Fishing for Dorado in Rio Parana

Imagine this. An unexploited river delta stretching for hundreds of miles with countless of Dorado spots, situated in a truly amazing environment. Then add that you’ll probably be fishing with the best guides available for coming days. Goosebumps!

 

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After a long trip from Sweden with a midnight arrival at the lodge I was nicely greeted with some great food along with the game-plan of our adventure. I was teamed up with Federico, a chef & guide from Cordoba and Ramon, the local guide and host of the lodge. I’ve been on similar trips before, but none were the guides were just as excited to fish as their guests. Young and hungry for adventure, no doubts, this was going to be something special.

Early rise, big breakfast, 5 layers of sunscreen, hit the water and start the chase. This was my first time fly-fishing the legendary river Dorado, and wow – This.Is.A.Beast! 

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Know as the Tiger of the river, these guys have a temper and strong territorial behaviour. No need to sneak and be dead quite when you approach, just keep an eye out for activity along the shoreline where they lure for prey. With big flies you can hit the water hard. Try to disturb and trigger their attacks.

You know when you get it right as you’ll probably have an angry Dorado on the other end. Acrobatic jumps, heavy deep pumps and blistering runs…they offer the vast portfolio of tricks to get rid off the fly. Priceless fights plus many screams of excitement from the team… And don’t forget to celebrate your successful catch with some ‘tradicíon’ – a sip of whiskey!

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Over three days we mounted up 40h of fishing and we never returned to the same spot. There are countless of opportunities on each corner or current. But make sure you save some energy for the Hora Dorada, the golden hour (20-21:00h).

This is when the big boys come out for dinner. In this time frame – we had +20 strikes, we had Dorados attacking other Dorados, we broken flies from vicious piranhas (that will show no mercy), we had crocodile on the shoreline, birds scouting for prey and 10 something cows swimming by the boat. Action everywhere and non stop fun! Personally, I caught 34 Dorados (…and 34 sips of tradicion) with fish ranging from 1lbs-12lbs.

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Jump on the plane, take the overnight bus from Buenos Aires and you’ll find yourself in this unforgettable environment with great people! Many thanks for the service, the food and the fishing.

See you soon Pointer!

Saludos,

Markus

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The Secluded Paradise

The location we were fishing was located halfway to Carlos Paz, through a national park, on a local rancher’s private property. The area itself was gorgeous. Large rock structures jutted from the ground reaching high into the air.

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The terrain was composed of hills covered in sparsely grown shrubs and high grass. The river itself was beautiful, crystal clear with plenty of natural rock formations providing cover for countless Brooke trout. The sun was out and a nice breeze continually swept through the area. Occasionally, a lazy cloud drifted across the sky providing fifteen to twenty minutes of cover. If you saw the fish most likely they saw you as well, making it an intriguing game of predator and prey.

I accompanied Jason, Sam, Juan, Augustin, and Martin today. Our guides, Augustine and Martin, were very excited as we started rigging up the gear. They had fished the day before making sure to scope out the area before our arrival.

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Clearly, they were pleased with the amount of fish and their aggression. Today we were using two four weight fly rods and a three weight rod. Our flies were nymph and moth patterns, exclusively dry flies. We finished setting up and began our walk to the river which was only a couple hundred meters away. As soon as we arrived at the water’s edge, Martin pointed out a small pool behind a large rock with close to fifteenBrooke trout in it. Martin beckoned for me to make the first cast. I complied and was delighted to see a Brooky leap from the water, devouring the fly in one graceful jump. Oh, this was going to be a fantastic day! Setting the hook a bit too hard, the trout flew onto the bank. I picked it up gently and washed it in the stream, slowly releasing it back into the current. It swam quickly back to its starting location where it joined its fellow Brookies.

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I looked to my companions faces and saw excitement strewn about their features. They were anxious and ready to start fishing. The river contained an innumerable amount of spots where hungry fish waited. They would not be disappointed this day. Sam and Jason began fishing. Each were inexperienced with a fly rod, yet their guides were solid fisherman and immediately began giving helpful hints. They were quick learners and adjusted their techniques accordingly. Soon after they mastered the basics of the fly rod, they began catching fish. One, six, ten, fifteen. The fish kept striking and Jason and Sam kept bringing them ashore. The average fish we caught was around half a pound, its length anywhere from six to twelve inches. Before we knew it, lunch time was upon us. We headed back to the vehicles.

