Argonaute (Ago) proteins are typically recruited to target messenger RNAs via an associated small RNA such as a microRNA (miRNA). Here, we describe a new mechanism of Ago recruitment through the Drosophila Smaug RNA-binding protein. We show that Smaug interacts with the Ago1 protein, and that Ago1 interacts with and is required for the translational repression of the Smaug target, nanos mRNA. The Ago1/nanos mRNA interaction does not require a miRNA, but it does require Smaug. Taken together, our data suggest a model whereby Smaug directly recruits Ago1 to nanos mRNA in a miRNA-independent manner, thereby repressing translation.