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Dorados on the fly Argentina Upper Parana River

Customer Rating 87%
Tour Code ARG011

Golden Dorado Fly fishing

The main advantages of Pinti’s Lodge are that it sits right on the bank of the famous Rio Parana River in Argentina and close to some of the best sections of the river for dedicated fly anglers looking to target the mighty Golden Dorado that can reach over 30lb. Target fishing to overhanging structure and along cut banks plus sight cast fishing opportunities to cruising fish ensures you are always where the Golden Dorado is waiting to ambush any juicy looking prey. The fishing area is an extensive tailwater system about 150 kilometres below the Yaciretá Dam. Because it is a tailwater, the water generally runs clear with over 6 feet of visibility and holds healthy numbers of Golden Dorado, Pacu, and Pira Pita.

This whole area is stunning and nothing like the lower Parana River in Buenos Aires; in fact, you would be hard pushed to believe it is the same river. When you combine this perfect location with the famous lodge owner Ricardo “Pinti”, who himself is a passionate and well-recognised expert in Dorado fly fishing throughout the world. Plus a lodge that can loan you all the required rods and reels and you will have the perfect destination for a Golden Dorado fly fishing experience that will produce many hookups every day with many fish coming to the boat for a picture.

Rio Parana Lodge ArgentinaRio Parana Lodge Argentina
Rio Parana Lodge ArgentinaRio Parana Lodge Argentina

Typical fishing day

The upper Parana River ranks as one of the most consistent fishing destinations for Dorados on the fly, boasting prolific fish numbers, providing lots of opportunities for large Golden Dorados on the fly and other exotic species. A typical day fishing is broken into two main fishing sessions; you will start around 7:30 am and fish through to approximately 12 noon. You will return to the lodge for lunch to be enjoyed in the cool and air-conditioned dining room. After lunch, it’s time to grab some well-earned rest as it is siesta time. Around 3:30ish, you will return to the river with your guide and usually fish until you arrive back at the lodge anytime between 9 to 10 pm. Like many hot places fishing for Golden Dorado, it is most productive early and late in the day; however, on any overcast days, the fishing can remain excellent throughout the whole day. Each day travel time can be very short as you can start fishing right outside the lodge; however, guides have lots of spot and places to try throughout the day so that you will travel some reasonable distances.

Your main quarry will be explosive Dorados on the fly that grows to some impressive sizes, but don’t let that distract you from the other exotic species available to fly anglers. Pacu, which is considered the Permit of Argentina, has its cult attraction among experienced anglers because of its size and power. Pacu to 25lb range are caught, but most will be 8 to 12 pounds. The Pira Pita is a smaller fish up to about 10lb and acts basically like a trout as it takes small insect-like flies but is great fun and a welcome break from the Dorado fishing.

Fishing Methods For Dorados on the fly

The most exciting way to ever catch Dorados on the fly is sight fishing; watching these fish charge your fly is just heart-stopping. The other is when the Dorado gang up like an angry group of teenagers and go on a feeding frenzy; they trash the water to foam chase their prey right on to the banks, often beaching themselves as they try to grab as many Sabalo as possible. Casting your fly into this commotion you wonder how it is possible not to get a hookup.

The other method is searching the drop-offs and fishing to structure with streamers can be an excellent way to find big fish, and this river holds some monsters 20LB is a good fish, but this river does produce fish over 30lb. The area you have to fish at this lodge is so vast it is rare to fish in the same place twice in the same week.

Golden Dorado is not the only species happy to take a fly; on sunny days, why not try looking and sight fish for Pira-Pita and Pacu that you can find under overhanging trees and bushes seeking shade and food. Check out our Youtube Channel for more in-depth fishing tips and methods.

Rio Parana Lodge ArgentinaRio Parana Lodge Argentina
Rio Parana Lodge ArgentinaRio Parana Lodge Argentina

Boats and Guides

At this location, you will use not only the top boats but also guides. The boats are 20 ft. panga-style boats set up perfectly for catching Dorados on the fly and for anglers to fish from. You will fish two anglers with one fishing guide, and they will run the boat so both anglers can fish at the same time while drifting the banks and sand bars. As well as petrol engines to run up and down the river and get you to the best fishing spots fast, the boats are also equipped with trolling motors to control the drift while keeping anglers in position. This allows a quieter approach to the unsuspecting Golden Dorado.

