There is very little dispute among the international angling community that the golden dorado of South America is the hardest fighting fresh water fish on the planet. The dorado, (Salminus Maxillosus) gets its name from its bright gold color. It is actually a primitive species of the salmon family. The aggressive nature of the dorado along with its incredibly ferocious strike, long hard runs, high jumps and fighting stamina has attracted anglers from around the world to troll the mighty Parana River for these gamefish with heavy saltwater gear. It wasn’t until 1996 that Fishabout found a group of fellow anglers from Argentina that had been fishing for dorado with fly and light tackle in the tributaries of the Parana and the neighboring Corrientes River and its feeder streams. After our first encounter with dorado on fly rod we knew that this was going to be one of the most exciting gamefishing programs that we had ever discovered.
The range of the dorado spreads across the rivers of Bolivia, Southern Brazil and Paraguay into the Parana drainage of Northern Argentina. These fish are called “River Tigers” by the locals. Although the largest of these fish are found in the main channel of the Parana, the smaller tributaries, neighboring rivers and marshes hold a huge population of fly rod sized fish from 5 to 30 lbs. Some of the waters, like the Corrientes are gin clear, flowing through marshy pasturelands like the spring creeks that we fish for trout in the Western United States. The sight of a large golden flash erupting from an undercut bank to attack your fly or lure is not for the weak of heart.