Pinti’s Dorado on the Fly
with Ricardo Pinto on the Rio Parana
Make your way to the tiny fishing village of Itá Ibaté on the Rio Paraná in Argentina asking around for a guide who can get you into some Golden Dorado on flies, and you're only going to hear one name over and over - Pinti. Ricardo "Pinti" Pinto has been guiding anglers into Dorado, Pacu and Pira Pita with fly rods since before most of the world even knew these fish would eat flies, and today he offers an excellent program run from a comfortable lodge that allows anglers from around the world to experience the best of what the Paraná river has to offer.
Fly fishing for Golden Dorado truly is like no other experience in fresh water, and the Rio Parana, as a crystal clear tailwater below Yacireta Dam, is like no other place we know of to pursue them. Voracious and powerful predators, these broad shouldered fish invariably exhibit spectacular acrobatics once hooked, and most of the time this occurs as the result of casts to sighted fish. What more could we ask for from a species?
Each day at Pinti's is generally split into two separate fishing outings with lunch at the lodge and an afternoon siesta break in between. The Dorado activity is hottest early and late, and as such the traditional Argentine schedule combines quite well with the timing of the bite. Mornings fishing begins just after breakfast which is served at 6:30, and lasts until lunch is served mid-day. Evenings fishing begins at 3:45, and lasts until dark which is usually sometime between 9 and 10 P.M. For the most part both sessions each day are spent either perusing the bank structures or staked out over white sand flats, spotting and casting to cruising fish. Although under certain conditions or when specifically pursuing only the largest specimens anglers might consider using sinking lines, the majority of the fishing in the crystal clear waters of the Parana is site fishing with floating lines and lightly weighted streamers, but like fishing for tarpon or permit on the flats. The river itself though is an enormous maze of channels and bends offering limitless opportunities for whatever style of fishing anglers prefer.
For Dorado we recommend 8 or 9 weight rods with floating warm water lines, stiff butted leaders capable of turning over larger streamers, and 20-30 lb. wire bite tippet. Dorado tend to average seven or eight pounds, with shots at fish upwards of twenty pounds being common and fish in the thirty pound class appearing regularly enough to hope for.
For both the dry fly responsive Pira Pita and the Permit-like fruit eating Pacu, a six weight rod with floating warm water line is recommended, and Pinti's team of guides can provide just the right flies and leader set-ups needed to catch these interesting species. Most of the Pacu caught are in the eight to twelve pound range, although specimens of better than twenty pounds are landed every season.
Boats used in this program are 20' Panga style skiffs equipped with large powerful outboards capable of making distance quickly as well as silent electric trolling motors that are used to sneak up on sighted fish and hold the boat in current while anglers cast. Two separate casting positions at the bow and stern of the boat allow for both clients to fish simultaneously.
Pinti's lodge, just outside of the tiny fishing village if Itá Ibaté in Corrientes province Argentina, was designed from its beginnings with the fly fishing traveler in mind. Situated in the beautiful northern Argentine jungle overlooking the Rio Paraná with an amazing view, the property features eight individual air conditioned guest rooms each with its own private bath, and all of which are single occupancy unless requested to be otherwise by guests. Wifi is available throughout the lodge, and common spaces include an expansive billiards and bar room, a comfortably furnished living room with a spectacular view of the river, outside dining areas both in the garden and on the deck overlooking the river, as well as a separate television and fly tying lounge. All interior spaces are supremely decorated in the local style, and the surrounding property is beautifully maintained and teeming with local bird life.
Meals at Pinti's Dorado Lodge are made up of a mixture of classic Argentine fare like the weekly Asado barbecue, and a variety of exquisitely prepared international cuisine. Breakfast, lunch, after fishing appetizers, and dinner are all served at the lodge and enjoyed with the guides, and guests are welcome to a full open bar serving a variety of Argentine wines as well as beers and liquors from around the world at any time.
There are two airports which can serve as final destinations for this program, Corrientes (CNQ) and Resistencia (RES), with the first meaning a one and a half hour drive to the lodge, and the second meaning a two hour drive to the lodge.
Most travelers arrive first in Argentina by landing at Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE) and then need to board a ground transfer (bus or cab of approx 45 minutes drive across the city) to Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP) for their flight to RES or CNQ. Several reliable ground transport services are available including Manuel Tienda Leon, which runs both buses and private cars between airports with departures approximately every thirty minutes (+/- $15 US dollars for bus, or +/-$35 for private car). You will likely see their ticket counter upon exiting the baggage claim area; if not, then just ask any airport employee and they will point you in the right direction. Independent taxis parked at the curb without reception-desk representation are not reliable and should not be used.
Always remember, our services are provided absolutely free! Booking a trip through Hemispheres Unlimited WILL NEVER COST YOU A SINGLE PENNY MORE than booking it directly with the lodge or outfitter, but does reap the benefits of our extensive experience with that destination, as well as our ongoing support services available to you at any time prior to, during, or even after your trip.
- 7 Nights/6 Fishing Days - $4,500 per angler
- 6 Nights/5 Fishing Days - $3,800 per angler
- 5 Nights/4 Fishing Days - $3,100 per angler
- 4 Nights/3 Fishing Days - $2,400 per angler
Rates quoted are for single occupancy lodging and two anglers per boat.
What is included:
Accommodations, meals, alcoholic beverages, round-trip ground transportation from the Corrientes or Resistencia Airport to the lodge, daily guided fishing, fishing license, laundry service, wifi.
What is not included:
Gratuities for guides and lodge staff, fishing gear (flies, leaders, and tippet are available for purchase, and rods/reels are available for rent).
Contact us today for available dates and details, and get started on your way to this dream-trip of a lifetime to see just why the Golden Dorado has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many fly fisherman from across the globe.