Category: Golden Dorado

Tierra del Fuego

Land of Fire

If you translate the caption of the picture of the picture to the left into Spanish you get… “Tierra del Fuego”.

If you know anything about fly fishing in Argentina, or if you don’t, you should start feeling a little fire start down in your belly right about now… but I’ll get back to this.

One of the great torturous things about fishing in Argentina is that there is more fishing to be done and more places to explore, than time to do it.

Like most fishermen, those that are addicts – and by that I mean someone who dreams about fishing when they sleep, always sees a break in the work schedule (even an hour or two) as a possible fishing opportunity, gets sweaty palms walking into a fly shop, or who’s heart starts to beat a little faster when catching a whiff of that aroma unique to tackle boxes; anyway, most fishing addicts have a list.

The list is made up of not just places to fish, but also species to fish for and even techniques and types of equipment,  and any number of things that are prioritized into the short, middle and long term foreseeable future. This list – which is basically a plan, is carried around with us so that when opportunity presents itself we’re ready to pounce – fills a space we carve out for life’s upcoming fishing experiences.

But sometimes, you can get stuck on one particular aspect of that list and forget about, or neglect other aspects. When that happens, you can lose the excitement of discovering something new and it might take an external push to get you to open your eyes and realize, “hey, that’s something new for my list!”

Sea Run Brown Trout

Sea-Run Brown

About two weeks ago, I got a call from a friend of mine at the Embassy asking me if I could help a couple of guys get some information on sea-run Brown trout in the Rio Irigoyen. “You bet!” I said and started working my network of blogs, bulletin boards, guides, lodges, friends (of course), fly fishermen and fly shops.

Since I haven’t been to Tierra del Fuego myself yet, it was a lot of fun discovering where to go, what to do and see, and also learning more about the sea-run Browns. Trout, sometimes called “salters”, which live in rivers that empty into the sea, may spend up to three months at sea in the spring, not straying more than a few kilometers from the river mouth. The fish return upstream to spawn in the late summer or autumn. This is not just a Brown Trout phenomenon, and even Brook Trout can exhibit this behavior. The reason everyone is crazy about Brown that go to sea is because of their growth capacity. If you’ve ever hooked a Brown, you know that it is probably the fiercest fighting trout species, and since it is one of the larger species of trout… well, you get the idea.

Santiago del Estero

Santiago del Estero

Around the same time that I got the call from Charlie at the Embassy, I also got together with my friend Jim for lunch. Now he’s the kind of guy that has done or knows something about just about everything. The one thing that he hasn’t done is to have gone fishing for Golden Dorado in the Argentine “Litoral” also known as Mesopotamia. So while we’re eating lunch Jim says that when he gets back from his next trip he wants to plan a trip with me to go after some Dorado. Now, I’m always up for Dorado (“tiger of the river”) since it is one of the greatest fishing freshwater fish around, but there is a problem… a big problem. Due to overfishing and a lack of preservation efforts in Mesopotamia (which is comprised of the provinces of Misiones, Entre Rios and Corrientes) there fewer and fewer Dorado and the catch sizes are smaller and smaller when you can find them. It’s really a shame.

However, this is good news for guides and lodges popping up to the west of the Mesopotamia in Santiago del Estero and Salta. The respective rivers in each province, Rio Dulce and Rio Juramento, still have Dorado’s in quantity and quality. (Are you on “q”?) Although conservation efforts are still not as good and enforcement not as tight as it probably should be, at least in these provinces there are mandatory catch-and-release policies.

So now Jim and I have another adventure on our “list”.

Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce

Going back and doing research on these fish, fishing habitats and regions of this beautiful country (which I’ll share in upcoming articles), I suddenly got out of my rut – which I hadn’t realized I was in – and was humbled once again by the beauty and diversity of this planet. I hope you’ll considering adding these adventures to your list. You won’t be disappointed. Now excuse me while I get my gear in order so I can get ready to enjoy a few adventures on MY list.

As you know, I am a widely traveled man. This allows me to corroborate the claim that a trip is always more or less illusory.

That there is nothing new under the sun, it is all one and the same in the end.

But also, and paradoxically allows me to ensure there is no reason to stop looking for the exotic, the new.

Indeed, the world is endless.

J. L. Borges.

gif_doradoIn the Province of Cordoba, the Secretary of the Environment initiated a plan in December of 2008 for restoration of the golden dorado (Salminus brasiliensis) in the Tercero River; responding to the near extinction of this species in this water system.

Due to it’s connection with the Parana River, 96% of the fish life in the Tercero originates in the Parana.

Importance of the Project
The Dorado is a very important ecologic and economic species at both national and international levels. Today in the majority of the environments which the Dorado inhabits, the human impact has significantly diminished its population and in many cases caused the disappearance of this and other associated species.

In the medium and long term, and with intelligent management of future populations of this species, it is possible to advance a Sustainable Use Program that permits the development of small economies at the local and regional levels. An example of this would be through the promotion of tourism such as fly fishing, and catch and release policies.

Work Methodology
The restoration of the dorado (S. brasiliensis) populations in the Tercero Rio water system it being done through a series of phases that have been deemed “participative”, since various social, government and non government sectors may be able to join work teams, that are being developed, as observers or active participants.

Kudos to the Environmental Secretary and the Province of Cordoba.

If you’d like to practice your Spanish and read more about this and other programs in Cordoba, you can click on the image at the top of this post and visit their website.

Fly casting for Golden Dorado - Goya, Corrientes

Fly casting for Golden Dorado - Goya, Corrientes

This week’s PoW features a fishing guide (Javier) from Goya in the province of Corrientes. This beautiful shot is from the photography gallery of fishing guide and nature photographer Terry Gunn.

Terry has graciously given SFA access to his galleries and I plan to share his work from time to time on the PoW posting.

Please visit Terry and tell him you heard about him here on SFA. Continue reading

The Ministry of Ecology, Renewable Natural Resources and Tourism in the province of Misiones, prohibited fishing (sport and commercial) in the Uruguay River yesterday.

The prohibition will last until the water level rises and conditions improve.

Rio Uruguay in Missiones

Rio Uruguay in Misiones

Argentina has been suffering from a drought for many months throughout the country and this is one more example of the impact it is having on the country. It has also had a serious effect on crops and livestock.

In any case, locals can still fish for “substance” since there are many indigenous people living throughout the province. For this reason, locals can still fish with a “hand held line” [linea de mano] and only from the coastline or from a rowing canoe.

The sad reality is that due to lack of enforcement and a strong campaign regarding conservation means that locals and Paraguayans, who are not considered under the jurisdiction of the “Fauna” (Fish and Game) authorities, will continue to use netting and other means to catch more fish than they can eat, in order to sell them in local markets.

This is a disappointing and ongoing problem in Argentina’s poorer and lesser known provinces. The lack of understanding leads to less likelihood of fishing tourism in these provinces.

Golden (freshwater) Dorado

Golden (freshwater) Dorado

Provinces like Misiones and Corrientes are home to a huge variety of fish (such as Golden Freshwater Dorado, Pacú and others) that could support and draw fishing and eco-tourism in greater numbers than is currently the case. But until there is money in the provinces to fill gas tanks for Fish and Game authorities and awareness greater awareness about preservation, these regions will continue to be there own worst enemies.

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