Deep in the province of Santa Cruz in Southern Patagonia, Argentina, you’ll find El Rincon Fly Fishing Lodge. Situated in a 57,000 acre private Estancia, the world-famous Sea Trout rivers of the Rio Gallegos and the Rio Penitente can be found within its boundaries and offer some of the best freshwater fly fishing in the world.
Just 150 metres from the lodges front door, you’ll find a 20 kilometre stretch of the Rio Gallegos and a further 35 kilometres of its major tributary, the Rio Penitente, a spectacular river in its own right and one which sees over half of the migrating fish from the Rio Gallegos. Surrounded by breathtaking views, stunning landscape, a panoramic backdrop of the Andes Mountains and an abundant wildlife population, such as Rhea’s, Armadillo, Skunks and flocks of Pink Flamingos, to name a few. The El Rincon offers the chance of an unforgettable yet affordable fly fishing memory to last a lifetime.
The lodge is famed for its significant run of fully wild Sea Trout, which average around 10lb, but specimens to over 20lb and even 30lb get landed every year. It’s also renowned for a robust population of massive resident Brown Trout, which average 3lb to 4lb, but with many large trophy fish into double figures. This, combined with over 50 kilometres of private, double bank fishing, shared between only five rods, it’s easy to see why the fishing is so spectacular and why it attracts thousands of travelling freshwater fly fishing anglers every year.
When fishing at El Rincon, anglers have access to over 50 kilometres of prime Sea Trout fishing river, made up of the Rio Gallegos and its major tributary, the Rio Penitente. Both rivers, situated in Southern Patagonia, Argentina, are stunningly beautiful and offer some explosive sport for Sea and Brown Trout.
The river, named after Blasco Gallegos, one of the pilots of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition of 1520, is famous in the freshwater fly fishing world for its Trout fishing. The lodge has access to over 20 kilometres of quality double bank fishing, with a selection of classic looking pools holding good numbers of migrating Sea Trout. After having their journey interrupted, these fish are big and angry, so anglers should get prepared for some rod bending action. Brown Trout also populate the river but are more abundant in the Rio Penitente.
Just a short distance from the El Rincon Lodge, the Rio Penitente offers over 35 kilometres of fishing. Anglers have the opportunity to pick up a rod and walk the few steps across the garden to try a few casts in any of the home pools of this stunningly pretty river. Many Rio Gallegos Sea Trout migrate the Rio Penitente, but the river is famed for its fantastic Brown Trout fishing. It offers an abundant population of fish between 3 to 4lb and many larger specimens well into double figures.
El Rincon fly fishing on the Rio Gallegos can be with either a single or double-handed fly rod, depending on the anglers personal preference. An 8-weight rod matched with an intermediate fly line is perfect for everyday conditions; however, we recommend moving up to an S3 or S6 in higher water following a spate. A floating or sink tip line is best in low water, and if the river is suitable, a skated fly can produce explosive results and is a delightful way of catching the river’s inhabitants.
At its average level, the Penitente gets best fished with a single-handed rod or one of the lighter double-handed Switch rods around 7-weight. Lines should be floating, sink tip or intermediate in normal conditions, but once again, we would recommend moving up to an S3 or S6 heavier sinking line during periods of higher water. In general, the Penitente does clear out and return to its average height quickly after a spate.
Due to the nature of the fishing and the excitement of never knowing what size of fish you might encounter next, you must take a range of good quality leader material in various breaking strains. The Brown Trout are big, averaging 3 to 4 lbs with some into double figures. Then, of course, there is the Sea Trout running up to 20lbs+.
Fly wise, most Argentinian Sea Trout style rubber-leg fly patterns work well in normal conditions, and so do many traditional nymphs. Dry flies can be also be used very effectively in settled and lower water conditions. If the water is high, then streamers are often a great pattern to turn to; they’re also super effective in the numerous cut channels and deep holes that you can find spread out along the entire river system.
In Argentina, a fishing guide is regarded as a very prestigious role and is a genuine career choice for many from a young age. For this reason, they usually speak good English and take pride in their performance, and the El Rincon fly fishing guides are no different. They have all amassed a very considerable amount of hard-earned experience regarding all facets of fly fishing in South American rivers. Their passion and dedication is infectious, and rest assured, they will go the extra mile in search of your fish of a lifetime.
The management team at El Rincon consists of Diego Peralta and Paul Becher. Both are passionate fly fishermen. Diego was born and raised in Rio Gallegos and has fished the local rivers all his life and knows them intimately. Paul has fished extensively worldwide but has developed a real passion for the rivers of Patagonia over the last fifteen years. Both have been good friends and fishing companions for many years. Complimenting the team are professional local guides Luciano Arata, Chizo Arias and Mauro Ochoa.
The guides at El Rincon use 4×4 vehicles to navigate the different sections of the river each day, but time never gets wasted driving long distances. Due to the nature of the river and its myriad of glides, streams, pots and deep-cut channels, it’s easy to walk from pool to pool in any chosen area.
To find out more about the El Rincon Fly Fishing and the Sea Trout Fishing in Argentina, visit our YouTube channel.
The El Rincon fly fishing programme is an actual “El Campo” style operation run from Estancia Rincon De Los Morros, Southern Patagonia, some 1 hour and 40 minutes drive from the town of Rio Gallegos.
The lodge and Estancia own exclusive private access to 20 kilometres of the Rio Gallegos river and an additional 35 kilometres of private double bank fishing on the picturesque Rio Penitente river. Both feature large runs of Sea Trout plus a very healthy stock of indigenous Brown Trout running up into double figures.
