The freshwater Dorado (Salminus Maxillosus) known in Argentina as the “Tiger of the River” is considered to be the single most challenging native freshwater game fish of South America. It is a radiant, yellow-colored, salmon-like fish with an extremely strong jaw and sharp teeth. Unlike its cousin the salmon, it does not die after spawning and never swims in the ocean. The Dorado is an exceptionally strong swimmer and usually ranges in size from 8.8 lbs to 15.4 lbs, although the world record is 52.8 lbs. It hammers topwater flies with reckless abandon and immediately explodes out of the water in a series of outrageous jumps and relentless, line stripping runs. Its physical beauty, its violent strike, its long powerful runs and its aerobatic flights are some of the qualities that make the Dorado the exceptional sport fish that it is.
Conventional gear for Dorado is virtually the same as that used for trophy peacock bass (although a wire leader is essential). Fly fisherman are best equipped with an 8-9 weight fly rod and either a 200 to 300 grain, 24 foot sink tip line or a full floating line depending upon water conditions. A heavy steel leader is a must, as these fish will chew through any type of monofilament as though it were sewing thread! Dorado take a variety of streamers, sliders and even Atlantic salmon-style Bombers during ideal conditions (tied onto 3/0 to 6/0, heavy, long shank hooks).