The Rio Grande is by no means the be all and end all of fishing on Tierra del Fuego. The island is littered with rivers around its circumference. The best rivers are on the North East coast and all play host, in varying degrees, to sea trout. Added to that are the resident browns, Brook Trout, Atlantic and Chinook Salmon, Rainbow and Lake Trout. And this is just the rivers – don´t discount the lakes and even the beaver ponds that litter the island.
After the Rio Grande, the most famous river is the Irigoyen – and possible the hardest river on the island to access. I tried and failed. We´ll leave it there.
I fished the Rio Menedez, Rio Ona (both tributaries of the Rio Grande), Rio Chico, Rio Ewan Norte, Rio Fuego, Rio Ewan Sur, Rio San Pablo and the Rio Lainez on the North East side of the island. I caught fish I all of them bar the Menendez.
I also fished the Rio Lapataia in Tierra del Fuego National Park and had a stunning day with five (well four) species of fish. A sea-run and resident Brown, a (small) Atlantic Salmon, several Brook Trout and two indigenous Sea Bass.
The nature of the rivers vary from almost pond-like pools hundreds of meters long with slow flow to typical structured rivers with runs, riffle and pools. The sea-trout tend to run at night and hold in the deeper pools and runs during the day. I was surprised with amount of small fish in many of them and can only imagine what the little buggers go through in their fish season at sea.
I caught some beautiful fish. Several running 5lbs plus. As with the Rio Grande, just on a smaller scale, the typical way of fishing is traditional sea-trout swinging of the fly. Although when it warmed up I managed to take a fair fish on dries.
Tierra del Fuego is a special place that requires determination and research. I loved this trip but have accepted it as hands on research for a future trip.