Futaleufú, Chile
Rainbow & Brown Trout

Across the border from Esquel, Argentina, and deep into the Coyhue Forest of the Tenth Region of Chile, flows the azure- depth of the Futaleufú River. A world away from the hustle and bustle that even sleepy Esquel represents, the “Big River” (Futaleufú’s translation from the native Tehuelche tongue) rolls along amid some of the most unspoiled mountain scenery on the planet. South of the Chilean Lake District, Futaleufú is a standalone fishery. This giant river grows healthy stocks of Rainbow and Brown trout that are fed by abundant hatches of Mayfly, Caddis, and Stoneflies. A heavy resident stock of fish and great hatches combined with classic fly water make the Futaleufú a trout fisherman’s paradise!


  • Spectacular diversity of fishing from float trips on the Futaleufú River to intimate tributaries and hidden lakes where trout may have never seen a fly.
  • Prolific fly hatches throughout the season.
  • Brown and Rainbow Trout with occasional Sea Run species.
  • Trophy trout in addition to prolific numbers of fish in the 15-18 inch class.
  • Excellent home waters fishing, right on the lodge doorstep – Great for afterhours fishing!
  • Spectacularly private and romantic lodge setting.
  • Horseback guided fishing excursions.


Coordinates: -43.235115, -71.876215

Futa Lodge is situated in the Valle de Las Escalas on the Futaleufu River, in the Tenth Region of Chile. The lodge sits on a high riverbank overlooking the river and is situated on a private ranch. Chile’s Mountainous Tenth Region rises above some of the most ancient temperate rainforest in the world. This lush environment plays host to a diverse range of wildlife.

Getting there

Driving time is for about 1-1.5 hours taking into account customs. Guests flying into Santiago, on the other hand, will need to fly to the Chaiten airport. From Chaiten, you’ll be transferred to the lodge via a lodge representative (about four hours drive time).



Facilities & Services

The Lodge

Welcome to your remote and relaxing riverfront home in the Valle de las Escalas region of Chilean Patagonia. Our lodge can host up to 8 guests (6 anglers and 2 non-anglers). There are three bright and comfortable cottages—one next to the main lodge and the others bordering the river’s edge. The main lodge consists of a cozy living room with a fireplace and two additional double rooms. Laundry service is available.

Food and drink

At Nervous Waters, our kitchens come to life through the use of fresh and regionally representative meats and produce. By combining these elements, we create delicious flavors and varied textures that harbor hidden stories and package traditions on each plate. A top-notch team of experienced national and international chefs, trained in both classic and avant-garde culinary techniques, execute our food. With an artisan’s touch, chefs prepare every dish by scratch to be served at a minute’s notice. In addition, our inspired lunch and dinner menus are paired with some of Argentina’s—and the world’s—best wines; Bodega Catena Zapata.

In addition to our focus on fresh food with organic origins, we also celebrate our Argentine heritage with a wine partnership that brings truly world class wines to our lodges. We feel that the food we present and the wines we serve should mirror the sporting opportunities we offer—and be the very best available. While our vast country offers many options for traditional activities such as riding, hunting, eating good meats, and drinking good wines, we have chosen to blend fine food and outdoor activity at an even higher level. We feel our offerings from Bodega Catena Zapata blend perfectly into our harmonious niche in the sporting environment. Boasting many accolades from the wine community at large, a Bodega Catena Zapata wine recently received a “number four in the world” icon ranking from Wine Advocate. These are truly great wines that compete on the world stage and in addition to enjoying your sporting holiday and our excellent menus, we also hope you will also take note of our wines. They hold a special place in our culture and we are proud to serve them to you.

Regional products we use at Northern Patagonia and Futa lodges include such delicacies as smoked lamb and goat meat; handpicked berries from our prolific gardens; and delicate, flavorful mushrooms plucked from local forests. Classic preparations like the Spanish-influenced Curanto—an esteemed stew of earthly ingredients and heavenly flavors—give our kitchen a tasty local identity, where every meal is truly something special.

