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More Dorado Fishing in Salta

juramento dorado

hey, guys…this is going to be a pretty simple post.  i was at the Rio Juramento in the Salta province last week, fishing for dorado with some friends of mine who have been outfitting and guiding river floats here for 20 years.  i first floated the Rio Juramento back almost 14 years ago.  it’s always been a very technical fishing river for dorado, but in a good way.  the fish are smart, and behind any clump of submerged sticks can lie a 40 pound fish ready to pounce, so you have to fish hard, make lots of precise casts in fast moving water, and psychologically be ready at all times.  there are days when you get lots of strikes, but for the most part, you are hoping for 5-6 hookups of 6-10 pound fish and maybe a monster of 15-20 pounds or bigger.  like dorado fishing anywhere, you can also get skunked when conditions seem perfectly fine.  that’s dorado fishing!

juramento dorado 2

the Rio Juramento has 2 main sections.  the upper section is gorgeous, flowing clear between two reservoirs (Cabra Corral and El Tunal) at the base of the foothills of the nearby Andes.  the lower section flows from El Tunal through flatter farmland.  each of the two days, we floated 25+ miles because the water moves so fast (8000 c.f.s.???), and also probably just for the heck of it.

on this particular trip, i was with an old friend, Tuna Labarta, considered probably the finest fly fisherman in all of Argentina (he’d rank in the top 5% anywhere in the U.S.) and Alejandro Haro, guide and outfitter who runs Juramento Fly Fishing.  Tuna is an absolute fishing animal who has pulled many fish in the 30-40 pound range from this river over the years.  the best seasons to fish the Rio Juramento are generally from September thru November and from mid April thru May.  please email me at if you wish to book a trip.  cheers!  (photos © Joey Lin 2012)

Argentina Dorado Fishing

hi, guys…sorry, it’s been a while since my last update, and i have a backlog of stuff to post…

nice double digit dorado - photo by Agustin Garcia

here are some photos from a gem of a destination in northwest Argentina, in the Salta region.  these are photos from a small mountain stream called the Rio Dorado where my friends have access to some private property in the Yungas.  the Salta region is a great dorado fishing destination for those who happen to be in Argentina for other reasons.  making a full week is difficult here, even in combination with the Rio Juramento nearby.  you have to plan very carefully the time of year you come and lower your expectations, as there are many variables that go into a successful trip in this area (weather, timing, etc.).  one great combination you can do is to go visit the wine country near Cafayate or go up to Purmamarca for sight seeing, as we did on this trip, so as not to make the entire trip focused only on fishing.

jeff and a very nice dorado

some years ago, due to a big flood, a whole bunch of dorado entered the system from below, and when the waters receded, the dorado remained.  today, the pools in this river have many dorado from 10-20 pounds, since they are protected from poachers, being well within private property.  at barely 100 CFS during the normal season, the fishing can be tricky at times, especially with the river being so low and clear with so many dorado packed in there, so a stealth approach is required (sometimes, it’s actually better to fish for them immediately after a heavy rain when the water is muddy).

average dorado from a small riffle in about 18" of water

on this particular trip, i was with Frank and Chantz Butler and Jeff Clarkson from Texas.  we were fishing with Agustin Garcia, Sebastian Zavalia and Ignacio de Freijo, who run a company called Fly Fishing Salta.  they are a very professional outfit and know every single inch of this river.  we took horses on parts of it, mainly just to cover more water each day.  with the river so clear, once you spook a pool, you have to move on to the next.  the best way to fish this river is to camp, since the roads coming in can be blown out when it rains.

watercress and sabalo for appetizers...guiso for the main course

fishing was very typical for Rio Dorado.  when it’s crazy, it can be crazy…otherwise, you are looking at 3-4 hookups per person per day on a normal good day.  obviously, this depends on how much water you cover and how many mistakes you make, but as with dorado, you could easily get skunked on any given day as well.  dorado are very sensitive to sudden changes in water temperature, and recent rains had cooled the water temperatures, and thrown their feeding cycle off a bit, but every one of us had a double digit fish.

to book a trip, please email me.

cheers!  photos © Joey Lin and Agustin Garcia

Mexico Baby Tarpon Fishing


hey, guys…so here are the first of a few photos from my trip in september to the western Yucatán for baby tarpon with Yucátan Fly Fishing Adventures.  our fishing was pretty fantastic, most days we had lots of rolling tarpon in the 8-15+ pound range rolling all over, with some fish in the 20-25 pound range eating our flies.


