Newsletter from Argentina

Time flies so quickly. Here we are once again at the end of regular fishing season in most parts of the Lax-a World and just beginning an incredible new season down in the wondrous Southern Hemisphere. It is hard to conceive of a more diverse and beautiful fishing resource than Argentina. From central Patagonia at the foothills of the snow capped Andes where big Brookies, Rainbows and Browns lie waiting in wandering spring creeks to acrobatic high flying Freshwater Golden Dorado cruising the massive Ibera Marshlands and Parana River in the far North, to monstrous world class Sea Trout in far Southern Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego in the world renowned Rio Grande and Rio Gallegos Rivers.

This indeed is a fly fishers paradise with 5 star lodges, international cuisine and a summertime that starts around Christmas and is welcome indeed when all in the Northern Hemisphere wait anxiously to cast a line. Here our guests return year after year to sample this bountiful watershed. For every venue you can enjoy extra nights in beautiful downtown Buenos Aires, the city of Tango, city parks, shopping and some of the best dining imaginable. And with the added bonus of offering some of the finest hunting and wingshooting trips in the world today, it is just the perfect way to extend your season year round. It is almost unimaginable at how diverse and plentiful one country alone can be.
Your choices are wide and varied…2010 is now well underway for booking. Select Prime spots still remain.
RIO GRANDE and RIO GALLEGOS open in just one month for the hard charging, twist flipping, high flying, acrobatic big Sea Run Trout. Everyone wants to come Februar through March. While most spots are already taken, a few prime openings still exist. , Remember, however, December and January are, for sure, under estimated. You can get the fishing for so much cheaper, fewer rods around, and you have so much space to fish. Arni remembers fishing at Kau Taupen some years back in the middle of December and had the whole river to himself. He landed so many fresh Seatrout one after another that is hard to believe. And I remember myself being the only rod in camp at Bella Vista on the Rio Gallegos before the season actually fully opened. I landed many, many big trout with an average weight for the week of 15 1/2 pounds. Plus I had three over the 20 pound mark and my personal best ever of 23 1/2 pounds. I am hooked for life.
Here are the very top lodges that we offer for fishing on the magnificent Rio Grande:
Kau Tapen
This is the first luxury lodge on the Rio Grande in Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. It sets a standard of elegance by which other lodges are still measured. Kau Tapen offers two well-placed heated wader rooms, a wonderfully relaxing cedar Sauna, a Finnish steam bath, massage room and shower lounge for pure relaxation on terry cloth lounges. A great spot for some wonderful Argentina Malbec after a hot soak. And some of the best Sea Trout fishing on the planet.
The beds are so comfortable it was hard to get up in the morning, the dining so elegant it was hard to push away from the table, and the hot sauna and finnish steam baths so inviting that it was hard to leave to go fishing… The final kicker, however, is that the fishing was so good that it was hard to do anything else.
Toon Ken
Toon Ken lodge is the newest of the Río Grande lodges. It caters to only seven anglers on the middle and upper reaches of the world famous and highly sought after Río Grande. Ideally sited on a south bluff over the river, expansive windows allow anglers, a fine Argentine wine in hand, to watch Sea Trout make their way up stream. Modern conveniences assure comfort and a dedicated, well-trained staff sees to every detail.
Villa Maria
A very different fishery to Kau Tapen or Toon Ken, Villa Maria is a double handed fishermen’s dream. It enjoys private access on both banks and first crack at newly arrived Sea Trout. These trout average 10 pounds and can run up to 30lb. With friendly and dedicated house staff and guides, Villa Maria is very well suited to caring for small groups of friends or family.
And on the Rio Gallegos
Bella Vista
Here is a lodge of un-paralleled luxury and comfort and it is a package that is without match. Bella Vista offers some of the finest dry fly Brown Trout fishing on the Chico Spring Creek and fantastic Sea Trout fishing on the renowned Rio Gallegos. What an awesome combination and perfect getaway for fishing when the northern hemisphere is shivering in its boots. I fished this paradise in January 2008 and landed Browns from a little spring creek which were bigger than any I had ever imagined and my largest trout ever of 23+ pounds on the main Rio Gallegos. And I enjoyed, perhaps, the finest food I have ever eaten in a lodge that would reach the high mark on anyone’s scorepad. What a week I had.>
And moving North to Central Patagonia…

This is where the world comes when it is hungry for the best combined trophy Rainbows, Browns and Brookies. I have fished Patagonia for the last four years and will, for sure, be back in 2010. Patagonia offers fly fishing for Brookies, Browns and Rainbows as good as it gets anywhere. And I mean anywhere in the world. The wildlife is as different from the Northern Hemisphere as one could imagine and the lodging is absolutely world class… as is the cuisine. Simply elegant.

