Villa Maria



Overview


Overview of Villa Maria – Sea Run Brown Trout Galore!

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

A huge sea run Brown trout from 2012

The lodge is situated in one of Patagonia’s biggest and oldest working estancias. It has four spacious, perfectly furnished bedrooms featuring a cozy dining and living area, as well as a bar, well stocked with local spirits. Our chef takes charge each evening, offering a selection of local and international cuisine accompanied by the best Argentine wines.

We have also added a brand new cabin on the river to function as day lodge, You will sleep, eat breakfast and dinner in the main house and the cabin will be your home for lunch and a nice siesta before the afternoon session. This way you can fish the most productive times of day with your guide, early morning and early evening.

Our staff, composed of our manager, chef, housekeeping and wait staff and of cousre our professional guides will assist you during the week in all your needs. The lodge will accommodate only 6 anglers per week and is available on a limited basis, due to high demand by repeat parties.

The Daily Program:

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

It’s a jumper!!

Guests will leave the lodge around 9 o’clock after breakfast, fishing till around 1 o’clock.

Goal – catch lots of Sea run brown trout!

Following lunch and a siesta,(the hours of which will depend on the season) Guests return to the river between 5 and 6 o’clock and fish through till dusk. Fishing hours will change slightly depending on the time of year, this far south there is plenty of daylight!!.

Goal: More fly fishing for sea run brown trout!

Vila Maria has a team of experienced, professional international guides.
They are all English speakers, and will be able to offer tips on how to best fish each pool, fly choice and presentation. Please read further if you are interested in 5-25 pound brown trout on a fly rod. There is no other place like Tierra del Fuego and the Rio Grande river. Join our list of satisfied guests.


Lodging


The Lodging at Villa Maria

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

The outday lodge at Villa Maria

The success at Villa Maria is a perfect example where the best sea run brown trout fishing in the world meets one of the finest fly fishing lodges in the world… fly fishing heaven! The lodge rests on the grounds of the Jose Menendez’s Estancia, where the water and the sea trout are fresh. Here you will be able see the gulls and smell the salt. Typically big rods and big pools are used in fishing in the river. A 20-pound trout has plenty of room to run and fishing hours are allocated when the fishing is best.

The lodge is situated in one of Patagonia’s biggest and oldest working estancias. It has four spacious, perfectly furnished bedrooms featuring a cozy dining and living area, as well as a bar, well stocked with local spirits. Our chef takes charge each evening, offering a selection of local and international cuisine accompanied by the best Argentine wines. A brand new cabin will be your home for lunch and a nice siesta before the afternoon session. Our staff, composed of our host, chef, maids and professional guides will assist you during the week in all your needs. The house will accommodate only 6 anglers per week and is available on a limited basis, due to high demand by repeat parties.

Every guest will have full use of the day lodge located right on the banks of the Rio Grande as well. It is hard to take a siesta knowing that there is more fly fishing for sea run brown trout just a few steps away but towards the end of the week you will get the hang of it!

More About Villa Maria Lodge

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

Villa Maria Living room

The origins of our lodge can be traced back to the pioneering days of Patagonian History. The “estancia” (ranch) on which the lodge is located, was carved out of the wilderness in the last decades of the nineteenth century by an ancestor of the family that still owns it: José Menendez – a man who, having started out in life as a penniless Spanish immigrant to Argentina at the age of thirteen, came to be known, by the time he was fifty, as the “king of Patagonia”. His “reign” had no political connotations. The term was coined by the local population as a tribute to the impact of his presence in the region, the scope of his interests and initiatives, and the sheer quality of his tireless entrepreneurial spirit. There is one aspect of his many achievements which is of particular interest to us for a very special reason.

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

A bedroom at Villa Maria Lodge

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

The Main House at Villa Maria

The manager of José Menendez’s estancias, where Villa Maria is located was an Englishman: John Goodall. He was a remarkable man in many ways, and had all the qualities required for a position of responsibility in a pioneering enterprise which was far more demanding than mere farming. But there was another aspect of Goodall’s life to which we owe a debt of gratitude. He was a passionate angler, with a preference for trout, who worked (and lived) in an area of the planet where trout did not exist. Encouraged by Menendez, Goodall took the only logical step: he sailed to England and returned with an adequate supply of trout eggs. We like to think that by introducing the “catch and release” philosophy to Patagonia in 1984, and by continuing to promote it, Menendez’s great-grandsons, Jorge and Fernando de Las Carreras, are preserving the work of a man who, perhaps, died without being aware of the dimension of his legacy to anglers who come to Villa Maria from all over the world every year.

