World Wide Fishing!

Releasing 70 pounder

Dorados in Argentina

By Alejandro Martello
Photos by Mariano Moran and Alejandro Bianchetti

Dorado Head Dorado (whose scientific name is Salminus Maxillosus) or the Tiger of the Rivers, has an extraordinary sportive value for the struggle offered to fishermen trying to catch one.

High Jump! Dorado is a big fresh water fish that can weight up to 70 lbs. But the common sizes are in the 13 lbs. to 35 lbs. range. The photo at the top of this article also shows a thirty-three pounder.

Battle On!

Battle Won

It´s a very powerful fish, a 15 pounder peels off fifty yards of backing in just one rush, after that high jumps and other rushes complete the fight.

Dorado is a great hunter who chases small to medium size fish in deep fast moving riffles. If the dorado is feeding, you can see smaller fish jumping out of water trying to escape from it´s huge, big teeth mouth.

Note the teeth

If you want a big one you have to concentrate on mouth of lagoons openings where water is either coming in or pouring out depending upon river levels. The dorado is hidden near this location to feast on baitfish caught in the current.

Nice release One of the places we fish for them is the Paraná river. It is a murky water river, but sight fishing is possible because the dorado roll and trash about when they feed.

Nice 17.5# Dorado Dorado fishing is one of the most attractive and fascinating fly fishing sports you can practice in Argentina. It´s mainly practiced in Mesopotamia, between January and October. The biggest activity is on the Paraná River, from Misiones state to De La Plata river. You can also fish dorados in the Honde River, Uruguay, Bermejo, Pilcomayo and Paraguay rivers and their tributaries.

Tackle and technique

Dorados eat a great variety of baitfish so we must have a complete fly selection that imitate those small fish. Many of these flies must have a lot of flashabou, krystal flash or tinsel, because the dorado loves sparkling flies.

When a dorado is hunting, it attacks a whole group of small fish but it prefers the smaller fish, so that the size you need in the fly is about 12- 15 cm ( 5-6 inches).

Dorado flies offer big wind resistence, so you have to use it with a 7, 8 or 9 wt. rod, the only one that can handle a big dorado fight.

If you want a fly not too heavy, you must choose materials such as deer, rooster feathers and reflective materials.

Like other hunter species, dorado prefers to attack everything moving fast, so the fly retrieve must be fast and constant.

Bright and light coloured flies work well in high light conditions and dark flies work well in low light conditions.
Flies must be tied on a big, strong hook, the same you use on saltwater flies or on bass flies.

You can use medium to big size surface poppers. They´re common in lagoons and marshs where water is low and clear.

You can tie them on 2/0- 3/0 hook in colours like silver, yellow, green and black/silver, red/gold, or black/gold.

In still water, popper works like an attractor and dorado can hear it from long distance and in deep waters.

But streamers are the way to catch a big one. The most common patterns are from salt water flies like Lefty´s Deceiver, with many variations like muddler heads, dumbell and chain eyes and a lot of flashabou and krystal flash.

The best color for streamers are black and combinations like purple/black, black/white, black/yellow/white, red/white, green/ white.

In a typical fishing day, dorado feed near the surface so you have to use floating or sinking tips lines, later you can change to a shooting taper IV or VI sinking rate.

And everything worked

And when everything works, you catch fish! ~ Alejandro Martello

More South American Fly Fishing:

Peacock Bass in Brazil (Brasil)
Dorados in Argentina
Argentine Patagonia - Introduction
Argentine Patagonia - Part 2
Argentine Patagonia - Part 3
Argentine Patagonia - Part 4
Argentine Patagonia - Part 5
Argentine Patagonia - Part 6
A True Chilean Adventure
Futaleufu, Chile, Part 1
Futaleufu, Chile, Part 2

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