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Martin and Augustine set up the table for lunch and we all sat comfortably, enjoying the scenery while snacking on a picada. The picada was composed of pickled vegetables, salami, duck pate, cheese, and sliced bread. A delicious appetizer to enjoy while our eyes wandered over the terrain and we shared stories, laughing and grinning in turn. The main course was grilled chicken sandwiches. They were filled with avocado, bell peppers, succulent diced chicken breast, and onions. A light splash of lime juice to add a wonderfully tangy flavor. Martin’s wife is quite the cook! Lastly, for dessert, we had arroz con leche. It was a creamy consistency of rice and milk. A light cinnamon flavor gave it a refreshing taste, cleansing our pallets. As always we have wine, beer, soda, tea, coffee, or water to accompany your meal. All said and done, it was delicious and filling. Finished with lunch, we headed back to the river.

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The rest of the day played out as you might expect. We caught Brooky after Brooky. Their aggression and quantity never faltered throughout the day. The last thirty minutes of our trip, I had wandered ahead a couple hundred meters in front of our group. I casted behind a large rock and watched my fly float nonchalantly for a moment. Then magic occurred. A large brooke struck the fly with a ferocity unmatched by any fish I had caught earlier that day. The fight was exquisite, bringing about a goofy grin to mark my countenance. I slowly tired the fish and brought him to the bank. It was by farone of the biggest fish in the river. It weighed around four pounds and was twenty-two inches in length. I looked around shouting for my companions. They were nowhere to be seen. My heart sank. Every fisherman knows proof is in the pudding. If I didn’t have someone to see me catch this fish, there was no way anyone would believe me when I recounted the story. So, I unhooked the fly and started running up the side of the river. Every ten seconds dipping the fish in the water, allowing water to run through its gills, making sure it could breathe easily. I repeated the procedure for a couple hundred meters until I finally saw my companions. I yelled excitedly beckoning them to come look at the monster I had caught. They quickly hurried over and took pictures. I kept the fish in the water, gently moving water over its gills, then releasing it with a sigh of pleasure. The Brooke moved swiftly into the current and then out of sight. A great way to wrap up the day. Later, before we left, Martin told me that there were maybe fifteen fish in the entirety of that river so large. It’s good to be lucky!

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Finished fishing, we headed back to the vehicles. We were all feeling quite tired and looking forward to a relaxing evening. We were lucky to have such fantastic guideswho provided such a wonderful fishing experience! As always, Pointer Fly Fishingdelivered in full.

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Parker Tipton

Host & Guide

Pointer Outfitters

The Stormy Highlands of Cordoba

The fishing in the highlands of Cordoba: On a typical day in the highlands, you will be using a 3 to 5 weight rod. Depending on the weather, the fly will be a dropper or a dry fly. Usually the fish range from 1 pound to 3 pounds and average length is between 4 to 13 inches.

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The rain drizzles. Thunder roars in the distance. Cold wind blows, chilling our bones. Another great day of fishing in the hills of Argentina! The river is beautiful, clear, and full of fish. Martin, our guide, did not lie about the quantity of fish. Rainbow and Brown trout are abundant and hungry. If only the weather would allow us to continue fishing. We huddle for warmth inside the car, waiting for a break in the storm. The river beckons to us. The storm laughs at us, producing hail in a quick flurry.

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Something mystical starts to occur, the clouds part and the sun peaks its way through for the first time. The downpour turns to a drizzle and then stops completely. It’s still cold, but we can handle that baby! Bill begins his trek up river with Martin. They stop at a beautiful area where fast water meets slow, eddying around various submerged rocks. We are surrounding by mountains on all sides, mist clinging to them lazily floating from one peak to the next. The scenery is gorgeous, as it should be, considering the drive to the remote river, nestled in private property, took us an hour up rough roads.

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I turn my attention back to Bill and Martin. Martin is expertly tying a dropper on the end of the fly line. A nymph mimic with black hair around the base leading up to red fringe around the collar. With the rod ready, Bill perched upon a rock, it was time for the fishing to commence. Slowly, he started casting. Five to ten minutes pass, nothing happens. I see frustration creep to the edge of his features. We move down the river to another promising spot. Again he begins casting. This time with luck on his side, his rod tip bends towards the water.  A monster, five kilos at least, thrashing on his line. His features light up, twisting and turning, trying to handle this six kilo rainbow.

