Cuyo if famous for the quality of its excellent vineyards and the significant and abundant hydro-electrical dams. For such reason, sport fishing had to become adapted to its condition of "secondary" resource. Through important engineering works, man has been in charge of channeling important rivers or setting their course into conduits in order to distribute water in an extremely arid region, and thus obtain the electrical energy demanded by the area from such courses. Perhaps that is the reason why the General Irrigation Department is so important for the inhabitants of Mendoza and at the same time so ignored and unknown by the rest of the Argentinians.
Countless courses of water that used to run freely are today "dammed up" by dikes and artificial lakes. But, in spite of this disappointing, though realistic, panorama, the Cuyo region offers attractive possibilities for the angler, among which great sport value species, such as the pejerrey and the trout outstand.
The pejerrey is the great protagonist. In the dykes, lakes and dams of the area, whether natural or artificial, they reach more than interesting sizes and they become the aim of the thousands of amateurs that go after them every weekend from the Fall until Spring.
As regards salmon fishing, most of the rivers and streams of the pre-mountain range, both in San Juan and Mendoza, turn out to be ideal for trout fly-fishing or spinning, as the species finds a favorable strong current in the clear, cold, well-oxygenated waters.
Malargüe, located on the South of the Province of Mendoza and close to the Las Leñas winter resort, is the ideal site to catch great size rainbow and brown trout, due to its proximity to the local rivers and streams. Among them, the Grande, Malargüe and Salado Rivers stand out.
San Rafael, located a little bit more northwards in the same province, is another city from where you can reach the Atuel River, which waters run down the mountain range being trapped first by the El Nihuil dam and then by the Valle Grande dam.
Another river to take into account due to its closeness is the Diamante, which originates the Los Reyunos dam, and treasures the largest rainbow trout in the area in its waters, next to the Atuel River.
Dams such as El Carrizal, Los Reyunos, El Nihuil, Valle Grande and Cuesta del Viento, located in the Provinces of Mendoza and San Juan guarantee, both from the shore as from on board a boat, the best pejerrey specimens. And in that place, it is also possible to catch some of the greatest trout that were artificially planted a long time ago and that have become successfully adapted to these new environments.