Fly Fishing on the Falkland Islands
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Falkland Islands Fly.Fishing

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Where to begin this topic….?
I spend a large part of my life on the Faroe Islands.
Instead of 62°N the Falkland Islands are on 52°S, but other than that the likeness between them is uncanny: A small archipelago surrounded by water, unspoiled nature and an abundance of fishing spots on a rather limited stretch of kilometres.

On the Faroe Islands, I learned to adapt to harsh weather conditions and see these conditions as an advantage for the fly fisher. When the wind is really stormy and raining but the fishing is excellent, I often think of the phrase "no country for old men“.
In relation to the Falkland Islands, I would rather say: "a country for real men" - or women in my case.

In order for you to get started on planning your holiday on the Falkland Islands and to enjoy this extraordinary undiscovered angler’s gem at the gates of Antarctica like we did, here is some important advice and information.

Best Travel Time

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The location of the Falkland Islands in the southern hemisphere and the associated reversal of seasons compared to Europe or North America implies the great advantage that we don't have to become sentimental and pack our rods away in autumn to wait for the coming season. No, we can continue fly fishing! Only a bit further away…

The season starts when ours ends and ends when ours starts again.
You can fish for sea trout from September 1st to April 30th, although here too we find a natural cycle in the behaviour and occurrence of the fish.

After the winter (September to November) the sea trout are due to the spawning process not in such a good condition as towards the end of summer.

During the summer months (December to January) the fish might migrate into the sea to fill up with squid, krill and small fish.

In fall (February to April) all bets are off. Sea trout in best shape, fat, round and well-fed migrate into the bays in front of the fresh water inlets and into the rivers towards their spawning areas and wait for reproduction.

Generally, fish are caught all season.
The serious monsters, however, are expected towards the end of the season (in April).

Fishing Rules

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Every shore area and every piece of land on the Falkland Islands belongs to a land owner. It is highly recommended that every angler has to ask for a permit from the respective landowner before throwing the line.

Unfortunately, it is not so easy for a tourist to get an overview of the owners. But there are many ways to obtain this information:

Via the Falkland Islands Tourist Board or its Visitor Centre in Stanley.
From the hosts of the current accommodation in which you stay. They will surely help you and everyone knows everyone in the Falkland Islands anyhow.
Officially through the FIG Environmental Planning Department.
Or choose the most relaxed of all possibilities: leave it to your guide (see below).

You do not need a license to fish in the Falkland Islands, merely the land owner's fishing permit.
The prices for a day fishing on their banks vary slightly.
 
Disinfection is not required by law.
However, when you arrive at the airport you will receive a detailed briefing about biosecurity and ideally you should be able to provide proof of your bacteria-free and virus-free clothing and equipment. Act responsibly, because the entire Falkland Islands as a natural biotope are extremely susceptible to all external interference.

There is a bag limit of 6 trout per angler per day.
Catch & release and fishing with barbless hooks are welcome.
(Small variation from this apply to the Murrell - it's best to ask on location).

Brochure from the Tourist Board about sport fishing on the Falkland Islands

Useful Information

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Nowadays, people do not have time for anything anymore. When they leave for their fishing vacation, they change from business suit into fishing outfit in an instant. There is little time left for a thorough preparation and planning of the trip. With that in mind, the easiest way is the easiest route.

But if you choose to travel to the Falkland Islands and probably like to fish autonomously
you will have to grasp the nettle and allow for some good preparation time.
Fishing on the Falkland Islands is still a little expedition - but isn’t that just what makes it so tempting?
Just like before embarking on a real expedition there are a few points to consider apart from anything that has to do with fishing:

Firstly, there is no comprehensive cell phone coverage. And – now don’t panic! – no internet access in the country.

Secondly, there are no detailed maps that you could use during your journeys. Unless you want to stock up on a stack of large-scale maps from the Stanley Museum Shop.

Bottom line: You need good preparation in advance.

As for the mapping problem: Get a good GPS app or a GPS device, which of course can be used offline. Check Google Earth for the places you want to fish and write down the coordinates.

When it comes to actually setting off for fishing, some more advice:

1. Find out in advance about the tide levels at your targeted fishing spots. The water level, particularly in the estuaries and bays, is essential for good catches.

2. Always have enough supplies at the ready in the car. In the event of a car breakdown, depending on where you are, it can often take hours until you encounter another vehicle or need to go for help on foot.

Fishing Guides

There are many reasons to go fishing with the support of a local fishing guide. Such as:

He knows the land owners of the respective waters and will arrange a fishing license for you.
He will get you safely to the best fishing spots cross-country with his off road vehicle – something you are not allowed to do with a rental car. Or should not do, because:
He certainly won't get lost (like you perhaps) in the wilderness, where everything looks the same.
He doesn't get stuck in the bog either.
And the best thing is: He knows exciting stories about the Falkland Islands and you could listen to him for hours.

Convinced?
Here are our recommendations, all put through the acid test:
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Where: East Falkland
Name: Adrian Lowe
Contact: allowe (at) horizon.co.fk
Tours: Fishing Guide for all East Falkland waters, Tours, Pinguin Watching, Airport Transfers
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Where: West Falkland
Name: Peter Nightingale
Contact: enquirys (at) kelpertours.com
Tours: Fishing Guide for all West Falkland waters, Pinguin Watching, Walking Tours
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Where: East Falkland
Name: Ken "Carrot" Morrison
Contact: jkmorrison (at) horizon.co.fk
Tours: all kind of tours and best guide to see „Volunteer Point“

With the kind support of:

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