these first photos are of Billy Mims from Whitney, Texas…this was Billy’s FIRST trip ever to fly fish anywhere.  needless to say, tarpon is probably not the best fish to start your fly fishing career with, but Billy had a great attitude.  since i was coming from Argentina, i had no time to get Billy properly geared up or any lessons, so on our arrival day to Isla Arena, i gave him a crash course in fly casting that lasted no more than 10 minutes.  basically, i explained the loop, measuring the cast, the lay down, how to strip the fly and how to set the hook.

after about 10 minutes, Billy said “i think i got it.  i’m gonna be fine”……here are the results.  the first morning, Billy LANDED 2 tarpon.  same on the second day.  on the 3rd day when we shared a boat, the wind had gone slack and the fishing went crazy.  Billy landed 7 tarpon by noon!!!  how’s that for a newbie??  congratulations, Billy!!     (photos © Joey Lin 2010)

Llano River Fishing

frank butler on the llano river with a nice bass

guys.  i’ve been away on long hiatus.  after a busy season in patagonia last summer (winter in the northern hemisphere), i spent a fishless winter in Buenos Aires much to my chagrin.  i needed a break since i’ve pretty much done nothing but traveled and fished for the last 16+ years.  i was uncreative and a little uninspired, so rather than post some half-ass junk just to fill the blog, i decided to leave it alone for a while.

anyway, i came back to the northern hemisphere around the beginning of september, did a little fishing on the coast and some in the hill country, and also took a 10-day trip to the Yucatán to chase baby tarpon.  i’ll post those photos soon!  i’m going to make an effort to keep the blog to date in the following months.

in the meantime, here’s a photo of my good friend Frank Butler who travels and fishes with me all over.  we spent a great day on the Llano River a couple weeks ago.  we fished top water all day and boated around 100 bass, mostly nice chunky Guadalupe bass and some really nice largemouth.

anyway, drop me a line if you want to chat:….cheers!

Back in Patagonia!


oh, my god.  3 months without a post.  that’s blog blasphemy.  excuses, excuses.  i’ve been wrapped up in personal stuff, not to mention lots of extraneous non-fishing travel,  being in the wrong place at the wrong time, freezing my butt off in the northern hemisphere during November.  then slowly dying in Buenos Aires with nothing going on but drinking and spending money.  need to get back outside.

well, needless to say, i’m back in Patagonia, now.  hosting a bunch of groups at our place with the Northern Patagonia Fishing Club!  holy crap, the weather is nice and the fishing fantastic (more on that later!).

went out with my good friend and guide Javier Herrera to explore a crazy little creek.  spent a few days backpacking to fishless water, but found a little gem of a creek.  caught a few 22-inch browns and spooked some even bigger.  here are some photos of the area and me with a chunky 18-incher.  lot of new zealand-style fishing here.  if you can stand long enough to cast, the horseflies were ridiculous.  you’d be lucky not to inhale one while breathing, they were so thick.  but isn’t there always some kind of catch with all good things???  (photos by Joey Lin and Javier Herrera, 2010).  cheers!

Fly Fishing in Bolivia with Dave and Emily Whitlock

whitlocks-boliviaguys, i just got back from 5 weeks in Bolivia.  the last week i was there, i hosted my friends Dave and Emily Whitlock who we invite to come and do a magazine article on this exciting new destination.  ANYONE WANTING TO BOOK A TRIP, please email me ASAP as spaces are going fast (

Dave and Emily were the perfect people to write a definitive article about dorado fishing.  they have been champions of warmwater and freshwater fly fishing for so many decades that they bring a complete and well-rounded perspective to publicizing and understanding this complex species.  dorado have so many characteristics of all the legitimate game fish species (such as tarpon, brown trout, atlantic salmon, permit, etc.), but are also uniquely their own.

the trip was quite successful, as both of them experienced the full gamut of the dorado experience…everything from sight fishing, seeing feeding frenzies, being skunked or frustrated by fish that wouldn’t eat, spooky fish, missed hook sets, broken leaders…you name it.  best of all, the last 2 days ended with lots of action and several big fish being caught.  pictured here is Dave’s 32+ pounder jumping, Dave with the same fish (with guide Alejandro Bianchetti) and Emily with a classic shot of her and a 26+ pounder in the Rio Itirizama.  that picture invokes a very “lost in time” feel, which quite accurately captures the essence of the fishing experience there.

more photos to come.  all photos © Joey Lin 2009.  cheers!