Fishing Methods

To avoid the midday heat, anglers generally leave the lodge early in the morning, around 8 a.m. Guests return to the lodge for lunch and drinks around noon. After lunch and a siesta, boats will typically leave the put-in around 4:30 p.m., returning at dusk. Fishing hours will change slightly depending on the time of year. Demanding fishermen can fish through the day and can arrange this with the head guide. Non-fishing activities such as horseback riding or canoeing are available to allow our guests to enjoy the amazing wildlife and scenery of the area, and these trips can be organized with the head guide.

The Daily Program

Fishing schedules vary seasonally. However, a hearty breakfast is usually served around 7 a.m., while lunch takes place on the shore or back at the lodge depending on your daily itinerary.

The high-gradient, trout-rich Futaleufú River flows right by the front door of the lodge. Browns and rainbows are wild and healthy and can range up to five or more pounds. Fish eat a mix of streamers, dries, and nymphs depending on the season, and the terrestrial fishing is a summertime mainstay. Big fish on ultra-buoyant foam flies is our specialty. In addition to rafting the Futaleufú, we offer exploratory missions to remote streams and trophy lakes in the area.


Specie Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sea-Run Brown Trout
Pirá Pitá
Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Wild black buck
Axis deer
Red Stag
Fallow Deer
Wild Boar


Specie Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Fishing Equipment

  • Rods: Pack 9-foot 5- and 6-weight rods. Fish dries on the 5- and use the 6-wt for larger streamers or when dealing with stronger winds. Always pack a backup. Sage has a great lifetime warranty and offers several rod options perfectly suited for this fishery like the Method and ONE.
  • Reels: The average size of fish on the Futaleufú River is in the 15 to 20 inch range, however there are larger fish present! We recommend reels with capable drag systems and at least 100 yards of backing. Sage make some of the best
  • Lines: Weight-forward floating fly lines are the norm on this river. Whatever you fish in Montana or the Rockies will also work great on the Futa. We like WF lines by RIO, Airflo, and SA. Also bring an integrated sinking line or two for streamers. These lines should have anywhere from 10 to 20 feet of 200- to 300-grain sinking tips. For still waters, think full-sinking and clear intermediate lines for streamers in deeper water. And always include a floater for dries.
  • Leaders: Trout aren’t particularly leader shy here. However, during the peak of the summer, especially in low-water conditions, these trout can become wary of heavier diameters. Bring 9- to 12-foot leaders in 4X or 5X for fishing dry flies. Go shorter and heavier (2X to 0X fluoro) for streamer rigs.
  • Flies: The lodge has a better than average selection of local patterns both for the Futaleufú and its tributaries, as well as some larger streamers available for purchase. However, fly patterns will sell out. With that in mind, pack flies that you might fish for trout on the spring creeks and freestone rivers of the American West, or larger chalk-streams of the U.K. Futaleufú trout are mostly opportunistic feeders and general attractor patterns work great.
  • Wet files: Woolly buggers (cone head or bead head variety) Rabbit leech patterns (varying colors; generally darker patterns) Sculpins and Dog Nobblers (varying sizes small to large in varying colors) Nymphs: Bring stonefly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, and damselfly nymphs, bitch creek and other Pat’s rubber legged style nymphs. All bead head style nymphs down to around size 18 and as large as size 6. Finally bring a good selection of Pupa imitations between sizes 14-18.
  • Dry Flies: Dave’s hoppers and parachutes sizes 10-14 Parachute Adams sizes 12-18 Elk air Caddis sizes 14-16 Humpys and Stimulators sizes 10-18 Parachute ants sizes 16-18 Terrestrial patterns like beetles and hoppers, in foam. Sizes 8-16 Spent patterns like Lunn’s particular or Houghton Ruby in sizes 12-18.
  • Waders: Wading isn’t difficult on the Futaleufú and you will be spending most of the time in a boat. However, we recommend chest waders for warmth and to manage deeper water when you need to. Wading boots can’t have studs, and felt is also forbidden. Vibram, or any sticky rubber soled boot is the best. Given Chilean Patagonia’s climate, and water that can be in the 40s, be sure to pack long johns, wool or fleece pants, and wool or warm synthetic socks. Be sure to use a wading belt. We strongly recommend new Patagonia Waders that has proven to be extremely successfull among guides and guests.

