Tierra del Fuego, the start of the season

by Charlie White

My friend Mike and I headed off on Boxing Day, with Air France out of Aberdeen, bound for Buenos Aires. All went smoothly and we landed at 9.00am and were met by Leticia, Roxtons’ ground handler and the 27°C heat.

We had a day to relax in Buenos Aires and had an early supper, as we were being picked up at 4.15am for the flight to Rio Grande. It was great to touch down in Rio Grande although the 120 km/h wind which blew the luggage trolleys across the road when the bags were unloaded, foretold the challenges that could lie ahead for the fishing. The group this week totalled eight fishermen: six from the US & two of us from Scotland.

The fishing on the first day was tough; not a lot of fish in the pools and being drawn on the right pools played a large part. The river was very low and was still dropping but fish that were caught were in absolute mint condition.

The first three days continued in the same style, quite patchy, depending on the beat. We finished the New Year’s Eve session early, headed back to the lodge, where the staff had laid on a fantastic party which went on well into the early hours! As the New Year dawned and the hangovers cleared the fishing started to pick up with more fish arriving constantly; the last three days were at times mind blowing when landing into pods of fresh fish.

I finished the week having achieved my goal of a 20lbs sea trout (see photo) and Mike and I having 25 minutes of mayhem hooking seven fish on monkey tubes. At the end of the week we fished pools that we had fished at the beginning and the current had slowed considerably, I hope they get some rain!


Ps I should mention that the staff and the food served in the lodge is fantastic!


The equipment that proved most productive was: spey rods (12ft to 14ft) matched with Skagit and Scandi Heads. For tips they were using mostly T-14 (5 to 15ft), intermediate and sinking versi-leaders, and 15’ sinking tips (type 3, type 6 and type 8). As the river is low the most productive flies have been small nymphs like TDF prince, EMB Rubber Legs, Ted-tail Prince, Prince nymph, Small Wooly Buggers with and without rubber legs. Larger flies are working best for the last hour, intruders, leeches, and tube flies. The water temperature last week was between 48° and 52°F. There were a few very windy days and when it did blow there were winds of up to 50mph.