Golden Dorado in the Peaceful Countryside of Uruguay
Rio Mate Lodge is located in the quiet and peaceful rolling hills of Uruguay on the banks of the Rio Mate, which is a tributary of the Rio Uruguay. The lodge, situated on a high bank overlooking the river, provides guests with spectacular views from the comfortable common rooms, infinity pool, and private quarters. What separates Rio Mate Lodge from other dorado destinations is the variety of water that is immediately available. From big water to small creeks to medium size rivers, this fishery has it all.
The accommodations are set up suite style for double occupancy, and all rooms enjoy a view of the Rio Mate. The lodge features a large porch overlooking the river with plenty of seating, which naturally attracts guests after a day of fishing, and is the perfect place for cocktails, cigars, and fishing stories.
Food and Beverages
In the morning, guests wake up to the sun rising over the Rio Mate, and after a delicious breakfast of fruit, eggs made to order, and baked goods, anglers can jump in the skiffs and be casting to dorado minutes from the lodge. Lunches are typically held at the lodge during the heat of the day but depending on the fishing program, lunch may be held in the field. The cuisine is nothing short of spectacular and includes large portions of home-style Uruguayan classics, and some of the dishes feature locally harvested birds from the area like dove and perdiz.
Typical Length of Stay
3-night minimum but stays of any length can be accommodated. Depending on flights, it is common for anglers to have a half day of fishing on either the front or back end of their stay. For example, a 3 night stay includes 3.5 days of guided fishing.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Unlimited shooting with no limit for doves is available with a gun rental of $60 per day and $15 per box of shells. This can be arranged at the lodge per session (usually morning or evening) and can be paid for in cash directly to the lodge.
Internet / Communications
Uruguay provides good cell phone coverage for anglers with international phone plans. There is reliable wifi at the lodge.
How to Get There
Getting to Uruguay is not difficult. Take an easy overnight flight to Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) from one of several major cities in the U.S. To help ensure things run smoothly and efficiently, UDA has partnered with LOL Argentina, a tourism services company, to provide transfers to and from our fishing destinations. Upon landing in Buenos Aires, anglers will be met by a representative from LOL Argentina who will transport them approximately 3.5 hours on a drive that takes anglers out of the hustle and bustle of the city, over the rivers that make up the delta, and deep into the countryside of Uruguay to the banks of the Rio Mate. Pick-up and drop-off locations anywhere in Buenos Aires can be arranged.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Arrival and departure times are flexible based on guests’ preferred method of arrival/departure.
Typically, return flights to the United States from Buenos Aires leave late in the evening which offers anglers the ability to have a half-day of fishing on before having to make the drive back to Buenos Aires.
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.
Driving between Argentina and Uruguay is easy. LOL Argentina provides the transfer service and their staff is well versed in traveling between these two countries. When travelers arrive at the Argentina/Uruguay border, they will present their passport to receive a departure stamp from Argentina, and an arrival stamp from Uruguay. Occasionally the officials will perform a vehicle inspection but the total time for crossing the border rarely takes more than 10 minutes. Returning to Argentina is the same process in reverse.
The main stem of the Rio Mate is considered a large river and is generally fished from a drifting skiff with two anglers fishing at the same time, each casting to the bank and targeting various structures to draw out a predatory dorado. Because the lodge is located in the heart of the action, there are more than 50 miles of fishable riverbank from a drifting boat, giving anglers access to what can be called a dorado angler’s paradise. Additionally, the boats are always in the water and remain docked a few hundred yards from the lodge.
In some cases when the water levels are low, anglers can wade several sections of the main river and may even have the opportunity to sight fish for hunting dorado. Just to see these fish hunting is a spectacle in itself and is something anglers will find themselves dreaming of.
In this section of the Rio Mate, there are also a number of smaller tributaries that flow into the main river, which offer great opportunities for anglers to pursue dorado on foot. These tributaries vary in size and are accessed by boat. While the tackle remains the same (big streamers and wire leader), the tactics change on the smaller water, and at times it can even feel like fishing a trout stream. Wading these smaller rivers while fishing the fast-moving water, structure, and drop-offs is a thrill that will have anglers wanting more. Watching a slab of gold appear out of nowhere and take a fly on a small stream is memorable and will leave anglers wanting more.
Outside of the river system, the region offers a plethora of lagoons and lakes that are home to the extremely territorial and aggressive wolf fish. These waters offer anglers the chance to fish topwater poppers with the hope of triggering explosive surface strikes to possibly catch a new species.
Boats and Equipment
Guests will spend their time on small customized skiffs designed specifically for this fishery, which include two casting platforms (front and back) as well as trolling motors. Each skiff can accommodate two anglers and each boat is outfitted top-of-the-line equipment (rods, reels, flies, and all terminal tackle).
Rates and Terms
2021/2022 Package Rates
3 nights / 3 days fishing: $2,800 per angler
Additional nights: $800 per night
3 nights/ 3 days: $3,800
- Transfers in/out of hotel in Buenos Aires, Aeroparque Domestic Airport (AEP), or Ezeiza International Airport (EZE)
- Guided fishing
- Beverages including beer, wine, and alcohol
- Accommodations and meals throughout your time
- Fishing license
- All terminal tackle (leaders, tippet, flies)
- Fishing equipment (rods, reels, and lines)
- Wifi at the lodge
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Wing shooting
Terms & Conditions
A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking for all lodging and fishing packages, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. For cancellations, all deposits and payments are non-refundable. In no event will the lodge or Yellow Dog be responsible for any cancellation of services or operations due to inclement weather, any event of force majeure, airline delays, flight cancellations, or any other reason beyond the control of the lodge. The lodge will not refund payments in the event of poor weather, or if arrival flights are cancelled or airline connections are missed. Additionally, the lodge and Yellow Dog are not responsible for covering costs associated with alternative travel arrangements including flights, hotels, meals or any other expenses incurred. For all of these reasons, and because of the no refund and no credit policy, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance and full coverage for your trip. If a cancelled package is resold by either the lodge or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be issued minus a $100.00 per person fee charged by Yellow Dog. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance all Uruguay packages.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.