30 years. The lodge is steeped in tradition and offers a truly genuine Argentine experience as well as opportunities to fish the Futaleufu, Nant y Fall, Arrayanes and Corriento Rivers in addition to many private lakes all season long, all of which are within striking distance of the handsome lodge.
Tecka Lodge offers one of the finest and most authentic lodging experiences in all of Patagonia and is settled on one of South America’s largest working estancias. With exclusive wade-fishing access to 35 miles of the Rio Tecka—a beautiful spring creek—as well as boat fishing on the dynamic Rio Corcovado, Tecka Lodge is fully fishing-focused. A combination of history, exclusivity and high-end accommodations make this lodge a top pick for anglers.
What was once the main house of Estancia Caridad is now an intimate fishing lodge on the banks of the Rio Corcovado on what is now Estancia Tecka. Guests are treated to the best Argentine cuisine (including, of course, the wine) and some of the best fishing in the area. Anglers have a plethora of exclusive access throughout the season, though a visit in the late season is key to catching the famous brook trout spawning period on the Rio Corcovado.
Brook Trout Basecamp (new for 2017/2018 season)
El Encuentro Fly Fishing is preparing to offer a safari-style tent camping experience on the banks of the Rio Corcovado for anglers wanting to go off the grid in search of some of Patagonia’s most fabled trout. Watch this space!
Food and Beverages
No matter where you decide to stay, authentic Argentine food and wine is sure to be served. Options will range from gourmet at some lodges with formal lunches and long dinners, while other lodges will offer more humble—yet still delicious—cuisine and dining experiences. Expect an afternoon siesta each day after lunch as well as dinners starting no earlier than 9:00 PM, per tradition. At Yellow Dog, we full-heartedly encourage everyone to indulge in what is one of the most celebrated aspects of Argentine culture: the food. In a country where steak and wine reign supreme, it’s hard to go wrong!
Typical Length of Stay
Custom trips of any length can be arranged and we encourage everyone to combine at least a few of the lodges (at least three nights at each) to ensure a fully-rounded angling experience.
Patagonia is resplendent in scenic beauty, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye. Non-anglers visiting this region of Argentina can enjoy world-class hiking trails, horseback riding on some of the country’s most historic estancias, biking, kayaking, birdwatching (condors patrol this area and are a spectacular sight), and even a little leisure in the form of wine-tasting or massage. No matter what, be sure to bring a camera! If you have questions about activity offerings at specific lodges, please don’t hesitate to call us to chat.
Most of the lodges offer WiFi in some capacity, though it will not be available at Brook Trout Basecamp. Depending on your service plan, some cell phones may also work in this part of Argentina.
For over thirty years, El Encuentro Fly Fishing has been building strong partnerships with some of the top angling destinations in the Chubut province of Argentina. Today, the Beale family runs the most extensive fly fishing program in the area—an area they know better than anyone because it is the area where they all grew up! Through their program, you can experience any of these unique lodges according to an itinerary that will be designed according to your angling priorities and interests. With so many lodges to choose from, you can expect to experience a truly vast array of different water—both public and private—in a short period of time (and with minimal drive times). This diversity enables anglers to seek out very specific fishing experiences. From big browns on dries to feisty migratory rainbows and large spawning brook trout in the late season, there is truly something for everyone in this part of Argentina. The incredible scenery of the region serves as a jaw-dropping backdrop for any of these fishing scenarios, which only adds to the allure of fly-fishing in Patagonia. Of course, time of year and logistics play a role in how any trip with El Encuentro Fly Fishing is structured, so please call us to discuss the various elements that you’d like to incorporate into your fantasy trip to Patagonia with the Beale family and we will pull it together for you!
Boats and Equipment
El Encuentro Fly Fishing uses the best and most durable trucks to transport you from place to place during your stay. The rafts and drift boats used on the water are very high-quality, though not always necessary since wade fishing is sometimes the method of choice. Perhaps one of the finest tools that El Encuentro Fly Fishing provides is their experienced team of guides! Each one of them speaks English and is an expert angler, a hard worker, and total local. Your guide will accompany you for the duration of your trip, which will help you refine your technique and learn more about the area than you would by switching guides each day. El Encuentro Fly Fishing offers Sage and Winston rods and Sage reels as well as premium wading equipment, so you can leave these items at home if desired. Their guides can provide the right flies at the right time, but the lodge also sells a variety of their most commonly used flies for $2.50 or $3.00 each. They also sell a vast, custom selection of flies in an El Encuentro Fly Fishing box for $120 and this will cover you for a full week and beyond.
