GOLDEN DORADO FISHING IN ARGENTINA
During the first week of December 1999, Jim and I had the opportunity to fly fish for golden dorado in the Ibera Marshes of Argentina. We have been fly fishing the world for over 20 years and this had to be one of the best fishing experiences we have ever had.
Our lodging was at the Estancia el Dorado. Good food, good wine, spacious rooms with air conditioning only served to enhance the dorado experience. We fished for 5 1/2 days in the Rio Corrientes. This river runs parallel to the Estancia. A short ride by boat through a man made canal connects the Estancia to the river. Our first afternoon out, the weather was quite windy, rainy and cold. However, my first cast into the river produced a 7 lb. dorado. My second cast produced an 8 lb. dorado. It only gets better from here. No matter what the weather-and we had it all-we caught fish. During the early part of the week, the average fish were in the 8-10 lb. range. By mid week we had graduated to 12-14 lb., and eventually the biggest one at 17 lb. I was using a 4 piece 6 weight rod and Jim had an 8 weight rod. As he is recovering from a stroke and is in a wheelchair, he fished from the boat and I mostly walked the bank.
The river is deep and clear with a sandy bottom. There is very little structure in the river, so the fish are constantly cruising. Shooting heads and sinking lines with wire leaders were used. Big black streamer flies were very successful. A long cast, letting the line sink, and rapidly stripping in the line became the routine for the week. Once the dorado take the fly, there is no doubt in your mind that you have a fish on. They jump 4 to 5 times and give you quite a fight. They have very sharp teeth, so a boga grip was used in the photographing and releasing of the fish. Between the two of us, we caught and released 80-100 fish. We fished in the morning from 7:00-11:30 returning to the Estancia for lunch and siesta time! Then back out to the river from 4:00 until 7:30. Along with the Dorado we caught the occasional Piranha. The river hosts many other fish, some of which are San Antonio bass, carp, catfish, sucker fish, boga and fresh water rays. The adjacent marshland is home to cattle, frogs of every size and shape, and a wide array of bird life. Many photo ops on this trip.
All in all, this was a great fishing experience for us. Thanks to Fishing International for organizing such a great trip and to Juan and Carlos for being such wonderful hosts and guides. This is definitely a trip worth repeating.” Betty Stevens & Jim Jackson, New Jersey.