Almost every fly angler on earth has dreamed of fishing Patagonia. That said, Patagonia is a very large region in Argentina and Chile. Patagonia as we are told means “land of the people with big feet”. Legend has it when Spanish explorers landed on the shoreline the spotted very large human footprints and were afraid of what they may find. As time rolled by they learned that the local people bound their feet to protect them from the sharp volcanic rocks of the region.
Trout in this region are not native. Sometime around 1903 the first trout were brought to the Bariloche area. Brook, Brown, Rainbow Trout and some Salmon species were introduced. In 1933 the Argentine government started a hatchery near the village of Bariloche. The fish flourished.
Most fly fishing started on the large estancias where guests were invited to fish the private waters of those ranches. As time rolled by and fishing became a tourist industry the government opened waters to the public allowing rafts to float any water in Argentina. The guide and outfitting business flourished after this move.
Our first adventure to Argentina’s Patagonia region started in 1996. We booked an outfitter out of Bariloche, Argentina. Bariloche is a mountain village about a two hour jet ride south of the capital city of Buenos Aries in the Rio Negro Region. We were surprised to see and learn that Bariloche was a hiding place of German Nazis during and after WWII. Bavarian architecture is everywhere. Chocolates and beer are everywhere!
We l quickly learned the hospitality of the Argentine people. It is quite simply awesome. You will want for nothing.
We also learned quickly that Argentina is a vast country with little access to most of it, especially rivers and lakes. Access is the key word here. As of this writing most Argentines are limited to driving to access along rivers and lakes, as boat ownership is very limited and expensive.