Argentina encompasses more than 1 million square miles at the southern end of the South American continent (about 1/3 the size of the US). It extends from the Tropic of Capricorn in the north all the way to windswept tundra in the south, just a few hundred miles from Antarctica. Running along the entire western edge of the country are the rugged Andes Mountains, dividing it from the neighboring nation of Chile.
Such varied geography produces a staggering array of ecosystems (and fisheries), many of which are still relatively intact thanks to an extensive national parks system and low population densities in the most sensitive areas. While its pristine wilderness has long made Argentina a world-famous destination for all variety of tourists, it has created a veritable paradise for visiting anglers. The incredible diversity of waterways and the extraordinary quality of fish that can be pursued in Argentina are truly second to none.
The two most popular regions among fly fishermen are at the northern and southern extremes of the country. In the far south lies Patagonia, a captivating expanse of sparsely-populated wilderness reminiscent of the American West, where wild trout, salmon and steelhead thrive in pristine waterways pouring down from the snow-capped Andes. At its opposite end to the north, Argentina boasts a subtropical climate and the verdant marshlands of the Paraguay/Parana River drainage, which are home to the voracious Golden Dorado and myriad other exotic species.
No matter which angling destination you choose, every visitor to Argentina will first pass through the capitol city of Buenos Aires. A thriving and modern metropolis of over 13 million inhabitants, “B.A.” often seems to have more in common with its modern European counterparts than with the rest of Argentina. Much of this stems from the heavy Spanish and Italian immigration from decades past, which has produced a vibrant and unique urban culture here. And while every major city has its detriments, Buenos Aires is among the safest and most tourist-friendly of any big city in Latin America. Not only is BA a great introduction to the country, but it provides visitors with the opportunity to indulge in some cosmopolitan culture before heading off to the fishing grounds farther a field.
While Argentina is certainly an exotic and remote destination, it is also much closer and more convenient than you might think. Consider, for example, that the distance between Miami and Buenos Aires is less than the distance between Miami and Anchorage. Direct flights to Argentina from the US average around 10 hours, while those to New Zealand are roughly twice that long. Finally, Argentina is only two hours ahead of our Eastern Time Zone, which significantly reduces “jet lag” and leaves more time for fishing. And this is to say nothing of the incredible hospitality of the Argentine people, the incredible wines and steak, or sheer variety of angling and lodging options available to visitors. If you have ever dreamt of fishing Argentina but were discouraged by logistics or any number of unknowns, the fly fishing trip of a lifetime is closer and more feasible than it may seem.
Visit the U.S. Department of State for more info.
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