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Glacier King: 5 things you need to know to plan your trip

Glacier King: 5 things you need to know to plan your trip

1. How to get there

Glacier King is Tres Amigos Outfitters chinook salmon in fishery in Caterina river, inside Estancia Cristina, and surrounded by Glaciers National Park in Argentinas south Patagonia.

You access it after arriving to El Calafate (FTE) – 3hr flight from Buenos Aires (BUE) where the hotel and restaurants options is large as it’s a largely visited touristic town in this part of Argentina.

 Check out Aerolineas Argentinas website for more info on flights frequency and costs following this link:

2. What’s the weather like?

Surrounded by mountains and close to a number a glaciers the weather can change quickly as you may have heard it happens basically all over Patagonia. Still, here, you should be prepared for it a bit more.

Our season is during southern hemisphere’s summer so mainly along January and February the temperatures are mild to warm, and as March / fall approaches they tend to drop.

Rain shell for both rain and wind is a must and separate layers that you can put on and take off along your day / week are our suggestion.

3. Best time to visit Glacier King / Season

The season in Caterina river is marked by the arrival of chinook salmon to this, their final destination of their upstream journey that will finish with spawning.

Even thou the time kings show up tend to vary, we start at a safe date, normally by the first week of January, then fish for them till mid-March as their spawning time comes.

The state of the salmon will be changing along these 10 weeks, from finding the fastest arriving ones during early January, fresh and silver in fewer numbers, to a process that won’t stop, when they color up and start to change slowly in shape too, but gather as well in larger numbers.

As the end of the season approaches, the fish tend to sit in shallower waters and we can sight-fish for them even with floating lines. By this part of the season the number of fish in the system is the highest.

4. The right fly gear

Regarding the gear to carry and fish for these beasts, we recommend spey rods from 12’6 to 14’ in 9wt, where the reel has an extremely important role as stopping these massive kings (established river record is 90.3lb from 2018) is never easy. Inside your reel you must have enough backing (250 yds of 50lb gelspun backing recommended), together with a Skagit-type head and a full set of tips to manage the different fishing scenarios.

We also offer rental gear for those interested in it.

5. What to expect and fishing

Expect a full Argentine display of flavors, hospitality and professionalism while mixing the views, landscape, and included activities while staying in this high-end lodge in one of Patagonia’s best known national parks. Guided activities like off-road tours, hiking and horse riding are included in this package together with the fishing.

Estancia Cristina is a great option for fishermen willing to travel with their families and see this part of the country.

The fishing is done in two sessions, guided and hosted by Tres Amigos Outfitters staff with over a decade experience in this river, and always kept flexible to the best fishing times and needs of our guests, accessing the fishing spots in pick-up trucks and having short hikes to the different pools/runs.

This one-of-a-kind place and fishery has to be in every fisherman’s bucket list as its one of the few places in the world where King salmon of this size and quality can be found nowadays.
Claudio Martin
Partner - Tres Amigos Outfitters
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