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Fly fishing in San Martin de los Andes is the perfect trip for any fishing enthusiast! Famous fisherman Joe Brooks once even described his fishing experience at the Chimehuin River near San Martin as “the best fishing day of my life”. You can choose from six different amazing fishing rivers, between floating or wading fishing and from various techniques. Are you excited to improve your skills and become the best fisherman? In this blog we explain the different options and how to plan the perfect fishing adventure for you. We’ll show you the best fishing points in the area. To plan the fishing trip perfectly, record your fishing catches and share your best catches with a community of passionate fishermen, WeFish the app can help you.
What is fly fishing?
Are you a fishing enthusiast? Then you’ve probably heard of fly fishing! Fly fishing is a method of fishing. It’s special from other fishing techniques mainly because the bait (referred to as “fly”) is fake and too light to throw into the water, so the weight of the line itself is used.
This requires a special throwing technique, and a special fishing rod including a certain type of weighted line. It’s popular worldwide and can be done in salt and freshwater. The first mention of fly fishing was in 200 AD; 1,820 years ago. It was introduced in a book by Roman author Claudius Aelian. In it he described how fishermen used a fake fly meant to look like the Hippouros fly to fish in northern Greece (then Macedonia).
This fishing technique has stayed popular since then, and is more evolved than ever. As famous fisherman Theodore Gordon once said:
“the great charm of fly fishing is that we are always learning.”
We offer fly fishing tours in San Martin de los Andes, where you can choose from wading or floating fishing. Wading will let you walk through the rivers in search of the ideal moments and structures to fish. Done by sight, this fishing experience will give you a great adrenaline rush! Floating fishing allows you to travel the river on an inflatable raft, covering more distance to find the perfect fishing spot. In some river areas you can even get off and wade.
You can additionally choose the technique most suited to you, from five different fly fishing techniques. These are dry fly fishing, fishing with streamers, nymphs in suspension, tandem dry fish and nymphs in tension. It’s a once in a lifetime fishing experience!
Get to know the local culture and relax after an adventurous day of fishing. It’s up to you what to do now. You could go to the thermal hot springs (also Termas de Epulafquen) “Lahuen Co” in Lanín National Park. There’s various hot springs that are all natural and surrounded by the most beautiful rainforest and lakes. The best part? You can relax in them for free!
Best Fly Fishing Points
Thanks to its many stunning lakes and rivers Argentina is a popular location for fishing fans who want to travel and fish in new areas of the world. It’s picturesque landscapes and welcoming culture offer a great balance of quality fishing and authentic new experiences. One area especially popular for fly fishing is San Martin de los Andes in northwestern Patagonia. Paradise for fishing fans, this area has six rivers with great fishing points all well suited to fly fishing.
Popular amongst dry fly fishing fans, the Malleo River is mid-sized and freestone that allows for consistent wading. Both the Lower Limay, Alumine and Quilquihue Rivers are well populated with rainbow and brown trout. Are you a beginner? Quilquihue River 12 kilometers next to San Martin is perfect for you! Offering a rich and versatile river system, the Limay River is popular amongst local fishers from the area.
Are your fishing skills more advanced? The Alume river gets its water from other major rivers in the San Martin de los Andes area. This creates different fishing systems and environments that allow for the use of many different fishing techniques. Additionally, you can travel it by floating or wading. It also has scenic waterfalls, so make sure to bring your camera. Famous author and fly fisher Joe Brooks is especially fond of the Chimehuin river, at which he once had the “best fishing day” of his life. Melting snow from the Andes helps it earn its reputation for having very clear water facilitating the perfect sight and float fishing and prospecting with dry flies, streamers and nymphs.
Enjoy posing for photos with your biggest catch of the day? Then look no further than the Collón Curá River. Besides the beautiful nature with the high sandstone cliffs and willow trees, this river’s trouts are celebrated for their largeness. They can range from 35 to 50 cm, but bigger ones have been caught.
When you work up a hunger from fishing, Argentinian empanadas are great food to eat on a picnic in nature. We also recommend child friendly restaurant Corazon Contento if you want to try authentic Argentinian food (it has vegetarian and vegan options).
Activities on San Martin de los Andes
Outdoor activities other than fishing such as trekking, skiing and horse riding are also enjoyable in the San Martin de los Andes area. You can also walk around and discover San Martin town. The wading modality fishing tour as well as the other activities are all child friendly and this is a great family trip. For the floating modality tour children need to be minimum 13 years old. We recommend zip lining and fun activities at the AeroAventure park near town with your kids after fishing. Check out our best of Patagonia photo blog if you’re curious to see photos of these activities in Patagonia. It also has some breathtaking photos of the local landscapes and animals.
The area also offers an introduction to authentic Argentinian culture with its many estancias, ranch style accommodation and delicious local cuisine including asados (oppen BBQs). You can also explore the area by horseback riding with a gaucho guide. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! You’ll always feel a part of this culture.
In summer the weather can be dry and warm, and in winter cold and wet. Temperatures vary throughout the day so we advise you to bring warm clothing and wear layers. You should also pack a waterproof jacket, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm to prepare for the weather. Tip: try to avoid wearing bright colours as fish can be sensitive to them in some seasons. Instead, wear neutrals to blend in with the nature around you.
WeFish: the app for real fishermen
To help you prepare for your fishing trip and guide you on your trip, we recommend the fishing app WeFish. Before your trip has even begun, you can plan your trip, learn the weather conditions of your destination and get the right equipment from the marketplace on WeFish.
The detailed diary and record of your catches will help you work on the right skills. It also lets you remember your favorite fishing points (keeping them private and not visible to other users) and celebrate your improvements by sharing your catches with your friends.
Excited to share a snap of your best catch? On the fishing app Wefish you can share pictures of your catches with a big network of fishermen and see theirs too! With this feature you can discover new species, find other great locations to fish around the world and get helpful tips from others (of course, the location of your pictures is completely private).
Whether you’re a beginner at fly fishing or an expert – San Martin de los Andes has the perfect fishing points for everyone. You can even customize our fishing tour to fit your fishing needs perfectly. There’s also plenty of other fun activities, delicious local cuisine and beautiful landscapes to explore in the area. It’s definitely an unforgettable trip! If you enjoyed this blog and are thinking about travelling to patagonia in the future, check out this patagonia photo gallery showing you our favorite pictures of the local nature and activities. Show off your catches on WeFish or post them on instagram and tag @howlanders.