Tsimane Lodge, days 4, 5, 6 - Pluma


ok, i’m still here at Tsimane Lodge (Asunta), waiting for the arrival of some very special guests (more later).  here’s the second half of my first hosted trip in early September.  we took the small Cessna about 15 minutes to the next community of Oromomo where i met up with my good friend Ramiro Badessich who i hadn’t seen in a while, and guides Alejandro Bianchetti and Fabian Anastasio.  it had rained quite a bit the night before, so the Rio Pluma had muddied up considerably, and what was to be a 4-5 hour transfer (in low water), turned out to be but a mere 2 hours.


the next 3 days saw me and my group fishing the two forks that form the Rio Pluma (Pluma and Itirizama).  the lodge is great, an almost carbon copy of the lodge at Asunta, but with a few minor decorative differences.

the fishing was quite good despite the muddy water (which cleared by day 2), we saw lots of fish into the 30+ pound range, some were hooked and lost.  i followed some of the guys for a couple days, but had to stay back at the lodge as i got some kind of weird foot infection (from the water, presumably) that all the guides get, especially with waterlogged feet.  also, i stayed back to relax and catch up on some much needed work.


here are some photos from Pluma.  the top photo is Hayden Thompson (photo by Alejandro Bianchetti) from the last day with his 24 pound dorado.  a long time fly fisher in freshwater, this is Hayden’s biggest fish ever.  also some macaws, which are everywhere, but are hard to photograph unless you have your camera around your neck 24/7, which mine are too heavy to bother with.  the photo of the catfish is a “surubi”, a striped catfish that is not only bad-ass looking, but also very tasty (sorry for the tiny photo, i’ll put a bigger on up later).  the rest of the photos are pretty self explanatory.  the stars are from the lodge porch at night.  (photos © Joey Lin 2009, except the photo of Hayden and the photo of me, by Alejandro Bianchetti)

Tsimane Lodge - Days 2 + 3 (it SUCKS to be a sabalo)


ok, i know this is late, this actually happened a couple of weeks ago.  i’m here for 5 weeks, hosting a couple groups and just doing some general hanging around.  i went from one camp to another, and back at the first one, took 2 days by wooden canoe going upstream.

Tsimane Lodge is broken up into 2 different camps just 15 miles apart as the crow flies (guests spend 3 days in each).  the first one is in Asunta on the upper Rio Secure.  the other is on the Rio Pluma.


this is from the last 2 days in Asunta from my first group.  Jim and Hayden stayed back at the lodge while Frank and Steve and i went up stream to check out the fishing up there as the fishing had been a little technical in the lower parts (with the guides, of course, we made camp).  we spent several hours pushing the boats thru the shallow rapids and got up to some gorgeous parts upriver.

a few dorado were caught in the 12-15 pound range, pretty decent dorado fishing.  however, moving up the river, we encountered lots of pacu.  here are some images of a few of the pacu that were caught on fly.  i’m trying to document the overall experience here, not just a bunch of people with big fish, although that’s important, but it isn’t just what this place is about.

sabalo-huntinghere is also a set of images of one of the Tsimane “communarios” hunting sabalo with traditional bow and arrow.  sabalo are a carp-like fish that inhabit the rivers by the millions.  they are hunted for food by the Tsimanes as well as dorado and just about anything else.  it SUCKS to be a sabalo, i guess.  (photos © Joey Lin 2009), more to come soon…

Tsimane Lodge, Day 1 - Rio Secure

tsimane-day-1guys, i’m here at Tsimane Lodge #1 on the Rio Secure hosting a group.  here are some quickie photos from yesterday, day 1 of fishing.  Jim Hardy caught a pacu early in the morning.  here is also a nice dorado caught by Frank Butler with Felipe.  gotta run, we’re going camping upstream for a night.  (photos © Joey Lin and Steven White 2009)  cheers.

Tsimane Lodge Scouting - Part 3 (Fish Porn)



i’m headed back to the Bolivian jungle for 5 weeks to host a couple groups of anglers in the new exciting destination, Tsimane Lodge.  if you want to book a trip during prime time for 2010, please EMAIL ME asap!!  (link is in the upper left corner)

here is part 3 of our scouting trip in June.  i’ve got lots of more interesting photos that i will share with you at a later date, but i know people were wanting to see some big fish, so here are a couple of them.  we caught countless fish in the 10-20 pound range, lots in the 20-30 pound range and a few in the 30+.   pictured here is Felipe Morales with a nice fish in the 34 pound range (??), Mike Nelson with an average fish (not his biggest), but you can see the beautiful clear small stream from which it came (and many much bigger)…also, here is a monster fish of mine that is pictured above and below in a different view.


this was my last fish of the trip, a view from above, courtesy of Mike Nelson.  this fish was very close to 40 pounds, but i will call it 38 just to be on the safe side.  look at the girth across his back (and his belly in the photo set above), i could barely lift him out of the water.  an absolute monster.

ok, i’m off to bed, going to Bolivia tomorrow.  cheers.  (photos ©  Joey Lin and Mike Nelson, 2009)

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