Estancia Glencross is located in Santa Cruz, high on the slopes of the magnificent Cordillera de Los Andes and is one of the best Brown Trout and Sea Trout fishing destinations in the world. First bought by Alejandro and Jose Menendez in 1908, it has been run by the Menendez family ever since. Sitting in the folds of the breathtaking southwest Patagonia, it’s dedicated to livestock breeding but also as a world-class Trout fishing lodge. Because of its history and magnitude, the Glencross station is considered a unique one; it has been an important icon in Santa Cruz since its creation and has most definitely become a part of its history.
Found on the border between Argentina and Chile, the iconic Estancia covers an incredible 85,000 hectares of land consisting of three distinct landscapes. To the south of the Rio Turbio Valley, you will discover the typical Santa Cruz arid sceneries. This arid landscape gives way to higher grounds, the height of which keeps increasing until it reaches Chilean territory and, finally, the beautiful Lenga forests.
Over this vast area and within the boundaries of Estancia Glencross, you will find three different rivers, the biggest and the main river, the Rio Gallegos, and then two of its smaller tributaries, the Rubens and Penitente Rivers. The larger Rio Gallegos is considered one of the best Sea Trout fishing destinations on the planet. In contrast, the smaller tributaries offer anglers an unmatched opportunity to target large Brown Trout.
At Estancia Glencross, travelling freshwater fly fishing anglers have the opportunity to fish three different rivers, all characterised by their unique scenery and structure. These rivers include the Rio Gallegos, the largest and main river fished from Estancia, and then two of its smaller tributaries, the Rubens and Penitente Rivers. The Rio Gallegos is one of the best Sea Trout fishing rivers globally, whereas the smaller tributaries offer some unbelievable Brown Trout fishing.
The sections of the Rio Gallegos accessible to anglers at this destination get characterised by varying structure. While the upper sections feature weed beds, rocks, and backwaters, the lower areas look more like a traditional southern Patagonian Sea Trout river with cut and gravel banks.
The Rubens and Penitente tributaries generally feature smaller pools that are easier to cover; however, the upper section of the Rubens is surrounded by lenga trees, making one feel like they are fishing in a tropical jungle.
Given the diverse structure and landscape that this location has to offer, anglers will not only get a chance to practice several types of trout fishing but also experience one of the most iconic and most beautiful landscapes southern Patagonia has to offer.
As always, when fishing for Brown Trout and Sea Trout in clear, mostly shallow water, a stealthy approach is required. In certain sections of the river, this means avoiding wading entirely and, in some places, even crouching down when approaching the pool or area you’re about to fish. We recommend you make a soft cast, let the fly sink and swing for a second, then strip, strip, boom!
A standard single hand 5-weight or 6-weight fly rod, matched with a similar-sized reel, loaded with a floating line, will enable you to cover the majority of the water and situations you will encounter. The exception is the lower part of the Rio Gallegos, where a 7-weight or 8-weight rod is preferred or a light 6-weight or 7-weight spey/switch rod. This section is slightly wider, more exposed to wind, and holds a much larger stamp of Sea Trout, with fish to over 25lbs not uncommon. Landing one of those is a hard enough task on any rod.
Fly wise, when fishing for the resident species, it’s hard to go wrong with a small streamer or leech imitation, especially leeches, as they seem to bring out the aggressive nature of the fish. Rubber leg nymphs also work well, and on calm days drifting a dry or skating a surface fly can be super fun and deadly effective.
To find out more about Estancia Glencross and the Rio Gallegos in Argentina, visit our YouTube channel.
All the guides at Estancia Glencross have amassed a very considerable amount of hard-earned experience regarding all facets of fly fishing in these South American Trout rivers. The first-class guides all speak English; their passion and dedication is infectious, and rest assured, they will go the extra mile in search of your fish of a lifetime. The trip is based on two or three anglers per guide.
With access to over 50 kilometres off prime Sea Trout and Brown Trout river, the best fishing spots in the region can be anything from 5 to 45 minutes away, so each guide has access to a 4×4 truck to transport anglers up and down the rivers.
