In the course of conducting research on new fly rod models, we are not only busy on all our local Montana rivers, but often travel in the USA and internationally in designing our rods, making sure they perform optimally in the most demanding situations around the world. We involve experts in a variety of saltwater and freshwater situations and, in doing so, work with incredibly talented fly shop employees, guides and pro staff. On occasion we are referred to or visit a destination lodge which provides a truly exceptional fly fishing experience deserving of recognition. Our criteria for selection is not simply based on a level of luxury accommodation or high price, and, while we ask that a WINSTON PREFERRED LODGE® has Winston rods available to their guests, Winston does not charge lodges a listing fee to be included as you might find with other lodge endorsement programs. Instead, selection is based primarily on an overall exceptional fly fishing experience. Of course, there are a great many outstanding domestic and international fly fishing lodges we have not yet visited, each with a unique fishing experience and talented Winston guides on their staff. Like us, we encourage you to explore new waters. Consequently, we anticipate broadening the WINSTON PREFERRED LODGE® program over time as merited.
We are delighted to announce that the following fly fishing lodges have been invited to be a WINSTON PREFERRED LODGE®.
Location: Trevelin (near Esquel), Patagonia, Argentina
Approx Number of Guests: 10-12
For nearly a decade as the pioneer WINSTON PREFERRED LODGE®, PRG has been owned and managed by longtime Winston pro staff members and friends, Rance Rathie and Travis Smith. PRG offers fly fishing programs out of their lodge in Trevelin as well as in the north and in Rio Pico which are arguably the most sought after in all of Argentina. We at Winston have visited all three PRG operations many times over the past several years, have shot many of our catalog and website images there (including some on the website now) and can’t wait to return, fishing new water on each trip. The accommodations, food and service are exceptional. In fact, PRG-Trevelin is one of the few lodges in the world we have visited where we wouldn’t hesitate to bring less experienced anglers or non-fishing companions. The area surrounding Trevelin and Esquel boasts over two-dozen rivers and some of the most diverse fishing in all of Patagonia from temperate rainforest in Los Alerces National Park to the arid Patagonia steppe – all intentionally within striking distance of the lodge at Trevelin. The area is a fly fisherman’s dream come true. The waters, fishing, and scenery are so plentiful that PRG recommends trying their “fish a different river daily” program to make the most of the experience. Those who do will enjoy casting dry and wet flies in every kind of water imaginable, catching a variety of strong, wild and large trout. The area’s rivers and lakes hold excellent numbers of rainbows, browns, brook trout, and landlocked salmon. Each morning, you are literally asked “what would you like to do today?” as you decide between...wade, float, river, lake, dry, wet, large (or very large) trout. PRG carries a full assortment of the latest Winston Boron IIIx and Boron III SX rods for you to try, and will recommend which rods you should bring to optimize your experience. We found that, though there is a substantial variety of fishing available, a Boron IIIx 6-weight is the ideal all-around rod for PRG – Trevelin. However, as you should always bring more than one rod on a trip like this, we would also suggest bringing a Boron IIIx 5-weight as a lighter rod for the smaller area rivers, and, if possible, a Boron III SX 6-weight to handle big flies when it is windy.
Location: San Martin de los Andes (north of Bariloche), Patagonia, Argentina
Approx Number of Guests: 6-10
PRG guests also have the option of fishing the renowned San Martin and Junin de los Andes region a few hours north of Bariloche and stay at one of PRG-North’s spectacular authentic and vast Argentine estancias. We at Winston recently stayed at the beautiful estancia Huechahue and fished some of Argentina’s most famous trout rivers: the Chemehuin, Malleo, Limay, Aluminé, and the Collón Cura. PRG-North has a full collection of the latest Winston Boron IIIx, Boron III LS and Boron III SX rods available for their guests and will recommend which rods you should bring to cover all the available fishing situations. Because of the mix of small and large rivers, we suggest you consider bringing a lighter line dry fly rod (e.g., a Boron III LS 4 and/or 5-weight), as well as a Boron IIIx 5 and/or 6-weight which can generate more line speed for when the wind picks up.
