Rio Panará Argentina, week 40/42 – 2017

After 3 months without any fishing at all I was very excited about going to Argentina for golden dorados with some of the Bombay guys. I worried about my shoulder but looked forward to visit Argentina for the first time and to fish for dorado as this has been in my dreams for quite a lot of years. We should fish for ten days in Rio Paraná and Christian had arrived some days before as he should stay with the guides and he had lived in Argentina so he had no problem communicating with the locals where I realized that my Spanish is quite rusty.

We had a VERY long trip from Denmark but the guides picked us up in Resistencia airport and had arranged a nice meal at the restaurant at the hotel at 11 pm so we went straight to bed afterwards as we should go fishing next morning. We (Lasse, Carsten, Jonas ,Stefan, Christian and I) fished in pairs so we were three boats with guides (Pablo, Enzo and Dante) and we made a rotation system so everyone fished together.

The Paraná river is a very big river and many big ships transport cargo to and from Paraguay and the Argentinian parts of it. We fished in the very big central river but mostly in the smaller side rivers.

 

On the way full speed up the river in morning

 

The fly fishing for dorado involves a lot of casting as we fish to structures in the current typically trees like these.

 

The dorado rests around the trees and literally attacks the fish from this position. When they are feeding they seem to move around much more and the you may see smaller fish jumping or the dorado showing at the surface.

 

The first days we found out that we would not catch the dorados in big numbers but our guides also aimed for the bigger ones and that was also the reason we fished this time of the year in the parts of the Paraná river. Everyone had contacts the first day but only a few were landed but the fish were just as beautiful as we had imagined and the take was normally very violent and they put up a good fight. I did not get any fish the first two days but as had chances everyday I thought it was a matter of time until I would get one.

 

The third day I landed two fish in the 4 kg range and I was very content but I did feel my bad shoulder and my casting became worse especially in the late afternoon as I got tired.

 

The surroundings were very nice despite the occasionally big ships and the wild life were impressive. We saw  a lot of crocodiles (kaiman), monkeys and giant otters and the bird life was even more impressing.

 

a howling monkey family where one of the female were carrying a baby monkey on the back.

 

We also started to get bigger fish up to 6-7 kg and everyone were happy and we were happy for every fish as we knew that you had to work for them.

 

A regular lunch break at a sand bank. The boats were equipped with app. 100 HP so we moved easily around and we normally sailed 70 – 100 km per day so at night after dinner we were tired as we had almost 12 hours on the water every day.

 

 

At lunch we had some nice lunch boxes but two days we were even more spoiled as the guides grilled and then we started with picada, a mixture of cheese, ham and salamis.

 

After the picada we got meat and some terrific sausages prepared on open fire. No wonder I gained 4 kg in the two weeks.

 

If you casted your fly into some dead water there were good chances or risks of catching a piranha. Quite strong fish and we got them up to 2 kg but you would not want to remove the fly with your fingers.

 

Catching a piranha meant loosing a fly. Here a fly before and after a piranha.

 

Not all dorados were big actually we got them down to 1 kg but they had a good average size.

 

The fourth day I fished with Jonas and just before sunset he took a few shots as the scenery was very nice. According to Jonas this was the actually cast where the dorado of my life took the fly.

 

After the take it took a very fast run into the backing where the line went via a big island of weed and I was really worried as Jonas earlier this day had lost a very big fish as the line got into some underwater branches. This may have been my luck as we then were ordered by the our guide Pablo to turn the break on the reel to maximum in order to keep the fish as close as possible to the boat and thereby minimize the risk af having the fly line around stuff in the water. We saw immediately that is was a big fish but it was not until it came to the boat and turned its side to us that we saw the width and depth of the fish and realized that it was huge.

 

At first it was placed on the front deck but after it was measured it jumped out of the boat and we had to get it in a second time and the we placed it in the back of the boat.

 

This may not be a perfect photo but it shows how big this fish is, remember I am 195 cm so most fish look small when I hold them

 

A happy fly-fisher despite I could not lift the fish with my bad shoulders but you can not help but smile big time when you get a fish like this – 18 kg dorado on a fly. The guides call fish of this size and fatness “vaca” which means cow.

 

The last part of the trip I fished mostly with bait fish due to my shoulders and here we got different species of catfish.

 

here a three-point cat-fish

 

This catfish was called something with pata which means duck, and you can see why with its strange mouth

 

on bait we got many piranhas but we only got one of these – another piranha species

 

We did not catch any big cat-fish on the live bait – this was the largest.

 

Almost all the dorado missed parts of the tail due to piranhas

 

 

Jonas got this big 10 kg dorado that was a bit less golden than normally – a small man with a big smile

 

Carsten also got this mullet like fish that took the big dorado fly.

 

We had to buy and drink this rum. It was not the best but it had dorado on the label.

 

Stefan got this carp one day at the lunch break thought it was not hooked properly.

 

In Argentina you have to eat steaks (1 lb.) and drink red wine so we did that very often.

 

What better way to end this post from the dorado trip…

 

There is a better way to end the post another beautiful dorado.

I got 10 dorados during 10 days so it is not hard to figure out the stats. I had many more contacts and I really liked the fishing and the area. The guides were great and  partly due to my bait fishing I got seven different species. Everyone got fish and also good-sized fish above 6 kg. and I still can not believe my luck with my  18 kg. dorado. It was camp record for 2017 so a very memorable trip I would love to do again another time.

 

 

 

 

 

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