Amazing Rio Dorado

When we got to Dorado River, David and Blake decided to share their boat cause they were going to head back to the lodge earlier than us. They were going to fish the northern part of the river, and Juan and I were going to fish the lower part of the river.

Agustin was Blake’s and David’s guide, and “El Pelado Maidana” was our guide. It was my first time fishing with him and we chose to go down through a small stream of water in the middle of a sand bank. It was like a shortcut to the faster flowing part of the river. We walked for about 45 minutes along that small stream and it was just breath taking. The beauty of the scenery, the pristine surroundings were unbelievable. I enjoyed that walk very, very much. 

Once in the river, we used the rods number 6 and 7 with floating lines. One with a black fly and another one with a black fly with yelow feathers and we started fishing the pools. Like I’ve said, the river has a fast flowing current, and we could fish in some areas of backwater and also in pools with fast moving current. We decided to fish upstream so as not to be seen by the fish. We were casting towards the banks on both sides, both ends of the river and to the middle of the river as well. The casts were semi-long ones, but  I’d say the stripping part is the key to success. From the moment the fly gets in the water, you need to strip fast, you need to make the fly work so as not to let the current sink the motionless fly in the bottom. It’s important to keep your hands on the line, keep it on the air and present the fly in such a way that does not look dead. 

The first bite was so unexpected that we were not ready for that. It was just a few minutes after we had got there. It caught us so off guard that we coudn’t magane to get it on the hook. After a few seconds in the fight, the fish got free and the rest was history. However, as my fellow fishermen might know, this was just a great sign of what we had ahead. It was a wake up call. The river was going to be intense. Far from frustrating us, it only motivated us to keep fishing. We stayed there, after some strikes there we decided our luck in that spot had left us with the first Dorado and so we kept going upstream. The next pool we fished resulted in a great bite after a few casts. The fish got hooked better and put up some fight. We were excited. We were able to get some good pictures, but somehow the fish got free and we just couldnt understand what had happened. We were only left with the fly at the end of the rod. 

So we moved, to the third hole of the day. The fishing was different there. We decided to fish downstream, and therefore, made use of a different technique. We cast, and let the fly go down with the current in a very slow way. Similar to the technique we sometimes use in South Patagonia, we left the fly drift while slowly moving it with the left hand. Here, we just stripped slowly, just to check whether the Dorado had bitten or not. Finally, between the pool and the fast flowing current, we managed to get a beautiful Dorado, a 6-7 pound one, which was just amazing given the conditions of the river. 

It took us 6 to 8 minutes to bring the fish towards the banks, where we enjoyed taking some cool pictures to inmortalize the moment. Then, we set him free and we enjoyed for a few seconds that peace and quiet getting a fish gives you. 

That morning El pelado, our guide, gave us some tips for fishing this technical river. He was mainly emphasizing about the strip. A couple of times we were too late with the stripping, resulting in fast flies, going faster with the current rather than with our strip. He also taught us how to fish for Dorado in different situations, how to see it and get it. He made us cast in some small pools with long runs, with good fish. He helped us with the back casting, he was a very interesting guide, always focused on giving his guests the best fishing opportunities. In some cases, he even moved branches out of the trees to facilitate getting the pray. When we realized, it was time to have a break! The morning flew by, we were very excited learning all these new techniques and we forgot all about lunch. We sat under a shade by the river and had some sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, cereal bars, alfajores, a really good Argentine cookie sandwich, and some drinks. 

In the afternoon we started feeling tired, after all, it was the last day of four fishing. We kept fishing in the pools, we were surrounded by this huge walls of red, yellow, orangish dirt. There were huge trees with long and twisting roots. The structure of the river offered great and interesting opportunities for fishing; we had some bites in the afternoon, we got a couple of dorados but the most interesting one was the one, just half an hour before we decided to call it a day.

The guide told us a white lie, he said that a 20 pound dorado lived in one of the pools. So we were very excited, casting with all our energy, really focused on this. When the beast bit the hook, we were in shock. However, it was not the 20 pounder we were expecting. Just a 7 pound Dorado. We cannot deny we were disappointed, but we had a good time and we had fun casting on this pool!

The way back to the lodge was a 40 minute walk along the river to where we had left the quads. We had to stop half way through, one of the quads had so much mud that it the engine temperature started rising and we had to stop for some minutes and also go through some puddles to cool it down. 

To conclude, The Dorado River is the best option for technical fly fishing of the Dorado in Argentina. It is one of the few places where you can fish dorado wading. We highly recommend it for those who want to have a great fly fishing experience in Argentina.

You Should Be the Next One!

Pablo Aguilo

Pointer Outfitters

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