Location: Rio Pico, Patagonia, Argentina
Approx Number of Guests: 6+
A beautiful two hour drive south from Esquel, PRG-Rio Pico is a delight and serious fisherman’s dream. The rugged countryside near the Chilean border provides a spectacular backdrop for some of the best fishing in Patagonia. A strongly recommended add-on to any PRG trip, we highly doubt you will be disappointed. PRG-Rio Pico also has a collection of the latest Winston Boron IIIx and Boron III SX rods available for their guests, and will recommend which rods you should bring to cover all the available fishing situations. If you go, we strongly recommend you bring a Boron IIIx 5 and/or 6-weight, as well as a Boron III SX 6-weight as it will make casting large flies into the wind for large trout a dramatically more enjoyable (and rewarding) experience.
Location: Bolivian jungle, 125 miles from La Paz, Bolivia
Approx Number of Guests: 12+ in two lodges plus out-camps
Tsimane is one of the finest dorado fly fishing operations in the world. Actually two lodges plus out-camps, it is located in Bolivia within a National Park and Indigenous Territory, where the Amazon meets the Andes. Winston Pro Advisors and Pro Staff have visited and recommend it very strongly as perhaps the best dorado fishery anywhere. The landscape is extremely dramatic. In fishing season, streams are filled with clear water running through the jungle and the mountains, perfect for wading and sight casting to beautiful golden dorado and other species. The jungle is virtually untouched and one of the most interesting natural environments in the world. Tsimane offers a rare blend of dorado sight casting, freestone wading, light tackle, floating lines, spectacular scenery, mountain rivers with clear, virgin waters, and four distinct species (dorado, pirapitinga, yatorana, surubi) reaching significant sizes. Recently, Tsimane introduced its ‘headwater out-camps’ for more adventurous anglers. Tsimane provides an unforgettable angling experience, yet due to its remote location and the challenges of traveling in the jungle, Winston obviously does not make any representations as to the safety when traveling to this or any WINSTON PREFERRED LODGE®. In particular, the Tsimane out-camps are limited to only a few adventurous and physically fit anglers and feature safari-style wall tents in extremely remote locations at the headwaters of the Pluma, Itirizama and Aguas Negras Rivers. Once you are there, however, Tsimane has a full collection of the latest Winston Boron IIIx, Boron III SX and other Winston rods and gives recommendations by season which rods you should bring as there are a variety of different angling situations. Because of the size of the fish and the varying size of the rivers, at a minimum we suggest you bring a 8-weight Boron III SX rod which can handle the larger dorado, as well as a Boron IIIx 6-weight and/or 7-weight for fishing smaller dry flies for yatoranas and for the smaller rivers. Though these are freshwater fish, due to the heat, you should equip yourself as you would heading to the tropics to fish for larger more powerful saltwater species. We end up using the Boron III SX 9-weight a lot for the bigger waters and fish!
Location: Lake Aleknagik, Bristol Bay, Alaska
Approx Number of Guests: 15+
Mission Lodge on the shores of Lake Aleknagik, is easily one of Alaska’s top fly-out lodges. Located in a spectacular wilderness setting in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, it is within easy flying distance to some of the best fishing in Alaska. We have known managers, Guy and Sarah for years, have some spectacular footage, and have shot big fish photos for our catalog, website and other marketing imagery at Mission. Depending on when you are there, Mission guests fish for five species of Pacific Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling, Lake Trout and Northern Pike. Unlike other excellent but rustic Alaskan lodges, Mission Lodge is a modern beautiful all-inclusive deluxe family lodge with exceptional fly fishing. Mission also provides a sauna, hot tub, private rooms, and other facilities for group gatherings. An enormous deck surrounds the main lodge and is just steps from the water, float planes and boats. Mission has excellent guides and carries a collection of Winston Boron IIIx and Boron III SX and Boron III TH rods. Mission can make specific recommendations based on the dates of your visit and the anticipated size of the salmon and other species you will catch. We suggest a Boron IIIx and/or Boron III SX 6-weight for fishing for rainbows, and a Boron IIIx 8-weight (either 9 or 9 1/2 foot) for salmon. For spey casters, we suggest either a 12’ 9”or a 13’ 3”Boron III TH Two Handed rod.
