La Villa de Maria Behety is the most deluxe fly fishing lodge of all Argentina


Guests enjoy the old world charm of the beautifully restored Menendez family mansion, and no lodge in Tierra del Fuego is more appropriate for non-anglers. 

Amenities beyond near-exclusive access to the superb fishing include a 7,000-bottle wine cellar, private rooms, Jacuzzi tubs, and a marvelous kitchen. 

Estancia Maria Behety fishing is, arguably, the best on the Rio Grande. The experience is highlighted by a diversity of water and sea trout angling challenges not available on other, more restrictive Rio Grande properties. Their talented, native, spey-savvy guides have a dawn-to-dark work ethic and rank among the best in Argentina. 



SEASON: January through mid April

CAPACITY: 18 people

SPECIES: Sea Run and Trout



7 nights and 6 full fishing days (Saturday to Saturday) 

  • $8,500 + $300 (fishing licence)

*Prices are per person in American Dollars, based in double occupancy and shared guide. 

*Subject to change.



  • Transfers to/from Tierra del Fuego Airport to/from the Lodge.
  • Use of 4-wheel drive trucks and ATVs inside the Estancia.
  • One professional guide for every two rods.
  • All drinks at the Lodge, such as great Argentinian wine, beer, soft drinks, cocktails, whiskey,  cognac, gin, Fernet Branca, Campari, Cinzano, Gancia, and others.


  • International flights, and domestic flights to and from Tierra del Fuego.
  • Gratuities for the staff and fishing guides.



Direct phone number to contact the Fly Fishing department: (210) 390 0576



General Information

Time your trip for January, February, March, or the first two weeks of April.

Maria Behety Lodge is nearly 30 kilometers upstream from the entrance to this huge estancia. The location places guests within quick and easy striking distance of the very best pools of the Rio Grande. With more than thirty miles of exciting river available, they’ll likely have pick of the litter of the best trophy water every day of their one-week stay.

Fish begin entering the river in significant numbers in November and by the New Year, more than 80% of the escapement is in the Rio Grande.

Early season fish are very aggressive, full of fight, and acrobatic. They move readily to dries, and three of the largest sea trout recorded were caught and released in January. The most productive weeks of the season shifts each year and can’t be consistently predicted. Fishing is consistent all season, and world-class nearly every day of the short Tierra del Fuego summer. 


Maximum of 18 fishermen.

The lodge accommodates a maximum of a dozen anglers and the two lodges combined are self-limited to 18 fishermen. If La Villa has more than half a dozen, occupancy at the lodge is reduced. The result is there are never more than nine pairs of fisherman sharing more than 30 miles of the Rio Grande. 


Our Meals

We have a great variety of meals at Estancia Maria Behety. For brekfast, anglers can choose from a light typical Latin breakfast, which includes fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, toasts, pastries, hot coffee and tea; or you can have a full-scale American breakfast with eggs, bacon, potatoes, omelets, ham and more.

Argentinian people are used to have a big lunch with great wines and delicious desserts. You will enjoy amazing BBQs, or ``asados´´, like we call it here. 

Dinners are served a little later than Americans are used to. This is because the fishing at the evening sometimes lasts a little more than usual.

The Fishing


Each day begins with the choice of a light Latin breakfast of fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, toast and coffee, or a full-scale American breakfast. Waders are donned in the drying room and guides are met for a long morning of fishing on the Rio Grande. Two anglers generally share a guide and vehicle and spend their days assigned to beats that usually consist of two to four huge river pools. There are 102 pools and nearly 40 beats on the huge Estancia Maria Behety and only 18 licensed anglers are allowed on property at any one time. Those pools and beats are used on alternate days by lodges on the opposite side of the river in a very harmonious rotation; still, only nine pairs of fishermen have nearly sixteen miles of river for their exclusive use every morning and evening. The maximum combined occupancy of all the Rio Grande lodges between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chilean border is about 50 anglers.

That’s an average of nearly a mile of private water for every single fisherman.

