Having chronicled the sport of fly-fishing for 30-odd years, I have fished some of the greatest waters on the planet with some of the world’s best anglers. Still, part of this pastime’s enduring spell is that even for a diehard like me there are always new waters to stir the imagination. Right now two streams top my personal must-fish list.
The Río Grande in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego is famed for its sea-run brown trout, but the more remote Irigoyen receives far less fishing pressure than the big river. And its cliffs and trees provide some welcome protection from the Río Grande’s polar gales, which challenge even the best casters. The sole operation here is run by Far End Rivers ($4,500 a week; book through Fly Water Travel’s Brian Gies at firstname.lastname@example.org). At most, six anglers stay in a simple but comfortable cabin, and meals are served in a separate building that functions as a lounge and dining room. The fishing season runs from November to mid-April.
On the other side of the world, a few hours north of Reykjavík, lies Iceland’s Midfjardará River. This is by no means the biggest salmon stream anglers will ever see, and the fish are not the largest, but they thrillingly take the fly in plain view. And while Icelandic salmon fishing might be some of the priciest out there, those who have done it say it’s worth the cost. Based in Kópavogur, Iceland, the Angling Club Lax-á runs weeklong Midfjardará trips in prime season, from mid-July to August ($9,375–$14,000; book through email@example.com). Lax-á houses up to 20 guests—who often share the ten available fishing spots during their stay—at Laxahvammur, a lodge on the river.
Peter Kaminsky writes the “Outdoors” column in The New York Times.