Fishing and Marine Life in Argentine Patagonia
Concierge.com's insider take:
Introduced from Europe nearly a century ago, trout and salmon thrive in Patagonia's unpolluted water courses. Many grow to record weights: Rainbow trout are routinely landed at 22 pounds, and brown trout can reach an astonishing 33 pounds. Both species are notoriously difficult to catch. Serious anglers with enough cash have snapped up tracts of Patagonian land in order to guarantee permanent access to some of the world's most stimulating fishing spots. At a price, visitors can troll, fly-fish, and spin in the transparent lakes and rivers fed by meltwater from the snow-capped peaks of the Patagonian Andes. Landowners sell a small number of permits each year via local outfitters. Fees can be steep: Expect to pay $600–$1,000 per day at a leading fishing lodge, including permits, guides, boats, equipment, local transport, food, and unlimited alcohol. Among the best are Estancia Tipiliuke (54-2972-429466; www.tipiliuke.com), Estancia Arroyo Verde (54-11-4801-7448; www.estanciaarroyoverde.com.ar), and Estancia Río Quillén (www.quillen.com.ar), all in Argentina's Lake District. Alternatively, Bariloche-based Travel Ideas arranges inexpensive fishing trips with clients staying in Bariloche hotels (54-2944-424659; www.travelideas.com.ar). Argentina's Atlantic waters are also bursting with wildlife, including bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, Magellanic penguins, and sea lions. Unlike Chile, Argentina has no scheduled sea voyages, although Antarctica-bound cruise ships regularly dock at Ushuaia. Shorter expeditions by yacht or sea kayak offer the only practicable way to explore Argentina's coast.