Dorado is a large river fish found in central and east-central South America. Despite having Salminus in its name, the Dorado is not related to any species of Salmon, nor to the saltwater fish also called Dorado. It is very popular among recreational anglers and supports large commercial fisheries. "Dorado", both in the name of the fish and other uses such as the El Dorado legend, originates from the Latin word for gold, auratus (later modified into dauratus in Vulgar Latin, and subsequently oro in Spanish and ouro in Portuguese).
The Dorado has a large head, with powerful jaws filled with sharp teeth. It reaches maturity around 37 cm (15 in) long, and is golden colored. The average size of the Dorado is about 3–10 kg (6.6–22.0 lb). The largest recorded size is 100 cm (39 in) length and 31.4 kg (69 lb).
The Dorado is highly sought-after by anglers, both for its delicious taste and fighting ability. The aggressive nature of the Dorado, its high jumps, and great fighting strength and stamina have created a great competitive market among anglers from all corners of the world, traversing South American waters in hopes of hooking a Dorado.Ultimately, the Dorado has been more and more recognized as a fly-fishing targeted species. Its aggressive behavior, fast runs, impressive strength, and brave fighting - frequently going airborne in the attempt to loosen itself from the hook, make this species a must-fish for fly fishermen.
Most effective flies comprehend Clouser Deep Minnows, Andino Deceiver, Lefty's Deceiver, Poppers and other minnow-imitating flies. Equipments used range from #6 to #10, depending on the size of the average fishstock. This fish usually takes flies both on surface and sub-surface. It is commmon the use of Intermediate and Sinking-Tip fly lines in places with fast current, preferred by this species. The fly must be worked with long, slow pulls. The Dorado though being an avid hunter, also is a lazy chaser. So, if the fly moves too fast or with short, fast movements the Dorado can just skip attacking.
Flies tied for Dorado usually contain lots of flash. This fish likes shiny, colorful flies or black ones when the water is muddy or turbid. In the State of São Paulo, Brazil, clousers tied in white and blue deliver the best results. Due to the Dorado's very sharp teeth, it is very recommended that the angler uses a steel wire or a good piece of fluorocarbon monofilament bite tippet, to avoid losing the fish and the lure.
The Dorado lives in warm freshwater habitats in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and northern Argentina, in the river basins of the Paraguay, Uruguay, Chapare, and Mamoré Rivers, and the drainage of theLagoa dos Patos. The Dorado is considered an endangered species in Paraguay, so a five-year fishing ban was put into effect there.