The lodge itself retains all the character and charm of its original turn of the century roots; imported from England in 1902 and completed in 1906, it stands on the banks of the beautiful Penitente river and features uninterrupted views over the beautiful surrounding countryside, with the Andes mountains as a panoramic backdrop.
All guests bedroom accommodation is based on single occupancy unless couples wish to share, and all meals and drinks, including alcoholic, are included in the price.
The lodge has a large porch with rod stands and a good-sized cloakroom for hanging waders and jackets. The only potential downside is it doesn’t have 24-hour electricity. However, a quiet generator runs during cooking times and into the evening for charging phones and cameras.
For either travelling non-anglers or anglers who don’t wish to fish on every session, you can explore the thousands of stunning acres of the surrounding countryside on either foot or by horseback, and the guides can take you to the best sightseeing spots.
Due to the remoteness of the lodge, it does not have WIFI, and the phone signal can be very hit and miss; however, there are some corners of the lodge where most phones will work.
Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Arrive Buenos Aires
On arrival take a taxi to your overnight accommodation (taxi not included).
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin room) B/B
You will depart from your accommodation via taxi and travel to Jorge Newbery airport (taxi not included). On arrival at Rio Gallegos, our staff will be waiting to transfer you to the lodge. The transfer will take approx. 2 hours. On arrival at the lodge, once you have settled into your rooms and if time permits, you will have the chance at your first session fishing on the river.
Overnight Accommodation: El Rincon Lodge (Single Room) F/B
Over the next 6 days, you will have the chance to fish all the lodges water on both the Rio Gallegos and Penitente rivers. The rivers are divided into sections allowing pairs of anglers to fish two sections per day and is based on two anglers per guide. This will allow you to fully explore the vast amount of water that El Rincon provides. Fishing is either with double-handed rods or single-handed rods. This is dependent on which river you are fishing, the wind, water levels and its clarity.
Overnight Accommodation: El Rincon Lodge (Single Room) F/B
You will take an early morning transfer back to Rio Gallegos airport.
Depart Rio Gallegos, Arrive Jorge Newbery
On arrival take a taxi to your hotel (taxi not included).
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin room) B/B
You will take a taxi back to Buenos Aires International Airport (taxi not included)
Depart Buenos Aires
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 79%
"Thanks to everyone who made our trip possible. Me and my partner had a fantastic week and loved every second of it. The fishing was a little tougher than it normally is (so the guides said) but it still exceeded our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the overnight in Buenos Aires too, what a city."
"From start to finish the holiday was an absolute dream. The fishing on both rivers the Rio Gallegos and the Rio Penitente were both very kind to us and we landed lots of nice fish, my best Sea Trout was over 10lb and a new PB. I loved every second of it. The staff and guides at the lodge were very accommodating and ensured we were all happy and comfortable."
"Me and my fishing partner have just returned from a weeks fishing at El Rincon and we were thoroughly impressed. We landed lots of nice Sea Trout and even a few bonus Brown's. The journey was a little longer than I was expecting and the weather wasn't great, but that couldn't really be helped."
The season runs from November to March.
Season: November to April
Peak: January to February
Weight: 5LB to 30lb
Average Weight: 10lb
Season: November to April
Peak: December to march
Weight: 1lb to 10lb
Average Weight: 4lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and staying in single rooms at the lodge (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.
Thanks to everyone who made our trip possible. Me and my partner had a fantastic week and loved every second of it. The fishing was a little tougher than it normally is (so the guides said) but it still exceeded our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the overnight in Buenos Aires too, what a city.
From start to finish the holiday was an absolute dream. The fishing on both rivers the Rio Gallegos and the Rio Penitente were both very kind to us and we landed lots of nice fish, my best Sea Trout was over 10lb and a new PB. I loved every second of it. The staff and guides at the lodge were very accommodating and ensured we were all happy and comfortable.
Me and my fishing partner have just returned from a weeks fishing at El Rincon and we were thoroughly impressed. We landed lots of nice Sea Trout and even a few bonus Brown's. The journey was a little longer than I was expecting and the weather wasn't great, but that couldn't really be helped.
I'd never been on a dedicated fishing holiday before and now I'm seriously asking myself why! I love fly fishing at my local angling club, but this truly was an experience of a lifetime. The fishing was out of this world, the scenery was stunning and the guides and the staff at El Rincon simply couldn't do enough. All I need to do now is book my next one!
Argentina is a brilliant country, the Rio Gallegos is a stunning river and El Rincon Fly Fishing Lodge offers some of the best Sea Trout fishing I've ever experienced. A huge thanks to everyone who made my trip possible.
The Rio Gallegos is some river! It took me a little while to get used to the fishing, but after the first day, I really started to get the grips with it. I think I broke my Sea Trout PB twice on the second day. The guides who were with me all week really were exceptional too - please pass on my best to them. If you love your fly fishing and Trout fishing in the UK, I'd definitely recommend a trip to Argentina.
It was quite a long journey to get to El Rincon, but when I got there I wasn't disappointed. The Argentian countryside was incredible and so was the fishing, on my week so many trophy Sea Trout were caught. I didn't get amongst any of the true giants but caught plenty of fish.
I've been lucky enough to fly fish in a few different places around the world, but I can 100% say that El Rincon Lodge in Argentina is the best I've ever experienced. The fishing was spectacular and I lost count of the number of big Sea Trout I landed! A massive thanks to everyone involved in making my trip so enjoyable, I'll certainly be returning again.
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