Not only is Patagonia one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world, it’s also a haven for salmon and trout fishing. Fishing is one of the top things to do in the region. World renowned for excellent varieties of fish and fishing regions, fishing in Patagonia is an angler’s Eden. Without a doubt, fly fishing in Patagonia takes top spot. A long way back in history, an array of brown and rainbow trout were introduced into the lakes, rivers, and streams of Patagonia by Europeans and North Americans. Breeding fast and free without any interference, these specimens adapted extremely well to the Patagonian environment and are now the ancestors of the large numbers of trout found in the waterways today.
The Andean region is the place to be for fly fishing in Patagonia. Fishing in Andean Patagonia yields the ever-popular species of trout, including brown, rainbow, lake, brook, as well as Pacific salmon. Throughout the Atlantic and central area, Patagonia lake fishing brings forth the chance to catch more exotic species of fish such as corbina, brótola, shark, atherine, and pescadilla. Outside the many national parks where stricter rules apply, other species available when fishing in Patagonia are perch, carp, and a few other varieties of atherine. Anglers catching peladillas, catfish, salmon encerrado, and puyenes must release them back into the water.
One of the most popular ways to experience fishing in Patagonia is to arrange a stay at a lodge. The sheer number of resorts and lodges offering Patagonia lake fishing and fly fishing for guests is incredible. These excursions are popular for the experienced guides taking guests to prime fishing areas, leaving no need for tourists to scout the best spots themselves. The estancias and lodges offering fishing tours are mostly built on thousand-acre ranches affording hundreds of miles of private access to innumerable lakes and rivers. With limited time and a desire to reel in the best of the best, lodges have become a great option for the avid angler. Another advantage to these holidays is that they are easily customized. Anglers can enjoy Patagonia fishing in rivers, streams, or lakes, or a little bit of each.
If you’re a determined and adventurous angler there’s nothing stopping you from casting your line in without a guide. Patagonia lake fishing can be excellent during prime season and you may not need a guide to reel them in. This will require a little research and if you have no access to a boat, you’ll be fishing off the banks, which can be equally enjoyable. No license is required when fishing in the Atlantic or central Patagonian regions. If you’re planning on fishing outside of these areas, in the Andean region in the Rio Negro, Chubut, or Neuquén provinces, you’ll need to purchase a license. Most Patagonia hotels can aid in the purchase of a fishing license as can the many resorts and tour companies in the area. Fishing licenses can also be purchased at the National Parks Administration office in Buenos Aires and sports shops around Patagonia.
Patagonia fishing season begins in November and ends in April every year. If you’re planning a Patagonia fishing trip in Tierra del Fuego, its capital of Ushuaia, or the province of Santa Cruz, you’ll need a special license. The fishing season is also different in these areas, beginning at the end of November and ending at the end of March. The Rio Grande is the ultimate for fishing in Tierra del Fuego from the long bridge all the way to the Barranca de Allen. There are several rivers, three lagoons, and two lakes ideal for fishing here where spinning and spoon as well as fly and fly casting are allowed.
A top area ideal for Patagonia fishing is Lake Puelo, or Lago Puelo, where gleaming rainbow trout are the prizes. Fly fishing, trolling, and casting are all great methods. Around the town of Perito Moreno is some more great Patagonia fishing at Río Jeinimeni, Río Oro, Lake Buenos Aires, and Lake Pueyrredón where trout, perch, and atherine are the common catches. Fly fishing in Patagonia around San Martin de Los Andes is best at Lagos Curruhué Grande, Hermoso, and Meliquina where catches include trout, perch, and salmon.
At El Calafate north of Puerto Madryn , Lake Argentino, and Rio Santa Cruz yield varieties of lake trout, trout, and perch. Patagonia lake fishing at Huechulaufquen beneath the impressive Lanin Volcano is also excellent, with fly fishing favored at the conflux of the lake and the Chimehuin River. The biting waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi run directly into the Limay River and the Correntoso River making it an another great destination for fly fishing for trout. If you’re an angler of any level, your biggest regret in life could be missing a chance to cast your line into sublime Patagonian waters. Snap up the once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity and arrange an excursion during your South American holidays.