Tierra del Fuego is located at the end of the world on the southern tip South America’s wildest region of Patagonia. It is a dream for any adventurer and is the perfect place for a unique fishing experience that can be found no where else in the world.
History of Tierra del Fuego
The legends say that this archipelago got its name thanks to Hernando de Magallanes, a famous explorer who first crossed through waters of the strait. During his crossing, he observed a large number of fires made by the natives on the shore. As a result of this imagery of infernal flames dotting the coastline, he named the region the “Land of Fire.”
Through the years the strait has been a refuge for adventurers, pirates and different local inhabitants. The ancient cultures of the region, the Selk’nam and Onas, were originally nomadic hunter gatherers. These culture adapted a unique lifestyle in a region known as one of the most hostile and wild places on Earth. Today many of the locals come from a mestizos ancestry.
Nowadays it is an important and regularly used trade route for ship crossing from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite its importance for trade, the strait has remained widely unexplored and there are very little inhabitants. The land stretches over endless miles of postcard scenery and unspoiled forest with very little human impact.
Fishing in Tierra del Fuego
Known worldwide as being difficult to access and an expensive location for fishing, Tierra del Fuego has maintained very high fishing populations with a variety of unique species.
Fly fishing in Tierra de Fuego is one of the most popular activities in the area due to the huge population and large weight of the different species that can be caught here. The abundance of trout like Brown Trout, Rainbow, Sea Run, Brook y Steelhead make this area one of the top places to fish in Latin America and the world. You can divide the trout into 2 sub subspecies, the trout that live in the rivers and the sea trout.
One of the more attractive places to fish in Tierra del Fuego is “El Rio Grande,” considered one of the best rivers in the world for Sea Run or sea trout fishing. This trout is the big attraction for avid anglers, because it has an average weight of 5kg to 14kg. This fighting fish spends most part of its life in the sea with a rich diet that helps it to grow much larger than your average river trout.
The big lakes inside Tierra Fuego, like Lago Blanco, Lago Chico, Laguna del Carabinero and Laguna del avión are great for catching fario and rainbow trout that can weigh between 2 and 10 kg. Lake fishing provides an awesome chance to enjoy the surrounding nature and its animal inhabitants like the guanaco, lamb, condor, fox and beaver.
If you continue farther South of Tierra del fuego you can find Lago Deseado and Lago Despresado where you can enjoy both fly fishing and spinning opportunities. The high towering mountains that surround these lakes help cut down on the wind offering still water to practice your fly fishing techniques.
On the south corner of the island and near to the road to Tierra del Fuego, you will find the Lago Fagnano. Here you can find an abundance of trout and salmon in the 11 km Azopardo River.
Trout and Salmon Seasons and Dates
The dates for trout and salmon season is regulated and defined annually. They usually fall between from October 15th till April 15th.
Good times for fishing certain species can vary throughout the year. You can find resident trout during all the months of the season, but sea trout or Sea Run and salmon only start appearing around February, when they come to the rivers to spawn and finish their cycle. The warmer weather of the summer months like February means warmer water temperature and more species moving into the rivers for spawning.
Which Equipment to Use
When fishing in this area of Chile it is important to have the proper equipment. The fish of these rivers tend to grow larger in size than other parts of the world, so you will need to have strong equipment to support the fight and learn how to raise the fly or spinner of a larger sized fish.
For Fly fishing we recommended a number 7 or even the 9 size line,to help you with the strong winds and flies for bigger fish.
The ideal set-up for these waters is a disc drag reel with sink line and floating lines. Without a doubt you can have a successful fishing experience using this equipment.
The fly you will use is dependent on the type of trout, river, depth, etc, but nymphs like the Montana Rubber Legs or streamers like the Monona, that was specifically created for Río Grande, are perfect alternative for fighting fish.