Ask any fly fisherman to list his top fishing destinations in the world, and Argentina is sure to make the list. Argentina remains on so many people’s bucket list for fishing and for a good reason. There are three main fishing regions in the large country that is Argentina: Patagonia to the west, Tierra del Fuego to the south, and the river systems from Buenos Aires to Corrientes. Patagonia is very large and its terrain varied, so anglers can find any kind of trout fishing they are looking for. From small streams and springs, to large rivers and lakes, there is a little of everything. Tierra del Fuego is home to giant brown trout, some even up to 20 pounds. The warm water rivers of the northern mountains and the eastern rivers and marshes also hold dorado and pacu. The British transplanted the brown trout in the early 1900s, and with no dams and little fishing pressure, the fish ran into the Atlantic ocean every year and grew into monstrous sizes. Every year, anglers head to these waters in pursuit of catching trophy brown trout on a fly. On the other end of the country, along the border of countries like Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia, are the warmwater fisheries for dorado, pacu, and other species. There are a handful of different lodges and outfits in these areas that specialize in these warm water species. The golden dorado is a highly sought after game fish that is gaining in popularity, and they can weigh upwards of 60 pounds. The rivers that feed the marshlands, Esteros del Ibera and Esteros de Santa Lucia, have established lodges, while other northern jungles and mountainous rivers also hold good numbers of dorado and pacu, but are home to less established lodges, due to lack of infrastructure and their remote locations.
While the fishing is amazing in Argentina, there are still many other things that can make it the trip of a lifetime for most people. Argentina’s mainland has an area of over one million square miles, and is the 8th largest country in the world. From the big city vibes of Buenos Aires, small towns, deserts, glaciers, mountains, jungles, and beaches. Because the country is so large landwise, there are many different terrain and location differences. Half of the entire country’s population lives in its four biggest cities, so there are plenty of remote and beautiful places without the urban sprawl. People who enjoy the finer foods will love it here, so expect a variety of different meats barbequed to perfection. It is very easy to get around the country and find fishing destinations. The locals are always described as helpful and friendly, although very few speak english. Aside from the big expense of just getting there, there is nothing else that should deiter any American or other world traveler from experiencing this amazing country.
There are many different fishing hotspots across Argentina, each offering a unique experience with unique species of fish to catch. The first is Esquina in the Corrientes Province. Here you can catch golden dorado, river salmon, surubi, catfish, dogfish, and palometa. Located at the confluence of the Parana and Corriente Rivers, the Parana River Delta is a hotspot for golden dorado and a great place to catch them with fly fishing equipment. The dorado in this spot average around 8 pounds, but can get up to 20 pounds and anglers can expect to catch around 30 fish per day. Another fishing hotspot in Argentina is called Bariloche, in the Rio Negro Province. This is a great destination for anglers pursuing brown, rainbow, and brook trout. With the temperate western forests and the Patagonian steppe, anglers have a variety of fishing conditions to suit their needs. You can choose to fish the Rio Limary, one of Patagonia’s largest rivers and some of the country’s largest rainbow and brown trout, or pristine lakes located in the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and chase after record breaking brook trout. Another great destination for those seeking giant trout fishing is the Tierra del Fuego Province, where it offers some of the world’s southernmost trout fishing and is home to some of the best sea-run brown trout fishing on the planet. These brown trout spend upwards of two years in Rio Grande waters before migrating to the ocean for six months. Some fish who have traveled to the Pacific and back have grown as heavy as 9kgs (20 lbs), and most anglers can expect to catch around three to six of these fish per day. April is the best time to fish this area, as all of the fish have returned from the ocean.
There are many different ways to experience and explore this amazing country, depending on the type of adventure that you are looking for. Whether you want to stay in a luxurious five star resort, or backpack into the wilderness and live in a tent for a week, you can do both! The beauty of Argentina is its diversity and ability to deliver exactly what any angler of any skill level is looking for. No matter what route you choose, you are sure to enjoy every minute and remember your trip.
Argentina is a very special place, and is an avid angler’s fishing paradise. From the pristine and beautiful scenery, to the spectacular fishing for some of the world’s largest trout and other species, this is one place that should be on your bucket list. One cannot also forget the excellent food and tourist destinations, with locals that will genuinely make you feel like family while you are there. With a little planning and saving, anyone can enjoy everything that Argentina has to offer. So book that flight and ready your gear, what are you waiting for?