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Luckily, Martin got his net out in time to safely subdue the seven kilo rainbow. Bill almost falling in the water battling the titan let out a sigh of relief, glad to be finished with such terrible exertion. All said and done, Martin pulled the nine kilo rainbow from the net, and gingerly handed it to Bill. Bill, struggling with the weight, frantically waited for Juan to take the picture. Juan, master photographer and videographer, quickly took the necessary shots before Bill passed out from the weight. It took all three of us and a small crane to strap the fish on top of the truck. By this time, the rainbow was at least thirty kilos and still growing. What in the world did they put in this river?

Well, at least that how fishing stories go don’t they? The fish was actually a little more than a pound and just under twelve inches. It put up a great fight however and had gorgeous coloring. It was the biggest fish caught that day. Most of the fish we caught were four to five inches and well under a pound. If you are looking for those monsters, then South Patagonia is the place to be!

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We settled down for lunch, enjoying a “la picada” before our main dish. Pablo makes sure there are three courses to every meal, in every operation he runs. Whether said meal is in the field or at one of his many lodges, the food is always filling and spectacularly tasty. A “la picada” is a sort of appetizer platter, with a variety of meat, cheese, and pickled goodies. Our next course was a sandwich, either beef or chicken, with delightful relishes upon it. Lastly, we had a milk chocolate or dulce de leche custard with sugary breadcrumbs. A great way to finish out the day. All said and done we caught nine fish that day. A great day with fantastic people and delicious food, the fishing wasn’t all that bad either!

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Park Tipton

Host and Guide

Pointer Outfitters

 

The Secluded Paradise

The location we were fishing was located halfway to Carlos Paz, through a national park, on a local rancher’s private property. The area itself was gorgeous. Large rock structures jutted from the ground reaching high into the air.

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The terrain was composed of hills covered in sparsely grown shrubs and high grass. The river itself was beautiful, crystal clear with plenty of natural rock formations providing cover for countless Brooke trout. The sun was out and a nice breeze continually swept through the area. Occasionally, a lazy cloud drifted across the sky providing fifteen to twenty minutes of cover. If you saw the fish most likely they saw you as well, making it an intriguing game of predator and prey.

I accompanied Jason, Sam, Juan, Augustin, and Martin today. Our guides, Augustine and Martin, were very excited as we started rigging up the gear. They had fished the day before making sure to scope out the area before our arrival.

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Clearly, they were pleased with the amount of fish and their aggression. Today we were using two four weight fly rods and a three weight rod. Our flies were nymph and moth patterns, exclusively dry flies. We finished setting up and began our walk to the river which was only a couple hundred meters away. As soon as we arrived at the water’s edge, Martin pointed out a small pool behind a large rock with close to fifteenBrooke trout in it. Martin beckoned for me to make the first cast. I complied and was delighted to see a Brooky leap from the water, devouring the fly in one graceful jump. Oh, this was going to be a fantastic day! Setting the hook a bit too hard, the trout flew onto the bank. I picked it up gently and washed it in the stream, slowly releasing it back into the current. It swam quickly back to its starting location where it joined its fellow Brookies.

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I looked to my companions faces and saw excitement strewn about their features. They were anxious and ready to start fishing. The river contained an innumerable amount of spots where hungry fish waited. They would not be disappointed this day. Sam and Jason began fishing. Each were inexperienced with a fly rod, yet their guides were solid fisherman and immediately began giving helpful hints. They were quick learners and adjusted their techniques accordingly. Soon after they mastered the basics of the fly rod, they began catching fish. One, six, ten, fifteen. The fish kept striking and Jason and Sam kept bringing them ashore. The average fish we caught was around half a pound, its length anywhere from six to twelve inches. Before we knew it, lunch time was upon us. We headed back to the vehicles.

Martin and Augustine set up the table for lunch and we all sat comfortably, enjoying the scenery while snacking on a picada. The picada was composed of pickled vegetables, salami, duck pate, cheese, and sliced bread. A delicious appetizer to enjoy while our eyes wandered over the terrain and we shared stories, laughing and grinning in turn. The main course was grilled chicken sandwiches. They were filled with avocado, bell peppers, succulent diced chicken breast, and onions. A light splash of lime juice to add a wonderfully tangy flavor. Martin’s wife is quite the cook! Lastly, for dessert, we had arroz con leche. It was a creamy consistency of rice and milk. A light cinnamon flavor gave it a refreshing taste, cleansing our pallets. As always we have wine, beer, soda, tea, coffee, or water to accompany your meal. All said and done, it was delicious and filling. Finished with lunch, we headed back to the river.

