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Argentina - Golden Dorado fishing

Argentina, South America
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    Golden Dorado fishing in Argentina summary 

    It is only recently that the golden dorado has attracted the interest it deserves as a premier quarry for the fly fisher in Argentina, where the locals have long referred to the fish as river tigers. Golden dorado make their home in warm fresh waters and are celebrated for their hard fighting qualities and ability to throw leap after prodigious leap in their efforts to shake the fly free. The sight of a gold bar shimmering momentarily against a clear blue sky before crashing back into the depths and powering off on yet another breath-taking run is par for the course when targeting these most exciting of fish. Aside from their stunning bright yellow colouring, golden dorado closely resemble African tiger fish, displaying the same savage take and the same fondness for leaping feet clear of the water.

    Wild and Exotic offer guided golden dorado fishing at four very different locations in four different provinces. Visit Salta for a combination of float fishing and wading in the Juramento, De Valle and Dorado rivers, the 3 ½ million acre Ibera marshes in Corrientes province for thrilling sight fishing, the mighty Parana river in Entre Rios and the same river downstream in Buenos Aires province if you only have a day to spare, but wish to add the golden dorado your list of glamorous species caught on a fly. Golden dorado are targeted with streamers and poppers fished on floating lines and weigh from a couple of pounds to over 25lbs.

    Golden Dorado fishing in Salta province Itinerary


    The remote north western province of Salta is better known as region of culture, colonial architecture and rugged physical beauty than a fishing destination, yet the province offers superb sport with golden dorado on the Del Valle, Dorado and Juramento Rivers where they flow through warm rainforests, known locally as yungas,  populated by colourful and exotic birds such as the toucan, and mammals that include anteaters, tapirs, and pumas. Not only do these rivers sustain habitats for a diverse range of wildlife, their crystal clear waters are home to huge and powerful golden dorado that provide superlative sport on the fly. The best months are in the Argentine spring from September until November and again in the autumn being March and April. We recommend an # 8 weight forward floating line fished from a 9′ rod for the Juramento River where the dorado run up to 20lbs, and a similar sized rod with a 5 weight floating line for the De Vale and Dorado rivers where the fish do not attain quite such a large size.

    Wild and Exotic offer a 3 night fishing itinerary incorporating two days float fishing on the Juramento River and a day wading and stalking fish on the smaller De Valle or Dorado Rivers in the company of an experienced English speaking guide. Guests stay at the comfortable Estancia Chacu, which has 10 ensuite rooms and occupies a glorious hillside location on a substantial private estancia. Guests also have the option of spending one night camping beside the river if they wish.


    Day 1: Transfer from Salta city to Juramento River for a full day’s float fishing. This evening is spent at Estancia Chacu, which is approximately 40 minutes drive from the lodge.

    Day 2: Full day’s float fishing on the Juramento River. Overnight Chacu.

    Day 3: Full day wading fishing on the De Valle or Dorado rivers before returning to the lodge for the final night.

    Day 4: This morning guests are transferred back to Salta city in time to check in for the flight back to Buenos Aires, or to continue exploring the province on a tailor made Wild and Exotic itinerary. The transfer between estancia Chacu and the airport is approximately 2 ½ hours drive.


    The exact fishing location for each day is kept flexible and chosen according to the weather conditions on the day. There are flights between Salta and Buenos Aires every day, and we recommend that guests arrive the day before their fishing commences and spend a night in the exquisite colonial city of Salta, which is a destination in its own right. Wild and Exotic can arrange all these additional services.

    Golden Dorado fishing in Corrientes province summary

    The unique Iberia marshlands in Corrientes province in the north-eastern corner of Argentina cover an astonishing three and a half million acres of largely unexplored and uninhabited wet land comprising rivers, creeks and lakes fed by clean, pure water. This ecosystem is home to more than 300 species of birds, 85 mammals and 70 reptiles including the South American Cayman. It is also home to huge golden dorado that perpetually cruise the channels seeking out their prey, whilst at the same time providing the angler with unrivalled sight fishing opportunities.

    Wild and Exotic guests stay in comfort at Pira, a 5 bedroom air-conditioned lodge with ensuite bathrooms, and French windows opening onto a shaded veranda, beyond which lies a 20 metre long swimming pool. Guests fly to either Corrientes or by private charter to Mercedes from Buenos Aires, from which the lodge is a three or one hour transfer by road. Both food and service at Pira are of the highest order, making it one of the world’s top fly fishing destinations.

    Guests set off each morning after breakfast in Hell’s Bay flats skiffs accompanied by their guide for the day to hunt down feeding dorado beneath cloudless blue skies. Anglers cast to fish that may have been spotted by their guide perched on his platform on the stern of the skiff, which is poled silently along the channels. 7 – 9 weight rods fitted with floating lines, wire tippets and typical salt water baitfish patterns used for attracting aggressive predatory fish are the usual tackle deployed during the season, which runs from mid October to mid April. The dorado’s savage take is all the more exiting when you can see the fish homing in on your fly with a powerful flick of its orange gold tail. Whilst staying at Pira it is also possible to enjoy bird watching, kayaking, riding and snorkelling.

