WINSTON PREFERRED LODGES ®
EXCEPTIONAL FLY FISHING EXPERIENCES, WORLDWIDE.
At Winston, we often journey far beyond Montana to research and field test our rods. In the course of these travels, we or our Pro Staff have come across a number of destination lodges that provide overall fly fishing experiences worthy of recognition. And so began the Winston Preferred Lodges program. In terms of angling, guiding and accommodations, the lodges below are remarkable in every sense of the word, and have Winston rods ideal for the specific fisheries available for guests. Once selected, we don’t charge these lodges a listing fee. The experiences they provide simply reflect our passion for doing things the right way. New lodges will be added as the program broadens.
The R.L. Winston Rod Company shall not be liable for any incidental, accidental or consequential damages resulting from a trip to a Winston Preferred Lodge®.
Royal Wolf Lodge
Where: King Salmon, Alaska
Built in the famous Bristol Bay region of Alaska in 1994 under the direction of Chris and Linda Branham, Royal Wolf Lodge is a luxury fishing experience right in the middle of some of the best trout fishing in the world. In 2022, the Branhams were able to retire as they sold Royal Wolf to a new ownership team with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the area. Continuing the tradition of owners on site, Nate Morris is the owner/operator that manages every detail that is required to run a remote fly out lodge.
As they say in real estate, “location, location, location,” and Royal Wolf was built with this premise in mind. Located on 120 acres in the middle of Katmai National Park and preserve, Royal Wolf Lodge is in the perfect location to access the best rainbow trout fisheries in the esteemed Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Royal Wolf’s proximity to world famous trout streams such as the Nonvianuk, Big Ku, Little Ku, American Creek, Brooks, Moraine, Battle, and many others they won’t mention publicly, set them apart. Another unique aspect of Royal Wolf’s program is the type of floatplanes it uses. In addition to the ubiquitous DeHaviland Beaver, Royal Wolf also employs two Helio Couriers that have the ability to land and take off in shorter distances opening up even more of the surrounding fisheries to their guests.
Royal Wolf Lodge is a 12-14 guest operation that provides weeklong trips for the ultimate fly-out experience for trophy rainbow trout, char, grayling, and a variety of salmon. The accommodations are best described as “wilderness luxury.” Cabins are outfitted with ensuite bathrooms, comfortable bedding, heaters, and a stunning wilderness view. After a spectacular day of fishing guests enjoy cocktails and hor d’oeurves in the main lodge before sitting down to a multicourse dinner prepared by a gourmet chef and served by the hospitality staff. Cold and tired from a hard day of fishing? Spend some time in the wood fired sauna.
Royal Wolf prides itself on its fishing program above all else. Daily fly outs to a variety of nearby rivers are at the core of the program. Most guests will get to fish six different rivers and streams during their stay at Royal Wolf. One of the fly outs could be to a river with a jet boat stashed for access, maybe the next day guests could fly out to a river where their guide pumps up a raft and they do a float trip for the day; follow two days in a boat with a remote wilderness hike to a stream that has barely been fished and you have a recipe for a great week of fishing. Trophy rainbow trout are the main targeted species, but all 5 species of salmon can be targeted, as well as arctic char, dolly varden, grayling, and pike. Depending on the season, guests could be fishing dry flies, nymphs, mice, streamers, or beads. The lodge guides have long been known as some of the most experienced and passionate about fly fishing that you will find anywhere in the world and take great pride in helping their guests have the best day possible.
In addition to the fantastic fly fishing, Royal Wolf can provide excellent ecotourism opportunities including bear viewing, flight seeing tours, hiking, and photography. While the trophy trout fly fishing may be some of the best you will find anywhere, it is wild adventure that keeps people coming back!
Bay Flats Lodge
What began back in 1996 as simple weekend hunting or fishing trips to get to know the people they worked with better, Bay Flats Lodge owners Chris and Deb Martin have turned into the most desired outdoor sporting destination along the Texas coast. The business was officially named Bay Flats Lodge in 2001 as the Martins acquired a canal home in Seadrift that could house up to twelve guests each day. The lodge has since evolved into a gorgeous waterfront property situated on the shore of San Antonio Bay that can comfortably accommodate forty guests.
Bay Flats Lodge is located along the middle Texas coast on the shore of San Antonio Bay where there’s access to over 30 miles of pristine and largely undeveloped flats, shorelines, sloughs and back lakes surrounding Matagorda Island and the Guadalupe River Delta. For saltwater anglers of all skill levels, this is a wonderful venue to practice your craft, improve your skills and experience a unique and productive saltwater ecosystem.
The fly-fishing program centers around two fly anglers sharing a flats skiff with a professional fly-fishing guide. Single-angler guiding is available for an upcharge. Runtimes are typically 30-45 minutes to the first fishing grounds. Guests will take turns on the bow as your guide poles the skiff across flats in search of tailing fish. Wading while fly-fishing can also be accommodated to some degree, but the lodge staff prefers to set up those who may be interested with the proper guide in advance of their arrival. Our team of professional fly-fishing guides typically operate 2-4 technical poling skiffs daily with 4-8 fly anglers (depending upon daily availability).
The Lodge has a total of twenty-five rooms and can accommodate groups of forty guests. Typical room accommodations consist of two queen beds per room, with 1-2 rooms per suite in some cases. Single occupancy is available upon request as an upcharge to the standard nightly rate. In addition to the Main Lodge, Bay Flats offers four other coastal-style home properties where families or small groups can enjoy a private home setting.