The high-gradient, trout-rich Futaleufú River flows right by the front door of the lodge. Browns and rainbows are wild and healthy and can range up to five or more pounds. Fish eat a mix of streamers, dries, and nymphs depending on the season, and the terrestrial fishing is a summertime mainstay. Big fish on ultra-buoyant foam flies is our specialty. In addition to rafting the Futaleufú, we offer exploratory missions to remote streams and trophy lakes in the area.

Futa Lodge


Season 2020: December 2020 – March 2021

7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing $ 5,950
6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing $ 5,250
5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing $ 4,475
4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing $ 3,700
3 Nights / 2 Days Fishing $ 2,775

* Single room and boat: 60% surcharge.

* Non-fisher rate: $ 450 per night subjected to availability.

Rates are per person based on shared room and shared guide.

  • Included: Lodging, Meals, all wines, beer, and local spirits at the Lodge, Professional guide services, fishing equipment (Rod, lines and reels).
  • Not included: Transfer from Esquel or Bariloche, Gratuities for guides and house staff, airfares and laundry service.
  • Payment terms: 50% deposit to guarantee booking. Balance due 60 days prior to departure.

*Prices are in USD

  • "I can't tell you how much we enjoyed Futa! It was an incredible experience. I ha..."

    Luke C.

    Full Testimonial
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Even though I am not a “real” fly fisherman th..."

    Bryant S., Florida.,USA .

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  • "We want to thank you again for a wonderful time at Futa Lodge. It was our favori..."

    Craig & Joan M.,UK.

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  • "I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic time I had on my trip. Futa Lodge..."

    James M., Texas.,USA

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  • "I wanted to write to thank you for a wonderful week at Futa Lodge. I was amazed ..."

    Ted M., Texas., USA.

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  • "At Futa Lodge it isn’t just about the fishing. The areas through which we floa..."

    Henry M., Florida.,USA.

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  • "My stay was excellent. The Futa Lodge is a special place. The managers are the b..."

    Gar J., London.,UK.

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  • "WOW. Andrea, thanks for all of your help and support for our recent trip. The tr..."

    Doug S., USA.

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Villa Maria Lodge Week 3: Jan. 19 – 26, 2018

The river has come into prime condition, a very comfortable level for fishing, and the clarity is about as good as it gets. The water level has con..[...]

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Kau Tapen Week 2: Jan 13-20, 2018

“Unusual conditions“ is what would describe the past week’s fishing. The rains that had poured down during the last days of the previous fish..[...]

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Villa Maria Lodge Week 2: January 12 – 19, 2018

Since last week, the river is down and its clarity is getting better by the day. This means that the wading is easier, but more importantly we’..[...]

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Pira Lodge: Mid -January Report, 2018

The year started with some excellent fishing, and we continue to see good numbers of dorado throughout the system. Juvenile fish are concentrated i..[...]

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Villa Maria Lodge Week 1: January 5 – 12, 2018

If last year’s low and clear opening-week water levels were surprising, this year’s high water has been even more shocking. It’s been several..[...]

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Kau Tapen Lodge Week 1: Jan 6-13, 2018

Upon the arrival of the guide’s team in late December, the river looked fantastic, meandering through the vast grasslands of Tierra del Fuego in ..[...]

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Pirá Lodge- December 2017

After couple weeks on the water, I’m happy to report that the high expectations we had for the season are becoming a reality. The marsh and the r..[...]

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Introducing a Bigger Dorado Experience

We’re proud to announce our new partnership with Paraná River Outfitters (PRO)  PRO melds one of Argentina’s most established outfitters with..[...]