Location: Isla Holbox, off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Approx Number of Guests: 10
It’s taken us awhile, but we feel like we just discovered Isla Holbox. Run by manager Luciano for 7 years, the small Isla Holbox Flyfishing Lodge is a delight. We’ve been flying into Cancun and driving down to Ascension Bay in Mexico for over a decade and this year we decided to mix it up and spend a few days beforehand fishing for baby tarpon on Isla Holbox. What a treat! We’ve never seen so many tarpon. For four days in February, we cast to hundreds of tarpon between 10-40lbs in water under 6 feet deep, our final two days stalking baby tarpon tailing in water under two feet deep. Because of the fantastic collection of excellent restaurants in the town of Holbox, the schedule at
Isla Holbox Flyfishing Lodge is refreshingly different from most lodge operations. Up early with cappuccinos waiting to breakfast at the lodge before heading out for a full day on the water fishing virtually exclusively for tarpon. After late April, the large tarpon (over 100lbs) move in outside the lagoon. This is peak season in Holbox for anglers as well as tourists since the migration of the larger tarpon overlaps with the arrival of the spectacular whale sharks. However, there appears to be no off season for the baby tarpon as they live year around in the massive sheltered lagoon (yes, far less wind) and provide constant action, ideal for anglers eager to catch their first tarpon. The Isla Holbox Flyfishing Lodge fronts the beautiful two-mile beach shared by local fisherman and an assortment of small bungalows housing visiting European, Mexican and North American tourists. The accommodations are small and very comfortable; the manager, Luciano is a wealth of fishing and other information; and the guides are excellent. Perhaps the most unique draw of Isla Holbox (aside from the number of tarpon, of course), is the wonderful town of Holbox. There are no cars on the island of Holbox. Residents as well as visiting anglers and other tourists travel along the sandy streets in golf carts or by foot. The restaurants in Holbox are fantastic; alive at night and the food is excellent.
Isla Holbox carries a collection of new Winston Boron III SX rods for you to try and will recommend which rods to bring depending on the time of year. If you are there after mid March, you should definitely bring a 12-weight just in case the big tarpon are around. For most of the trip fishing for smaller tarpon we used a Boron III SX 9-weight that was ideal in handling the wind, large flies, and medium-sized tarpon (up to 45 lbs). An 8-weight or 10-weight Boron III SX would also work well. When fishing in shallow water to smaller tailing tarpon in the lagoons, a 7-weight or 8-weight Boron IIIx was perfect for more delicate presentations with smaller flies.
Location: Chilean Patagonia
Approx Number of Guests: 28
Nomads of the Seas is as much a moving high end hotel as it is fly fishing lodge. Guests stay on a state-of-the-art expedition cruise ship, the Atmosphere, and cruise along the remote Chilean coast accessing some of the best freshwater flyfishing in the world. The ship has its own helicopter, drift boats, kayaks and jet boats, so guests are afforded the rare opportunity of exploring the Chilean Patagonia water systems by air, land or water. With its first rate crew and unique air and water transport system, Nomads of the Seas can deliver the thrill of fly-fishing, whale–watching, bird-watching, and nature photography and other activities for a varied selection of outdoor adventures in the southernmost corner of the world. This is unique trip with exceptional fly fishing.
Long-time Winston rod enthusiasts, Nomads of the Seas has discovered unexplored waters, developed new programs, and added new infrastructure to make their trips over the past eight years different from the any other flyfishing operation in the world. It is for this reason that it has been selected as Winston Preferred Lodge and is on the list of many adventurous anglers seeking new experiences. The flyfishing opportunities in Chilean Patagonia near the coast are as varied as the many different river systems Nomads of the Seas can access. Consequently, the Atmosphere carries a selection of Winston Boron IIIx (all-around rods) in 5-weight through 8weights, as well as 6-8 weight Boron III SX rods for more challenging conditions. As with any trip, however, we suggest you bring your own rods to make sure you have exactly what you need and your Winston dealer can advise you one what rods are best to bring depending on the season, the fish and the weather.