Parana river

Golden Dorado River Cruiser

Santa Fé Province, Argentina

About the Program

Golden Dorado are maybe the world’s hardest fighting freshwater fish. These tackle busting beasts will annihilate anything in their path including Big Foam Poppers and Flash-Tail Streamers. 

The Golden Dorado River Cruiser is the only mother-ship fishing program in Argentina. It brings us another highly mobile fishing operation and allows us to Navigate the entire upper delta system of the Parana River in Argentina.

Fishing

Golden Dorado are extraordinary hunters and are regarded as one of the best fighting freshwater fish on the planet. They’re aggressive with a ferocious strike, long, hard runs, high jumps, and crazy fighting stamina. The locals call them River Tigers. They love moving water where they can ambush their prey and best of all they will smash a big popper on the surface.

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Our anglers fish from 17½-ft North Carolina Skiffs with 90-HP Yamaha four-stroke engines. The boats are specifically designed for fly fishing and have remote control operated electric trolling motors, and two casting platforms, so 2 anglers can comfortably cast at the same time. The guides are local and know the river inside and out. Their main language is spanish but they also speak english as well. The season is October through May. 

8-10 weight rods with floating, intermediate and fast sinking lines are needed for this trip. Lightweight reels with a good drag system to help slow these fish down on their long powerful runs. Wire Leaders are needed to handle the razor sharp teeth of the Golden Dorado and a few of the other species of fish in the river. Large Poppers that push a lot of water and both weighted and unweighted streamers in the 5 – 7 inch range in a variety of colors will round out the fly box. 

The Golden Dorado in the Parana are abundant. The average size fish is in the 5-6 pound range with daily chances of fish in the 15-20 pound range. The Parana Gypsy accesses the best dorado fishing on the Paraná River system. Each day, you’ll fish new waters as we follow migrating fish and bait according to the seasons.

More about the operation

Another important characteristic of our program is the short distance from Buenos Aires City and Rosario City. If you are in Rosario, you can get to the Marina in 45 minutes. And, if you are coming from Buenos Aires, the Marina is only 2.5 hours away!

The advantages of our Golden Dorado program are very similar to what we do in the Amazon. We use our floating ultra mobile base camp to fish new water daily and chase fish and fishing conditions. The Parana River is born in the south of Brazil and, on its way south, as it enters Argentina it receives water from several smaller rivers and tributaries, and as it enters the provinces of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, forms one of the largest deltas in the world, as the famous Uruguay river joins in, finishing at Rio La Plata  near the city of Buenos Aires, before going into the Atlantic Ocean.

This large river system is the second biggest in South America, after the Amazon, with a total length of over 1500 miles, with hundreds of tributaries, deltas, marshlands, lagoons, side channels, full of fantastic flora and fauna, providing the most exciting adventure in this unique part of Argentina.

Each day you will be fishing new waters, working different locations in its various forms, like runs, inlet/outlets of lagoons, small side channels, tributaries bringing bait fish, and on and on.

The Golden Dorado River Cruiser

Our 66 ft mothership was originally named the Parana Gypsy. Local superstitions believe that it is bad luck to change the name of a vessel. so we basically have two names now. One for the operation and one for the mother ship. the Gypsy has been fully remodeled with the modern day fisherman in mind. It has all the amenities of a first-class fixed fishing lodge. 

Indoors there is both a living and dining room with an attached bar area on the 2nd level. The first floor has 4 air conditioned suites to accommodate up to 8 guests. All the suites have a full bathroom and shower. 

Outside there are two decks for lounging or smoking a cigar on the 2nd level and an observation deck on the third. There is ample room to move about the boat and to relax while not on the water fishing. 

The food is outstanding on the Cruiser. Our executive chef offers meals of local flavor including made to order breakfast and dinners including fish, beef, lamb, pork and chicken that will rival 5 star restaurants. The wine cellar has outstanding regional Argentinian and Chilean wines to pair with any meal. Lunches are a combination of both on board or shore served based on the weather and the fishing day.