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Pirá Lodge: Oct – Nov, 2017

A Stellar Start at Pira Lodge  We began the season with relatively high water levels in both the Corrientes River and the Ibera Marsh headwaters. ..[...]

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Dorado On The Fly In Argentina: A Round Trip

Nervous Water’s Pirá Lodge, located in the Ibera Marshlands, near the headwaters of the Corriente River, was the first operation built for a..[...]

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Stellar fishing in the Southern Hemisphere starts here: Argentina and Chile

At Nervous Waters we know that you love variety; catching a range of bucket-list species, experiencing new places and their unique cultures. That..[...]

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Dorado Fishing Resources

Ever thought of going Golden Dorado fishing? The season is just getting started at Pira Lodge. Here are some great resources to learn more about d..[...]

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Those new to freshwater dorado fishing are sometimes intimidated by the bigger flies we use for these fish, and are oftentimes unsure about how to ..[...]

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Great News for Trout Anglers

The two finest outfitters in South America have joined forces, and Nervous waters is excited to announce an exclusive collaboration with Patagonia ..[...]

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Iberá Marshlands, Argentina: Freshwater Dorado Fly Fishing.

  Morphology: The Iberá Marshland, located in Corrientes Province in northeastern Argentina, is the world’s second largest wetlands system ..[...]

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Gear we love – What’s in your box? All you need for your bonefish trip to the Bahamas

Gearing up for fishing trips is half the fun – ok, not quite half as much fun as pulling on a bonefish but it’s still fun.  Most people want t..[...]

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Rio Grande, Argentina: Best river in the world to fish for Giant Sea-Run Brown Trout.

1. Morphology: The Rio Grand comes to life on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego and flows for 150 miles in a generally eastward direction, twis..[...]

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10 Truths About Dorado Fishing

You’ve seen them in the fly-fishing film tours, all over the web, and splashed across brochures advertising far-flung adventures to exotic lo..[...]

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Fishing in Chile

Gear we love – The most important piece of gear I own

Bonefishing is all about being able to see.  My sunglasses are my number one piece of equipment when I’m sight fishing.   Anywhere I travel I ..[...]

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Fishing Fun in Chile

All New G&G Bahamas Bonefish Schools

Big changes are coming for the 2018 Bahamas Bonefish School Jan 13-20 and 20-27, 2018 The Bonefish School on South Andros is one of our most popul..[...]

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Fishing Trip

Gear we love – Keep dry – Patagonia Stormfont Pack 30L

Here at Nervous Waters we spend our lives on the water.  Wading the endless flats of South Andros to the banks of the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fue..[...]

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Fishing on Sight

End of Season Report Alto Paraná Lodge – 2017

Throughout the season, river flows fluctuated: ranging from low to normal levels. More rain than usual made for some challenging fishing, at times ..[...]

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Fly Fishing Trip

Pirá Lodge – End of Season Report 2017

A Year in Review Pira Lodge’s season began with great weather, ideal water conditions, and a remarkable push of dorado. Expectations were underst..[...]

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Fly Fishing in Buenos Aires

Villa Maria Lodge – End of Season Report 2017

When we stepped into the river for the first time in 2017, it was eerily similar to how we left it back in April 2016. There were no signs of the u..[...]

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Best Fly Fishing

Kau Tapen Lodge – End of Season Report 2017

Kau Tapen Lodge: Year End Review Sitting down to write the final report of the season, what first comes to mind are the beaming faces of ecstatic c..[...]

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Fishing Experience

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 12 : March 25 – April 1, 2017

The last week of summer proved to be an epic time at KauTapen lodge. We received new friends from France, and the CEO of Nervous Waters stopped by ..[...]

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Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 11 : March 18 – 25, 2017

The week began with some challenging fishing due to high water and chocolate-colored flows. But as the days progressed, conditions improved as the ..[...]

