Argentina

Estancia Rio Pelke

Species
Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout
Destination Type
Lodge
Fishing Style
Dry Fly, Private Waters, Sightfishing, Spring Creek, Wading
Season
November - March
Rate
$$
Why We Go
  • As a Sage Experiences Outfitter, you'll enjoy premium Sage and RIO Products tackle available for your use that is perfectly matched to the fishery
  • Experience an authentic Patagonian journey with homestays at traditional, family-run Ar­gentinian estancias and a comfortable, rustic eco-camp
  • Fish four completely private spring creeks that are visited by less than 40 anglers each season
  • Enjoy the warm hospitality of a true Patagonian pioneer family
  • Wade-fish and bank-fish for trophy brook trout and brown trout in easy terrain
  • Take advantage of limited occupancy and extremely low fishing pressure
Overview

This boutique, family-style fly fishing program takes anglers on a truly authentic journey combining the best brook and brown trout fishing in southern Patagonia. Guests stay at a traditional family-run Argentine estancia dating back to the 1930’s as well as a unique wilderness eco-camp. Limited to four rods per week, this intimate program gives anglers the opportunity to fish four completely private and well-rested spring creeks which hold all sizes of brook trout including some in the four- to six-pound class. This quaint, homestay style venue and eco-camp experience is a treasure within the vast open Patagonian landscape. Estancia Río Pelke offers rewarding homespun cultural experiences coupled with some of the finest spring creek fishing south of the equator.

Fishing Program

Throughout the week at Estanica Río Pelke, guests stay in a classic Argentine estancia followed by a comfortable and unique eco-camp. During this time, guests fish four completely private and seldom-fished spring creeks that hold great numbers of sizable brook and brown trout. The fish here readily fall to large terrestrial dry flies twitched on the surface or slowly stripped dark streamer patterns. All four rivers can be fished with 4- to 5-weight rods. Fishing is mainly done with floating lines, however sinking poly leaders are used at times to reach larger fish in deep pools. These intimate spring creeks require some casting precision with both short and long casts and most beats require little to no wading.

Accommodations

Estanica Río Pelke is not what one would expect from well-polished and manicured trout lodges in Northern Patagonia. These are authentic and somewhat rustic small homestay-style venues where guests are received as members of the family and experience local customs and traditional Argentine ways of life. Each guest has single room accommodation in a newly restored lodge, which once served as the original gaucho house on the estancia.  Additionally, guests stay at the Estancia Pali Aike Eco-Camp, which consists of geodesic dome tents complete with private bathrooms, heating systems, a shower and power for charging electronic devices. The Eco-Camp stay is on the last night of the trip, which allows guests to experience a more wilderness like setting for the closure of their Patagonian experience. Meals at the estancias are thoughtfully prepared using traditional Argentinean recipes showcasing locally sourced produce and farm-raised lamb and beef. Complemented by hand-selected Salentein wines, each meal takes you on a farm-to-table journey which demonstrates the evolution of farming in Patagonia.

Itinerary

Friday: Fly to Rio Gallegos. A lodge representative meets guests at the airport and transfer them to the hotel.

Saturday: A guide meets guests at the hotel in the morning for a transfer to Estanica Río Pelke. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by the estancia owners/hosts, Pedro and Fernanda, receive a tour, and shown to the guest rooms, to get settled in and fish the remainder of the day. Guests typically start off fishing the Río Pelke for several hours, which runs directly in front of the main house, break for lunch and a siesta, then travel a short distance to fish the intimate Rio Coyle Norte for the second half of the day.

Sunday: Anglers fish a variety of beats on the Río Pelke and Rio Coyle Norte with a midday break for lunch and rest.

Monday: After breakfast, anglers depart Estancia Río Pelke and travel roughly 1.5 hours to to fish the South Coyle river for the day in a private estancia and get back to Pelke for dinner and sleep. 

Tuesday: Anglers fish a variety of beats on the Pelke with a midday break for lunch and rest.

Wednesday: After breakfast anglers depart to fish at Estancia Keten Aike with views of Torres del Paine for the full day and share a box lunch by the riverside. Comeback to Estancia Río Pelke for dinner.

