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The Backstage Pass

The Ultimate Guide to Fly Fishing for Golden Dorado

May 03, 23

Angling for golden dorado has been popular for South American anglers for decades. Pursuing a dorado with a fly rod is relatively new and gaining in popularity amongst traveling anglers.

Using our worldwide fly-fishing travel experience, we’ve found these outfitters and their fishing destinations. Our golden dorado locations are on waters suitable for fly anglers and offer a unique choice of solitude, easily accessible waters, remote waters, wade fishing, and boat fishing. Every year more and more is learned in understanding these predatory fish, their behavior, their migration, their food source, and which fly patterns and methods produce.

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Getting to waters golden dorado call home involves some serious logistics and a sense of adventure. Reasonably proficient casting and fishing skills are essential. And a blend of saltwater and freshwater angling gear is required. For anglers willing to put in the effort, the rewards are an exciting new fly-fishing travel experience.

Places Where Golden Dorado Live

Golden dorado are native to South America. They’ve inhabited jungle and delta river systems for thousands of years. But only recently have adventuresome traveling anglers discovered this exciting species.

Two very different experiences exist for golden dorado fly fishing: intimate jungle waters and broad river deltas. The Bolivian jungle rivers offer remote fishing, exotic wildlife, and scenery rarely experienced any place else in the world. Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures is a proud partner with the best, and only, first-class operation offering Bolivian dorado fly fishing trips. Our partner lodges in this area are high-end destination lodges on par with any fishing lodge in the world.

Further south, in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, lies broad rivers dotted with islands set in the subtle beauty of a massive river delta. As the mass migration of dorado occurs in South America’s second-largest river, the Entre Rios, these predatory fish are available to anglers. From live-aboard motherships to family estancias to destination lodges, golden dorado are accessible on the waters in the region.

Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures partners with experienced lodges, guides, and outfitters in this region and can ensure you choose the dorado experience to suit your skills and desires.

We have options for multi-day and single-day fly fishing for dorado trips based out of Buenos Aires or surrounding areas. You can also add on a day or two of dorado fishing when making a trip to Argentine Patagonia during your stop-over in Buenos Aires.

Fly Fishing Seasons For Golden Dorado

Golden dorado in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay region are available year-round, making it a unique destination for a multi-day trip. The peak season is October through April, which makes it an ideal add-on to a Patagonia trip during your stop-over in Buenos Aires.

Jungle dorado in Bolivia can be pursued as early as June, with June through October as the primary months. Because these rivers drain mountain ranges, choosing the right destination in the right season is crucial.

Equipment for Golden Dorado

Rods and Reels
For jungle dorado choose stiff, fast action 9-foot seven to nine weight rods. Flies are big and the need to load a rod quickly is crucial. Casts range from 30 feet to 60 feet and a stiff rod will turn over the large bushy flies.
For Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay river delta dorado choose eight or nine weight rods. Blind-casting to the structure is the name of the game more often than not for delta dorado, so choose a smooth casting rod, yet one strong enough to cast large flies or turn a hard-charging large dorado.

For either location, choose large arbor reels to aid in quicker line retrieval and ensure your reel has a high-quality powerful drag system to stop these strong fish.

Temperatures in the river deltas of Argentina and in the Bolivian jungle soar into the high 90s and beyond. For both areas use tropical/warm water floating fly lines with aggressive front tapers capable of turning over large weighted flies and consider overlining your rods. This allows you to quickly and easily load your rod. Additionally, we recommend bringing a 300 to the 350-grain integrated sink tip line.

Pack plenty of hard mono leader material heavy enough to turn over big flies and plenty of wire bite-tippet. We recommend packing spools of 30 and 40-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon leader material and a spool of 30-pound stainless steel shock/bite leader.

In most cases, golden dorado prefers dark-colored streamers that produce visible silhouettes. Black/red, black/purple, and black/orange are typically the most productive color combinations, but times exist when brighter colors work well. Flies should 4 to 6 inches long and lightly weighted and tied on stout 2/0 to 3/0 hooks. Popular patterns include Andino Decievers and EP Streamers. Additionally, you can bring a variety of dries and big saltwater poppers that, when stripped, push a lot of water. Titanic Sliders, Pole Dancers, and Crease flies are some of the most popular patterns and can be effective under the right conditions.

Golden dorado lives in uniquely spectacular regions of South America. Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures is proud to offer two very different, yet exciting opportunities to chase, and hopefully land, a river tiger. 

Ready to Plan Your Golden Dorado Trip?
Click here to view our Golden Dorado page