PRG is American owned and operated by Rance Rathie and Travis Smith. Rance and Travis are born and bred flyfishermen who have been guiding anglers in Montana since their teens. Their passion for fishing and guiding ultimately led them to Argentina where they saw a unique opportunity to apply their extensive knowledge and expertise to build the most comprehensive and professional flyfishing operation in Patagonia. For over ten years, they’ve cultivated a staff of Argentine employees, guides and managers that is unmatched in terms of experience, professionalism and passion. Alex Knüll, partner and director of PRG North, brings three generations of experience and over ten years of personal knowledge of the San Martin area. Esteban Oszust, head guide of PRG, is a second-generation flyfishing guide who grew up exploring Argentina’s National Park system as his backyard. Esteban, along with John Roberts, PRG’s most senior guide with over twenty years of management/guide experience in flyfishing and hunting lodges throughout Argentina, help to shape, refine and execute the ultimate flyfishing adventure for PRG on a daily basis.
As long-time professional guides, Rance and Travis understand that a good guide can often be the difference between an average trip and the trip of a lifetime, which is why they take great care in maintaining the best guide staff in the region. Without exception, PRG’s guides are talented professionals, excellent and enthusiastic teachers, passionate fishermen and expert oarsmen. Apart from their extensive fishing skills, they also enjoy sharing their local knowledge of flora, fauna, culture and history.
Rance and Travis have known John since their first day in Argentina, and have been working together for over fifteen years. John is one of the most experienced guides in all of Patagonia, and for more than twenty years, he has been working as a guide, outfitter and manager of local fishing and hunting lodges. John’s laid-back demeanor, knowledge, fishing expertise, and teaching ability have won him unsurpassed praise from our guests. John knows most of the trout in Patagonia by name and is an expert on local history, flora, and fauna. Prior to becoming one with the fish, John worked in the beef industry. His knowledge of Argentine beef, cuts of meat, and ability to barbecue it can’t be outdone. He keeps the PRG quincho (barbecue house) in his back yard and hosts frequent barbecues for the PRG “think tank”. Although born and raised in Argentina, John reminds most of an Australian rugby player for the use of his perfect queen’s English and his intimidating size. John is married to his beautiful wife Valerie, who just so happens to be PRG’s masseuse and non-fishing guide. John and Valerie have two great college age kids, Melanie and Alex, who also work for PRG.
Esteban is an incredible naturalist and has unparalleled knowledge of the flora, fauna, hatches, insects, fish, weather, and just about everything else that has to do with Patagonia. His knowledge and creativity don’t stop there! He also has a very ingenious mind and can fix just about everything, come up with a solution to just about every problem, or invent something that will work in any situation. He was born and raised in Los Alerces National Park where his father was the first fly fishing guide and his grandfather was the first National Park Ranger. Because of his upbringing, Esteban knows more “secret spots” in Los Alerces than just about anyone and is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable guides in the region. He has been guiding and outfitting for almost twenty years, speaks perfect English, is a fantastic angler, a great teacher, and expert oarsman. Esteban is married to his soul mate Romina, and has two beautiful children: Abril and Simon
Marcello was born and raised in the rugged Rio Pico region. For many years, Marcello ran the family pharmacy in Rio Pico – a good excuse to go fishing most every day! He is one of the area’s legendary anglers and guides and currently assists PRG guides and guests. If you happen go to Rio Pico you will be happy to have Marcello along for the adventure. He knows everyone and enjoys sharing stories and history of the Rio Pico region. Most importantly, Marcello knows the water better than about anyone in Rio Pico and ensures that guests are always at the right place at the right time. Although Marcello doesn’t speak a much English as others, he is a great person to spend the day with because fishing isn’t only about talking!
Adolfo has been working with the Patagonia River Guides crew since he was fifteen years old and was PRG’s first employee. He was born and raised in Esquel, and is very well known in the area since his family homesteaded there. Adolfo is an extremely hard worker and provides PRG with logistic support, hunting guiding, and assists guides. Don’t be fooled because he isn’t a full time guide, Adolfo is an excellent caster, great fisherman, good oarsman, and great guide. He specializes on walk wading trips with other PRG guides and knows better than most how to put his clients on fish. His English is still a work in progress and the only thing holding him back from being a full time guide. Adolfo is a very fun guy to hang out with and will make you laugh throughout your day. In the winter, Adolfo is partner with Rance in Argentina Doves Unlimited and manages that program in Tucuman province.
Johnny was born and raised in the area and is a second-generation flyfishing guide. His father was Travis and Rance’s first boss in Argentina and they have known him since he was just out of diapers. Johnny has an incredible sense of humor and is quick to help guests with anything they might need to have a great time. Although he is an assistant guide, Johnny is quickly getting his fair share of requests for full-day guide trips and takes extra trips when available. Johnny is a talented artist and enjoys sharing sketches with clients – lucky ones go home with an original piece. Johnny is sure to be one of the regions finest guides since he has been training with PRG for the past four years.
Julio, born and raised in Esquel, has many years working in the fishing and hunting industry. Rance met Julio the first day he was in Argentina and they became great friends back when Rance couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. Julio helps PRG as an assistant guide and specializes in doing just about everything perfectly and with a smile. Julio has an unforgettable smile and sense of humor and guests enjoy fishing with him as much as anyone. Julio spends his winters in Salta province fishing for dorado and working with Rance and Adolfo at Argentina Doves Unlimited.
Alex is the son of John Roberts and was taught to fly fish by his father. He grew up in Esquel and has been working for PRG as an assistant since he was in high school. Alex speaks great English, always has a smile on his face and is a fun guy to spend the day with. He is one of the top basketball players in the Chubut Province and stands at about 6’5”. His height helps him spot fish that most guys would never see at a lower vantage point. He spends his off-season in Cordoba studying economics.
Facu leads the PRG North support team and is a natural for that job being born in the region. Facu has a love of the outdoors much like all the PRG guides and assistants but likes most to be “out there”. The “unplugged” program would not be possible without his logistical and planning support of the program and also his hands on assistance and work at the camps. Facu speaks nearly perfect English and is also a skilled guide when walk wading. Simply put, if you had to be stranded somewhere, you would want to be with Facu to enjoy his sense of humor, kind spirit, and ability to catch dinner! Facu enjoys snowboarding, biking, and spending time with his wife and two children when not working.