Our good friends who own the Estancia Laguna Verde (ELV) on Lago Strobel (Jurassic Lake) started a new Golden Dorado operation in Northern Argentina this year and invited us to give it a try. So, at the conclusion of our Lago Strobel/Kooi Noom trip with our friends, we ventured into a totally different landscape on Rio Parana from the Patagonian stepp. We went from 40°F/40 mile howling wind to 85°F/85% humidity. In Patagonia, we covered ourselves in layers and layers of clothing and still shivered. On the Parana, even the one layer of clothing seemed too much but we needed them for sun protection.
ELV’s Golden Dorado operation is based out of a mothership. The advantage of a mothership is the ability to move based on the river and fishing conditions. Our original plan was to fly to Resistancia and fish the northern Parana. However, several heavy rain brought flood in some areas and high water not conducive to Dorado fishing. ELV moved the mothership to an area near Rosario and we were transported to the mothership by a truck and then a boat. The total trip took about 3 hours from Buenos Aires.
The mothership is nicely appointed with 4 comfortable state rooms and elegant dining hall and living area. Meals were excellent. Breakfasts, hors d’oeuvres and dinners are served on board. Lunches can be served either on board or on the skip depending on the distance you travel to fish that day.
Now onto the important topic: fishing. Since this is our first time fishing for Golden Dorado, we can’t compare this to any other program. Our expectation was maybe catch 2-3 fish a day? What we learned is that on the lower river, GD tends to be smaller, but the amount of action more than make up for the size. Let’s just say that we got very tired catching these bad boys. GD behaves unlike any other fish we’ve encountered. Super aggressive, more so than GT. Setting the hook is challenging, absolutely no raising the rod tip. Most of the times, they come towards you which drives you crazy. You can’t strip-set fast enough. And boy are they acrobatic! And except the teeth, GDs are beautiful fish with 24kt golden hue and red-banded tail. On the subject of teeth, in more than one occasion, a larger GD intercepted and broke-off our flies from the GD that we were trying to land. BTW, we were using 40lb wire leader to the fly. In addition to GD, there are a several species of fish you can have fun with. But never try to land these fish on your own-they all have sharp teeth.
If you need to catch a breath from casting, you can enjoy the incredible bird life and the colorful flowers along the riverbanks. The best way to describe the Golden Dorado fishing on Rio Parana is “FUN”. It is a visually and audibly stimulating river, because the GDs will make noise and show themselves. The mothership has a pleasant atmosphere with well-stocked bar, a great place to unwind after an action packed day.
Please enjoy the photos and let us know if you want to learn more about this action packed adventure.