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The rest of the day played out as you might expect. We caught Brooky after Brooky. Their aggression and quantity never faltered throughout the day. The last thirty minutes of our trip, I had wandered ahead a couple hundred meters in front of our group. I casted behind a large rock and watched my fly float nonchalantly for a moment. Then magic occurred. A large brooke struck the fly with a ferocity unmatched by any fish I had caught earlier that day. The fight was exquisite, bringing about a goofy grin to mark my countenance. I slowly tired the fish and brought him to the bank. It was by farone of the biggest fish in the river. It weighed around four pounds and was twenty-two inches in length. I looked around shouting for my companions. They were nowhere to be seen. My heart sank. Every fisherman knows proof is in the pudding. If I didn’t have someone to see me catch this fish, there was no way anyone would believe me when I recounted the story. So, I unhooked the fly and started running up the side of the river. Every ten seconds dipping the fish in the water, allowing water to run through its gills, making sure it could breathe easily. I repeated the procedure for a couple hundred meters until I finally saw my companions. I yelled excitedly beckoning them to come look at the monster I had caught. They quickly hurried over and took pictures. I kept the fish in the water, gently moving water over its gills, then releasing it with a sigh of pleasure. The Brooke moved swiftly into the current and then out of sight. A great way to wrap up the day. Later, before we left, Martin told me that there were maybe fifteen fish in the entirety of that river so large. It’s good to be lucky!

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Finished fishing, we headed back to the vehicles. We were all feeling quite tired and looking forward to a relaxing evening. We were lucky to have such fantastic guideswho provided such a wonderful fishing experience! As always, Pointer Fly Fishingdelivered in full.

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Parker Tipton

Host & Guide

Pointer Outfitters

In the hills of Cordoba

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It was early December when we went flyfishing with Lucas Dominguez to the high mountains of Córdoba. It was necessary to do some survey to see the fishing conditions of a river inside private lands in Altas Cumbres, a beautiful place with incredible landscapes that you cannot miss.

At 7 am we were ready to leave Jesús María and two hours later we were fishing in Altas Cumbres.  On the way there, access was mostly by asphalt and 45km on a dirt road that you can only transit with a 4×4 truck.

IMG_GR_testimonials1456946378Altas Cumbres road is well-know for the historic construction of it. In the last years of the 1950s, it became clear that there was a need to modernize the old Suspension bridges road in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. Increasing traffic and trade between the provinces of Cordoba Mendoza and San Juan needed new roads to expedite travelling times and decrease costs. At the same time, it was considered important to create a route linking the ports of the Atlantic with the Pacific through the Cordoba corridor.

In 1956, President of Provincial Roads Engineer Laisseca said that it was inappropriate for the old road to be improved, but a new one should be built using the best modern technology. For this reason, during the administration of Governor Arturo Zanichelli, an aerial survey of that region of the Sierras Grandes was undertaken to map the topography. Roads were cut to enable surveyors to design the best route.

IMG_GR_testimonials1456946259When we got there, we had to open 6 gates to finally see the river. Then, we left the truck in a place inside the land and walked to the river like 40 minutes.

We decided to put our lunch inside our backpacks and just take the day off to explore the zone. Surprised by rain, we couldn’t fly-fish very well, but we found out that it was a river that goes through the mountains, between the rocks, and has open waters too. It also has few sliding river and huge water mirrors, which makes casting interesting.

When fishing, we used fishing rods number 3 but the conditions were not the best and fish were not catching our fly, so we tried out different types of fly until we found the most suitable one. That day, Lucas did a great job when catching a 7 pound trout, which is very unusual in this part of Córdoba. Four years ago, Lucas laid 10.000 alevin that we can get to see now, but it is really tough to catch them because they are not active yet.

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After lunch, we continued up with some afternoon fishing, going upstream where we left our truck. Afternoon activity was not a very good one, but we saw some nice animals, mostly rainbow trouts and little trouts inside water well.

The walking back was not easy but neither impossible. For everything we used light equipment with little fly, hooks number 16 and 18, dry fly and no streamer except for one case that Lucas put to use with that huge trout he caught.

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At the end of the trip, I can say I have a new challenge; go back there and do another survey when those alevins are more active.

Pablo Aguilo

Pointer Outfitters

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Fly Fishing in the Backyard

During the last 20 years, I have been fishing all over the world. I have been in many paradise places just for fishing. I have taken long flights from Argentina to places like Alaska in the Katmai National Park, just to tie a fly in my line and get a rainbow trout.

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But, couple of weeks ago I made the decision with some friends of going fly fishing at our backyard in the Cordoba hills. We live in the capital of dove hunting in Argentina in the province of Cordoba, and we have some nice creeks up in the hills with small rainbow and brown trouts, that are lovely to fish with small rods.

