The windswept steppe of the Rio Grande River drainage of Tierra del Fuego is on my bucket list. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to both Argentina and Chile, but I haven’t made it this far south… yet. This southern-most region of South America is truly a fly fisher’s nirvana. With massive sea-run brown trout returning to the fresh water in March, April and May every year, these rivers have more than earned their reputations as fly fishing “must-fish” destinations.
In the video above, the Kau Tapen Lodge does a pretty impressive job of capturing the experience and further cementing my desire to one day swing a fly in these waters. It’s hard to believe that the browns that swim there today are not native to the waters of South America. They’re European natives that came to the Argentinian tip of the continent by way of Chile in the 1930s. Planted in the upstream tributaries of the Rio Grande, these far-swimming browns found their way to the southern Atlantic, where they venture after after three or four seasons spent in fresh water.
After six month or so at sea, they return to the fresh water to spawn. Some of these fish have been known to return four or five times, and weigh upwards of 20 pounds. You can see why they’re my list.
Enjoy the video, dreamers. Maybe one day, we’ll get there…
— Chris Hunt