Fly fishing for Golden Dorado in South America is something I have always dreamed about. A bucket list item if you wish!
I recently managed to make this dream come true thank to a man named Felix! Felix works closely with the Don Jaoquin River Lodge, A Golden Dorado Fly Fishing Lodge in Corrientes Argentina based on the Rio Parana (South Americas second largest river) & the Rio Corriente.
This is a slick operation. Owners Diego and Ramon Salonet have been running the fishing lodge for five years and have a team of captains and guides delivering a great experience to customers from all across the globe!
The lodge was outstanding. The rooms were very comfortable, great beds.
The food was excellent! We arrived back to the lodge every night to a three course meal. Made with locally sourced ingredients and local dishes including the delicious Argentinian meat!
Washed down with Imperial Lager or a Malbec from the famous Mendoza region, it was a great way to end the evening after a day of total carnage on the river!
The fishing! Wow – the video only shows a little piece of what we experienced.
We caught Plenty of Dorado over there days up to 9lbs. I could never tire of this species. They hit fast and so hard they will rip the line out your hands! As soon as they are hooked they are up in the air jumping, it is such fun species to catch!
We also caught some other species including the stunning Surubi Catfish, Pacu, Savolo, Palometas (Piranha) & Pira Pita.
This short film was pieced together pretty opportunisitcally with a half day sacrificed at the end of the trip as the aching limbs and tennis elbow were taking their toll on me. Until then the fish goggles were well and truly stuck on!
We witnessed some cool wildlife whilst fishing also. Capybaras, Wild Boar, Charancho birds, Parrots, huge Toads, wall climbing frogs, glow in the dark Beetles and Anacondas!
Our guide Chuillito – a legend, huge thank to him! He put us on the fish from day one! My first day was my most productive with over 20 Dorado to the boat – what a way to start the trip!
Special thanks to Felix our host, what a guy! He collected us in Buenos Aires and transported us seven hours north to the lodge. Stopping on route to experience the local foods, Millanesa, Empanadas and a of course – good beer.
He educated us on the local culture. Introduced us to the local alcoholic refreshment of Coca-Cola and Fernet Branca, served with lots of ice – wow! Also providing us with lots of humour throughout the day to keep us entertained also.
Our first night we arrived we ended up in the local town of Esquina for a few drinks and witnessed the start of their carnival celebrations. The flag movement!
There were hundreds of people on the street with reggaeton music blasting out of huge car sound systems. Guys singing on top of open top lorry decks. A sea of green and white, everyone was wearing the towns colours.
Typically as Scots we joke about always seeing a Glasgow Celtic football strip when on holiday and Argentina was no different!
We came away from this trip with such positive experience for the sport of Fly fishing for Golden Dorado. The Don Jaoquin River Lodge, Argentine people and developed a real sense of how vibrant the culture is in South America.
What a species, what a trip and what a country!