Everyone knows that the U.S. is blessed with some of the best fly fishing locations in the entire world, with places like Colorado, Montana, and North Carolina all offering exceptional spots for anglers to test their skills. However, there are plenty of other destinations across the globe that offer fantastic opportunities as well, often blending great fishing with breathtaking scenery and cultural immersion too.
These are our picks for the eight best places to go fly fishing in the entire world.
Northern Saskatchewan (Canada)
An abundance of pristine lakes and rivers – there are more than 100,000 across the region – makes Canada's Saskatchewan Province an excellent destination for fly fishing. The place is home to monster northern pike and walleye, with plenty of rainbow and lake trout to reel in too, making a dream location for sport fishermen the world over.
Anglers will find plenty of fishing holes that are accessible by car, but to reach the truly great spots fly-in options are available too. This gives travelers a chance to access some of the province's most remote rivers and lakes by floatplane, taking them far off the beaten path as they go in search of trophy fish. Best of all, this option allows travelers to visit places where few others ever get to see, making it unlikely that they'll run into another human being for their entire stay in the backcountry.
Patagonia (Chile and Argentina)
If there is one international destination that will remind fly fishers of the American West, it is probably Patagonia. Located at the extreme southern tip of South America, and stretching across both Chile and Argentina, this section of wilderness is one of the most strikingly beautiful places on the planet. It also happens to be home to world-class trout fishing, with numerous rivers, streams, and lakes for anglers to explore.
Adventurous travelers can choose to stay in comfortable lodges or backpack into more remote locations and camp instead. Both options provide plenty of opportunities for great fishing, as knowledgeable guides are easy to find, helping to make planning a trip a simple and rewarding affair. All of the fishing is of the catch-and-release variety, ensuring that the Patagonian waterways are always well-stocked for future generations to enjoy too.
Alphonse Island (The Seychelles)
Tropical destinations aren't always the first places that come to mind when it comes to fly fishing, but Alphonse Island in Seychelles is an exotic locale that doesn't disappoint. Located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, this remote and breathtakingly beautiful paradise is home to a private resort where angling takes center stage all year long.
Bonefish are in abundance on Alphonse, as are other large species like milkfish and giant trivially, both of which are known to put up quite a fight. The scenery is much different than most fly fishers are used to, but they'll soon adapt to the warm waters, bright sun, and incredibly relaxed atmosphere.
Loreto, Baja (Mexico)
American anglers looking for a completely new experience need only head south of the border to find excellent opportunities for fly fishing. Mexico has a number of great fresh and saltwater destinations for fishing, but perhaps the best can be found in Loreto on the Baja Peninsula. The region is home to an array of fantastic species of sport fish, including sea bass, yellowfin tuna, and snapper, all of which are large, energetic, and fun to reel in.
The burgeoning fishing scene in Loreto has attracted top guides who know the area well and can help visitors get the most out of their trip. Just dress for warm conditions, bring plenty of sunscreen, and be prepared for some great days out on the water.
Eg-Urr River (Mongolia)
Remote, rugged, and strikingly beautiful, the Eg-Urr River Basin in Mongolia is an amazing destination for fly fishers who enjoy a healthy dose of adventure along with their angling. The country has only opened up to fly fishing over the past decade or so, which means crowds are nonexistent and there are endless miles of pristine river to be explored.
The biggest fish in the water is the massive taimen, the largest species of trout on the planet. These creatures make excellent game fish, offering a spirited fight that will delight even the most experienced fisherman or woman. These fish can weigh more than 60 pounds and stretch in length to nearly 4 feet, putting them on par with large salmon.
Despite fishing being a relatively new form of tourism for the country, there are some excellent guides who have been operating there for a number of years, taking all of the hassle out of getting to the river and reeling in some very big fish.
North Island (New Zealand)
New Zealand's North Island is another utterly spectacular fly fishing destination. The region is known for its large rivers and lakes, many of which are stocked with both rainbow and brown trout, making it a paradise for travelers looking for a classic fly fishing experience in an absolutely breathtaking environment.
Finding a guide isn't a problem on the North Island and there are plenty of great options to help make any fishing trip easier to organize. But, for a complete packaged experience, it's tough to beat the options available at the Poronui Lodge, which offers access to excellent private waterways, great accommodations, and fantastic food and beverages too.
Midfjarda River (Iceland)
Iceland is another destination where great fishing and beautiful landscapes come together quite nicely. But few places offer better angling than the Midfjarda River, where the salmon often run thick. Here, anglers wade out into the water as the fish swim past in a flurry of activity, with the salmon often joined by brown trout and the occasional sea trout too.
Fishing along this catch-and-release river is easy, and its more than 200 pools are accessible to pretty much everyone. But if you're looking for the complete experience, consider a stay at the Midfjarda Lodge, where you'll find comfortable living, excellent cuisine, and knowledgeable guides that will help you reel in trough fish approaching 20 pounds in weight.
Another tropical destination that offers fantastic fly fishing is Iztapa in Guatemala. The place is practically teeming with sailfish, although marlin, tuna, and dorado can sometimes be found there too. But the real draw is definitely the sailfish, which are found in almost startling numbers here.
Anglers will have no trouble finding guides to take them out on the water, but Blue Bayou is one of the best in the business. For more than a decade, they've been helping visitors catch big fish without spending a lot of money to do so. That has earned them a reputation as one of the top options for visiting fly fishers looking to see what Guatemala has to offer.
There are dozens of great fly fishing destinations across the globe, but for our money, these are the very best. Not only will anglers find excellent places to cast their line, they'll get to do so in some of the most beautiful locations anywhere. It is always tough to top that.