Fly Fishing for Dorado
For seventeen years we have offered spectacular fly fishing trips for Golden Dorado on the High Parana River in Argentina. We are still operating out of the new lodge on the High Parana River; Refugio Amokañi. Pinti, the head guide, has developed an incredible facility right on the water… complete with monkeys in the trees and a spectacular veranda view of the river. Because you simply walk down the steps to the skiffs, this is an improvement over Estancias Atalaya, although I know many of you are missing the ranch. Fishing is generally arranged for 3 to 6 day trips, and it is often combined with a weeks stay at another Argentine fishery; typically Estancias Pilolil on the Alumine’ River.
The ecosystem of the Parana is essentially a jungle environment. There are monkeys in the trees, toucans, caimans, and an array of other birds and animals.
trout fishing destination in the Patagonia region
Looking for a great add on to Dorado? We can add a superb trout fishing destination in the Patagonia region. After wading from one end of the Argentine trout waters to the other, we ended up focusing on Estancia Pilolil on the Aluminé River. Since the 2021/2022 season, we have been offering this luxury destination, right in the middle of the Patagonian wilderness on the banks of the prolific Aluminé River. This is not just any lodge, this is among the best operations in Patagonia and one of the finest anywhere.
It features exceptional lodging, cuisine, service, staff, equipment, guides, and of course, fishing! The estancia (ranch) totals 23,000 acres. With 10 miles of private river frontage right on the very best and secluded stretches of the Aluminé River, this is a “solitary” experience. There is also an amazing Spring Creek inside the property offering its own exciting fishing, and day and over-night trips to other nearby fisheries can be arranged.
The lodge is located just upriver from the small village of Ita’ Ibate’. The rooms are single occupancy with ceiling fans, refrigerated air conditioning and a private bath. Meals are classic Argentine fair with copious amounts of good wine. Having a well deserved beverage and appetizer on the veranda overlooking the river is pretty awesome. It takes no more than three minutes to reach the closest fishing, and at first light the skiff and guide are waiting for you the bottom of the stairs. The fishing day is split, with lunch at the lodge and time for a siesta. We start early, with breakfast at about 6:30 AM, breaking for lunch at 12:00 or so, and then returning to the river at 3:30 PM for fishing until dark. This maximizes the productive bite time.
Fly fishing for Dorado on the High Parana River, Argentina
Golden Dorado and Pacu
The High Parana is a large tailwater system about 70 kilometers below the Yacireta Dam. Because it is a tailwater, unlike other large Argentine rivers, the water is generally clear. The nature of the river and fish requires skill, so the better, more experienced casters are rewarded. The reason is that much of the fishing is site casting to fish you see, or have seen, near tree stumps, behind rocks, or under overhangs and along cut banks. Accurate casts are rewarded. You will be fishing for Dorado up to about 25 pounds, but most will be 5 to 10 pounds. Pacu is considered the permit of Argentina, and because of its size and power, is the attraction for the best anglers. Pacu in the 15 to 25 pound range are caught, but most will be 8 to 12 pounds.
The Parana is a huge river, several miles wide in some places, but you will mostly be fishing side channels that are 50 to 150 yards wide. Most of the fishing is done from boats, but it is possible to wade the small side channels, much like you would wade a stream for trout, or the larger extensive sand flats, much like saltwater flats fishing.
With low water levels predominating over the last few years, Pinti and the other guides now utilize flats skiffs for much of the fishing. Poling the crystal-clear waters of a sand flat and sight casting to a 20 pound dorado can’t be beat.
Fly fishing Argentina’s High Parana River for other species.
Other species include Dentuda (a small barracuda looking fish) Palometa, the largest of the piranha, and most importantly, Pira Pita.
The Pira Pita is a small fish, to about 15 pounds, and acts basically like a trout. It is called the Parana Salmon only because of its red meat. It looks nothing like a trout or salmon. It is a hard fighter with good jumps and can be skittish and sometimes hard to hook. There are two species of this fish, white and yellow. Many fisherman go to the High Parana just to fish for Pira Pita. It is unique to this type of river system. Pacu and Pira Pita take dry flies, often dead drifted, just like fishing for Montana trout. It is an incredible experience to see one of these big bruisers slowly come to the surface and sip in your bumble bee imitation.
When fly fishing for dorado on the High Parana River in Argentina, the fishing day is as follows.
At Refugio Amokañi breakfast is served around 6:00 AM and the clients generally are on the boats around 6:45 AM. The guide and his boat are waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs and you are often making your first cast within 3 to 5 minutes of leaving the beach.
You will be fishing the side channels of the upper sections of the High Parana, a location famous for the concentration of fish. Casting while drifting along the shore is the most common practice and you will mostly be fishing structure. Recently flats skiffs were introduced for poling the expansive sand flats of the main river channel.
You will return to the lodge for lunch, and if desired, a siesta. We are back on the river at 3:30 PM and fish until almost dark.
Amokañi is located in an area with great birding and wildlife. The howler monkeys will likely wake you up in the morning, and birders can have a full time job observing all of the species. Bird viewing is excellent right out your front door. You can also just relax on the veranda over-looking the river, where the evening hors’deurves, wine, and beer are served.
Generally a trip to Amokañi begins by landing in Buenos Aries early in the morning. Clients have a choice of over-nighting in BA to enjoy the great restaurants, tango, and other attractions. At present Aerolineas Argentina flights leave the domestic airport for Corrientes at 2:20 PM, and arrive Corrientes at 3:40 PM. You will be met by the guides for your transfer to the lodge; a trip of about 1.75 hours. At the end of your stay, if going directly back to Buenos Aires, there is a commercial flight from Corrientes at 3:50 PM, arriving BA at 4:50 PM or so. This allows ample time for transfer to the international airport and your late evening flight back to the states. Some clients elect to spend an extra day or two in BA. Private charter flights are also available and can be arranged to and from most other fishing destinations, as well as Buenos Aires.
Rates at Refugio Amokañi
For the 2023 season, per person rates at Refugio Amokañi are as follows:
- 4 nights – 3 days fishing $2,800
- 5 nights – 4 days fishing $3,700
- 6 nights – 5 days fishing $4,500
- 7 nights – 6 days fishing $5,200
Rates include guided fishing, lodging, food, all beverages, and transfers to and from the Corrientes airport. It does not include airline flights, extra night stays, or shuttles to or from other locations. Any schedule and any location in Argentina can be accommodated. Note we can also help you with reservations for you at a number of luxurious hotels in Buenos Aires.
Rates include guided fishing (two rods per boat) lodging, food, all beverages, and transfer to and from the Corrientes airport. It does not include airline flights, extra night stays, or shuttles to or from other locations. Any schedule and any location in Argentina can be accommodated. Note we can also help you with reservations for you at a number of luxurious hotels in Buenos Aires. The increase in rate for fishing as a single is 50%.