Fishing Sea Run Browns in Tierra del Fuego: Rio Irigoyen
recent years the idea of fishing for sea run browns at the tip of
the continent of South Amercia has invoked images of windswept
treeless land, casting as far as one is able, and envisioning
oneself being buffeted by 50 mile an hour winds while brandishing
a 14 foot spey rod. Well those images are rightfully so on
occasion when fishing the famous Rio Grande in Argentina, and you
can catch the fish of a lifetime there for sure. But now there is
an alternative fishing experience for the big sea run browns in
Tierra del Fuego -- the Rio Irigoyen. This new fishing operation
offering the angler an opportunity to fish for these searuns is
Far End Rivers, and they do a great job on this special river
in such a remote and special place on this southern province of
Irigoyen is unique in that it is a small river on the East coast
of the island of Tierra del Fuego and it that empties right into
the sea where the big anadromous browns come in fresh from the
salt. The river flows through a valley bordered by ancient lenga
forests (beech). It is on the leeward side of the mountains thus
being more sheltered from the roaring southern winds that cross
this part of the continent. The mountains provide a scenic
backdrop and the ocean and extending coastline is just a kilometer
from the lodge.The Patagonian landscape is rugged and beautiful in
its wildness. Remote it is, as Irigoyen and its lodge are 150
miles from the Ushuaia, the closest city, and the city that boasts
to be the most southern in the world. At 53° south, the Irigoyen
is truly in the outermost part of the world and that in itself
makes it special.
small in width and depth, the Rio Irigoyen does not require long
casting with swinging the fly techniques, but rather technical
presentations for the big sea runs. The river bottom holds large
log structures washed from the forests above during spring run
off. These fallen logs afford the fish good holding places on
their journey up the river to spawn. They provide great structure,
and also great challenge as hooked fish will seek them out. For
these reasons the river is best fished with single handed 7-8
weight rods in order to present flies easily and precisely, and to
also land these big powerful fish by avoiding the obstacles in the
water. The fishing on the Irigoyen is more like trout fishing with
opportunities to nymph, streamer fish and even dry fly, but with
the chance to hook a fish anywhere from 3 pounds to 26 lbs. (the
lodge record). It is best to have a steelhead mind set to fish the
Rio Irigoyen because like most anadromous fish these sea run can
be moody by being on the bite one day and possibly off the next,
and you do need to work for them like steelhead fishing, but the
rewards are good on the Irigoyen. Much of the mood of these fish
depends on the weather conditions but in a week stay you go
through a few of those considering in that part of the world you
can experience the four seasons any day! The fishing is done by
all wading, using ARGO 6x6 ATV between the various beats. There is
approximately 20 miles of private water access. Another fish to be
caught in early season from about December into February is the
robalo, a saltwater fish that comes in with the high tides. They
vary in size and can get up to 18 pounds and they fight hard and
are good fun to catch. The fishing for robalo also allows the
angler great visitas of the rugged Patagonia coastline.
In addition to this great fishing, Far End Rivers has some
of the best guides working with them. They know the river
intimately and have experience guiding for anadramous fish in
Iceland, and also on the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. They are
young, energetic and excellent coaches. The lodge accommodates
only 6 anglers a week and the atmosphere is warm and pleasant.
Lodging is in a cabin with rooms off of a communal living space
with a wood burning stove, each with double beds and private
bathrooms. The rooms are modest and super comfortable, and the
food is top notch. They offer typical Argentine dishes and other
creations that will be a pleasure to the palate after a day on the
river and their wine list matches their great cuisine. Their
professionally trained chef and small talented staff is at your
service every day.
is not another sea run brown trout fishery that offers such
challenging & fun fishing for hooking into the big guys as this
little lovely river. It makes for a novel trip to have a
comfortable base in the middle of such untouched raw beauty and
unpopulated expanses of land, with all the comfortable amenities,
all the while having opportunities to catch sea run brown trout. .
A trip to fish to the Rio Irigoyen in Tierra de Fuego is an
adventure, and makes for a very memorable fishing experience.
2010 Season Options- with new rivers to fish along with the
The lodge has been open two
seasons and this upcoming 2010 Far End Rivers is offering
two new options besides the standard week including helicopter fly
out to two new rivers south of the Rio Irigoyen.
Standard Pack is a week with 2 anglers to one guide, including
lodging, meals, beverages and roundtrip transfer from Ushuaia
Airport to the lodge. Capacity is 6 anglers. The stay is 7 nights
and 6 days fishing the Irigoyen.
Cost per angler is $4,500
The Exclusive Pack
will offer one guide to one angler for the week. This
program will allow anglers to have the undivided attention of a
guide to assist them, and to also offer coaching on the technical
aspects of fishing the Irigoyen.
The special aspect of the
program is that lodge will have capacity for 4 anglers only that
week and those anglers have the entire river to themsleves.
The stay is 7 nights and 6 days fishing the Irigoyen.
particular weeks in the season offered for each of the packs.
Please call 307-734-2448 for the 2010 calendar/schedule.
How to get there: The Rio Irigoyen and
the Far End Rivers Lodge is located a 3 ½ hour drive form the city
of Ushuaia. The ride is very scenic and the last 60 miles is on a
good dirt road. There are several flights a day from Buenos Aires
to Ushuaia, a three hour flight. If you are arriving from the
States it is best to overnight in Buenos Aires and enjoy the city
and then fly onto Ushuaia for the start of your trip.
Note: The founder of Far End Rivers is
Marcelo Perez, the man responsible for opening up La Zona on the
Rio Uruguay where the record freshwater dorado are caught. His
next project is a new fishery in Bolivia for freshwater dorado and
other unusual hard fighting fish to be caught on the fly.