Locals recognise Pinti, the lodge owner, as a pioneer for freshwater fly fishing in the Upper Parana River, which has allowed him to select an elite team of guides. The guide staff are world-class professionals with decades of experience fishing and guiding Dorado all over South America. These guys have forgotten more about Dorado than most experts’ claim to know and are terrific coaches and fun to spend a day on the water. They’ll fast-track you on the fly fishing tactics needed to be a successful Dorado angler, and you’ll learn something new every day. All of the guides will speak English at different levels.

Accommodation

Pinti’s Lodge offers fly anglers the perfect home while pursuing the hard fighting and stunning Golden Dorados on the fly in Argentina. Located ideally on the upper section of the famous Rio Parana, you can be fishing from right outside the Lodge. This Lodge was designed and built for anglers which makes it the perfect location for a week’s Golden Dorado fly fishing

The Lodge

Perched on a high jungle bank overlooking the Parana River just outside of the tiny fishing village of Itá Ibaté in Corrientes province Argentina. Its location offers fantastic views right over the Rio Parana River. They consist of two main buildings, each with four bedrooms, making a total of 8 individual bedrooms for each week. All rooms come with full private full baths, air conditioning and are decorated with local art. As the Lodge only takes a maximum of 8 anglers each week, everyone will enjoy single occupancy accommodation unless otherwise requested.

The spacious common area has a pool table, and full bar; adjacent to this room is another common living space, nicely decorated and furnished with full couches and comfortable chairs, where anglers can relax with drinks and appetizers while enjoying the incredibly scenic views of the Rio Parana. There is also a separate TV, lounging and fly-tying room in the main building available for use. In addition, for those warmer days, there are outside dining areas both in the garden and on the deck overlooking the river. At other times breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at the large dining room table in the main Lodge and are often hosted by Pinti or one of the head guides. Our customers rave about the hospitality of the Pinti’s Lodge and the overall environment.

Food and Drink

The main food is classic Argentine cuisine, including the weekly “Asado” (Argentine BBQ) also, during the week you will enjoy a great range of international dishes. The dining experience at the Lodge is a satisfying blend of fresh ingredients, delicious flavours, all beautifully presented; one thing is for sure you will not go home hungry.

The Lodge offers an open bar policy with all domestic liquors, stunning Argentine wines from the Mendoza region, along local beers during your stay. All soft drinks are also included throughout your stay. Midday lunches are prepared and served back at the Lodge with your guide, where you can relax and either enjoy the shade or the inside air conditioning.

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Itinerary

TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

The below itinerary is flexible should you require additional fishing days or additional free days to explore; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.

Day 1:

Depart UK (alternative routes available)

Day 2:

Arrive Buenos Aires

Once you have arrived you will need to collect your luggage. Make your way out of the terminal building where you will have to take a taxi to Jorge Newbery airport for your internal flight (taxi not included)

Depart Jorge Newbery, Arrive Corrientes

When you arrive a member of Pinti’s Lodge will be waiting to transfer you to the lodge.

Overnight accommodation: Pinti’s Lodge (Single Room) F/B

Days 3 to 8: Fishing Days

Each day is divided into two sessions to avoid the heat at noon. You will have a morning session from 7:30  am to 12 am and an afternoon session that starts around 3:30 pm until sunset. Most of the fishing is done from the boats. All boats are very well equipped and have room enough to have both anglers fishing at the same time. Fishing each day is normally based on two anglers to one guide.

We fish by drifting with the electric engines parallel to the bank, 15-20 meters away, trying to get your fly as close to the bank as possible, aiming for branches, logs and any kind of structure. They also have small electric engines for controlling the drift along the banks.

Overnight accommodation: Pinti’s Lodge (Single Room) F/B

Day 9:

Early in the morning transfer back to Corrientes airport.

