Fly fishing isn’t so much a sport as a life experience. One that is growing in popularity al lover the world. The ultimate pursuit of the gentleman, time spent alone with your thoughts and a rod is increasingly becoming the antidote to the stresses of modern living. Swide gives you the 5 best places in the world to cast your fly.
If you thought the sport of fly fishing was something reserved for rednecks or politicians, think again. The whole tourism sector for fly fishing is one that is showing a sharp increase recently. Not that the sport has ever been unpopular, in fact it supports whole tourism industries in some European countries.
Fishing is the purest of pleasures, the chance to catch and bring home your food. A short-cut to reconnecting with your ancestors and a way of life that existed for many thousands of years before modernity turned things on their head. Swide chooses for you 5 of the top fishing spots in the world.
“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” - Herbert Hoover (31st US President)
Chile and Argentina – Patagonia
It is only 80 years since the first European settlers began to settle in the valley of the Futaleufu river an area that, when translated from the indigenous language of the Mapuche Indians means ‘great great waters’. Trout species - brown, rainbow, lake, brook, as well as Pacific salmon were only introduced to South America a hundred years ago or so and they quickly devoured the native species. The ‘gin-clear’ glacial waters of Pataegonia in Chile and Argentina will offer up some of the best game fish on the planet as well as give the most stunning views. Lake fishing will give you the chance to hunt more exotic species such as corbina, brótola, shark, atherine, and pescadilla
There is no shortage of luxury Hacienda’s to accommodate you so when you get back from the lake or river you can unwind in old world-style comfort in the wilds of the frontier. Patagonia fishing season begins in November and ends in April every year.
Stay at Los Sauces Casas Patagónicas
Ireland – Donegal
Somewhat cut off from the rest of the country County Donegal remains probably the most unspoilt place in Western Europe. It provides some of the best fishing too, especially if it’s salmon or sea trout you’re after. The waters are clean and the heavy rainfall makes for perfect angling conditions. What you’ll enjoy just as much as the sport is the easy-going and welcoming nature of the locals and the ‘craic’ or good times to be had by a turf fire in the local pub later that evening. Trout fishing can start as early as January while the Salmon can be caught from early Spring through to Autumn.
Stay at the Lough Eske Hotel, Donegal town
Canada – Nova Scotia
If you’ve ever wanted to feel how the pioneers who ploughed a furrow for civilisation really felt then trout fishing on The Tusket River in Nova Scotia is for you. Stay in a modern log hunting lodge and contemplate the nature of existence under the brilliant night sky and wrapped in the warmth of a camp fire. Make sure you hire a guide as you do not want t get lost in this area. The deep deep forest abounds with black bear and moose. Summer is the season here when nature sings in its absolute glory until the end of October when the foreboding shadow of winter begins to creep in.
Stay at Trout Point Hunting Lodge
New Zealand – Queenstown
This is akin to venturing into the heart of Middle Earth to fish for wild brown trout. The famed landscape of this part of the world and the Lochy river, in the rain shadow of the Eyre Mountain, is isolated enough to only be accessible by boat or helicopter. That means the fishing stocks are in rude health and the rainbow and wild brown trout grow to impressive weights. The best thing about this region though, is that it is one of the world’s capitals for extreme sports, so even if you catch nothing, you can let off steam bungee jumping or paragliding.
Stay at the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
South Africa – KwaZulu-Natal
Famed for its big game hunting, South Africa has recently been making a name for itself in the sport of fly fishing (for those with smaller fish to fry, ahem). The main regions of note are KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Mpumulanga province, and the Eastern Cape. The best places to fish are only reachable by 4x4, but that means the brown and rainbow trout can grow to whopping great sizes. Bass is also found widely in the country and make for great sport. You can also turn your hand to some of the more extreme fishing hunting carnivorous species such as the Tiger fish which you won’t land with a regular trout fly, they have been known to take bather’s limbs, try harpoon fishing instead.
by Hugo Mc Cafferty