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Description: Anglers at Villa Maria get first crack of the whip at newly arrived sea-trout. On Villa Maria's pools, you'll see seagulls whirl overhead and smell the estuary salt. Just above the tides, the fish arrive fresh, with fins clear and scales silver. You'll fish both banks. Big pools and double-handers are the norm. There are big fish here, 20 pounders jump and leap and tear up and down the huge pools, while "fish of a lifetime" are landed each week. The lodge itself reminds many of the world's best salmon camps, warm, cozy, with cuisine and service at a very high level. Guides know the pools, the fish and the fishing; days are spent on the water, with classic "huts" for midday breaks.
In 1935, Englishman John Goodall planted the first brown trout in Tierra del Fuego. Arriving from Puerto Montt, Chile, 60,000 salmo trutta eggs were dropped in two tributaries of the Rio Grande. These industrious trout have since found their way to the sea, where they grow large and strong before returning to the Rio Grande to propagate the next generations.
Sea-run browns spawn during fall in the Southern Hemisphere (late March, April, and May). Juveniles typically spend one to four years in fresh water before their first migration to sea. In the ocean they feed and grow for approximately six months before returning to freshwater—weighing about three to six pounds. Trout, unlike salmon, will spawn and return to the ocean multiple times through the course of a lifetime. Researchers have reported sea-run specimens that have spawned more than a half-dozen times. Returning trout that have completed four spawning cycles often weigh more than 20 pounds. Catch-and-release practices have benefitted return numbers and overall population health in recent times.
Accommodations: Villa Maria Lodge is situated in one of Patagonia’s most historic working estancias. The lodge accommodates up to 6 guests with 6 en-suite double and single spacious and perfectly furnished bedrooms. Each features a cozy dining and living area, and a well-stocked bar with local wines, beer, and spirits.
The lodge includes a tackle shop with a selection of top Sage rods, quality reels, flies, lines, and clothing specifically selected to meet the needs of your trip. In addition, guests have the full use of the lodge’s fly-tying table and its four wading rooms.
Our new cabin will be your home for lunch and siestas before the afternoon session commences. Lodge staff, composed of your host, chef, maids, and professional guides will assist you during the week. The house accommodates six anglers per week and is available on a limited basis due to high demand by repeat parties. Book early for the best available times.
Transportation/Getting there: Guests fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina and typically overnight there, having a day to spend touring this wonderful city. Arrival day at Villa Maria is set for Friday, so the following morning guests depart Buenos Aires for the flight south the Rio Grande.
Commercial airlines fly from Buenos Aires to the airport in Rio Grande (3 hour flight), here you will be met by a lodge representative and transferred to the lodge. The transfer from Rio Grande airport to Villa Maria, by four-wheel drive, takes 30 minutes. On arrival at the lodge, guests are welcomed with cocktails by the entire Villa Maria staff.
Call for suggested gear lists.
Rates: Call for current rates
Dates: December 26-April 15
Included: Transfer from Rio Grande Airport to Kau Tapen, Lodging, Meals, all wines, beer, and local spirits at the Lodge, Professional guide services
Not Included: Gratuities for guides and house staff, Airfares, Fishing License ($295.00 per person), Laundry service; Rental Fishing Equipment (rods, reels & lines): $25.00 per person per day
Approximate license cost: $295 per person