Depart Corrientes, Arrive Jorge Newbery

When you have arrived at Jorge Newbery you will need to head to the baggage collection area. Once you have collected your luggage, make your way out of the terminal building and take a taxi to your overnight hotel (Taxi not included)

Overnight accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin Rooms) B/B

Day 10:

Depending on what time your flights are, you will check out of the hotel and take a taxi back to Buenos Aires airport for your return flights. The hotel reception can help arrange a taxi (Taxi not included)

Depart Buenos Aires

Day 11:

Arrive UK

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Satisfaction Score 87%

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FISHING Seasons

The season runs from Beginning January to end October.

Golden Dorado

Season: January to October
Peak: February to April
Weight: 5lb to 33lb
Average Weight: 6lb

Pacu

Season: January to October
Peak: February to April
Weight: 5lb to 25lb
Average Weight: 10b

Pira Pita

Season: January to October
Peak: February to April
Weight: 1lb to 10lb
Average Weight: 2.5lb

Package Details

Prices from
£5,512
per person

Included

  • All international flights
  • Internal flight Buenos Aries to Corrientes
  • Transfers to and from Lodge
  • All accommodation as per itinerary
  • All meals at Lodge
  • All soft drinks & wine at Lodge
  • 6 days fishing
  • Fishing license

Excluded

  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Meals at Buenos Aries Hotels or bar expenses
  • Transfers in Buenos Aries
  • Tips for guides and all camp staff
  • Fishing tackle

Optional extras

  • 3-day fishing packages available
  • Flight upgrades
  • Additional nights in Buenos Aries
  • Single rooms in Buenos Aries
  • Sea Trout Fishing add on
  • Steelhead Fishing add on
  • King Salmon Fishing add on

Price Supplements

N/A

View Latest Availability

Dates, Prices & Availability

Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.

Departing Returning Days Price Availability
01/01/2022 31/01/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/02/2022 28/02/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/03/2022 31/03/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
Limited Availability Limited Availability
01/04/2022 30/04/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
Limited Availability Limited Availability
01/05/2022 31/05/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/06/2022 30/06/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/07/2022 31/07/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/08/2022 31/08/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/09/2022 30/09/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/10/2022 31/10/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/11/2022 30/11/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/12/2022 31/12/2022 11 £5,512 Enquire Now
01/01/2023 31/01/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/02/2023 28/02/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/03/2023 31/03/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/04/2023 30/04/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/05/2023 31/05/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/06/2023 30/06/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/07/2023 31/07/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/08/2023 31/08/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/09/2023 30/09/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/10/2023 31/10/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/11/2023 30/11/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now
01/12/2023 31/12/2023 11 £5,737 Enquire Now

Price Notes

Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.

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Reviews

Tim

What a good start to it all, sitting out side of the fishing lodge in 35 degree having a cold beer in the evening watching monkeys 18 meters away !! looking over the river I' am going to fish in the morning which is over a mile wide, only using a fly rod.

The river was in spate and coloured 10"visibality it was going to be tough, that's fishing. You can buy the flights location etc but you car 'nt do anything about the conditions !

The guides spoke excellent English or is that American (SIR)

Even though tough conditions I managed many takes on the golden dorado, landed over 20 fish including piranha and pira pita, even manage to catch on dry fly !

The lodge, staff and food was amazing so must go back when the river is clear ( it should have been perfect conditions....) Next Time

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Hi Tim

Thanks for talking to me on the telephone, glad the follow on trip after the sea trout was all ok, sorry about the water conditions with the river in flood. At least it has started to clear by the time you got there. The customers 1.5 weeks before you only had 1 inch visibility which made things even harder.

It was a pleasure to meet you over in Argentina enjoyed both your dads and your company and hope to get a chance to fish with you.

Regards Peter

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Would recommend Sportquest

Paul

After spending 6 days fishing for sea trout on the Rio Gallegos, it was a delight to be fishing in shorts and a t-shirt in temperatures around 30'C.

We were unfortunate to find the river was recovering from a massive flood and was very coloured - visibility in the water around 6" !

We fished from a boat - drifting down the margins of the mile wide river Parana, fishing among the dead trees and into the pockets created by the foliage on the margins. The fishing is attritional, as we were casting and retrieving constantly. To compensate for the hard work, it is a very exciting way to fish and we anticipated a strike or follow at every cast ! My son and I ended up catching 17 fish in our 3 days.

