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Tierra del Fuego Sea Trout & Chilean Kings

Every so often the stars align. And they have for January 2018. Our good friend and colleague Jeff Bright will be hosting back-to-back weeks at Estancia Maria Behety on Argentina’s famous Rio Grande and at Austral River Lodge in Chile for our Valley of the Kings program — January 6 week at EMB and January 13 week at ARL.

Amigos, this is a fly swinger’s South American dream trip! It offers giant sea trout in Tierra del Fuego and even bigger super-chrome Chinook (king salmon) on the remote Chilean coast. Both weeks are front-of-the-season and positioned to intercept the biggest, brightest, most aggressive fish on each river.

Interest for this trip has been high and both weeks are nearly full. Currently, 1–3 rods are available for the sea trout week in Tierra del Fuego and one rod is available in the Chilean Chinook week. New bookings could join Jeff at either destination or both. However, only one rod is left for the combo trip.

At Salmon Junkies we are constantly on the lookout for great fishing opportunities. We strongly encourage you to join Jeff for what promises to be a remarkable and unforgettable tour of two of South America’s top sea-run fisheries, of course including our new program in Chile.

Combo Trip Itinerary

Following is a sample itinerary for the two-destination tour:

Jan 4 – depart home

Jan 5 – arrive Buenos Aires, overnight

Jan 6 – depart Buenos Aires, arrive Rio Grande, transfer to Estancia Maria Behety

Jan 7-12 – fish 6 days for sea trout

Jan 13 – depart Rio Grande, arrive Santiago via Buenos Aires, overnight

Jan 14 – arrive Puerto Montt, transfer to Austral River Lodge

Jan 15-19 – fish 5 days for kings

Jan 20 – depart Austral River Lodge, arrive Puerto Montt, overnight

Jan 21 – depart Puerto Montt, arrive/depart Santiago

Jan 22 – arrive home

Argentina: Rio Grande Sea Trout

January 6-13, 2018 / Estancia Maria Behety Lodge

6 days / 7 nights

3 openings total (12 rods total + host)

1 opening for combo trip

The world’s largest sea trout — sea-run browns — are found in the rivers of Tierra del Fuego, far South America’s “Land of Fire.” The most renowned of these rivers is Argentina’s Rio Grande. The Grande’s average fish in 2017 weighed 13 pounds. One in five is typically over 15 pounds, and one in 50 will weigh between 20 and 25 pounds. In March of 2008, a fish estimated at 41.5 pounds was caught and is known to be one of the largest brown trout taken on a fly.

Estancia Maria Behety is arguably the best fishing property on the Rio Grande. The experience is highlighted by a diversity of water and angling opportunities not available on other, more limited Rio Grande operations. EMB’s talented, native, spey-savvy guides rank among the best in Argentina and are a joy to fish with. Recently the lodge has invested $150,000 in remodeling and refurbishing. New paint, new carpet, new art — it’ll be a new experience with the same great staff!

Chile: Valley of the Kings Chinook

January 13/14-20, 2018 / Austral River Lodge

5 days / 6 nights with combo

6 days / 7 nights ARL only

1 opening total (4 rods total + host)

Since 2015, rumors of dime-bright, fly-caught 30- to 60-pound Chinook on a stunning river in a remote region of coastal southern Chile have echoed through the spey fishing community like siren songs. With phrases like “the perfect salmon river” or “the best Chinook fishing today” traded in hushed conversation, the destination has assumed the aura of a modern day salmon fishing paradise. Could the rumors and speculation actually be true? After an exploratory season and one full client season, the answer is a definitive YES! With a legitimate chance to hook a bright salmon over 50 pounds on any day in any week of the season, this fishery is absolutely not a fantasy. But don’t take our word for it, see recent articles in Fly FishermanFly Rod & Reel and Chasing Silver magazines for reference.

To bring this opportunity to you, Salmon Junkies has gone directly to the powers that be. We have signed a long-term contract with the landowner and family of Austral River Lodge. Situated on the river’s tidal reach, this charming Chilean-style facility is positioned perfectly to take advantage of each tide’s bounty of kings.

The fishing program — available to only fours rods per week in the capable, experienced hands of two of British Columbia’s premier Chinook guides — will focus on the river’s lower 30 kilometers, where primary resting and holding pools provide optimum water for targeting these magnificent salmon at their fresh-from-the-sea best.

Contact me for more information or to reserve your spot on what promises to be a remarkable angling adventure sj@salmonjunkies.com

Best wishes

Steffen Juhl