Thursday: After breakfast anglers will move to the last stop of the trip located just over 2 hours south and stay at the dome Camp to fish around the area waters.

Friday: Anglers will fish a full day before returning to the camp for lunch. After lunch guests will have time to pack before the return transfer to Rio Gallegos. Guests will stay overnight at a hotel in Rio Gallegos.

Saturday: A lodge representative will meet guests at their hotel and transfer them to the airport for their return flight to Buenos Aires.

Rates & Details

2025 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $5,450

Included: Accommodations, meals and beverages including wine and beer at the lodge, transfer to/from Rio Gallegos, guided fishing.

Not Included: International or domestic airfare, hotels/meals/transfers in Buenos Aires and Rio Gallegos, fishing equipment, alcohol, staff and guide gratuities

Species: Brook trout and brown trout

Season: November - March

Capacity: 2 - 4 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination?

Anglers and guests seeking a rewarding homespun cultural experiences coupled with some of the finest spring creek fishing in southern Patagonia.

Where is the lodge?

Estanica Río Pelke is located along Route 40 in southern Argentina, between the towns of El Calafate and Rio Gallegos.

How do I get there?

Guests fly to Rio Gallegos, Argentina and are transferred to the estancia 1.5 hours by vehicle.

When should I go?

The season runs from mid-November through April. The early season in November and December offer the best water levels and the brook trout are all in excellent condition, they are hungry and ready to feed after a long winter. Throughout the Patagonia summer months of January – March, as the water levels drop the water becomes clearer, and the wind picks up to provide shelter for anglers making the fish less wary. In late March through April, the season turns to fall and offers anglers an opportunity at some of the larger brook trout that are beginning their spawning migration.

How will I fish?

Typically, anglers’ fish two per guide. The fishing grounds are accessed by 4×4 trucks and anglers walk-and-wade the fishing beats.

Is there wade fishing?

All fishing is done while wading. Wading is very easy and rarely do anglers need to step into the water. In fact, anglers can fish most of the route without waders. Most of the fishing is done by walking along the dry, grassy edges of the creeks and can be done with a decent pair of durable hiking shoes/boots. We still recommend bringing waders as there are times when they are needed.

Where will I fish?

Four completely private spring creeks within the estancias’ holdings.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
The daily commute to the fishing grounds from the estancias ranges from 5-60 minutes and the transfers range from 1.5-2 hours.

What type(s) of fish will I catch?

Brown trout and brook trout.

How many fish will I catch?

Anglers can expect to catch 10 or more fish per day.

Will I see other anglers?

No. Limited to just two anglers per week on completely private water, there is no chance of seeing other anglers.

What are the guides like?

Brothers Juan Manuel and Tomas Biott were brought up fly fishing the creeks along the route and have an intimate knowledge of these systems like no other. Juan and Tomas are both warm-hearted, genuine, kind, attentive, and extremely knowledgeable individuals that are a pleasure to get to know and spend time with on and off the water. Both are great instructors and guides and are willing to share their knowledge about fishing and local Patagonian culture and history. Both speak excellent English.

What are the physical demands?

None. There is not much walking required, and the wading is very easy.

Are there any special skills required?

It can be windy at times, so it is a good idea to practice casting in the wind with accuracy.

Does the lodge provide equipment?

The lodge does not provide equipment.

What is your favorite setup for the trip?

Any medium-fast action rod in the 4- to 5-weight class will do. If you only took one rod, take a 5-weight.

What are the top flies?

Surface patterns such as foam terrestrials/attractors and naturals such as elk hair caddis, Goddard caddis, humpies, Chernobyl ants, beetle, and hopper patterns in size 8 to 12. Small mouse patterns are fun to have on hand. Add some streamers such as size 8 to 10 weighted and unweighted woolly buggers and zonkers in black and olive to round things out. It is rare to fish nymphs, but subsurface flies like scuds, caddis pupa, hares’ ear, copper john’s, black stone flies, and woolly worms in size 8 to 14 are worth having in your arsenal.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging?

Being that the systems are spring creeks, they cannot blow out. Wind is the most challenging variable here.

What is a typical day like?