Pre-dinner appetizers are served daily at 5:30 PM in the outdoor kitchen. Dinner follows at 6:30 PM each evening with a four-course meal, accompanied by a complimentary bottle of wine, in the upstairs dining room of the Main Lodge. A hot, sit down breakfast is served each morning in the upstairs dining room of the Main Lodge. A full boat lunch consisting of sandwiches, chips, soft drinks, and purified water are served on the water.
Aside from fly-fishing, Bay Flats Lodge also offers bay fishing and wade fishing with conventional gear, with artificial or live baits, year-round. Other favorites include Airboat fishing adventures, as well as our Cast & Blast packages, where we duck hunt in the morning, return to the lodge for a hot lunch, and then hunt speckled trout and redfish in the afternoon.
ESTANCIA MARIA BEHETY
ARGENTINA / CHILE
Where: Tierra del Fuego Argentina/Chile
We visited Estancia Maria Behety Lodge in January after a long trip directly south to what seemed like the bottom of the Americas. We were not disappointed. In fact, we are planning to go back again. Maria Behety has fishing on an unbelievable 33 miles of the lower Rio Grande river, the greatest sea run brown trout river in the world.
La Villa De Maria Behety
Also on the spectacular 275,000-acre Estancia Maria Behety, is a gem of a small fly fishing lodge, La Villa, near the city of Rio Grande. It is among the most beautiful ranch mansions in all of Tierra del Fuego, having been painstakingly restored by local craftsmen who have combined modern convenience with traditional old world charm. The magnificent ranch home is now available for up to six anglers who prefer a more intimate and extraordinary upscale lodging experience while fishing for enormous sea-run brown trout. Anglers at La Villa will rotate through the premier pools of the Rio Grande (33 river miles), all within the massive borders of the estancia. From when we visited a few years ago, we were impressed with the unique experience that anglers will enjoy, with luxurious private (single occupancy) accommodations, excellent meals, Jacuzzi Tubs, the finest Argentine vintages, and one of the best fly fishing experiences in the world. We hope to go back very soon. We recommend any of our Boron III TH two handed rods, especially in the 12′ 6″, 12’9″ and the 13’3″ lengths. For single handed users, the strong southern Patagonian winds demand a little extra power, so we suggest a Boron III SX 8-weight or 9-weight in whichever lengths you prefer, though longer rods will make for easier mending since all fishing will be using a downstream swing…after that, you’ll need to hold on!
Despite the long flight south to Argentina and then to the town of Rio Grande, most people are pleasantly surprised to find that the lodge is located only 15 minutes from the Rio Grande Airport. Estancia Maria Behety for a few years has offered a supply of Winston Boron Two Handed rods. However, we encourage you to bring your own. To optimize your experience we recommend bringing any of our Boron III TH rods, especially the 12’6” 6wt, 12’9” 7wt or 13’3” 7wt. For single handed casters, the Boron III SX 9’ 8wt is perhaps the perfect single handed rod to handle heavy winds, especially in Tierra del Fuego.
Henry’s Fork Lodge
Located on a picturesque bluff overlooking the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, Henry’s Fork Lodge offers outstanding accommodations and dining, combined with excellent and diverse fishing programs across the entire Yellowstone region. Set in a spectacular setting, Henry’s Fork Lodge provides an ideal holiday for experienced anglers as well as families, groups, and couples looking for one of the very best high-end, elegant lodge experiences in the United States.
The main lodge has six rooms, including two deluxe suites with oversized fireplaces and views of the Henry’s Fork River. In addition, beside the Lodge, there are eight cottage suites, all with separate bedrooms, sitting rooms, and cozy fireplaces.
Dining at the Henry’s Fork Lodge is excellent with made-to-order breakfasts, lunches on the river and a seasonal rotating dinner menu with exquisite Rocky Mountain fare.
On any given day, anglers at the Lodge have access to either the Henry’s Fork, South Fork, Madison River, Hebgen Lake, Yellowstone Park, as well as a collection of other still waters and smaller streams in the area. The Lodge works closely with area outfitters, so if you have a favorite guide in the area, chances are it can be arranged. And, of course, the Lodge has a collection of Winston Rods available for guest use. Based on our experience, we expect you will find that a Boron III X 5-weight or 6-weight will cover 90% of your fishing situations, though you could also bring lighter rod, a Boron III LS 4-weight for smaller stream dry fly fishing or light wind days. We have fished the Henry’s Fork for years and have been longtime fans of the Henry’s Fork Lodge – deservedly famous as one of the very best fly fishing lodges in the country.
HOLBOX FLY FISHING LODGE
Where: Isla Holbox, off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
We feel like we just discovered Isla Holbox. Run by manager Luciano for 7 years, the small Isla Holbox Flyfishing Lodge is a delight. While we’ve been flying into Cancun and driving down to Ascension Bay in Mexico for over a decade, 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.
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.
Where: Lake Aleknagik, Bristol Bay, Alaska
Mission Lodge 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 fly fishing in the state. We’ve known managers Guy and Sarah for years, and have shot some spectacular footage and big fish photography for various film and advertising projects here.
Nomads of the Seas
Where: Chilean Patagonia
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.
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 a 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 III X (all-around rods) in 5-weight through 8-weights, as well as 6 through 8-weight Boron III SX rods for more challenging conditions.
Patagonia River Guides (PRG)
Where: Trevelin (near Esquel), Patagonia, Argentina
Patagonia River Guides has been a Winston Preferred Lodge for over a decade. 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. At Winston, we’ve visited these extremely sought after locations 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 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.
PRG – North
Where: San Martin de los Andes (north of Bariloche), Patagonia, Argentina
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.
PRG – Rio Pico
Where: Rio Pico, Patagonia, Argentina
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.