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In search of the Dorado I

We have decided to do a first scout and research to the Rio Dulce in Santiago in search of the Golden Tiger, or Dorado (it is not the salt water Mahi Mahi). Argentina is well know for trout fishing and the dorado fishing. This second one could be reach in province like Corrientes, Entre Rios, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero Salta o Jujuy.

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This time we have decided to do our first adventure in Rio Dulce. The trip was set by 2 fly fisheremen and our guide Carlos Pompi.

The area we had chosen for this first approach was Loreto, in Santiago del Estero, that is 200 miles from Cordoba city and Cordoba international airport. This is a remote area in the Chaqueño jungle and forest.-

Loreto is a city head of the department located in the center of the province of Santiago del Estero.  Its main economical activities are cattle, agriculture and forestation. The city is situated 140 above water level, and the Rio Dulce passes close by to the city. On December the 10th they celebrate a popular festivity in commemoration of Loreto Virgin.

Santiago del Estero has five main rivers: Rio Dulce, Rio Salado, Albigasta, Urueña and Horcones, being the Dulce and Salado the only ones with permanent water. The former is the most important, it begins in the limit between Tucuman and Salta provinces and goes through Tucuman with the name of Salí. Then it comes in Santiago del Estero through the dike Termas de Rio Hondo and continues with the name of Dulce. 

The weather was not the one we were expecting. It was cloudy and windy which means it is not good for dorado. Normally, during October, temperature is like 15F over what we have found after driving 3 hours from Cordoba city.

The best time to be in the river are the first couple of weeks after the winter cold snap, those are the moments that tempt me to go to the river.In those dates to hit something is pricelessand is compulsory for fishermen to try it with different techniques along the day, that is the best pleasure as fisherman.

Climatic seasons determine the use of our equipment , since the colder it is the deeper we have to look for fish. For that we use lines with depth tips or drifts with flies to get a Dorado in the bottom of the waters. In warmer tempreatures Dorado looks for food nearer the surface, which helps us to get them with floating lines.  

The issue was that the cold and windy morning was not very helpful for our fly fishing day. Only between 2pm and 3,30 pm the wind slow down and by moments we were able to see the sun over our heads. But, altought the conditions were not the best we were able to have a great time and get “doradillos” between 25 to 30, that means fish about 2 or 3 pounds. It seems we will have to come back in a warmer day to get the monsters of the Dulce River. We are coming back in a couple of days, in November, to check how this river works under different conditions.-

We have been using Sage and Reddington rods #8 with floating lines for scientific anglers. Most of the flies we have used were with colors but predominant black or white. The river is very open and do not have a specific situation that complicate the fly cast; also the guides can take you close by to the banks and fallen trees. 

It is important to say that rays do not exist in the wildlife of the Roo Dulce, what makes it a safe river for wading or walking inside.

There is an experession in the Rio Dulce, regarding all the trees in the water and the Dorado hidden under or behind them, “if you do not get your fly stocked in the woods, you are not fishing”. The true is that Carlos had to row upwards a couple of times to free the flies from the vegetation.

It was a great first story, but if you will ever think in this kind of fly fishing forget about luxury and nice conditions, this is a completely wild fishing story. When you are in the Rio Dulce, you are in the middle of nowhere.-

We will come back again for the big Dorados.

My best

Pablo Aguilo


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