On the Santa Cruz river, home of the only Steelhead run on the Atlantic Ocean coast.
From late February till May chrome bright steelhead enter this river from the ocean in huge numbers. Our operation is based at Los Plateados lodge, located next to the most productive stretch of this river. Steelhead fishing in the Santa Cruz is a profound experience, where anglers can feel the greatness and loneliness of big skies and massive fields of south Patagonia.
The challenge of chasing these wild anadromous fish is beyond the fishing itself. The Santa Cruz valley has a microclimate and a unique mild weather even in early winter with little wind and temperatures that reach the 72ªF easily by noon. Fishing is done on wading base as Steelhead migrate along the banks and shallow runs – it truly is a close quarters experience. Due to the size and particular glacier fed water color, Santa Cruz Steelhead are physically constitued to strip you deep into your backing. Some of the strongest and biggest fish of Patagonia swim upstream every year to spawn.
Los Plateados offer four different beats and over 30 named pools in our nor- mal range of activity. Guests will rotate among the different zones to fish the most productive pools and runs. While all beats and pools are accessible by boat, the whole of beat Nr 2 and a part of Nr 3, are also accessible by truck and only a few minutes away from the cabin. Transportation will be done Zodiac Boats with outboard engines and Pickup Trucks.
Mid March till Mid May
Los Plateados is located 50 miles upstream from Comandante Luis Piedra Buena city, where basic heath care and mobile communication are available.
The nearest airport is in Río Gallegos city, 180 miles from the lodge, and is the one used in the program for both arrivals and departures. Also El Calafate city airport can be used and has to be arranged separately. The city of Rio Gallegos has a regional hospital and private clinics.
Los Plateados River Cabin is located 50 miles upstream from the rivers estuary. Lodging is arranged for 4 anglers in double rooms. Simple but comfortable the cabin has everything you need. Strategically situated right at the bank, overlooking some of the best steelhead pools of the river, the cabin offers all comfort that one could imagine after a day of fishing. Hot water always available for showers. A generator supplies the electricity and the power is 220 volt. Both breakfast and dinner will be served in the cabin, prepared by an argentine chef will take care of the meals, where some of Argentinas finest beef and lamb will be served along with vegetables grown in our own greenhouse. Lunch is served by the river side to get the most of the fishing day. After a full day out you get back to the cabin where the warmth of the replace and a glass of wine will be waiting. If you are missing any tackle or equipment we have a well assorted y shop in the cabin as well. There is a satellite telephone in the lodge for outgoing phone calls if needed.
Steelhead were introduced in the early 1900’s, brought from Californias McCloud river. Steelhead have often been credited as being one -if not the- hardest fighting migratory fish and the specimens in Santa Cruz are no exception, where they can reach over 20lb.
The average number of fish caught during 2016 season exceeded the one fish per angler per day, with several more takes and lost fish.
We suggest you bring double handed rods. In case you want to learn to Speycast or improve your technique all our guides are keen instruc- tors. Fly rods in 8 and/or 9 wt. Skagit lines with assortment of tips for the different types of water. Also fast sinking shooting heads for the faster runs. Flies in black, blue, fuchsia, red, etc make great contrast with this milky glacier water. Regular winter steelhead patterns do the job just fine! Assorted sizes. i.e. Intruders, Articulated leeches, etc. Technique: Fish slow while working your way downstream along these massive runs and pools. Guides will provide you of all the information you might need. Swinging flies works very well but don’t hesitate in striping as it can trigger some of these fierce Steelhead.
Flies, flylines, leader and tackle available at our flyshop at the cabin.