During the stay, guests fish different private spring creeks and move through three Argentine estancias. Guests typically depart the estancia after breakfast, drive between one and two hours to the next estancia, get settled, have a short fishing session on a nearby river, then break for lunch. Guests fish again in the afternoon, and have dinner around 9:30 PM. On non-changeover days, guests fish after breakfast, take a midday break for lunch and siesta, and then return to the water and fish through the afternoon and early evening. Dinners are typically late, around 9:30pm.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge?

Estanica Río Pelke is an intimate, inclusive, and family-driven program where guests are received as members of the extended family. The overall vibe is casual and inviting. Despite some modern upgrades, the estancia has remained true to its authentic Patagonian character and guests should expect to go with the flow and quite possibly make some small concessions in the same way you would when visiting a distant family relative. A new lodge onsite that once served as the original gaucho house, now provides upgraded amenities with single room accommodations for all guests.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge?

The Biott family own and operate Estanica Río Pelke and are always on-site and available to guests. Juan Manuel serves as the primary host and manager but each family member chips in wherever needed to assure each guest is well cared for.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like?

Meals at the estancia are thoughtfully prepared using traditional Argentinean recipes and showcase locally sourced produce, and farm-raised lamb and beef complemented by hand-selected Salentein wines.

What is the alcohol policy?

Beer and wine are included in your package and guests may bring their own hard alcohol.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like?

All guests have a single room in a newly renovated lodge onsite. The accommodations are basic, clean, comfortable, and consistent with 3-star rated hotels. The estancias date back to the late 1800’s and have been remodeled and/or retrofitted with modern amenities such as indoor bathrooms, running water, and electricity. Additionally, guests stay at the Estancia Pali Aike Eco-Camp, which consists of geodesic dome tents complete with private bathrooms, heating systems, a shower, and power for charging electronic devices. The Eco-Camp stay allows guests to experience a more wilderness setting to complement their Patagonian experience.

Is there internet and/or cell service?

There is limited internet connection, and it only comes on at night while the generator is running. There is no cell service available.

Are there other activities?

No.

Are there any other expenses?

International and domestic airfare, hotels, meals, transfers in Buenos Aires/ Rio Gallegos, alcohol, fishing equipment, staff and guide gratuities

Do I need a visa?

No. Argentina no longer requires a reciprocity fee or visa. Guests must have a valid passport that expires no less than six months prior to the trip date.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances?

None. We recommend that guests always consult with the US Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites for general travel information and guidelines.

Curated Destinations with World-Class Tackle.

Sage Experiences offers a curated suite of destinations that pairs world class fishing with state-of-the-art tackle. We are thrilled to present this exciting new destination demo program designed to offer guests an elite travel experience. During your stay with any Sage Experiences Outfitter, you will have onsite access at no extra charge to the ideal Sage and RIO outfits for the fish you're targeting. Even if you're the type of angler who likes to fish your own gear, rest assured that once you arrive, our premium set ups will be ready and waiting for you to demo onsite at any time during your stay.

SAGE EXPERIENCES

As a Sage Experiences Outfitter, Estancia Rio Pelke eliminates the guessing game when it comes to preparing your tackle and instead provides an exciting new destination demo program designed to offer guests an elite travel experience. During your stay with any Sage Experiences Outfitter, you will have onsite access at no extra charge to the ideal Sage and RIO outfits for the fish you're targeting. Even if you're the type of angler who likes to fish your own gear, rest assured that once you arrive, our premium set ups will be ready and waiting for you to demo onsite at any time during your stay.

ESTANCIA RIO PELKE - SAGE EXPERIENCES PROVIDED TACKLE:

As a Sage Experiences Outfitter, Estancia Rio Pelke is an elite outfitter that has committed to offering their guests onsite access to first-class Sage and RIO tackle that has been carefully curated to ideally suit their respective fisheries.

Estancia Rio Pelke Perfect Setups:

  • SAGE R8 CORE 490-4
  • SAGE TROUT 4/5/6
  • RIO ELITE GOLD 4WT
  • SAGE R8 CORE 590-4
  • SAGE SPECTRUM LT 5/6
  • RIO OUTBOUND SHORT 5WT

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