Estancia Maria Behety, Argentina January 2024

Olly Thompson will be returning to the Rio Grande in Argentina in 6 to 13 January 2024. A river that has a reputation for producing some of the world’s finest sea trout fishing. No river comes close to having the numbers or size of fish the Rio Grande does. The British record stands at around 27 lbs, but sea trout of 20 lbs or more are caught each week on the Rio Grande, with most seasons seeing fish of over 30 lbs. The Rio Grande is a unique fishery and one that rewards anglers who enjoy technical fishing and move through the pools with a careful and thoughtful approach.

Estancia Maria Behety Lodge, Argentina

Anglers at Estancia Maria Behety rotate through the premier pools of the lower and middle beats of the river, which have historically been the most prolific. With access to more than 102 pools, the lodge can focus on the best water according to the current conditions, which is a huge advantage early in the season when fish are running. These pools fill with chrome bright sea trout, with each high tide twice a day. Estancia Maria Behety offers the complete Rio Grande experience as during your stay there, you will cover a wide range of water types and fishing situations.  

Fishing the Rio Grande in January offers anglers the opportunity to target the brightest, strongest and most acrobatic fish of the season. More often than not, it is a hen fish of sixteen to eighteen pounds that provides the most memorable fight and it is not uncommon for one of these fish to jump ten times or more.

Over the years, Estancia Maria Behety has developed one of the most experienced guide teams on the river. The guide team of six know all the pools intimately and have an excellent grasp of all the techniques needed to target these sometimes finicky fish. All of the guides at the lodge are local Argentine guides who have grown up in Patagonia, targeting trout and sea trout since they were young. They are all charming and speak very good English.

The Lodge

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Estancia Maria Behety Lodge sits on a promontory overlooking the Rio Grande. It has spectacular panoramic views of vast pampas and the remnants of the Andean cordillera. Located upstream from La Villa, Estancia Maria Behety is part of the same estancia owned by the Menedez family. It is the larger of the two lodges with eight double occupancy rooms that take twelve rods and a maximum of sixteen guests.  

The main room is timber-framed and features 20 foot plus high ceilings with banks of tall windows that allow light to flood the room. A roaring fireplace and several sitting areas provide the perfect place to relive the fishing of the day and relax with delicious appetizers and a cocktail. A full bar is well stocked with all the proper libations, including the finest Argentine wines and plenty of cold beer.   

Estancia Maria Behety, Rio Grande, Aardvark McLeod

Why Olly wants to visit this destination:

Olly has been fishing the Rio Grande since 2014 and has spent several seasons guiding on the river further upstream. While great fishing can be had throughout the season on the Rio Grande, it is the prospect of catching acrobatic, tide fresh fish early in season that he gets most excited about.

Olly thinks that Estancia Maria Behety is unique and special for many reasons. Possibly more than any other is that no other lodge on the river offers such a complete experience of the Rio Grande. One day, you could be fishing the broader and deeper pools on the lower river, and the meandering middle reaches the next. The variety of pools and fishing situations that Estancia Maria Behety can offer is truly remarkable and one of the things he is most looking forward to revisiting.

There are few lodges Olly can think of that seem to blend comfort, great food, and a relaxed atmosphere quite like Estancia Maria Behety. Besides the fishing, his thoughts turn also to the asado lunches while overlooking the mighty Rio Grande with a glass of fine Malbec.

Trip Itinerary:

Thursday 4th January: Arrive in Buenos Aires and overnight.

Friday 5th January: Transfer to domestic airport fly to Rio Grande. Overnight in Rio Grande.

Saturday 6th January: Road transfer to Estancia Maria Behety Lodge.

Sunday 7th January to Friday 13th January: Six full days fishing on the prime middle and lower reaches of the Rio Grande.

Saturday 13th January: Road transfer to Ushuaia. Depart for Buenos Aires and overnight.

Sunday 14th January: Depart Buenos Aires for international flight home.

The trip itinerary is based on this years domestic flight timetable which may change in 2024.

For more information and an itinerary please contact Olly Thompson or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.