A tackle shop is available to guests with a good selection of Sage rods, good quality reels, flies, lines, and clothing equipment, especially selected to suit the needs of your trip. In addition, guests have the full use of the lodge’s fly tying table and equipment The lodge has a sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi for guests to relax after a day outdoors.

Lodge Photos


Fishing


The Sea Run Brown Trout Fishery at Villa Maria

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

A sea run brown tout in the air again!

The big reason to fish Villa Maria is that is very close to the ocean, making it the first lodge to get fish in and the last to have them. These fish come in fresh and hot and although the fishing is good upstream a brown that has swam 50 mile sup a river is bit more tired than when he first entered the river.

The lower Rio Grande is larger than the waters 40 to 50 miles upstream and anglers encounter nickel-bright sea-run browns in these pools. Access is strictly controlled by the ranch, so beats are assigned to our guests and the river is monitored to ensure that there is adequate water. The lower Rio Grande will appeal particularly to the confident casters, and those anglers familiar with the two-handed rod. Like the water farther upriver, the lower Rio Grande is shallow and easy to wade, although it is deeper in places.

Read More About the Sea Run Brown Fishing

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

This is as bright and big as sea run brown trout get!

The first brown trout were stocked in Tierra del Fuego by John Goodall in 1935. Shipped from Puerto Montt in Chile, 60,000 ‘salmo trutta’ eggs survived the arduous journey, to be planted on the Candelaria and McLennan rivers, both tributaries of the Rio Grande. These fish eventually found their way to the sea, probably sensing the nutrient filled estuary. Some how the adapted to ocean life and began reproducing like and Atlantic Salmon These sam fish populated the Gallegos shortly there after.. These sea-run brown trout now complete the yearly migratory cycle of their Atlantic Salmon Cousins, spawning during the summer months in freshwater and returning to the ocean to get big and fat!

The baby browns remain in the river 1 to 4 years until they are big enough for their first journey to the ocean, where they will feed and grow for about 6 months before
their first return to freshwater, weighing approximately 6lbs. Researchers have found trout which had spawned more than 6 times. A trout which has completed 4 cycles of returning to freshwater can weigh over 20 lbs. The frequency with which they return to freshwater is also an indicator that the fish face very few threats. It also shows that our policy of Catch and release is working. The average returns have been going up and up since this policy was adopted. We are now averaging 2-3 fish per rod per day which is way up from the low of 1 fish per rod per day just a decade ago. There are not many places in the world you can visit that has so many big brown trout.

Sea Run Brown Trout Techniques

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

Releasing a nice sea run brown trout.

Although most of their lives are spent in the ocean, the sea run brown seem to retain more of the eccentricities of resident browns than, for instance, steelhead do of resident rainbows. Moody fish, they must be shown flies the way they want to see them at the precise time, that they’re ready to take. The Rio Grande isn’t a big river. Thus, it’s compatible with a wide range of techniques, critical since a large sea trout may demand that a fly be fed to it on the bottom one hour but rise to a floating bomber the next. Water levels can change from week to week and the water generally drops as the season progresses. Vary your presentation markedly in each pool fished until you find the right formula of fly, line, drift or swing, and retrieve. Pay close attention to the advice of your guide, whose primary aim is to recommend the methods that will help you hook and bring your fish to the net.

Fishing Photo Gallery

Tackle & Gear

Buy your gear at Pro guide direct and help your local guide - Me!!Here is a list of the basics you will need for your trip. I have organized this list on Pro Guide Direct where you can actually purchase the brands and items that I have found to be the best of the best. Any Items that you purchase from Pro Guide Direct will help us earn a living and help you by being ensuring that you have the right gear for the trip. Many of our destinations are pretty remote with no chance to buy things on site.

Tierra del Fuego Gear List

SpeciesRodsReelsLineLeaders
Sea run brownsSingle Handed: 9 - 10 foot rods 8 wt. (maybe even a 9!)
2 handed: 13-15 foot rods 9-11 weights
Medium or Large Arbor with 150 yards of 30 pound backing#1 Floating easy to mend line,
#2 Floating with 8-15 fast sink tip (Type 6)
#3 full sinking intermediate
For Floating lines: 9 ft leaders with 10-15 lb tippet
For Sinking lines: 3 ft leaders ending with 10-20 pound tippet.
Resident browns
(On some rivers)
9' 6 weight single handed rods Medium or Large Arbor with 100yards of 20 pound backing#1 Floating easy to mend line,
#2 Floating with 8-15 fast sink tip (Type 6)
For Floating lines: 9 ft leaders with 5-10 lb tippet
For Sinking lines: 3 ft leaders ending with 8-12 pound tippet.