Trip Description

Travel to Buenos Aires Argentina

This portion of the trip can take two days or an overnight flight. Once in Buenos Aires you can take a hotel shuttle to your hotel. An overnight stay is usually needed here. 

Note: Our itinerary has you arriving in Buenos Aires a day early. You can relax and get used to the time change if any. This also gives you a buffer day in case of delays with airlines.

Transfer from Buenos Aires Hotel or airport to the Parana River and the Cruiser

We usually leave B.A. via ground transportation  around 8:00 am so be ready! It is a 2.5 hour drive to the river to meet our water taxi and from there another hour or so up river to the Mothership. You normally arrive around lunch time. Once you arrive you will have time to get settled in, have lunch, meet the staff and get your gear ready for the week. After lunch and a briefing, you will spend the afternoon fishing and getting warmed up for the week ahead.

6 full days fishing

Each day guests will start the day in the dining room having coffee and made to order breakfast. Eggs, breads, meats, fruit and juice are always available. 

The fishing day will start around 8:15am ish. The anglers and their guides will head out to spend the morning chasing fish. After the morning session anglers will head back to the gypsy for lunch and a much needed break from playing tug of war all morning. After lunch a new plan is made and anglers head right back out to fish until just before dark. Upon arrival back to the liveaboard guests will be greeted with horderves and something to sip on in anticipation of another fantastic gourmet meal. guests spend the evening eating, drinking fine wine and cocktails and sharing the stories of a spectacular day of fishing.  

A typical fishing day:

• 7:00 am – Coffee is hot
• 7:30 am – Breakfast
• 8:00-8:30 am – Head to fishing grounds
• 1:00 pm ish Lunch on the Cruiser
• 2:00 pm – After lunch, fishing until late afternoon
• 7:00 pm – Back to the boat
• Arrival until  8:00 pm – Cocktails and appetizers and time to relax

  • 9:00 pm – Dinner

Transfer back to Buenos Aires. After an early breakfast the trip back to B.A. gets underway. Depending on your flight schedule and what you may be doing after your week on the river, will make a difference in where you will be dropped off. Most of the flights are late afternoon to evening departures which normally gives the group time to stop for lunch on the way to the airport.  check with us to make sure departure times match your trip schedule. And frequently guests meet for a last supper so to speak before traveling to the airport for departure.

See you soon! 

You should be getting back home to brag about your trip!

Included

  • Ground and boat transfers to and from Buenos Aires to the Mothership
  • 7 nights’ Accommodations on the Parana Gypsy
  • All meals and beverages (including alcohol)
  • 6 to 6 ½ days guided fishing
  • Fishing license

Not Included

  • International and domestic Airfare
  • Any hotel stays before and after the fishing week
  • Meals in Buenos Aires and private city tours
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips and Gratuities to staff and guides
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions
  •  $5950 per person

Travel Information

Airfare for this trip from the USA can be done several ways. The international destination is Buenos Aires Argentina. There are numerous major airlines running this flight from places like Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Miami. 

Our Travel Partner, Martin Travel has been booking flights with us for over 15 years. They have vast experience booking these flights and have our itineraries. We highly recommend booking your flights with Martin Travel. They can access frequent flyer miles, deal with the occasional schedule change with the airlines and in many cases get preferred seating. 

Phone – 954-748-6881

Email –  kmartin@martintravelservices.com

www.martintravelservices.com

Passport: Argentina requires a valid Passport with at least 6 months available time before expiration date upon arrival.

Tourist Visa tourist Visa is not required for stays less than 90 days. Argentina. The exchange rate can vary from 40-70 to 1 There are places in the Buenos Aires Airport to exchange currency and the rate will be much better than in the U.S. Most Major Credit Cards can be used as well. Tips and Gratuities can be done in U.S. dollars.