With minimal walking and easy wading, the destination is perfect for all anglers, from young to old and beginner to expert. If you’re a proficient caster with both single-handed and double-handed rods, you might catch a few more fish, but on a lot of the smaller rivers, there’s no need for long hero casts. It’s far better to be able to cast with a nice straight line and get your fly landing softly on the surface of the water.
If you are travelling to Estancia Glencross and fishing for the Sea and Brown Trout that inhabit the Rio Gallegos and its tributaries, why not read our blog on 10 Top Tips to Improve Your Fly Fishing.
The traditional Estancia Lodge offers well-appointed facilities with casual elegant wilderness living, filled with creature comforts and an atmosphere of camaraderie.
The 85,000 hectares Estancia estate is an active cattle and sheep ranch complete with a number of picturesque buildings, including a school for the children of the Estancia workers. There is even a library, shearing station, bakery, stables, and much more. The main house, where you will stay, is a beautiful building built in the traditional southern Patagonian style and is the heart of the whole Estancia. The lodge caters for only 4 to 6 anglers per week and features four single rooms and one two-bedded room. All rooms share two main bathrooms.
Apart from the guest rooms, the Estancia has one main dining area, where all meals get served, and a separate lounge area, which is perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and relaxing whilst sharing fishing stories.
Outside there is a big outdoor Asado or Argentinian Barbecue area where you can enjoy a rack of lamb and socialise with other guests, guides and lodge staff.
The Estancias chef and staff will prepare a hearty breakfast and dinner each day. Breakfasts are made to order and include your choice of hot and cold cereals, bread, fruits, eggs, toast and bacon, juices, and coffee or tea.
The day’s main meal will get served as a three-course lunch lubricated with unlimited amounts of beer or Argentina red wine. Meals are of a very high standard, all cooked by a professional chef, ensuring you enjoy an inspiring range of both Argentinean and continental dishes throughout your week. When you return from the evenings fishing session, a delightful array of finger food will be served, with a different theme each day. Once again, there is limitless beer and wine.
The quality food and drink go a long way in helping to create such a homely and welcoming atmosphere and is just another reason why everyone falls in love with this trip.
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.
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 hotel. (Taxi not included) The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore.
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin Room) B/B
Early Saturday morning take a taxi to the Jorge Newbery internal Airport and fly to Rio Gallegos airport. (Taxi not included)
On arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to Las Buitreras where you will pick up any other guest who may have been fishing the previous week at Las Buitreras. From Las Buitreras you will normally depart around 11 AM. Transfer to Glencross by car or minibus. Transfer time from Las Buitreras is appr. 1.5 hours. On arrival at the lodge, you will be shown to your rooms and the rest of the day is yours to either relax or if you prefer, set up all your rods for some casting practice.
Overnight Accommodation: Estancia Glencross (Twin Room) F/B
Each day you will fish both a morning session and an afternoon/evening session. After the morning session, it will be back to the lodge for the main meal of the day a sit down three-course meal served with unlimited amounts of wine. After dinner, it’s time for a siesta before returning back to the water around 5 pm until dark. We have 3 different rivers to fish with lots of areas to cover as there is only a small number of anglers each week you can choose with your guides where you would like to fish.
Overnight Accommodation: Estancia Glencross (Twin Room) F/B
Around 5 am in the morning transfer back to Las Buitreras to pick up other customers and then all proceed to Rio Gallegos airport. You will depart Rio Gallegos and arrive at Jorge Newbery airport. On arrival take a taxi to your hotel.
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin Room) B/B
In the morning you will take a taxi back to Buenos Aires International Airport.
Depart Buenos Aires
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 85%
"My holiday at Estancia Glencross was first class and both me and my partner landed good numbers of Sea Trout and Brown Trout. One of the main things we both enjoyed about the fishing was how close the beats were to the transport, there was minimal walking and easy wading, which was very good for my dodgy knee! A big thanks for recommending the destination and a big thanks to everyone at the Estancia Lodge who made us feel very welcome."
"From the moment I left my house to the moment I returned everything was first class and flowed seamlessly. The fishing was brilliant and so were the staff and guides at Estancia Glencross. The food and drink were beautiful too, I definitely took a liking to the local Argentinean wine - that alone was enough to make me book again!"
