The Termas de Río Hondo dam is one of the best places in Argentina for fishing
The city of Termas de Río Hondo is located just a few kilometers away from the place where a famous dam was built. Bearing the same name as the city, its aim was to collect the water from streams and rivers of the Argentinian northwest so that the water would not disappear as it ran into the plains of Santiago del Estero.
In order to accomplish its vital cycle, the dorado moves up and down the river to spawn, so it is quite common to see these fish trying to jump over the dam to go to the other side of the river.
Years after its construction, the dam is full of dorados that come from the Salí river and its tributaries and usually weigh over fifteen kilograms, which of course triggers the passion of its fans: anglers.
In the dam, like in the rivers of Santiago del Estero, the doradois caught using natural baits, such as flies and lures. In general, the boats that go in search of these trophies are hired with a guide in the hot spring city, which adds another tourist attraction to the great offer this beautiful destination already has.
See them Leap
The ideal scenario
The big protagonist
The lonely fisherman
A beautiful fish
When the dorado reaches the dam, it stays there, disoriented, without knowing where to go. Aware of this fact, many fishermen stand on the rocks that appear when the river is low and tempt the fish with their best baits; if there are any dorados in the dam, anglers get an immediate response. Real treasures of more than 10 kilograms have been caught in this place using a rod or a line. This last technique, used by many people in the area, consists of a can and a line with a metal lure or spoon attached at one end: when the fisherman collects the line, the quick movements of the lure attract the fish.
In the rivers as well as in the dam, the dorados are the protagonists. Termas de Río Hondo already has its own myths and legends about great dorados never caught but which have left their marks while escaping. In our experience, it took half a day to unveil part of the mystery hidden by these waters.
Catch and Release
There are certain regulations for the catching of this beautiful fish. We caught two beautiful dorados of about five and eight kilograms, that were released to the water along with some young specimen, as it is right and proper. The catch and release policy is also being considered in this region of the country. The first ones to adopt this idea were those who used to fly fish and, in the last years, most fishermen are following the same path.
Photographs can easily replace the dead fish and please the own ego and that of our friends'. If we want to keep fishing dorados for ever, it is essential to return the fish to the water. In Santiago and Termas de Río Hondo, the dorados are part of their history.
Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers