Secondly, the truth is, there aren't that many Dorado to keep you busy
whole day. When your flies have enjoyed uneventful bathing for too long,
casting lures will give you a welcome diversion. This is not to say the
lures catch more dorado than flies. In certain cases, flies in fact produced
more actions. But with spinning tackle you can cover by far larger areas
at varying depth, collecting wealth of information back. When fishing in
a pair, I recommend bringing a set of casting outfit to take turns with.
The rod should be of 6 to 7ft medium heavy action. Spinning reel is also
fine when casting light spoons across big waters, but to cast big plugs
with accuracy, casting reel works better. We used 30lb test dacron line
and a yard of 30lb mono, which is then connected to a wire trace - an absolute
must. Because you'd have to tie, untie and cut them many times, nylon-coated
wire trace comes handy.
The fierce fight of Dorado is one thing. But the razor sharp teeth of Piranha
is another. One gentle touch will make your flies, regardless of their
original hairstyle, into the same monk-like bald head. Prepare 10 flies
per day, or take your hair-implant surgery kit along.
The combination I found most versatile was 9ft 8wt rod with Type2 sinking
tip line. In fast waters where Dorados often hide, Type2 sinking sinks
barely deeper than a floating line, but that little extra weight and smaller
diameter do make casting bulky flies much easier. Sinking lines are less
prone to picking up fine sands on the boat deck or to soften up in the
tropical heat, which resulted in easy handling overall.
Another tackle that proved very effective was a solid 10wt, paired up with
450grain sink tip. Now with this heavy line, even the big Dorado flies
shoots off. And it does sink well even in a strong current. Casting these
heavy lines is understandably tiring, but in certain circumstance, that
is simply a must..
Big challenge is how to set the hook on Dorado's rock-hard jaws. We went
prepared with good hooks. Even then, chance to land one was only as good
as to lose.
A dorado in the hands worths 2 on the hook. And that makes the brief moment
of triumph, as you return the gold ore back into the river, so very rewarding.
For surface surface fishing, I brought along a 9ft 7wt rod, with a floating
line of 8wt. Okaywhen throwing small flies to dorados hunting minnows in
the evening. But it was too light to deliver properly dressed hairy flies
especially when short quick cast is required. Such situation occurs very
often, not necessarily because you see fish often, but more because you
want to hit as many fishy spots from a drifting boat.
For two reasons I recommend bringing a casting tackle too.
Firstly, boats are around 20 feet long and not too spacious when two flyfishers
are on board. Surely not impossible for two anglers to fish together on
calm days, but could become difficult as soon as the wind picks up and
the boat starts swirling around. When the boat gets drifted away from the
sweet spots you'd have to cast reasonably far, say, around 70ft. Controlling
big flies in the air becomes tricky even for a good caster.
Most of the fisheries are within Estancias, privately owned large scale ranches. Staying at these fishing lodges
is therefore the only option in most cases. In the Corrientes region where
we visited this time, there are several such lodges, including the pioneer
Rincon Del Diablo. Most are similarly priced at around US$250/day, with few exceptions such
as Pira Lodge and Posada Hambare, which claims to offer another level of
luxury - for a price. We spent the first 3days at Estancia la Pelada, near Esquina and the latter 3days at Estancia el Dorado near Mercedes. We found them both equally attractive in two different
ways, and honestly, very pleased with the choices we made.
Update 2017) Things have changed. Average prices of guiding & accomodation
gone up to US$500 a day.
In the coloured waters flies must have strong attractor features that appeal
with sight, sound and commotion. The first choice of colours is black.
Black as an universal base, you can put on flashy materials of your choice.
Hook size should be 1/0 to 2/0. I even tied huge cannonballs on 4/0 hooks
and they received many strikes, but hook up rate was poor. The head of
the flies on the other hand must be made real bulky to push the water.
Putting on hammer eyes is a good idea to gain that few more inches of crucial