Fishermen typically return to the lodge by 1 or 2 in the afternoon where they’ll compare stories and a delicious mid-day meal, perfectly complemented by the best Argentine wines. Lunch is always followed by a well-earned siesta. The pattern is a split-shift approach to the fishing and is surprisingly easy to get used to following.

Anglers, well-fed and rested, fish the evening session right up to and beyond the usually brilliant Tierra del Fuego sunsets. Fishermen return well after dark to their respective lodges for cocktails and the chance to tell tales of giant fish, before sitting down to yet another great meal.

Gear and Equipment - Rods, Reels and Lines

Single-handed Fly Rods:

For those anglers that like to use a single handed rod, the Rio Grande is best fished with a 9’ or 9’ 6” fast action rod (4piece) designed to cast an 8, or 9 weight fly line. An 8 weight is the most common choice. Each angler should have two rods available for the trip. Each rod should be rigged with a different fly and fly line combination. This saves time changing reels, spools and lines, maximizing your time on the water. All the vehicles at the lodge have rod racks on them and once you put your rod together upon arriving, you won’t break it down until the last day of your trip. Some rods to consider are Scott Fly Rod’s S4s or S4 • Sage Xi3, One or Method series • R.L. Winston  BIIIx or BIIMx.


Single-handed Fly Reels:

Most modern high quality fly reels are appropriate for the Rio Grande. The reel should be equipped with a smooth, reliable drag system that is not compromised when it gets wet. Reels should be filled with a minimum of 100 yards of 20# backing. Reel models to consider might include: Hatch Finnatic 5+ or 7+, Galvan Torque 8 or 10 and Ross CLA # 5.


Single-handed Rod Fly Lines:

The proper collection of fly lines is more important than the rod, reel or fly you choose for the Rio Grande. You need three lines or line systems to effectively fish the Rio Grande and adjust to the constantly changing conditions.

Floating line: Preferably a weight-forward fly line like Scientific Angler’s GPX (textured) Floating Taper or Rio s Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon floating fly line. When conditions are right a floater really comes into play when skating dry flies or fishing a small wet fly just under the surface.

10’ – 15’ sink-tips: This is an important line for covering the different water levels on the Rio Grande. A Type III or Type IV is just fine. We a simple to use system we recommend the Rio VersiTip® Lines. This line gives you five 15’ interchangeable tips: floating tip, Aqualux clear intermediate, Type-III, Type-V1, and Type-VII.

24’ sink-tip: Don’t leave home without them! The most important fly line system in your arsenal is shooting heads in different grain weights and densities. We can custom make these heads for you in 27 foot lengths and suggest an appropriate running-line to compliment the heads.


Double-handed Fly Rods:

Having grown rapidly in popularity over the past 10 years, 75% of Rio Grande anglers are now fishing double-handed Spey rods. Advantages in casting distance, line control, and placing the fly accurately in wind make it the most efficient tool on the river, especially for those with shoulder or elbow problems. Many people coming to Spey casting for the first time are intimidated by it and think that it is a difficult discipline to learn.

This however, is a myth. In fact, it is much easier to become proficient at an intermediate level than it is with a single handed rod. You already know how to cast a fly rod, you just need to learn to handle a longer one with both hands. Taking a day or two of formal lessons prior to your trip, you will be able to fish the Rio Grande with great success with a spey rod. Plus, they’re downright fun to cast and fish with. When considering a double-handed rod, don’t automatically go for the longest and strongest rod on the market. Get together with a casting and rod expert, and test several different weights, lengths and manufacturers until you find the rod that best fits your casting style, as well as the type of water and lines and flies you will be fishing.

Some rods to consider are: With this in mind we suggest 12' ½" to 14’, #7, #8, or #9 weight rods. Scott Fly Rod’s T3H double handed rods are great tools, very castable, light in the hand and high quality.

Sage offers the One and Method models. Probably the best all-around two handed rod for the Rio Grande for someone new to this type of fishing is a 13’6” (#8 weight) rod.


