Latin America holds isolated and extensive regions of tropical and cold water as well as untouched rivers and lakes. While much of Asia and the northern hemisphere suffer from overfishing, Latin America remains relatively unscathed. Most of Patagonia remains pristine and isolated and fishermen who journey to the area are rewarded with hands down the world’s best fly fishing. The jungles and rivers of Central America and the Amazon are home to excellent lodges surrounded by rich birdlife and wildlife, with record breaking angling opportunities.
Latin America has some of the best and most varied fishing on the planet and generally prices are often more reasonable than anywhere else in the world. Wade for trophy-sized bonefish in Belize's Turneffe Atoll, try your luck with peacock bass in the Amazon or with feisty golden dorado's in Argentina's Iberá wetlands, reel in several marlin and tuna species inshore at Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula or head off to sample some of the world’s finest trout fishing in Patagonia. The fishing options are limitless in South America.
For those not wishing to spend all of their time on the water or with companions not interested in fishing, Argentina's Lake District is an excellent option with its wide variety of activities in addition to its world-class fly fishing. We are always happy to offer unbiased advice on where and when to go for the best "catch and release" options depending on your group or family's level of interest.
We have listed some of our favourite "catch and release" fishing destinations for the keen angler, particularly areas with dedicated fishing lodges. Day or half day fishing excursions can also be arranged for those with an interest, please let your A2A Journeys Specialist know.Argentina
Argentina offers the most fishing opportunities in Latin America and was the original fly fishing destination in the region after trout and salmon introduced to Argentine waters by the first European settlers, thrived in Patagonian rivers. From the sea trout of the far south to the dorado of the northern Iberá wetlands, fishing opportunities of Argentina are varied and plentiful. All rivers in Argentina are public, access allowing. Ownership of the surrounding land provides exclusive access and the top lodges throughout the country are positioned accordingly to offer the best fishing opportunities. Tierra del Fuego
For sea trout, Tierra del Fuego stands out as remarkable due to the size and power of its record-breaking fish. In the southernmost extreme of the Americas, the Río Grande, the largest watershed on Tierra del Fuego’s Isla Grande, you’ll find the greatest population of sea-run browns anywhere—an annual return of tens of thousands of wild trout. The season runs from November through to April. Most lodges open in December for the summer season and through to mid-March fly fishers are catching sea-run brown trout that average in the teens but break the twenty-pound mark regularly.
There is a selection of sophisticated, dedicated fishing lodges dotted along the banks of Rio Grande. Most offer seven-night programmes, catch and release fishing. The guides are some of the best in the world, a mix of international and local, combining local knowledge with world class technique. Off the waters, luxury properties offer fine dining and immaculately appointed rooms to provide a cosy sanctuary for hardworking anglers.The Lake District
The best trout and salmon fishing in Argentina is based around the extensive Lake District, from Esquel and the Rio Pico in the south through Bariloche, to San Martín and Junín de los Andes in the north. These fish were introduced by European settlers around the turn of the last century and have thrived. In the rivers of the region which flow out through Chile to the Pacific, brown, rainbow, brook and lake trout abound, as does the Pacific salmon. The season runs from mid-November to mid-April on most rivers and lakes, almost all catch-and-release. Waders (preferably chest-high, boots with felt soles) are essential for fishing in this region. Lodging can again be in the form of a high-end dedicated fishing lodge, but there is a broader spectrum to choose from including simpler family-run lodges and working cattle ranches offering fishing amongst other outdoor activities. This scenic area is the perfect base for those who wish to dabble in fishing or are travelling with non-fishing companions.
The expansive wetlands of Iberá in northern Argentina are shaped by rivers, lagoons and lakes, allowing ample opportunity for freshwater fishing. Here the aggressive freshwater dorado attract fishermen from across the globe, keen to experience first-hand their ferocious power and incredible speed. The ‘river tiger’ as the golden dorado is affectionately known is strikingly beautiful, their golden bodies glide through the water with acrobatic grace. Dorado typically range in size from 5 to 10 pounds. In some fisheries, much larger fish are common. Fishing in this area is possible all year, but the best time is from September to the end of April. The area offers a few supremely comfortable lodges, whose main focus is on fishing, other properties in the region can arrange fishing amongst other activities.
Intrinsically linked to Argentina through a series of rivers and lakes, from the Rio Grande up to the Lake District, neighbouring Chile, though less known for fishing still offers some good fishing opportunities, particularly on the mighty Futaleufú River.
Across the border from Esquel in Argentina, deep in the Coyhue Forest flow the wild emerald waters of the Futaleufú River. South of the the Chilean Lake District amid some of the most unspoilt mountain scenery on the planet, Futaleufú is a standalone fishery. Fed by an abundance of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies, the giant river grows a healthy resident stock of rainbow and brown trout. On a riverbank overlooking the Futaleufú sits our favourite Chilean fishing lodge. Unique in its spectacular diversity of fishing from float trips on the Futaleufú River to intimate tributaries and hidden lakes where trout may have never seen a fly, this is a trout fisherman’s paradise! The season runs from December to March.
The Amazon Basin is the largest freshwater river system and the largest rainforest ecosystem anywhere on the planet. This spectacle of nature also has some of the best peacock bass fishing in the world. The only fly fishing lodge in the Amazon sits on the Agua Boa River in Brazil, on a tract of protected, uncut rainforest. The water runs so clear that most strikes are visible, making it an ideal spot to tackle the magnificent looking Peacock Bass on a fly rod. The Spotted and Temensis Peacock bass are the largest of the Peacocks and can attain weights of up to 25 pounds. These aggressive gamefish move in schools of up to forty fish and feed together working bait like bluefish. Fishing is consistently excellent from November through to March each year.
Belize arguably lies at the top of Central America’s fishery competition. With over 200 miles of coastline flats, the country has long been renowned for its bonefishing prospects. It also boasts some of best permit fishing available anywhere, along with good chances of catching large tarpon throughout the entire year. Our favourite spot for fishing in Belize is Turneffe Atoll, the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean. Best known for bonefishing, fly fishing for permit from Turneffe can be just as spectacular with access to over 250 square miles of permit flats. Fishermen can choose between wading and casting to tailing fish from skiffs.
Accommodation is not luxurious but comfortable and air-conditioned. There is a wide range of activities available ranging from diving to jungle tours to visit the ancient Mayan ruins. For those specifically wishing to target the migratory tarpon the season runs from April-September with the best fishing over June, July and August. Permit and bonefish are available all year round, but April through to August are the best months with more settled weather conditions.
Catch and Release Fishing Only
We are a conservation oriented company and catch and release fishing is a practice we believe all anglers can get behind, and the only fishing trips and activities we arrange. We only support lodges and outfits that release fish properly, have the right equipment - such as dehooking devices for removing hooks safely, non-knotted rubber nets or fish slings to bring the fish in without damaging its skin, and appropriate tackle as fighting fish on light tackle can leave them too exhausted to fend off predators after released back into the water. In addition to catching many species on your fishing bucket list during your trip, you may learn new ways to handle and release fish safely. Catch and release fishing is an essential part of preserving our planet's pristine fishing spots and releasing fish will let future generations enjoy them as well.