In Fall 2015, Terry Johnson, Mike Venhuis, and a couple of our long-term customers took an exploratory trip to Argentina’s Parana river for golden dorado on the fly. Terry returned to the region in 2017 for another week with clients. Based on these experiences and our desire to continue offering new and exciting destinations for the traveling angler we have secured a week in early 2019 at Parana on the Fly.
Trip Dates: January 26 – February 2, 2019
Upper Parana River
This section of the Parana River is located in the extreme northern part of Corrientes Province in NE Argentina and flows for 180 miles as a tailwater of the Yacyreta Hydroelectric Dam until its junction with the Paraguay River. This section of the Parana is known for its clear waters making this stretch of the river an ideal environment for fly fishing.
The Fishing The mythic Dorado (Salminius Maxilosus) is clearly the main target on this river. Dorado range between 4 and 30 pounds with the possibility of fish up to 35 pounds.
Fishing is done from 17′ skiff boats equipped with 90hp four-stroke motors plus electric motors at the front of the boat. The electric motors are remote controlled by the guide and allow for a silent approach to the fishing areas. Most of the fishing is done on branches of the river, at the head of islands and along deep banks of the main river where different structures (fallen trees, rocks, and cut banks) generate ideal feeding spots for Dorado.
Sight fishing for Dorado on Sand Bars
Anglers who enjoy sight fishing can fish the shallow water on sand bars. This technique is more challenging and demands precise casts since casts are only made once a fish has been spotted and specifically to dorado in the 12 to 25 pound-range in 2 to 3 feet of water. Anglers may also have the chance to sight cast to large cat fish that will often cross these sand bars. The boats can be transformed into “flats boats” with platforms for the guide to pole the flats and for anglers to rotate casting to visible dorado. This technique is available to add a unique variety to the fishing program and is only available for short periods of time when visibility is optimum.
Surface Action for Dorado and Pirapita
Another unique technique for catching larger dorado are the surface patterns such as mouse, gurglers, and even poppers tied on 3/0 hooks. These patterns are fished in cut bank sections with a lot of fallen trees and slow flowing waters.
Other Species of sport value
The Pacu and Pirapita are two other high-valued species can be caught on the fly during the trip. Both species feed on fruits and flowers that fall from the jungle trees so they are generally targeted on slow water channels inside river islands.The Pacu has a permit-type profile, is highly combative, and grows to between 3 and 20 pounds. Pacu will be targeted by casting behind branches as the boat drifts with the current. Pirapita, Boga The Pirapita is locally known as the “salmon of the river” as it feeds on insects and can be caught on large foam attractors like the Chernobyl Ant. The range in size between 2 and 12 pounds with amazing fights including multiple jumps. This omnivorous species is an ideal target for mid-day when the Dorado activity typically slows. Target them on slightly lighter (6 or 7 wt ) rods. They provide great variety to your fishing day and a perfect break from casting larger Dorado flies. The Boga is strictly a fruit eater and typically eat from the bottom, but they are excellent fighters as well.
The LodgeThe lodge is located a few miles upstream from the town of Itati and is a secluded private hose. Accommodations are in double occupancy rooms with the other anglers from your group.A local chef is in charge of mealtime and focusses on traditional meals from the area and top Argentina wines.
This is a 7-night/6 full days of fishing trip.
$4,700.00 USD based on double occupancy room/boat.
- Full time guide/coordinator during the trip
- Transportation between local airport and the lodge
- Fishing license
- International/local flights
- Airport transfers in Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires hotel if necessary
In addition to the package outlined above, Andes Drifters - our outfitter in Argentina- offers trout packages that can be added to your Parana River experience. Check out this video about Andes Drifters North Patagonia offerings.