Golden dorado: the best freshwater trophy fish on earth...
Fergus Kelley, co founder of the London Fly Fishing Fair, shares his love of golden dorado and stresses why all anglers should try to make plans to fish for them.
Golden dorado (simply known in Spanish as 'dorado') is part of the Characidae family found in the South American rivers of Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, and is fast becoming renowned as one of the most spectacular freshwater gamefish on earth.
What makes dorado such a sought-after quarry species among anglers the world over?
Its hard-fighting characteristics, its impressive tail-walking and jumping abilities, and – of course – the unsurpassable beauty of its form; akin to a well-polished gold bullion with spots that would make a leopard jealous.
Dorado tend to be very aggressive and eat almost anything in their path, with a particularly sweet tooth for a sabalo – a native baitfish species found in South American rivers which can grow unusually big, too. But, our beloved dorado will employ their powerful fluorescent-yellow jaws to cut a sabalo in half in a nano-second, like a hot knife through warm butter.
Let us not forget the environment dorado frequent, too. Crystal-clear waters, slow or fast moving, remote picturesque valleys and jungles with far fairer weather conditions than you will find in England.
Sound like fun?
So we have established why so many anglers travel far and wide in pursuit of this species. But are they easy to catch?
The answer: far from it!
Dorado have a tendency to be moody and reject almost every fly in the box at times.
For kit, you will need saltwater hooks, heavy leader, and poweful rods and saltwater reels. Due to their boney mouths, setting the hook can be hard and it is important to keep a lot of tension in the line at all times.
Large streamer patterns are favoured, the most commonly used is the Andino Deceiver (consisting of a bucktail head with large hackles). Top-water patterns like mice, frogs, Titanic Sliders and poppers can also work to great effect.
For all anglers across the world, I urge you to add golden dorado to your bucket list, as when one does finally decide to snaffle your offering, it is an experience that you will never, ever forget!
If you want to know more about dorado fishing, or to book your very own trip, visit the inaugural London Fly Fishing Fair at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London on March 10–11, where there will be a large number of expert guides and tourism groups who will be more than keen to assist you.
Fergus Kelley guided at the famed Pira Lodge in Argentina where his love of golden dorado grew. Fergus is also a co-founder of The London Fly Fishing Fair, an exhibition that is dedicated to fly fishing brands across retail, travel, tuition, and much more.
Visit www.thelondonflyfishingfair.co.uk for further details and to buy tickets.