Double-handed Fly Reels:

Most modern high quality fly reels are appropriate for the Rio Grande. The reel should be equipped with a smooth, reliable drag. Reels should be filled with a minimum of 200 yds of 20 or 30 lb. backing. Spey Reel models to consider might include: Saracione Mark IV 4”, the Galvan Torque 10 or 12, Hatch Finnatic 7+ or 9+, the Abel Super 12 or Ross CLA#5 or CLA#6. Gary Borger Pro Spey Reels size 11/2 are great choices and very affordable, sub $300

Double-Handed Rod Fly Lines:

There has been more development and subsequent progress with double-handed fly lines in the last few years than in any time before. For fishing on the Rio Grande the logical way to go is an interchangeable shooting head/tip system.

Gear and Equipment - Flies

Rio Grande Flies:

Sea-run brown trout on the Rio Grande are much more concerned with presentation than with exact imitations. Swinging nymphs and streamers occupies the vast majority of the fishing. A selection of two to three dozen flies is adequate. When water levels are low and clear, small nymphs, #12 - #8 are the rule. When water levels are up, and clarity of the water off, bigger is better, sizes #6 - #2. Bright colors like chartreuse work well in dirty water. Dry fly fishing, especially when the wind lies down, is exciting, a handful of skaters is plenty. Make sure all of the flies you bring to TDF are tied on heavy wire hooks, especially the smaller bugs. These fish are big, and will take advantage of weak hooks.


Wet Flies:

E.M.B. Rubber Legs, size 10

Green Machine, size 8

TDF GBRL Prince, size 6 and Fastwater Prince size 6

Red Butt Bomber

Bitch Creek sizes 4 - 8,

Montana Nymph size 8, and other white rubber legged flies

LGB size 2

Yuk Bugs in black with white rubber legs in sizes 4, 6 and 8

Dark Stone, Prince Nymph (beaded & non-beaded). Sizes 8, 10, 12 (on stout, forged hooks)



Wooly Buggers and Crystal Buggers. Black, Olive and Purple in sizes 2 - 8 with and without white rubber legs

Bunny Leeches: Black, Olive, Purple, and Brown in sizes 2, 4, 6

String or Articulated Leeches (Sleeches and Skagit Minnow) up to size 4. Black, Purple, Olive

Most Steelhead and Atlantic salmon flies have proven to be highly effective


Dry Flies:

In TDF “dries” are larger dries, fished steelhead style, with riffle hitches and skated across the surface.

Steelhead Bomber (green)

Muddler Minnow

Paulson’s Titanic



Tube Flies:

This style of fly is tied on plastic or aluminum tubes in varying lengths and weight.

Temple Dog - Black & Silver, This is a great fly for the last hour of fishing, various lengths can be productive

Editor - Good fly for fading light

Collie Dog Variant - Original is all black. This can be tied with all gold or black with gold body for colored water.

Cascade - Great pattern for Atlantics and Sea-trout, very useful for colored water

Lune Special - Black, silver and blue are good colors. Can be fished on the surface or sunk

Cone Head Trailing Tube Fly - Black/Blue, Purple

Sunray Shadow - A very productive fly, do NOT show up without them!


Recommended Clothing

Remember, in the southern hemisphere the seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. The air temperature in Tierra del Fuego is not particularly cold, as it is their summer, but the wind blows constantly and creates a chill factor that can be uncomfortable. Much of the fishing is done in the morning and late evening hours when temperatures are at their daily ebb. And it can rain heavily or lightly at any time throughout the season. So be prepared to dress warmly. Clothing strategies should be based on the ``layering system´´, the idea being to trap heatedair generated by your body between multiple layers of insulation. The layering system also allows you to adapt to air temperature, body temperature according to activity level, and whatever Mother Nature dishes out.



Start off with a synthetic fabric next to your skin (the TFS Base Layer is a good start). This often is a pair of thermal underwear (tops and bottoms) and they usually come in three weights: light, mid and expedition. According to your individual metabolism, pick what is best for you. Synthetic (non-cotton!) materials retain little moisture and ``wick´´ moisture away from your skin. This is very important when you are walking in waders or when outside temperatures heat up.

Thermal Layer:

Your second layer of insulation should match the weather and conditions you are going to be fishing in. Use lighter weight insulation for cool weather days, mid-weight for colder conditions, and a heavy weight layer for really frigid days. Fleece is an outstanding choice here in tops and bottoms, or overalls. The new merino wool is also a good choice as, like fleece, it stays warm when damp.

