Dorado Flies

Dorado Flies in-stock, no sales tax - $50 orders ship free in USA.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. * Search Catalog Trips & Schools Bargains
Our Waters Order Info Newsletter Events

Dorado Flies
for fish called Dorado, Mahi Mahi or Dolphin Fish, Coryphaena hippurus 

This large dorado was hooked on a Mark's Sardina.
Dorado are one of the finest fly rod game fish species in the world. They are beautiful to look at, aggressive toward well presented flies and are extremely athletic when hooked. Below are listed the top six fly patterns for the Sea of Cortez, which offers very strong dorado fishing from June through October. The single most productive fly pattern during our nine trips to Loreto, Mexico has been the 2/0 Mark's Sardina. This fly is usually used in combination with a slow sinking line and is presented to fish, which have been chummed with live sardinas. The next most productive fly is a size two olive and white Deep Eyed Minnow. This fly has an erratic, wounded minnow action, and is a good bet when fish are working smaller baitfish. Poppers are great fun when dorado are feeding right at the surface. The Witchcraft Popper has also been effective when presented with a fast sinking line below the surface of the water. Fast strips impart a swimming action.
Mark's Sardina
Mark's Sardina

Bubble Head Popper
Deep Eyed Minnow
Deep Eyed Minnow
Bright Painted Popper
Bright Painted Popper
Crease Fly
Crease Fly
Master Jack Popper
Master Jack Popper
Dorado means gold in Spanish.  It's a reasonable name for a fish that can turn bright gold along the sides, but they are usually bright greenish blue along the back and have liberal amounts of blue spots and the pectoral fins are very bright electric blue.  Dorado are one of the most successful fishes and are found in tropical waters, world wide.  In Australia and most of the Atlantic Ocean the specie is call Dolphin (not to 
Patty Barnes landed this large dorado on a Mark's Sardina
be confused with a family of sea mammals of the same name).  In Hawaii they are called Mahi Mahi.  Dorados are prime fly rod sport fish for a number of reasons.  They are very strong and acrobatic.  They spend a lot of time around the surface of the water where they are comparatively easy to reach while fly fishing.  Dorado grow incredibly fast.  At one year old, most Dorado exceed 6 pounds and may be over twenty pounds at age two.  Three year old Dorado usually exceed thirty pounds.  Few Dorado live beyond the forth year.   The world record is 87 pounds.  Once the fish reach maturity they spawn every six weeks and broadcast about 400,000 eggs.  The eggs which are about the size of the head of a pin hatch in about 60 hours.  The little fish start growing immediately.  This fast growth rate keeps them eating constantly and they are very aggressive biters most of the time.  They feed on bait fish 
This Dorado ate a Crease Fly
of many sizes and are fond of sardines, flying fish, mackerel and  squid.  On a recent trip to the sea of Cortez several fish were vomiting up squid as they were being played.  This attracted more Dorado which quickly consumed the free meal.  Some of the squid were more than a foot long.  When hooked a Dorado runs hard and often jumps spectacularly, then slugs it out all the way to the boat.  They can exceed 50 miles per hour for short bursts. Ordinarily they save a bit of energy to thrash about madly as the angler tries to either release, or land the fish.

Dorado have multiple groups of wicked little teeth that can chew your leader and flies.  Patty Barnes photo.

Dorado have multiple groups of wicked little teeth that can chew your leader and flies.  It is advised that when large fish are expected that a shock tippet of 50-60 pound test is used.  A simple leader formula is as follows: 12" or less #50 shock tippet, 16'" or more of #16 or #20 class tippet, 3' of #50 butt section.  Sections of leader can be assembled with surgeon's knots. Smaller fish can be landed on straight twenty pound test tippets.  Our favorite rods for Dorado are #10 to #12 weight. 

Or favorite line for most fishing conditions is Rio's Outbound Short Head with a slow sinking intermediate tip. Fast sinking shooting head fly lines such as Rio's DeepSea lines are a good bet for fishing bait fish and squid patterns when weather/water conditions keep dorado from feeding right at the surface.  Intermediate or floating lines with intermediate tips, are best for fishing poppers. Dorados like to hang around anything that is floating on the water.  Floating weed mats, debris, rays or turtles will often have Dorados under them.  I once hooked a 20 pound Dorado from under a single floating Styrofoam cup.  Many Dorados that are caught with flies, have been chummed up to the boat with live or cut bait. Most Dorado caught from the sea of Cortez are chummed with live Sardinas, which are stored in well aerated live-wells.
Mark Bachmann with a Mexican dorado
Another way to attract Dorado to the boat is to simply troll a fly and when a Dorado is hooked the commotion will attract others that can be cast to. This method is hard on fly lines, as trolled flies often revolve and twist the line. Using conventional gear to troll with is easier on your fly gear.
Dorados can be picky.  Often they will be keyed on one type of food.  It pays to have a range of sizes and kinds of flies that imitate the range of food organism that dorado eat.  On several trips to the Pacific Coast of Mexico, very large flies that saved our trip.  We found that trolling 12" Marlin flies was the easiest way to pull deep feeding Dorado to the surface where we could get at them.  Once a school was around the boat, we could chum them with sardinas and then get them to eat flies that looked and behaved like the bait, but is was the big flies that got the game started.  Ordinarily the bigger fish like to feed on larger flies.

HOME.  The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1 (800) 266-3971

Back to Saltwater Flies

To Top

4reel fishing top fishing sites cyber-lake.com Top Fishing Sites