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Bahamas Fly Fishing Services

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 11: March 16 – 24 , 2017

Similar to what we experienced the last couple of weeks, river levels have been seesawing daily due to some rain mixed with snowmelt from the headw..[...]

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Fishing Report Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 10 : March 11 – 18, 2017

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 10 : March 11 – 18, 2017

The week passed was a tough one, we were incredibly unlucky with the weather conditions. We got off to a flying start on day one, river was in good..[...]

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Fishing Report Villa Maria Lodge – Week 9 & 10: March 4 - 16, 2017

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 9 & 10: March 4 – 16, 2017

The last couple of week in Rio Grande, especially the lower section, have been as challenging as ever. February has been quite particular, as it ra..[...]

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Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 9: March 4 - 11, 2017

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 9: March 4 – 11, 2017

Wow!! One of the finest weeks of the last few years just went down on paper with 253 hooked fish in six days. The Rio Grande and the Menedez were b..[...]

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Brown Trout Fly Fishing Services

Pira Lodge – February 2017

February began with good water conditions. The result was 60 golden dorado caught between 3 boats during the first week. Most of the fish were in t..[...]

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Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 8: Feb. 25 – March 4, 2017

It’s been an explosive week at Kau Tapen Lodge. The river has been flowing at an ideal level, water clarity was good, and the wind was practicall..[...]

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Easy Fly Fishing

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 8: Feb. 24 – March 3, 2017

Another group of returning guests visited us at Villa Maria Lodge this last past week. Having logged more than 10 trips to the Rio Grande, they wer..[...]

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Fly Fishing in Patagonia

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 7: Feb. 18 – 25, 2017

This past week ushered in some variable weather, with light wind to start followed by a nuclear easterly that packed plenty of rain. River levels b..[...]

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Fly Fishing with Abaco

Fishing Report Alto Parana – February 2017

This season the Parana River ran slightly lower than usual for many weeks, so the water has been clear and warm. Those same conditions have helped ..[...]

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Fishing for Fun

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 7: Feb. 18 – 23, 2017

This past week we had a mixed group of first timers and Villa Maria Lodge regulars from Iceland and England. In between jokes about the Cold War an..[...]

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Small Fishing Trip

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 6: Feb. 10 – 17, 2017

Like the last days of the previous week, this fishing week started with some rain in the lower stretch but there were serious cells of rain and sno..[...]

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Fishing Girl

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 6: Feb. 11 – 18, 2017

It’s safe to say this has been our most prolific week of the season, so far. And we can back up that claim with an outstanding number of incr..[...]

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Fishing in Bahamas

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 5: Feb. 3 – 9, 2017

  The House of Forstinger’s Friends visited us last week. Willy first traveled to Villa Maria Lodge in 1986, so he’s seen a lot and has pl..[...]

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Full Size Render

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 5: Feb. 4 – 11, 2017

Our fifth week at Kau Tapen lodge has come to an end. This time clients from Austria, the U.S. and England experienced some highly variable conditi..[...]

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Red Fish

Fishing Report Chime Lodge January 2017

  Malleo Waters are low for this time of year and the fish are holding in deeper pools. Late afternoon dry-fly fishing has been productice usi..[...]

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Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 4: Jan. 28 – Feb. 4, 2017

Week four was made memorable by another awesome bunch of anglers at the lodge. Guests varied from experienced to first timers. Six members of the t..[...]

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Fishing Trip in Chile

Pirá Lodge: January Report 2017

This year marks one of the best seasons I’ve experienced in the Ibera wetlands. And we couldn’t have asked for a better start. Water conditions..[...]

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Fisher Man

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 3: Jan. 21 – 28, 2017

Another week down at Kau Tapen Lodge as we continue onward with (mostly) good conditions and excellent results. Water temperatures have been perfec..[...]

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Aires Fly Fishing

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 3: Jan. 21 – 26, 2017

“The perfect week at the perfect lodge with the perfect guides.” That’s how one of our returning guests, Axel, described Week 3 at Villa Mari..[...]