"Estancia Lodge... What a place! I've fished in Europe before but never ventured further than that, so was a little nervous/apprehensive about fishing somewhere on the other side of the world, but from the moment I left my house everything was effortless. The weather was a little grim, that can't be helped, but everything else was so professional and so well organised. I loved every second of my time there and would 100% return one day. A big thanks to everyone involved in making it happen."
The season runs from December to March.
Season: November to April
Peak: January to February
Weight: 5lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 9lb
Season: November to April
Peak: January to March
Weight: 1lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 2lb
There are no single angler supplements on this holiday
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 accommodation (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 surcharges.
My holiday at Estancia Glencross was first class and both me and my partner landed good numbers of Sea Trout and Brown Trout. One of the main things we both enjoyed about the fishing was how close the beats were to the transport, there was minimal walking and easy wading, which was very good for my dodgy knee! A big thanks for recommending the destination and a big thanks to everyone at the Estancia Lodge who made us feel very welcome.
From the moment I left my house to the moment I returned everything was first class and flowed seamlessly. The fishing was brilliant and so were the staff and guides at Estancia Glencross. The food and drink were beautiful too, I definitely took a liking to the local Argentinean wine - that alone was enough to make me book again!
Estancia Lodge... What a place! I've fished in Europe before but never ventured further than that, so was a little nervous/apprehensive about fishing somewhere on the other side of the world, but from the moment I left my house everything was effortless. The weather was a little grim, that can't be helped, but everything else was so professional and so well organised. I loved every second of my time there and would 100% return one day. A big thanks to everyone involved in making it happen.
The journey to the Estancia Lodge was a long one, but well worth all those hours of travelling. I smashed my personal best Sea Trout twice in the week and I think the other guys fishing the river done similar. We had a great laugh with the other anglers, guides and staff - my guide was a brilliant chap (I can't remember his name) but please pass on my thanks to all the guys at the lodge. Thanks again.
What a week... Me and my fishing buddies had a brilliant time! The fishing was incredible and between us, we generally lost count of the number of big Sea Trout we landed. The guides and staff at the Estancia Lodge were some of the best I've ever come across and they couldn't do enough for us. If you visit this destination you must try the Asado or Argentinian Barbecue, the lamb was out of this world!
The flight, lodge, guides and fishing were all A1. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect but I definitely wasn't disappointed. This was my first taste of fly fishing abroad and it certainly won't be my last. A big thanks to everyone who organised my trip and all the staff at the Estancia Lodge.
I've been lucky enough to fish in Patagonia a few times, travelling and fishing there back in 2018 and 2019. However, I was extra excited to fish at Estancia Glencross after reading such good things about it. I wasn't disappointed and I had a tremendous week. I was blessed with some very good weather and some even better fishing, landing numerous big Sea Trout to over 10lb.
I was able to scout the place several times before it will now be opened for guests and it is all that a passionate trout fisher is looking for. Estancia Glencross is offering an all-round experience with traditional food, beautiful accommodation and being part of an Estancia life as real as it can be. The brown trout fishing on the tributaries Penitente and Rubens is excellent where you are catching fish we would have to work quite hard for during a season in Europe. The rivers consist of bends, pocket water, rocks, small pools, cut banks and grass lines - all you need to make it interesting. The trees and little stretches of forest give it a special character, I was impressed by how green those places can be down south. The bonus is that here you don’t have to fish thin/long leaders with tiny nymphs etc., we were using big foam dry flies such as Chernobyl Ants plus the usual nymph or streamer patterns we fish for Brown Trout. These fish are strong and on a 5 weight a lot of fun. On the upper part of the Rio Gallegos, we were doing well with a 7 weight single-hander or double hander as you have a decent chance of hooking into a Sea Trout (we caught a few up to 7 lbs), although the main target is still Brown Trout. In summary, this is a great place for catching your fair share of good-sized Brown Trout with a chance of hooking up with their relatives from the ocean, all this combined with a beautiful landscape seeing the Andes mountains in the background and experiencing Argentinian culture first-hand.
Felix, thanks for the review, you are sure a lucky many to be one of the first to experience what this new destination has to offer. We are really excited and looking forward to the first season with customers. Regards Peter
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