How to get there
Getting to South America is as easy as taking an overnight flight to Buenos Aires’ Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) from one of several major U.S. cities. When you wake up, you will be in landing in Argentina! After transferring across Buenos Aires to the Jorge Newbery Domestic Airport (AEP), you will board your domestic flight to Esquel, the Patagonian city that serves as the hub for all trips with El Encuentro Fly Fishing. Depending on which lodge(s) you have selected, you will be met at the airport and transferred to where you will be staying to kick off your trip. Please contact us for assistance with cross-city transfers and questions about logistics within Buenos Aires.
Arrival and Departure Details/Times
Flights from Buenos Aires to Esquel with Aerolineas Argentinas run 4-5 days per week and are typically 2.5 hours in duration. Another option would be to take one of the daily flights into Bariloche, though the transfer time to Esquel is about 4 hours and the transfer will come at an additional cost. Regardless of which airport you choose to fly into, you will be met by a representative from El Encuentro Fly Fishing and taken to the lodge you are scheduled to visit first. Due to the flexibility of the program, you can start and end your trip on any day of the week, though it is preferable to coordinate your trip dates with the airline schedules so that you can fly into and out of Esquel. Please note that most fly fishing equipment, including rods and reels, will need to be in your checked luggage for domestic flights within Argentina.
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and other Western European nations do not need a visa for tourist trips of up to ninety days. You will need a valid passport and will have to fill in an ‘arrival card.’ You will then be given a tourist visa stamp for stays of thirty, sixty or ninety days. Staple the duplicate of your arrival card into your passport as you will need it to leave the country. If you lose it, it's rarely a serious problem, but you'll have to fill out a new form at border control. Upon entering the country, you will also be given a customs declaration form. Duty is not charged on used personal effects, books and other articles for non-commercial purposes, up to a value of US $300. Make sure you declare any valuable electronic items such as laptop computers, as customs officers can be suspicious that you may be bringing them into the country to sell.
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and we can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or visit travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurace.
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
Standard Fishing Package
7 nights/6.5 days fishing: $5,250 double / $6,250 single
Standard Fishing Package + Tres Valles
7 nights/6.5 days fishing: $5,550 double / $8,750 single
Standard Fishing Package + Estancia Tecka
7 nights/6.5 fishing days: $5,850 double / $7250 single
- () nights of accommodation in a double room with private bathroom
- () days of fully guided fishing (2 anglers per guide)
- All private water and access fees
- All non-angling activities
- Full breakfast, lunch (at the lodge or on the river) and dinner
- Argentinean wines and open bar at each lodge
- All ground transfers from the Esquel Airport to the lodge and fishing destinations
- Premium rods, reels, boots and waders as well as leaders, tippet and extra flies on the water (boxes with all necessary flies also available for purchase)
- Wifi where available
- Laundry service except at Tres Valles Lodge
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare to Buenos Aires and domestic airfare to Esquel
- Transfers, hotels and meals in Buenos Aires
- Ground transfer to and from Bariloche (if applicable)
- Personal, health or travel insurance
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Fishing license (can be prepaid)
- Phone calls
“Throughout our trip, the food was delicious, the wine bottomless, and the lodges accommodating of every request. Beyond packing and unpacking our bags, we never had to lift a finger the entire trip. The most stress we encountered was trying to decide who would fish where and with whom. There were no wrong choices, only better ones. It was, we all agreed, the trip of a lifetime.” -Ed Swift, The Angling Journal, May 2015
“Our home away from home, El Encuentro! Thank you to the Beale family for sharing your home, your food and fish. We will always be grateful and can’t wait to be back.” – Dominic M., Kansas
“In central Patagonia, don’t hire a guide. Hire a pioneer! The Beale family are pioneering stock. Michael Beale and his family have been operating a fishing lodge just outside Esquel, close to the Chile border in the central region of Patagonia, for well over 30 years. The original pioneers in this area, they have been there longer than anyone else. This way, they have built up very close relationships with the owners of all the best waters. With private access to the most exclusive of them.” – Neil P., London, UK