The South American Golden Dorado (Salminus brasiliensis) is considered by many well traveled anglers to be the world’s greatest fighting game fish. This extraordinary jumper combines the running and leaping abilities of a salmon with the ferocity and predatory instincts of a tiger shark. It violently hammers flies and lures, then immediately explodes out of the water in a series of outrageous leaps and line stripping runs.
For many years, one of Latin America’s most exciting game fish was kept a secret in its heartland. In the last few years, the Dorado, or “River Tiger” as it is affectionately called in Argentina, has rocketed to the top of the “hot fish list”!
Throughout much of its equatorial range, the Dorado is caught in heavy rivers in fairly deep, murky waters and generally with heavy spinning or plug casting tackle. However, for anglers preferring to fish relatively light fly tackle or light spinning tackle, in more intimate, relatively clear waters, with even some sight casting opportunities from the deck of a flats skiff, Pirá Lodge offers the perfect alternative.
Pirá Lodge is located in the northeastern corner of Argentina in Corrientes Province on the immense Iberá Marsh. One of the most unique and fascinating ecosystems in the world, the Iberá Wetlands is comprised of 3,500,000 (three million five hundred thousand) acres of unexplored and uninhabited marshland will be the setting for some of the most exciting fishing you will ever do. The marsh is a vast system of pristine creeks, rivers, shallows, and lakes roughly 2.5 times bigger than the Florida Everglades and is home to more than 350 species of birds, 85 mammals and almost 70 reptiles, along with this electrifying game fish!
Pirá Lodge guests fish from state of the art 18 foot Hell’s Bay flats skiffs with poling platforms. Primary fishing areas include the Corrientes River, the Headwaters and the Marsh proper.
The River is more traditional fishing usually with an 8 or 9 weight with a sink tip line. Large saltwater type streamer patterns are swung and stripped. One of the most effective patterns is the Andino, a hybrid muddler/deceiver pattern
The headwaters offers more floating line fishing and even surface patterns like mice (tied on heavy saltwater hooks) or sliders. Sometimes dorado will take poppers but seem to prefer sliders. The popular “Titanic” steelhead waking fly, has been adapted (tied on heavier hooks) and has been very successful in recent years.
The Marsh fishing is slightly more technical. This is generally clearer water and a stealthy approach is required. Again, the Marsh offers more opportunities for floating line fishing, and Pirá guides have even discovered these fish will eat buggy, rubber legged terrestrial dry flies!
While fish over 25 pounds have been taken at Pirá, most fish will average in the 3 – 6 pound range, with fish in the 10 + pound class taken each month of the season. The average day usually produces around 5 – 10 fish per rod per day. But this can vary widely. Dorado can be moody, but can also just go “on the grab”, and you might release 20 in a morning session.
Daily fishing hours may vary depending on month and weather. A typical spring fishing day will start in the morning from 8:00 to 12:30, lunch at the lodge, and then afternoon fishing from 3:30 to 7:30. The season comprises the Argentine spring and summer, from mid-October through April.
Fly rods carrying 7, 8 & 9 weight lines are the weapons of choice. It’s best to carry two rods; an 8 or 9 rigged with a sinking line (like a T-200) and a 7 or 8 rigged with a floater. Traditional saltwater streamers and deceivers in black, purple chartreuse and white, some slider and mice patterns, and wire leaders (these are toothy critters) complete the required gear.
Pirá Lodge is designed to provide its guests not only with a remarkable fishing experience, but also with maximum comfort. The lodge has only five bedrooms, each one of them fully air-conditioned, with two double beds and large bathrooms with double windows, which provide a peaceful space to unwind in a warm bath. The rooms feature French windows, which open out to the shaded verandah with easy access to the 20 meter pool and a beautiful view of the surrounding wilderness. In addition to the comfort of a spacious sitting room, with unique furniture crafted by local artisans, anglers will appreciate the convenience of a fly tying table, and an on-site fly shop, fully equipped with flies, rods, reels and clothing.
Gourmet dining with Argentina’s famed beef and fine wines, traditional “asados” (BBQ´s), delicious regional as well as international cuisine desserts, and the fully stocked bar contribute to create the setting for perfect moments at the end of a perfect day.
Other activities available are Kayaking, Bird watching, Horseback riding and snorkeling. Pirá is a strictly CATCH AND RELEASE fishery.
There are a number of options for travel to Pira Lodge. Most convenient but also most expensive is using a private charter to fly directly to the lodge’s grass airstrip (dependent on water levels) or to nearby Mercedes or Goya Airports. This works well for groups of 4 or more. Alternately, you can fly commercial air to either Resistencia or Corrientes. From there it is a 4 ½ hour ground transfer.
Many will travel through, arriving in Buenos Aires early morning, taking a mid-morning flight to Corrientes where they overnight at the charming Hotel La Alondra, and make the ground transfer to the lodge the next morning.
The most novel travel method is using the overnight Luxury Sleeper bus to Mercedes. This features fully (flat) reclining seats with privacy curtains, much like you’d find on First Class transoceanic flights. This departs Buenos Aires at about 9:30 pm. Dinner and beverages are served and you’ll arrive in Mercedes at about 7:00 am. From there it’s a 1 ½ hour car transfer to the lodge.
Pirá is a strictly CATCH AND RELEASE fishery and strongly encourages the use of barb-less hooks.
Our Services are Free!
Contact us for Seasonal Discounts, Special Offers or Promotional Pricing
Pirá Lodge 2018 – 2019 Rates
|Package Length||Double Occupancy|
|7-nights / 6-days Fishing||$5,950 per person|
|6-nights / 5-days fishing||$5,100 per person|
|5-nights / 4-days fishing||$4,475 per person|
|4-nights / 3-days fishing||$3,800 per person|
Included in the rate: Roundtrip transfers Mercedes Airport or bus terminal to lodge (if you fly private charter); 7-nights deluxe lodge accommodations (double occupancy); all meals; all wines, beer; soft drinks and local spirits at the lodge; daily guided fishing, 2 anglers per boat/guide; fishing license.
Not included are: International airfare; transfers, hotels, meals and personal expenditures in Buenos Aires; commercial flights into either Corrientes or Resistencia (or private charter costs if you fly into Mercedes); transfers from Corrientes, Resistencia or Goya airports to lodge; tackle; imported liquors; laundry service; overweight luggage charges; gratuities.
Single occupancy 60% more; Non-fisher $450 per night/person.