Primo water on the heart of the Rio Grande
The success of the sea run brown trout fishery on the Rio Grande is a modern-day fly fisherman’s Cinderella story. In just a decade, through access control and the diligent promotion of catch and release fly fishing , both catch rates and average size have risen noticeably.
Large sheep farming estancias share this land with herds of wild llama-like guanacos, red foxes, and condors. Despedida lodge is a family run sea trout lodge with an intimate atmosphere which permeates every aspect of the place. Danny and Helen Lajous have been hosting fishermen on the Rio Grande for nearly two decades. With a very high return rate, guests at Despedida have come to appreciate the incredibly warm and genuine hospitality that comes from the Lajous Family and their dedicated team of fly fishing professionals. The most distant pools on the ranch are only minutes from the lodge, minimizing drive times and maximizing time spent on the water.
For hardcore anglers who appreciate long hours on the water, short drive times, and a great value, Despedida delivers! Limited to six anglers, this operation and its team of seasoned guides have a proven record of producing impressive catches from the waters that the locals refer to as the “heart of the river.” Whilst this location operates a catch and release policy to ensure that the fish population is managed, not all locations follow this ideal. You can find out more information at globalsalmoninitiative.org/en about what is being done to sustain the fish population; particularly that of salmon.
Estancia Despedida is located on the Argentina side of Tierra del Fuego, roughly 45 minutes from Ciudad de Rio Grande.
Like Atlantic salmon, steelhead, and brown trout, sea-run browns are most active early and late in the day. At Despedida the fishing hours are scheduled accordingly, providing the best angling opportunity. Most anglers prefer to return to the lodge midday for the day’s largest meal, siesta, and return to the water later in the afternoon for the evening session. The “split-shift” angling schedule is a hallmark of Despedida as well as other TDF Lodges and enables guests to get the most out of their fishing week.
Angling days begin in the morning and end shortly after dark. The beats are rotated enabling all guests equal opportunity to fish all of the lodge’s pools. Breakfast is served between 7:00 – 8:00AM. Then, it’s off to the river. Anglers usually return to the lodge at approximately 1:00PM for a mid-day meal and rest, venturing back to the river and their evening beat at approximately 5:30PM. Dinner is normally scheduled between 11:00PM and 12:00PM, with cocktails and appetizers served beforehand. It is not unusual to fly fish until 10:00PM or later during the long December and January days. February, March, and April days and schedules are shorter. Don’t forget your headlamp!
Every two anglers are assigned a 4X4 vehicle and guide for their stay. All guides are bilingual, talented experts, and thoroughly familiar with all the intricacies of fly fishing the Rio Grande.
Day 1: Depart home
Day 2: Arrive Buenos Aires and overnight
Day 3: Depart Buenos Aires for Rio Grande and onto lodge
Day 4-9: 6 full days of guided fishing on the Rio Grande
Day 10: Depart lodge for home
Day 11: Arrive home