Fishing is a pastime you can enjoy practically anywhere there’s water. Whether it’s a town creek, a park pond or a remote mountain stream only accessible by helicopter, sometimes it’s more about the experience than the actual fish.
With that in mind, here are 10 amazing destinations you simply must add to your fishing bucket list. Some of these places feature breathtaking vistas, others boast truly incredible fish, and some have both. All of them are awe-inspiring experiences.
10. The River Finn, Ireland
The Finn is a river that flows through County Donegal in the heart of Northern Ireland, holding some of the best salmon and grilse fishing in the Foyle catchment. Finn Valley is also home to several small country villages surrounded by wild Irish foothills, making for a perfect fishing getaway if remote and basic are your flavors.
9. The Everglades
Know as the River of Grass, the Everglades run south from Lake Okeechobee down to Florida Bay. Here you’ll find some of the most diverse fresh and saltwater fishing in the world. One-third of Everglades National Park is covered by water, creating excellent fishing opportunities for snapper, trout, redfish, bass, snook, tarpon, grouper, black drum and more.
8. Prince of Wales Island
Just a little off the beaten path, America’s third largest island (known as POW by the locals) is surrounded by seas rich with salmon, halibut, cod, rockfish and two types of crab. POW’s freshwater rivers and lakes are some of the best salmon and trout fisheries in existence, making this place a smorgasbord for any angler. When your line isn’t wet, the beauty of the island’s rainforest of towering spruce, pine and cedar trees, accented by rolling hills and rising mountains, will take your breath away.
7. Venice, Louisiana
The Delta National Wildlife refuge, one of the most unique places on earth, is home to an astounding variety of fish species, making it a Mecca of sorts for saltwater fishermen. Whether chasing massive yellowfin out near the oil rigs or hunting for monstrous reds in the endless maze of flats, there’s something for everyone around Louisiana’s southernmost point.
6. Pyrenees, Spain
Even without a fly rod, the mountains that separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe hold enough adventures for 10 lifetimes. The remote glacial lakes, mountain streams, flora, fauna, local cuisine and Romanesque art are more than enough to fill your stay, to say nothing of some of the finest trout fishing in the world. This is as wild and unspoiled as it gets.
If there’s one place every fly fisherman has on his or her bucket list of experiences, it’s Patagonia. Vast and varied in both terrain and fish, the southern frontier of South America is barren and beautiful. Sitting in silence just to experience the jagged peaks, pristine rivers and dusty backwater oases is an adventure by itself.
4. Costa Rica
The waters surrounding Central America hold some of the biggest and meanest billfish in the world, and Costa Rica is by far the best place to stage a bucket list adventure. When you’re not off shore fishing the deep blue waters of the Pacific, the jungles and rivers of Costa Rica provide opportunities for everything from whitewater rafting and swimming to rock climbing and zip-lining.
3. Isla Holbox, Mexico
Just off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula sits Isla Holbox. This quiet, laid back island stands in stark contrast to the touristy city of Cancun just a few dozen miles to the south; remote and largely undiscovered, Holbox is for serious anglers seeking a hook up with monster tarpon, jacks, barracuda, permit and more.
2. The Amazon
Cutting through the heart of South America, the Amazon River stretches across three countries (4,000 miles), and discharges 7,381,000 cubic feet of water per second, creating the largest river basin in the world. Home to dozens of exotic game fish like peacock bass, arapaima, golden dorado and redtail catfish, this otherworldly river offers virtually unlimited, and unmatched, freshwater angling experiences.
1. The Seychelle Islands
Your new obsession lies a thousand miles off the eastern coast of Africa, in the coral and granite islands of the Seychelles. This pristine hideaway of white sand in the Indian Ocean abounds in tropical fish and topical luxury, bimini tops and bikini bottoms. All those angling pioneers who are fortunate enough to visit her shores call it a paradise. Nowhere else in the world offers the diversity of species that can be found and targeted on the fly; from tailing triggerfish to giant trevally, the Seychelles offer more angling adventure than one could experience in 10 lifetimes.