Argentina Trout Fishing
The eighth largest country in the world and the second largest country in South America, Argentina has a rich history and many diverse cultures. The capital is Buenos Aires, home to 2.89 million people, and the country’s official language is Spanish. Argentina is known the world over for its World Cup champion soccer teams, incredible wine and beef, and the breathtaking, snowcapped Andes Mountains, which divide Argentina from Chile, its neighbor to the west. Argentina and Chile also share Patagonia, which is a vast and sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America. One of the most beautiful and enchanting regions in the world, Argentine Patagonia features incredible mountainous landscapes and boasts an astounding array of flora and fauna.
The Patagonian region of Argentina is also home to some of the most impressive trout streams and rivers on the planet. We have spent years wade fishing and float fishing every stretch of sparkling water we could find in this wonderful land, and with our partner operation, Andes Drifters, we have developed what is by far the best fly-fishing travel program in Argentina.
The following is an overview of the best fishing we have found in Argentine Patagonia. If you have any questions about traveling to the region, give us a call toll-free at 888-861-0111 and talk with Kevin Howell or Jeff Furman, our Argentina travel specialists.
San Martin de los Andes Area
The northern Patagonia region around the towns of Junín and San Martin de los Andes has the greatest variety of trout streams in Argentina. You can fish 15 rivers and 20 lakes within a two-hour radius of San Martin de los Andes. And although the area contains all of the country’s famous trout waters, it is sparsely populated, allowing you to find peaceful solitude.
Davidson River Outfitters offers custom-tailored fishing packages that allow you to fish the very best waters in ways that match your preferences perfectly. From long days fishing to evenings spent enjoying splendid dinners and relaxing at the lodge, you’ll experience the very best of Patagonia with us.
The Limay is one of the most mysterious rivers in all of Patagonia. It is the largest drainage basin in the region and flows for 236 miles from its origin in Nahuel Huapi Lake until it joins with the Neuquén River to form the Rio Negro. The Limay is interrupted in this 236-mile journey by five reservoirs.
The upper section from the outflow of Nahuel Huapi Lake is a classic freestone fishery that runs for 30 miles until the first reservoir. From the first reservoir the river flows immediately into two more reservoirs.
At the Pichi Picún Leufú Dam, the river becomes Limay Medio (Middle Limay). Our fishing focuses on this 50-mile stretch, the only tailwater in the region. It ends at Ezequiel Ramos Mejia Lake, the Limay River system’s largest reservoir.
This section of river is one of the most remarkable fisheries in the world. The cool, stable water release from Pichi Picún Leufú Dam creates a wonderful habitat for a large and healthy fish population. It also provides abundant nourishment for several species of large minnows that migrate out of Ezequiel Ramos Mejia Lake and up the river to spawn—and to become food that helps grow some massive trout.
Access is limited on the upper 15 miles of Limay Medio, and the river is virtually inaccessible on its lower 35 miles. However, Andes Drifters concentrates our fishing in the lower areas by floating and camping on islands. Our 40-mile float takes six days and five nights, and we reach parts of the river that see only our boats all season.
Our well-trained crew members set up a deluxe camp nightly. You will have warm water for washing up, a hot shower on some nights, and a dining tent. Our sleeping tents with cots, pillows, and sleeping bags will keep you warm in any conditions. And our menu, prepared by the best outdoor chef you’ll find anywhere, will have your mouthwatering for dinner at the end of each day.
The trout in the Limay are divided into two different groups: resident fish and migratory fish. The resident fish can be found throughout the entire 50-mile stretch of the tailwater. These trout range from 19 to 22 inches. However, the migratory fish are the reason to float this section of the Limay. Large browns have made the river famous. They average between 26 and 30 inches and are measured in pounds or kilos instead of ounces. Trophy fish on the Limay average 36 to 40 inches and weigh in the double digits when it comes to pounds. The river also has a large population of migratory rainbows that will travel as far as 20 miles up the river. They average between 24 and 28 inches, with trophies over 30 inches.
Fishing on the Limay is not for the faint of heart—bring your saltwater and bass gear to battle these titans!
We use two different fishing techniques on the Limay:
- Floating minnow patterns for a topwater bite
- Large streamers on a sinking line for the larger trophy fish
The floating minnows create some dramatic strikes and sight fishing action. You will also see trout balling bait, much like a bluefish or striper blitz.
With the large streamers, we provoke some massive fish into serious battle. You will hook some fish that you will never move. You’ll just feel his head shake and then he’ll say goodbye!
If you want a trophy fish on a fly, and do not want to go all the way down to Tierra Del Fiego, the Limay is the trip for you.