Argentina - Golden Dorado in the Corrientes ...

Fly fishing for Golden Dorado from boat or shore in one of the ‘hottest’ Golden Dorado spots in Argentina!

The Venue and lodging

This venue is located in the middle of a magnificent natural setting with the Corrientes River flowing just a few hundred yards away. The lodge is part of a Estancia (Argentinean cattle range), one of the most traditional cattle ranches in the Corrientes Province. This famous fishing destination is in the Corrientes Province in Argentina, 600 miles north of the city of Buenos Aires.  Mercedes, the nearest small town, is located 40 miles from the lodge. The river is a Provincial Reserve, where only catch and release is allowed, there are no public roads close to the river, so fishing pressure is reality low and few other anglers are ever encountered. All this, combined with exceptional natural conditions makes this a fisherman's paradise. 

Argentina fly fishing The Dorado (Salminus Maxilosus)

Because of the clarity of the water which is "filtered" by the marshes' vegetation and because fishing is only "catch and release" this is certainly the "hottest" spot in South America to cast a fly at trophy Dorado.

Apart from experiencing world-class fishing, you'll get a feel for life in a traditional Argentine "Estancia" (ranch). The lodge is very comfortable. The double and triple rooms are all equipped with air conditioning and private bathrooms. In the evening anglers can relax in the lodge gallery and enjoy the sunset or watch the Estancia’s "gauchos" in action on their horses in nearby pastures while enjoying a sundowner.

Hearty 3 course meals consist of salads, pasta, local specialties and of course, the legendary "asado" (barbecue) made of the tastiest beef, lamb and chicken.  Many of Argentines best wines will be available for sampling during dinners.  Breakfast consists of bacon, eggs, and a good variety of jam, bread, toasts and cookies.  All this plus coffee, orange juice and tea.  While fishing, you'll be able to refresh yourself with cool soft or alcoholic drinks or treat yourself to a snack.

The fish

The Dorado (Salminus Maxilosus) is the most important predator fish of the Paraná River system.  It’s a salmon-like fish, with a golden, yellowish colour, highly muscular and with a big head (in some ways similar to the African Tiger fish), which has powerful jaws and sharp teeth.  It is an extremely voracious and aggressive creature that feeds on small and large fish.  Its strength, acrobatic jumps and size from 4 to 18 pounds make it one of the most challenging freshwater fish of the world.  Occasionally, other species of fish can also be caught, including the ferocious South American Piranha. 

The Dorado (Salminus Maxilosus) The Dorado (Salminus Maxilosus) The Dorado (Salminus Maxilosus) The Dorado (Salminus Maxilosus)

The fishing

The fishing season starts in November and ends by the end of March.  Most of the fishing will be done on the Corrientes River but depending on the conditions, excursion into the wetlands to fish the huge quantity of little channels and big lagoons that form the Iberá marshlands can be done.

On the river, different techniques are used according to the water levels.  With low water, fishing is easier because all the Dorado tend to concentrate in specific areas.  It is possible to fish from the shore, casting slightly up-stream towards the middle of the river.  

When fishing from the boat, this is done either anchored or drifting. When anchored, the boat may stay close to the shore and you fish as if you were on land.  Another possibility is to anchor close to the middle of the river and fish the small streams of water that flow out of flooded fields or the obstacles near the shore. Both are favourite hunting spots for large Dorado.  

Of course you will also fish the runs, pools and water edges.  Drifting is the best option when water levels are high.  When there is no wind, a push pole is all that is needed to stay in the right place and most of the time that’s the middle of the river.  When wind blows, running the engine at low speed, down or upstream is the best alternative and casts are done close to the bank where fish shelter from the fast current or ambush prey.  In such cases, Dorado stay close to the surface and often you can see the fish moving in to attack the fly when it hits the water.  Fishing with a floating line is the best under these conditions.

The wildlife

The Iberá marshes, covering an area of 13’000 square kilometres, are the second largest wetlands of South America.  They consist of many lakes, marshes and hundreds of natural canals and streams.  This incredibly diverse system lies on former riverbeds of the Paraná River, which has moved further away.  The water is provided exclusively by annual rainfalls and the Corrientes River is the only visible water outlet of the entire system.  The marshes owe the amazing transparency of the water to the abundant vegetation which acts as a filter and regulator of the water regime. 

How to get there

From Buenos Aires a comfortable express coach will drive us to the city of Mercedes.  From there it is only one and a half hours away and the staff from the lodge will transport us from Mercedes to the lodge. The coach from Buenos Aires is a comfortable ‘sleeper’ bus and usually leaves the city around 8 in the evening of departure and arrive in Mercedes around 5 the next morning.

Dates:  02.11.2012 – 06.11.2012