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Golden Dorado

Without question, golden dorado are one of the world’s greatest gamefish. With massive, powerful jaws, razor-sharp teeth, vicious predatory instincts and wild aerial displays, they represent one of the ultimate target species for the adventuresome fly angler. Were one to take the best elements of a tarpon, a steelhead and something nasty like a barracuda, spray paint it brilliant gold and highlight it with black pinstripes, you would have a golden dorado. They can grow to over 60 pounds and while most are in the 10 to 25-pound class, they are all too happy to attack baitfish in the six to eight-pound class. The following destinations, in Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay, give anglers the chance to target the mighty golden dorado.


Dorados on the Fly, Argentina

The Upper Rio Parana is a large tailwater system some 70 kilometers below the Yacireta Dam, and this portion of the river forms a substantial part of the border between Argentina and Paraguay. Because it is a tailwater, the water is generally clear, unlike other large rivers in northern Argentina. Your main quarry on the Rio Parana will be explosive Dorado up to about 25 pounds, but most will be 5 to 10 pounds.

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Pira Lodge, Argentina 

For many years one of South America’s most exciting game fish was kept a secret in its heartland. In the last few years the golden dorado, or ‘river tiger’ as it is affectionately known has rocketed to the top of the hot fish list. Throughout most of its range, the dorado is caught in colored or murky waters and generally with heavy spinning tackle. Since the discovery of the Ibera Marshlands and the establishment of Pira Lodge, clear water fishing on light spinning tackle and on fly rods has become one of the world’s most sought after angling adventures.

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Urban Dorado Anglers, Argentina

Urban Dorado Anglers offers the unique experience of being able to catch Golden Dorado within striking distance of one of the largest cities in the world. Within a 30-minute boat ride you are transported to another world where the urban sprawl of Buenos Aires disappears into diverse ecosystem of tributaries and islands.

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Tsimane – Agua Negra, Bolivia

The Agua Negra Camp is a remote yet luxurious tent camp/lodge perched on a bluff overlooking the Secure River. The fishing will be done on the main Secure as well as on the Agua Negra River. The Agua Negra is smaller and offers not only big dorado but the region’s most forgiving terrain as well as the greatest diversity of species including large pacu, pira pita and the elusive striped catfish known as surubi.

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Tsimane – Pluma Lodge, Bolivia 

Pluma is very strategically located beneath the confluence of two world class systems, the Upper Pluma and the Itirizama. Downstream of the lodge there are miles of clear water on the main stem Pluma. Beneath that anglers can access more than 30 km of the larger main stem Secure by motorized boat.

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Tsimane – Secure Lodge, Bolivia

The six person Secure Camp is the furthest upstream of the three camps and focuses on the uppermost reaches of the Secure River. It is accessed from an airstrip in the little village of Asunta, where it is common for many members of the community to come out and have a look at the new arrivals, their clean quick-dry clothing and their big bags of gear and tackle.

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Please give us a call at 800.552.2729 or send us a message HERE if you’d like to chat more about any of the destinations above!


Targeting golden dorado on the fly requires a specialized outfit, given the environs they are found in and also the fish themselves. As they are found in very warm, tropical waters, having a fly line with a coating designed for such conditions is key. In addition, large baitfish patterns are often used, so having a line that will carry these flies to the target is necessary. A 9-weight rod seems to fit the bill for most golden dorado fishing. Also of concern is the razor sharp teeth of dorado. For that, we recommend wire tippet at the end of hand-tied nylon leaders. Working together with our friends at Sage and RIO Products, we’ve put together this customized setup to ensure your success.

• Rod: 9′ 9-weight Sage X (990-4)
• Reel: Sage SPECTRUM MAX 9/10
• Line: RIO Products DirectCore Jungle Series WF9F 
• Leader: RIO Products Saltwater Mono, 20 – 40 lbs
• Tippet: RIO Products Powerflex Wire Bite, 40 lbs


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Fly Water Travel encourages our clients to support their local fly shop. To find a shop near you, click the link below or give us a call for a recommendation at (800) 552-2729.

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