    Golden Dorado fishing in Entre Rios province summary

    Wild and Exotic work with Los Laureles in Entre Rios province, a newly built 6 bed room lodge on the banks of the Parana River that offers excellent dorado fishing and also exciting dove shooting on 3,500 acres of farmland. If you wish to enjoy both activities, the normal procedure is to shoot in the morning and fish in the afternoon. The lodge owns 4 motorised boats and fishing guests accompanied by their guide explore the many side channels and offshoots of this huge river, where dorado, piranha, and dogfish abound. All fishing is by casting from the boat, but the diversity of water is astonishing. One minute you will be casting into a fast flowing narrow channel, the next working your way across vast open shallows several kilometres wide.

    There are daily return flights from Buenos Aires to Santa Fe airport, from where the lodge is a 90 minute road transfer. The best time to visit for both fishing and shooting is from November to April and we recommend a minimum 3 night stay.

    Golden Dorado fishing in Buenos Aires province summary 

    For those looking to escape the bustle of Buenos Aires for the day – or perhaps a couple of days – Wild and Exotic offer fun fishing in a tributary of the mighty Parana River near San Pedro in Buenos Aires province.

    Guests are collected from their Buenos Aires hotel early in the morning by their English speaking guide and driven north for two hours to meet up with the boat that will take them deep into the cattle pastures and marshes that fringe the sides of the tributary channel. The golden dorado may not run as large here as at the other specialist destinations we feature, however you are almost sure to catch one, especially between September and March when the fishing is at its best, although you can try your luck any month of the year. As well as dorado expect to come across savage piranha that attack streamers fished on floating lines with the utmost ferocity.

    One of the highlights of the day is enjoying an asado or barbeque on the river bank, washed down with a bottle of red wine and perhaps followed by a siesta. Guests normally fish until early evening and are back at their Buenos Aires hotel by 9pm, however if you wish to make it a two day trip it is possible to spend the night at our preferred hotel overlooking the river ready for an early start the following morning.

    Argentina General Information and Map

    Capital: Buenos Aires

    Getting there: There are regular flights from most major European cities direct to Buenos Aires. British Airways flies from London Heathrow with a touch down in Sao Paulo (Brazil) en route. Flying time from London is approximately 15 hours.

    Time: GMT minus 4 hours.

    Try not to miss: Buenos Aires! In all probability you will arrive in Argentina via this most glamorous and cosmopolitan of all south American cities, often described as the Paris of South America. We recommend at least at a two days and nights based either in the hip Palermo part of the city, or the elegant and refined barrio of Recoleta. We use hotels in both districts and can organise anything from private tours of the city to theatre tickets and tango lessons.

    From Buenos Aires fly down to Patagonia, land of legendary beauty and inaccessibility that is home to vast estancias and some of the best riding and fishing opportunities in the world. Begin in the north by staying at one of our hand picked estancias scattered about the Patagonian steppe surrounding Lanin National Park, before heading south to explore the Argentine Lake District and the alpine town of Bariloche. Move further south still to Calafate, where the Perito Moreno glacier – one of only 3 in the world that is actually advancing each year – awaits in Los Glaciares National Park, as does the extraordinary estancia Christina at the western end of Lago Argentina. Across the border in Chile lies the rugged and beautiful Torres del Paine National Park, instantly recognisable from the iconic peaks of her famous towers.

    Visit the beautiful provinces of Salta, JuJuy and Catamarca in the North West for spectacular high Andes scenery, rich colonial architecture and the southern end of the Inca trail. Explore the fascinating settlements of Cachi and Purmamarca, stay in luxury at estancia Colomé, the oldest bodega (vineyard) in Argentina, visit the dazzling white salt flats of the Salinas Grandes, and be driven along a dried up river bed to experience the charms of isolated Iruya in JuJuy province. Ask us about our high altitude trek with llamas from the eastern jungles across the Andes Mountains to Tilcara. Mendoza lies halfway between the northwest and Buenos Aires, a province celebrated for her vineyards and stylish bodegas, and perhaps a hike to the base of mighty Aconcagua mountain. For something completely different visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls close to the border with Brazil and Paraguay, which are surrounded by tropical rainforest alive with colourful birdlife.

    You could also visit Dos Lunas, a boutique farm house that boasts a unique style, located in the heart of the Ongamira valley in the province of Córdoba. Surrounded by an extraordinary 2,300 hectare (5,689 acre) natural environment, Dos Lunas offers an amazing mix of nature and comfort that makes guests feel like home from the moment they arrive. The tours around the valley, coordinated by expert guides and providing the best equipment, are the highlight of Dos Lunas and make it a premium destination. You can explore the valley from horseback together with our expert staff through a variety of paths featuring different levels of difficulty and length. Trekking on foot is also an option to visit the area and actively enjoy its beauty through specially selected paths. Dos Lunas is an excellent destination to combine a riding and shooting holiday.

    Visas: No visa is required for visits of up to 90 days for UK citizens.

    Why Argentina: Because we cannot think of another country anywhere in the world that boasts such a diverse range of landscapes, from glaciers in the south to steamy jungle in the north east and arid desert in the north west, with a huge variety in between, ensuring there is never a bad month to visit some part of this remarkable country. Come also to experience Argentina’s indefinable spirit and style, her fine wines and celebrated cuts of tender meat – all three fuse together at a weekend asado or barbeque.


    “We felt like royalty with 10 staff looking after our every need at Los Laureles. After some fun sport with doves each morning we caught lots of golden dorado and piranhas in the afternoons.”
    Tom Verity, Argentina bespoke travel


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