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Villa Maria Lodge – Week 4: Jan 21 – 26, 2017

The House of Forstinger’s Friends visited us last week. Willy first traveled to Villa Maria Lodge in 1986, so he’s seen a lot and has plenty of..[...]

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Amazing Fishing

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 2: Jan. 14 – 19, 2017

We just finished the second week of the season at Villa Maria Lodge and it was fantastic. In addition to great fishing we welcomed some familiar fa..[...]

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Amazing Fly Fishing

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 2: Jan. 14 – 21, 2017

  Our second week at Kau Tapen has come to an end and I’m pretty safe in saying the week was a success. We had a mixed group of guests f..[...]

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Lake Fishing

Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 1: Jan. 7 – 14, 2017

Kau Tapen Fishing Report Week 1: Jan. 7-14, 2017 Kau Tapen Lodge on the Rio Grande kicks off its 34th season this year. Over the years the river ha..[...]

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Bahamas Bonefishing

Villa Maria Lodge – Week 1: Jan. 6 – 12, 2017

Villa Maria Lodge – Fishing Report Fishing Report (Jan. 6 – 12, 2017) By Alejandro Martello   Welcome to Villa María Lodge 2017! You..[...]

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Season Fishing

A Fly in the Curtains

By Doug Larsen Copyright 2013 In 1984, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. Madonna was a controversial twenty-something pop star as s..[...]

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Fishing in Bahamas

Fly Fusion Magazine

Fly Fusion Magazine recently spotlighted the spectacular flats fishing at Abaco Lodge. For those planning fall trips to the Marls, this bonefish-ri..[...]

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Fly Girls Week

Fly Girls Week 2017 @ Abaco Lodge

We’re At It Again… Fly Girls Week 2017 is just around the corner! After an extremely successful and fun inaugural trip to Nervous Waters’ Bai..[...]

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Bonefish Beware: Fish with Flip Pallot @AbacoLodge in June

In 2009, Flip Pallot attended the opening of Abaco Lodge and spent time with its managing partner, Oliver White. It was the beginning of a wonderfu..[...]

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Pira Pitá Fly Patterns

At Alto Parana lodge, anglers target resident Pira Pitá with lighter tackle than what is typically used for dorado. We recommend 6 weight rods for..[...]

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Dorado Fishing

Every Cast Gets Us Closer

Every Cast Gets Us Closer Casting 4 A Cure at Bair’s Lodge, Bahamas Winter at Bair’s Lodge is the time to escape the cold and connect w..[...]

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Fishing Desk

Dorado Fly Patterns

In most cases, golden dorado prefer dark patterns that produce great silhouettes in tannin-colored waters. But there are situations when carrying a..[...]

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Fishing at Water


We are hoping to tag 1,000 fish that week -some on rod and reel some with nets. Clients are welcome and encouraged to be as involved in this proces..[...]

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Joe Drew


  What could be better? The great thing about a hosted trip is exceptional fishing at a top-notch lodge—but also combining that action with ..[...]

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Pira Fishing

Pira Lodge – End of Season 2016

The Dream Season Seasons, just like the name implies, are all about change. Some are challenging, where rewards are hard won. Others are easier, wh..[...]

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Season Essentials

Villa María Lodge: March 20 – 27, 2016

We have just  finished one of the most challenging weeks on the Rio Grande this season. The problem wasn’t fish—we have the fish! But the weat..[...]

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End of Season

Pacú Fly Patterns

Pacú fishing at Alto Parana lodge is all about exciting sight-fishing opportunities. We use 7 or 8-weight rods, rigged with floating tropical line..[...]

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Studies about the Rio Grande

By Bio. Miguel Casalinuovo. Tech. Carlos Luizón began studying salmonids in the Rio Grande system in 2006. He described the basic biology of trout..[...]

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Villa Maria Lodge – January 10 – 16, 2015

This year we’re off to an interesting start at Villa Maria. The river’s course changed noticeably during spring floods and the fish have been b..[...]

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