Fly List

Tierra del Fuego Fly List

Fly NameColorSizeQty
Collie Dog tube fliestAssorted3-1/2 long with # 4 hooks6
Bunny leech, Zonker, Woolly Bugger (Nice
and bushy)
2-412
Articulated leechesAssorted 2-46
Peacock 2-412
Girdle or Yuk Bug rubber legs4-1212
Bitch Creek nymphsOrange and Black4-1212
Bead head nymphs prince. hares ear etc.10-1418
Traditional Salmon Fliesasorted4-106
Bomber or other waking dry fliesAssorted4-86
tube fliesassorted1-1/2 - 2 inches , #4 hook12
Your favorite trout and salmon fliesthey will work here!2-1012

Also, take any large, dark trout or salmon fly in which you have confidence. Fishing a fly that has worked for you in the past, and in which you have confidence, is half the battle. Note: Larger streamers should be weighted and all should be tied on heavy hooks with good gaps. Treble & Double hooks are not allowed on the Rio Grande.

Packing List

Tierra del Fuego Packing List

Packed?ItemPacked?Item
 Airline Tickets  Photo Id/Passport
 Cash Prescription Medicines
 1 Gortex waders & repair kit  - neoprene is not advised Traveler's Checks
 1 Wading Shoes – no studs please "Boat Bag" for daily stuff
 1 Rain jacket w/hood (top quality breathable )   1 Folding wading staff (optional)
 1 Heavy fleece jacket Fly vest, or chest pack
 1 Medium weight fleece top  Camera / film/ batterries
 3 Lightweight fleece or Polypropylene tops or turtlenecks Reading & writing materials
 2 long sleeve lightweight fishing shirt  Bandana/ face sun protector
 3-7 pair underwear  ( synthetic is better than cotton) Persription glasses
 4 pair wool/ blend insulating socks for under waders spare perscriotion glasses
 1 wool or fleece hat (ski type)-  Toiletry Kit
 1 cap with brim  Zip lock bags (for lens cleaning cloth,, cash, etc)
 2 pair fleece pants (under waders) – Fly Rods
 2 - Pants (Long) Fly Lines
 2 pair Polypropylene long underwear bottoms Fly Reels
 1 pair water proof boots for around camp Flies/Fly box
 1 pair fishing gloves - fingered or fingerless Hemostat
 1 polarized sunglass - as good as you can get! Tippets / leaders
 1 spare pair polarized sunglasses ( cheap is OK) Clippers

Rates


The Rates at Villa Maria

7 Nights with 6 days of fishing is $7250 per person.

Prices Include: round trip ground transportation to the lodge, lodging, three meals a day, guided fishing each day. It includes soft drinks, beer and local spirits while at the lodge. It also includes all taxes. Prices quoted are per person and in US dollars.

Prices do not include: Fishing license,gratuities for your guide and resort staff, International or Intra Argentina Air fares, or any expenses in Buenos Aires before or after your trip.

Why Book Through Flyfishingheaven.com?

Why book through flyfishingheaven.com?

1. Unbiased Advice:


Most people recognize the advantage of our unbiased advice, there are hundreds of destinations to choose from and our job is to know the ones that are right for your needs. We offer the real story you can't get from a lodge owner. Would the outfitter in questions tell you are booking in a less than stellar part of the year? Remember our unbiased advice is 100% free!



2. We Can Book Anywhere:


Our website highlights many of our favorite destinations but we have access to hundreds more. If there are fish there, we can book it. In fact, we will give you 5% back if you book a trip through us that is not on our website! We enjoy learning about new spots!



3. Loyalty Discounts:


How do you qualify for our frequent fisher discounts? First, you have to book a trip, any trip. Then on every trip after that, you will receive a 5% discount automatically. If you organize a group of 8 or more we will give you 10% off! All you have to do is book the first trip and you are a flyfishingheaven.com frequent fisher!



4. Price Matching:


If you find a legitimate price for less than what we are charging we will offer you 5% back to book through flyfishingheaven.com!

Our Pledge

We promise to work for you, not a lodge, outfitter or resort. We pledge to get you you to a destination that will live up to your expectations at the best possible price. You will never be charged more than booking directly (in fact most of our clients are paying less - *see below). We will make sure you are well prepared for your trip with specific knowledge about the gear, the flies, the rods, packing lists, travel documents, connecting information everything. Since we are not tied to a particular destination we promise honest pros and cons of any destination at the time of year you are traveling.

We do earn a small commission when we book a trip as all lodges and outfitters offer this as they depend on agencies like ours for much of their business. This fee is paid by the lodge not you, and they do not keep different prices for direct bookings vs agency bookings, it is bad business.