Tres Valles

This is a new exclusive luxury fishing lodge which affords all guests an unforgettable experience in the Patagonian outback. I visited this outstanding fishery in January of 2008 and have high hopes of returning again this season as I simply love the big fish chasing dry flies on the RIO PAMPA AND RIO PICO. Many lurking big browns and brookies in the 20-30 inch range are lying in wait under deep cut banks and crystal clear rips and runs and a number of small lagunas hold prodigious Brook trout coming to a variety of dry fly presentations. A number of Spring Creek pools entice the angler around the 16,000 acres of private ranch land. I caught fish in the rivers, I caught fish in the creeks, I caught fish in the lagunas, in fact , this ranch has so much beautiful water that it is almost impossible to not catch fish. And the beautiful laguna on which the lodge is nestled holds some massive Rainbows and Browns which have very rarely ever seen a fly. Set amongst the towering snow capped Andes Mountains, you will find outstanding world class service and enjoy multiple amenities.

Estancia Tecka certainly has to rate right at the top of Argentinean Patagonia’s great lodges. It certainly rates right at the top of my favorite fishing lodges in the world. Two magnificent lodges grace this massive ranch stretching over 650 square miles of private wonderland. The incredible Headquaters Lodge is the mainstay of a hugh working sheep ranch. And the lodge itself has been re-constructed from the original ranchstead in all the period splendor imaginable. Dark wood walls, ornate fireplaces, and beautiful floorwork recall a time when the style was among the finest in the world. It is like you step back a century to enjoy a piece of the highlife. Awesome. And the more remote Caridad Lodge some 30 miles away yet on the same ranch is a prime example of what anyone could ever expect from a 5 star facility. It is beautifully sited adjacent to the captivating Corcovado River and allows guests a tranquility and degree of pleasure seldom experienced in the fishing community of great lodges. It is, in fact… perfect. I have fished from both lodges and would choose either as the perfect spot to discover the joy of Patagonian fishing. I fished Tecka in January of 2006, 2007,2008 , and 2009 and will be back in just a few weeks to kick off 2010.

And up to the far North where different climates and landscapes bring to life a new world of challening sport. Here I am talking, of course, of the fabulous Golden Dorado. Golden Dorado is one of the greatest fighting game fish in the entire world. Here we fish both the fabulous Ibera Marshlands and the little known Parana River at Yahape. Catching an Argentine Golden Dorado on a fly is the most exhilarating freshwater fishing you might ever do and we have the most advantageous location and programs offered. The region of Mesopotamia, Argentina is a new frontier for fly anglers and unites deluxe accommodations, excellent native guides, fast access to diverse waters and a large population of fish. These fish are hard core. Their sharp teeth and explosive leaps make them the strongest, meanest and most aggressive Salomonid out there.
The fishing here at Pira Lodge is done on the Iberá Marshlands, one of the most fascinating wetlands in the world. 3,500,000 (that´s three million five hundred thousand) acres of unexplored and uninhabited marshland in the northeastern corner of Argentina will be the setting for some of the most exciting fishing you will ever do. The marsh is a vast system of non-polluted crystal-clear creeks, rivers, shallows, and lakes roughly 2.5 times bigger than the Florida Everglades and you will spend your days here in state-of-the-art Hell’s Bay flats skiffs exploring this enormous watershed.


Yahape is a launch site located on the Parana River in the Northern province of Corrientes. The lodge we fish is Estancia Atalaya which is located close by in the middle of a working 25,000 acre cattle ranch. The Moncada family leaves nothing to chance. I fished Yahape in January 2008 and enjoyed extraordinary personal service and comfortable lodging and dining. The fishing for Dorado here is regarded as the best in all Argentina. The High Parana is a large system that is a tailwater about 70 kilometers below the Yacireta Dam. Because it is a tailwater, unlike other large Argentine rivers, the water is generally clear. The nature of the river and fish requires skill, so the better, more experienced casters are rewarded. The reason is that much of the fishing is site casting to fish you see, or have seen, near tree stumps, behind rocks, or under overhangs and along cut banks. Accurate casts are rewarded. You will be fishing for Dorado up to about 25 pounds, but most will be 5 to 10 pounds. Pacu is considered the “Permit of Argentina “, and is the attraction for the best anglers because of its size and power. Pacu in the 14 to 25 pound range are caught, but most will be 8 to 12 pounds. The Pira Pita is a smaller fish, to about 15 pounds, and acts basically like a trout. It is an incredible experience to see one of these big bruisers slowly come to the surface and sip in your bumble bee imitation. I managed to catch all three species during my visit and while hooking no monsters, each was a thrilling delight and action packed experience. All this in a magnificent and enthralling jungle environment. There are monkeys in the trees, toucans , and an array of other birds and animals. I would go back in a heartbeat.


For further information please contact Lax-a staff