We caught Golden Dorado, Pira Pita and Pirahna. We had many follows and swirls and lost a number of fish, because we found it difficult to get used to 'strip striking' rather than lifting the rod tip. One can only imagine how exciting this fishing could be given clear water.

Locating the correct streamer flies was difficult - we eventually purchased flies form The Fly Shop in USA at $17 each only to find that the lodge sold them for $6 each! 9 ft 8 weight rods are the preferred choice - our 10 ft rods were too heavy for the constant casting - although not impossible. 40lbs - 30 lbs and 40lbs American wire made up our leaders.

Our guide Robin was outstanding. He worked his socks off to make sure we retrieved our flies from the trees and to put the boat in the correct position as we drifted along the bank. He was also very good company.

The El Dorado Lodge was very comfortable, the food was always tasty and we enjoyed the company of our host Pinti, who joined us for meals.

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Paul

Thank you as always for the customer feedback and for a copy of your pictures. It was a real shame that the water conditions were not perfect for you and Tim, but as we all know these things happen.

As per our conversation please accept our apologies in relation to the flies, we had not be made aware that the lodge was now selling flies. We have now updated our pre trip info to show this for all future customers.

Look forward in seeing you both again soon.

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John

Transfers Cordoba to Resistencia caused extra waiting time Resistencia to Buenos Aires meant long transfer from local to international airport.

Buenos Aires to Corrientes was better. There were not so many Dorado as previous visit, although I lost several larger ones. Many takes did not stay hooked.

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Hi John
Its great to hear you had a good holiday. Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback

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Ian

We had a fantastic time and the lodge took very good care of us bth. The fishing was good and we would love to return one day at a different time of year as the weather was very very hot.

Pinti and the lodge and staff were one of the best i have been with.

All in all another great holiday and organisation, just a couple of comments about the trip below:

Ride back to international airport in Corsa. Taxi with luggage on my lap. Not what I have paid for or expected from a private transfer.

Had to pay on internal flight, only allowed 15 kg, this could have been pointed out.

Better info on tackle needed.

As flight from Corrientes arrived at 9 PM, it would have been better to have a hotel closer to the airport and to have a breakfast included.

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Ian

Thanks so much for the feedback scores and the comments. Glad you both enjoyed the trip and it was great listening to you on the telephone. It will also be a pleasure in arran king for you both to return back there soon.

In relation to the few points. Sorry about the private transfer on the return I am not sure what happened there and agree the alternative arrangements that the transfer company made was not acceptable.

It did mention on the paperwork that the baggage allowance is only 15 kilos for the small internal flight. This is all they allow and we can not prebook or pay for any additional before you arrive. However the price is very cheap for either extra weight or extra bags.

We are constantly working on the tackle info with Pinti, different guides have different ideas and there is also all the different styles / methods you can fish with. But agree we can and will try to constantly update the information.

No worries about arranging a different hotel at the end of the trip, it is whatever you prefer, we have loads of hotels in BA as its such a huge capital, however it is really down to what you prefer.

I will look forward in seeing some pictures of you and bobs.

Regards Peter

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Robert

The lodge was comfortable, the food was good & the guides were excellent. However, the advice on tackle requirements & tipping was inaccurate and there were some glitches with flights and transfers.

The internal flights only had a baggage allowance of 15 kg so we had to pay excess baggage.

The Buenos Aires hotel was Room only which was a bit annoying. Could it not have been booked as B & B?

There is no mandatory tipping in Argentina but the documentation suggested there was.

Tackle advice was inadequate which meant we did not take suitable flies.

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Bob

Thanks for the time on the phone I am glad that you and Ian enjoyed your time and thanks for the feedback scores both for the operation and for our services.

As you know we are ALWAYS trying to improve everything so feedback like this is so so important.

Just on a couple of points, we will constantly try to improve the tackle advice for both fly fishing and spinning, however this does vary and people seem to have lots of different ideas.

In relation to flies I think one of the safest suggestions is that customer purchase the flies from the lodge as they will then be perfect.