1 set mid weight Simms ``WaderWick´´ Wading Underwear, TFS Wading Fleece or Patagonia heavy weight Capilene, or fleece equivalents. Tops and bottoms.

1 set fleece pants - Simms Power Stretch Guide Bibs or Pants, or Patagonia Capilene Fleece

1 fleece jacket - Simms Wind Stopper, or Patagonia Synchilla



Anglers should bring enough socks to alternate on a daily basis. For a week´s fishing trip, three pairs should be fine. Do not wear the same socks every day, but alternate, leaving one pair to dry and air while wearing the other set. We layer on our feet just like on our bodies. Thin liner socks to wick and keep your feet dry, thicker wool or synthetic socks to insulate. Wool and polypropylene is our favorite combination for socks. Try on your socks with your waders and wading boots before you leave for your trip to insure that you have plenty of room to move your toes. Being unable to move your toes and cramping of your feet in your wading boots are the biggest reasons for numb toes and cold feet. We´ve experienced great success with the disposable air-activated heating pads available at many outdoor stores. Removal from the cellophane wrapper activates them and they then simply stick to the outside of socks for hours of cozy warmth. Simms and SmartWool make great wading socks.

Wool or Polypropylene Gloves:

Fingerless gloves are great for cold, rainy days. Neoprene gloves are fine, but retain a lot of water when wet. We have had the best success with synthetic or wool gloves.



Your final layer should be a breathable waders and a rain jacket when the conditions require it.

Rain Jacket:

High quality Gore-Tex® type products are the best. Your rain jacket should be 100% waterproof and breathable. Rain jackets must be seam sealed, multi-layered, of QUALITY construction and from a recognized outdoor clothing company. Jackets specifically designed for fly fishermen are the most comfortable and practical. Simms G3 or Patagonia Guide Jacket



Stocking foot, breathable waders are the way to go. You will experience little or no moisture build-up inside the waders, even after a long hike; they wear like iron, and are comfortable to be in all day. These modern waders take up a fraction of the space in your luggage as compared to the old-style neoprene waders. For safety, we strongly recommend wearing a wading belt at all times. Simms Gore-Tex® G4 Guide or G3 Guide Model



The Rio Grande is a very easy river to wade, with a bottom formed of non-slippery pea gravel, and mellow currents throughout. For this reason the new knobby, “sticky” rubber Vibram soled wading boots are recommended. They are also much longer lasting than felt soles, and are more environmentally friendly in reducing unintentional transport of New Zealand mud snails, and other invasive species, from river to river. Felt soled wading boots are allowed, but be responsible and clean them thoroughly. Metal or carbide studs are not necessary and not recommended. Gravel guards are a must.

Rubber or Felt-soled Boots: Simms Guide Boots, Freestone Boots, Patagonia Foot Tractor

Traveling Here

Most international flights leave the US in the evening and land in Buenos Aires (EZE) the following morning. Delta (stop in Atlanta), United (non-stop, the fastest flight of 10 hours), American (connection in Miami or Dallas) offer daily flights. Also check LAN flights but make sure that the connection is in Miami and not in Santiago de Chile because it takes longer. Prices vary from USD 1500 to USD 1800.

Once you arrive in Buenos Aires (EZE), take a domestic flight to Rio Grande with Aerolineas Argentina. This is the only airline offering flights to Rio Grande. One flight departure early morning and the other one at midday. 

NOTE: In case your domestic flights departs from Newbery Airport (AEP), make sure that you have plenty of time (at least 3 to 4 hours) in between flights once you reach Buenos Aires. You will have to clear customs and take a trip by taxi or private car to the domestic airport. This trip usually takes 30/50 minutes but depending on traffic, it can take one hour. (We can arrange this transfer for you).

Someone from our staff will be waiting for you at Rio Grande airport and we will drive you to the lodge. The drive is about 30 minutes.

*Our company organize private ground tranfers and hotel reservations in Buenos Aires City in case you will need/request it.

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