Going for Gold


Written by: Phil Monahan

I’m starting to think that being a partner in Worldcast Anglers is a pretty good job. Last week, we posted a picture of a monster taimen that WCA Jim Hickey caught on his recent trip to Mongolia. Now, his partner Mike Dawes offers a report and some great shots from his journey to Argentina in search of golden dorado. These guys work like dogs all summer, so I suppose they deserve a little adventure this time of year, right? At least that’s what I keep telling myself.


Just returned from the Northwest region of Argentina tochase some golden dorado with friend and long-time fishing partner Nick “TheCoz” Cozmo. The golden dorado is a fish that I have wanted to knock offthe life-list for ayears—and what a fish it is!

 Due to a coldwater fish kill in some of the smaller rivers, we ended up floating a larger tailwater. After a week in the boat, we were exhausted, but for good reason. 

Backwards thinking became a popular theme when fishing for dorado from the boat. We used a lot of fishing tactics that seemed antithetical to our previous fly-fishing experiences.

Big Dorado 2
A hooked Argentina dorado goes airborne.
photo by Mike Dawes

—We cast at a manic pace I had never encountered with 8- and9-weights, but but then stripped very slowly, if at all.

—We discovered that the fish can really be anywhere in the river.

—We learned to always fish the pillows, any pillows.

—You must lay the wood to the fish with the rod like you would a tarpon, but then play it like a trout.

—The fish jump, but you do not need to bow.

—You sometimes tie on a 10-inch fly and then dead-drift it.

Big Dorado 3
The Coz shows off a trophy fly-caught dorado.
photo by Mike Dawes

As backwards thinking became the norm, we witnessed some amazing moments.  Watching a 20+-pound Dorado take the fly and blow up a 9-weight like it was a toothpick was something I will never forget. Seeing an even bigger fish take the fly, jump, and run like a tuna through log jams into the backing will be etched into my mind, as well.

The Coz put it best after getting worked by a big Dorado, when he said, “This is a mean fish that I think was meant to be in the ocean, but got stuck in rivers.”

I know one thing for sure: I will be back. 

Big Dorado 4
Those chompers are why you need to use wire leaders for this jungle fish.
photo by Mike Dawes

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