The average air temperatures in the area range from extreme lows in the high 40’s to highs in the 80’s. Guests need to dress for cool to warm weather. Layering is always a good idea. The morning boat ride can be brisk and a jacket and beanie can come in handy. Anglers could be in shorts and a thin fishing shirt by afternoon. On average there are about 7-8 days of some rain each month with plenty of sunshine on others.

Equipment

The equipment you choose to take with you on any trip can change your experience. Having the right flies, fly lines and leaders can really make a difference. Rods and reels are also a key part of this trip. In some cases, you may already have many things that you need to take with you but in most cases, anglers will make some important decisions on new gear to add to their arsenal for this trip.

Due to the remoteness of the operation, it is important to make sure you have everything you need. There is nowhere to replace a broken fly rod or purchase an extra tube of sunscreen once you get there. Taking the time to make a list of the things you will need and planning for this trip in advance is very important, and can be a lot of fun, not only to catch plenty of fish but also to be comfortable and enjoy your time in Argentina.

8-10 Weight Rod for casting poppers and streamers

Lightweight reel with good drag to handle large taper fly line

 

Golden Dorado fishing is fast and furious. It is possible to make over 500 casts in one day. The average cast only needs to be 30-60 feet but it is important to be accurate and get your flies close to your target. The flies are large and have some wind resistance to them and the fly lines have very aggressive tapers. This also makes it a benefit to have a newer, lightweight, fast action rod like the Sage Salt HD or an Orvis Helios. 

The 2 most important things about a fly reel for Golden Dorado are lightweight and a good drag. You will be fishing in freshwater so a saltwater proof reel is not that important. More info in our Pre-Trip Planner.

Heavy Taper Floating line Like Rio Outbound Short for 9-10 weight rods.

Fast Sinking Lines for 8-9 weight rods that sink 6 inches per second

A floating line is the obvious choice for casting big poppers. 

A fast sinking line like a type 6 is needed to fish any of the streamers. More info in our Pre-Trip PlannerMore info in our Pre-Trip Planner.

Big Poppers in sizes 4/0 – 5/0  4-6 inches in length

Un- weighted streamers in 1/0 to 3/0 for shallow areas

Weighted Streamers in sizes 3/0 – 5/0 for sast water and current

40lb – 50lb Monofilament leaders for Poppers

30lb – 40lb Fluorocarbon leaders for streamers

40lb wire shock tippet for all circumstances

Poppers are a lot of fun but very hard to cast for lengths of time. 8-12 are enough for a week depending on the angler. See on our store

Unweighted streamers are not used as much. 1 dozen is usually plenty.

3 dozen weighted streamers are also recommended. These will be the go-to flies on the trip. synthetic materials are recommended. These fish have lots of teeth.   More info in our Pre-Trip Planner.

Leaders can be a simple straight piece of 30lb – 50lb Fluorocarbon or Monofilament depending on the situation. 6ft. sections for streamers and 8 ft. for poppers. A wire leader shock tippet will be needed to add to all leaders.

Layering is the key to being comfortable. The day can start off on the cool side and a Wind-proof hoodie may be necessary, especially when the boat is running to a new location. Then as the morning warms up, shedding off a layer or two is probable even down to shorts and a quick dry fishing shirt. 

Laundry service is offered also, so you do not have to bring many clothes with you. There are a bunch of other accessories to consider wearing as well. A hat for sure. Buff to cover your face and sun gloves for your hands. We make packing a breeze in our Pre-Trip Planner.

Weight is not an issue on this trip. Your main pieces of luggage only need adhere to airline policies on weight and size. More importantly are the pieces you will carry with you daily while fishing. You will be in the fishing boat all day and there is plenty of storage. A waterproof backpack or boat bag is really all you need to keep a day’s worth of gear and clothes with you. 

There are a bunch of other accessories to consider wearing as well. A hat for sure. Buff to cover your face and sun gloves for your hands. We make packing a breeze in our Pre-Trip Planner.

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