We packed fly rods # 3 and #2, and floating lines. In our fly box we had mostly dry flies. We were expecting to use only dry flies with these light rods. Imagine a virgin place where the trouts have never seen a fly fishing fly. That is a dream for any fly fishermen, right? And these days, there are not many places in the world to fly fish that had not been discovered before. IMG_GR_testimonials1419034254

The thing with these 2 rivers is that they are in private land, and we have been up in the mountains where the river starts. It is amazing that we have the access to the private land where these rivers start running and nobody have fly fished them up in the top.

One of the reasons why nobody fly fish these rivers is because of the size of the fish, which are 8 to 10 inches average. And also because it takes more than 2 hour-drive from Cordoba City or Cordoba Airport and then you have one more hour to the river. To approach these rivers we need to do it in 4×4 wheels vehicles or by horses; terrain is though.

IMG_GR_testimonials1419034005The water in these rivers run in between the rocks, sometimes big boulders that makes of this place an amazing scenario, and we had to walk through these rocks to get to the different pools. The water run constantly but not really fast, and in the pools there are areas where the water moves very slowly. It is not a deep river, and we can say it has an average of 50 inches in the pools, but some of them could be really deep, like 120 or 140 inches or very shallow, like 20 inches.

The water is clear and clean, we can drink it, no problem at all. It is amazing how clear is from over the rocks and exciting to see the fish around in each pool.

We have tried also, fishing down the river, in the valley, where there are less big rocks and it is easier to wade around, and it looks like 2 different rivers. In this area we found some runs, and then the pools and slow waters, where the trouts were hiding waiting for the food.IMG_GR_testimonials1419032205

Wind is tricky up in the mountains, and one evening made it difficult to cast, but not impossible with a # 3 rod, but the mornings with no wind where just amazing. It is a very smooth fishing, with a very smooth cast.

We had fish in every pool, amazing! It was nearly 7 or 8 trouts running behind our flies per pool, so we can say that there was plenty of fishing. It was nice to see them first and then casting smoothly in front of them.

In my opinion, fly fishing success is not about the inches or the number of fish you get in the bag, that is important, but what makes a fly fishing place special, is the combination of how we get the fish, I mean watching them, hunting them; and also the remote area of the world where for some days it will be only the paradise and our soul.IMG_GR_testimonials1419034461IMG_GR_testimonials1419032680

We will not recommend you to come to the high hills off Cordoba for fly fishing, there is many different places closer for you, but if you are coming Cordoba for dove hunting or business, we recommend you to do it one time. Fly fishing Cordoba in these small creeks could be an experience of a life time.

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Pablo Aguilo

Pointer Fly Fishing

Llao Llao Hotel: Great combo for Cast & Blast!

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, San Carlos de Bariloche

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, San Carlos de Bariloche

“Las Peñas” Lodge

“Las Peñas” Lodge

At Pointer Fly Fishing we offer a great combo for cast & blast. First we have dove hunt in Cordoba at the luxurious “Las Peñas” lodge; and then, rainbow trout fly fishing in Bariloche at the elegant “LLao Llao Hotel and Resort”.

Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing

Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing

Dove Hunting at Las Peñas Lodge

Dove Hunting at Las Peñas Lodge

Las Peñas Lodge

The hunting lodge itself is a client favorite, and over the years, has drawn plenty of critical acclaim from industry insiders. The lodge has been completely renovated in 2010 to meet the absolute highest standards of excellence.

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The Lodge perfectly blends the charm of “old-world” Argentina with contemporary luxury, and offers 5-star amenities seldom found at hunting lodges. The Lodge sits on an immaculately-kept boutique estancia, and has an inglenook den, an outdoor fire pit lounge and a formal dining area.

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Llao Llao Hotel & Resort

Located in the tourist resort of San Carlos de Bariloche within the province of Río Negro, Argentina, this famous hotel is situated in the foothills of the Andes on a hill between the Moreno Lake and NahuelHuapi Lakes.

Amazing view

Amazing view

This unique hotel has everything a guest could ask: a spa with the most modern techniques for men and women blend with delicate aromas and scents creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and enjoyment.

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Outdoors swimming pool

The hotel also counts with a golf course surrounded by perfect Patagonian scenery. 18-hole golf course with rolling fairways, stunning greens and perfectly integrated bunkers.

Like the combo?

More information at http://www.pointerflyfishing.com