Kirk Deeter, writing in Field & Stream, believes that weight for weight, the South American Golden Dorado is the “toughest fish in the world”.
The accompanying video features a lodge that is based in a National Park in Bolivia.
The rivers are clear enough to allow fishermen to wade and sight-cast to a variety of game fish, including two species of dorado, as well as the pacu and the yatorana – all of which vie for the title of the strongest fresh-water species in the world.
The Golden Dorado: Fly Fishing’s Pound-for-Pound Toughest Fish in the World
It’s a question I get asked a lot, but I think the answer is pretty easy. Imagine a fish that attacks a fly like a smallmouth bass, bolts like a bonefish, leverages river current like a wild steelhead, and then also jumps like a tarpon.
They call that the Golden dorado, and it lives in South America. No place serves up the dorado experience like Tsimane Lodge in Bolivia.
There’s something special about jungle angling, and I would propose that fly fishing in the Amazon today is what hunting in Africa was a century ago. While both are absolutely spectacular options, if I were saving pennies for a life trip either to the far north or the South American jungle, I’d point south, no question.
Do check out the video and watch those fish explode. You’ll know why. And you’ll also get a couple glimpses of a big, brown, permit-shaped fish. That’s the pacu, and it’s every bit the challenge and reward that the saltwater permit is.