Payment and Cancelation Polices

A 10% deposit is required if you are booking more than 6 months in advance, 50% deposit is required when less than 6 months until departure date with the balance due 60 days prior to departure. If you are forced to cancel with more than 60 days notice, you may keep full credit towards another trip or receive a refund less a 10% service charge. Deposits on cancellations with less than 60 days notice are not refundable unless your spot can be filled. MC, Visa, and checks are accepted. We recommend travel and or medical emergency insurance for all our trips.



Seasons


The Sea Run Brown Trout Season at Villa Maria

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

The Patagonian fishing season opens in mid November and ends in mid April, but the best fly fishing for sea run browns in Tierra del Fuego is Mid December through March.

In the upper sections of the river there are resident browns throughout the season, the lower strectches hold seas run fish exclusivly. There is a discount for December for those who want to sample the early runs of the big browns that are very aggressive as they enter the river.

Gallery


Photo Gallery

Please take a look at the  photo and video galleries related to Villa Maria.


Activities


Non-Fishing Activities

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

Not on our list for the non fishing at heart! There is spectacular service and standards at Kau Tapen, but very little to do other than fish. Perhaps you could be a gaucho for a day? Perhaps some couples could spend some quality time touring Buenos Airea or the wine country and then splitting up while the fisher heads down to the end of the world. If fly fishing for sea run browns is not your dream, this is not the place for you!


Travel


Travel Information

Fly fishing for sea run brown trout at the Villa Maria lodge in Tierra del Fuego Argentina

Flights and Timing:
Guests fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina and typically overnight there, having a day to spend touring this wonderful city. Arrival day at Kau Tapen is set for Saturday, so the following morning guests depart Buenos Aires for the flight south. Commercial airlines fly from Buenos Aires to the airport of Rio Grande (3 hour flight), where you will be met by a lodge representative. The transfer from Rio Grande airport to the lodge is by four wheel drive and takes 1 ½ hours. On arrival at the lodge, guests are welcomed with cocktails by the entire Kau Tapen staff.

Passports and Visas
A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days. Traveler must be in possession of a passport valid for 6 months beyond stay and a round-trip airline ticket. A visa may be required if trip purpose is other than basic business meetings.

Passport Requirements:
Original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond stay, and with at least one blank visa page available for visa stamp(s).
2Proof Of Departure:
Confirmed round-trip or onward airline ticket.

Special Instructions:
US citizens must pay a “reciprocity fee” to enter Argentina. This is not a visa, since a visa is not required for US business and tourist visitors. It is a fee based upon the fees that Argentinian citizens pay for a visa to the United States. The fee amount will be subject to change.

The National Immigration Agency (Direccion Nacional de Migraciones) has added a new online form of payment of this reciprocity fee (visitor visa- rate for Americans of USD $160), through the Provincia Payment System. Online payment may now be made in advance for arrival at all airports.

How to pay the reciprocity fee on-line:
Enter the web site https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/ and register to start the process.
Complete the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information.
Print the payment receipt.
On arrival in Argentina, this printed receipt must be presented at Immigration Control. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and the traveler’s entry to the country registered.

Effective October 31, 2012 for arrivals to Aeroparque and effective December 28, 2012 for arrivals to Ezeiza International airport, all U.S. tourist or business visitors must pay the reciprocity rates (USD $160 for Americans) with their credit card through the on-line system. After these dates, cash payments will NOT be accepted at the airports.

Packing List

Tierra del Fuego Packing List

Packed?ItemPacked?Item
 Airline Tickets  Photo Id/Passport
 Cash Prescription Medicines
 1 Gortex waders & repair kit  - neoprene is not advised Traveler's Checks
 1 Wading Shoes – no studs please "Boat Bag" for daily stuff
 1 Rain jacket w/hood (top quality breathable )   1 Folding wading staff (optional)
 1 Heavy fleece jacket Fly vest, or chest pack
 1 Medium weight fleece top  Camera / film/ batterries
 3 Lightweight fleece or Polypropylene tops or turtlenecks Reading & writing materials
 2 long sleeve lightweight fishing shirt  Bandana/ face sun protector
 3-7 pair underwear  ( synthetic is better than cotton) Persription glasses
 4 pair wool/ blend insulating socks for under waders spare perscriotion glasses
 1 wool or fleece hat (ski type)-  Toiletry Kit
 1 cap with brim  Zip lock bags (for lens cleaning cloth,, cash, etc)
 2 pair fleece pants (under waders) – Fly Rods
 2 - Pants (Long) Fly Lines
 2 pair Polypropylene long underwear bottoms Fly Reels
 1 pair water proof boots for around camp Flies/Fly box
 1 pair fishing gloves - fingered or fingerless Hemostat
 1 polarized sunglass - as good as you can get! Tippets / leaders
 1 spare pair polarized sunglasses ( cheap is OK) Clippers



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