In relation to baggage allowance there is nothing we can do on this, it did say in the paperwork what the allowance is, but maybe we need to make it stand out more. Also tipping is a a very emotional subject for people from the UK, it causes more stress than any other point, as we are not accustomed to it. We try to provide information based per and simple as a guide as ALL tipping is never mandatory and is entirely up to each individual customer.

As mentioned above thanks for your feedback and views which we will take on board and amend where we can.

Also thank you for both yours and Ian's continued custom as always it is valued and very well appreciated.

Regards Peter

Fishing
Guides
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Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

Tim

Dorado fishing with Pinti - great food, accommodation! Great tackle hire! Good English!

Sea Trout tackle hire! Guides were all outstanding!

Quite an expensive trip but love it!! and we will be back

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Tim

What another great trip everyone had and it was also mazing to have both you and your dad with us again.

So glad you will be returning for yet another year as the group each year is just getting better and better.

I have pre warned the lodge that we will need an extra Malbec delivery half way through the week......

A real pleasure my friend and see you again soon.

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John

We were lucky to have a gathering of delightful rods , most of whom had fished together in a past.

The "craic" was non stop as was the Malbec.

If you are fishing for Golden Dorado, take stripping glove.

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Paul

Thanks for the feedback and I hope you are enjoying your break now down under.

Yes it was a great group and such a craic and we are all looking forward to it again next year.

Thanks again for you continued support and custom, it is much appreciated.

Fishing
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Mike

In brief, - All was pretty good the lodge, guides and food was just perfect. Unfortunately the fishing was a disappointment due to the river being in flood with visibility down to only a few inches.

We persevered (as there was nothing else to do) in 35-40 degrees C and high humidity, - long casting and fast stripping for about 7 hours a day, and I worked it out that I had one "pull" about every 2000 casts! Which is hard work.

It was such a shame as the pictures on the wall of the lodge and talking to people you can expect to catch 30 plus fish a day in normal conditions. Having looked forward to it so much I have to be disappointed, - who would not be? However I have fished all over the world and know that no one can control the weather.

Response from Sportquest Holidays

Mike thank you as always for your feedback and taking the time to talk to me on the phone. So sorry to hear about the river conditions and the major effect it had on the fishing. The weather in Argentina is all over the place. As you know I was hosting a Sea Trout group the same time you were Golden Dorado fishing and we had the opposite to you (You had all our water) the river we fished had the lowest water level for 16 years which is typical.

I am glad everything else was all-ok and yes our lady in BA who does all the transfers is a lovely lady. Again sorry for the bad fishing conditions, I hate this when it happens as you plan, book in advance and we then do everything in our power to make the trips run as smooth as possible so its frustrating when we can not control other elements like the weather.

Kind Regards Peter

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
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Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

Alternative destinations

Hosted Secure Lodge Bolivia

If you have ever wished to go and experience some of the best Golden Dorado fishing on this planet? These hosted trips are for just 6 people each week, so perfect for single anglers. This is one of the most pristine environments in the world. Combine the stunning wildlife and amazing fishing. This will be a holiday you talk about for a very long time.

Secure Lodge Bolivia

Secure Lodge is the perfect destination for fly anglers looking for the jungle experience, with access to lots of water, giving all anglers many opportunities for fly fishing with heavy and light fly rods. The rivers contain an abundant number of Golden Dorado and provides an experience you'll remember forever.

Agua Negra Lodge Bolivia

Tsimane Agua Negra Camp is designed for just 4 anglers who will fish two main river systems, the Secure and the Agua Negra. Each season hundreds of thousands of baitfish migrate up the greater Secure system, and with them come thousands of large, aggressively feeding Dorado, all of which love taking anglers flies.

Pluma Lodge Bolivia

Tsimane Pluma Lodge, overlooking the Pluma River, is considered the most deluxe and diverse of the Tsimane lodges. Strategically located in the middle of the Pluma River below the confluence of two world-class systems, the upper Pluma and the Itirizama, makes this one of the best destinations to fly fish for Golden Dorado.

Pira Lodge Argentina

If you have ever wanted to experience fly fishing for Golden Dorado in stunning surroundings, then Pira Lodge is the perfect destination. Explore this huge expanse of creeks, lagoons and rivers from our Hells Bay flats boats, searching for Golden Dorado in the crystal clear water that is eagerly awaiting your fly.

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