Fishing in Argentina

Argentina is a top-notch fishing destination, with outstanding fly fishing for golden dorado, salmon and trout, outings into pristine Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego wilderness, and more.
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About Argentina

Located in the south-eastern part of South America, Argentina is one of the most developed countries in the region, and a prime destination for outdoor tourism. In the vast territory of the country there are three main locations of interest for the fishing enthusiast. The first are the valleys of the Uruguay and Parana rivers in the north of the country, where you can count on excellent fishing for the golden dorado and other South American species. The second, in the West, covers the parts of Patagonia that are located in or near the Andes, where, in the cool mountain streams, fly fishing aficionados will find outstanding quantities and quality of trout and salmon. Last but not least, at the extreme south of the country, the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, that lies closer to Antarctica than to Argentina’s capital, offers a rough wilderness experience that feels almost like time travel thousands of years ago. Argentina is stretched from North to South, so climatic and fishing conditions vary significantly between locations. As a rule of thumb, in the mostly temperate northern provinces, such as Corrientes, Entre Rios, Corrientes and Buenos Aires, fishing opportunities exist all year round. In the southern Patagonia, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, as well as Tierra del Fuego, the fishing season is limited to the summer months, October to April; experts advise to avoid the peak of the summer, December to February, because of strong winds. The best time for fishing in Argentina is believed to be March and April. Recreational fishing in Argentina is regulated, with access to the best fishing spots and wilderness areas and rivers limited by government rules as well as by private property owners. Most tourists who come to Argentina for recreational angling use the services of the country’s lodges, and guides, who sort out bureaucratic problems, and help anglers adapt to unusual fishing environments.

Fishing Types

Although Argentina has a long coastline, opportunities for saltwater fishing are barely existent. River fishing is the main fishing type in Argentina. Whether you target the native dorado or the introduced trout, you’re likely to do it in a river or a lake, either man-made or natural. Backcountry fishing in Patagonia offers you a chance to fish in pristine environments, only slightly if at all affected by the advance of civilization; you can do that from a comfortable lodge or undertake a backpacking, horseback, river rafting, or even helicopter drop-off excursion.

Targeted Fish Species

Rivers and lakes of Argentina are inhabited by a number of indigenous fish species, such as pacy, tararira, sirubi, dogfish, and palometa, and of course the golden dorado. True to its name in more ways than one, that close relative of the piranha is covered in golden-colored scales and has an excellent fighting spirit, often leaping high into the air when hooked. However, it is the non-native salmonids, including rainbow trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon and steelhead, that probably attract the majority of anglers to Argentina. Introduced in the early XX century, the trout and salmon species in Argentinean rivers have few natural predators and excellent habitat, and grow to epic proportions. For example, the anadromous brown trout in the Tierra del Fuego, which spends part of its lifetime in the Atlantic Ocean, and many of them reach 7 kg (20 lb) in weight.

Fishing Techniques

To paraphrase the old real estate joke, there are three most important fishing techniques in Argentina: fly fishing, fly fishing, and of course fly fishing. Seriously, while there are no laws against using bait fishing or jigging, and a lot of anglers use spinning and trolling, especially on the country’s biggest rivers and lakes, it’s fly fishing that it’s all about in Argentina. In addition to fishing from the shore or wading through the streams, a popular fishing technique is drifting with the help of McKenzie type drift boats.