Pira Lodge Fly Fishing is located in Argentina’s northern province of Corrientes, in the middle of the Iberá Marshland. This vast 1.3 million hectare natural reserve is a massive spider web of lagoons, slow-moving streams and rivers. Sight fishing for these ultra-aggressive, acrobatic Golden Dorado in clear aquarium water is the norm in this area. It is what separates Ibera from the other, often muddy rivers in that part of the world. What makes the Pira Lodge Fly Fishing so unique from other Golden Dorado destinations is not just its strategic location sitting right on the edge of a channel providing direct access to the marsh system. It is also only 15 mins south of the Corrientes River, offers superior accommodation, knowledgeable staff and the only lodge that operates a state of the art Hell’s Bay flats skiffs to deliver you quickly and safely in the most remote areas of the fishery.
Freshwater Dorado, pound for pound, are some of the meanest, aggressive striking fish on the planet. They range in size in the Iberá marshlands from 3lb to 45lb. These fish will forever change your view of what an actual mean fish is all about, and if you have ever wanted to try your hand at Golden Dorado fishing, Pira Lodge has everything you can ever want.
Pira Lodge Fly Fishing is open all year-’round, However, like all fishing, there are peaks, and for the fishing alone, the peak season is December through April. By the time autumn arrives in May, the water starts to cool, and therefore the fish are less active, so expect less than the standard 10 to 20 strikes per day as you would expect in the peak season. It is possible to target Golden Dorados with complete floating lines and even surface flies during the warmer peak season. As the water cools, this gives way to using more sink tip lines for the less active fish.
As you wake on another lovely day on the Iberia marshes, you make your way to the main dining room, where you can enjoy your breakfast surrounded by the stunning sights and sounds of the wildlife. Once you have taken time to enjoy your breakfast, it’s only a short few hundred steps to the dock where your guides will be waiting. Once you are all aboard the Hell’s Bay skiffs, it’s time to depart and the first decision of the day. Do you turn left and head downstream to the Corrientes River or turn right into the vastness of the Iberia marshes. No matter which decision you make, the first thing you will remember is the fantastic wildlife that you will see along the way. You could even forget for a while that you are on a fishing trip, thinking you are actually on a safari. We are sure that you will have some luck on your Pira Lodge Fly Fishing adventure and your guide managing to bring some Golden Dorado to the boat for those all-important pictures.
At around 12.30, it will be time to head back to the lodge to avoid the primary heat of the day. On returning to the lodge, you are welcomed with refreshing drinks before you take lunch. This is the day’s main meal, consisting of expertly prepared soups, salads, meats and pasta, followed by sumptuous homemade desserts all accompanied by excellent Argentinean wines. After all these delights, you will probably wish to take a relaxing siesta.
Around 3 pm or later, if you prefer, it will be time to head back out with your guides for the evening session. The guides are never in a hurry to return, so unless you wish, they will keep you out on the water until the sun is setting. This is a magical time as all the shadows grow longer and the fish become more active. It is undoubtedly that particular moment to hook a Golden Dorado, which will only look even more impressive as it is lit up by the setting sun during those epic jumps.
Returning to the lodge, fresh hors d’oeuvres await your return. Dinner is served between 9 and 9:30 and will be as equally as impressive as lunch with lots of fine wines. Just remember to try and get some sleep as tomorrow you have to do it all again.
Pira Lodge Fly Fishing has two different water types; you can fish the Iberá Marsh and the Corriente River. This vast wetland is a great opportunity for Dorado fishing in crystal-clear waters. These ideal conditions allow anglers to sight-fish for cruising Dorado with top-water floating lines, a technique that produces explosive, heart-stopping strikes. Casting in the Iberá marshlands requires different approaches. When casting in a channel at the Marsh, it is essential to cast as close to the weed/bank as possible. When you are prospecting the waters instead of sight casting, casts should be placed into every fishy looking piece of water. These are usually confluences, corners, bays, points and other forms of structure.
When fishing the Corriente river, you use both floating and sinking lines. When fishing floating lines, you would typically cast to the river’s edges where Dorado hang out to feed. When casting sinking lines, you cast across the river, swinging and stripping the fly.
Golden Dorado is a powerful and aggressive fish with predatory feeding behaviours. They mainly attack minnows, frogs, mice and other creatures best represented by more significant than average flies.
Dorado fishing is not a numbers game. Your success will come from being patient and practising. Though Dorado has a reputation for attacking anything unlucky enough that get in its way, their feeding frenzies can be few and far between. It is the thrill of fooling these smart fish that makes Dorado fishing so unique.
For fly rods, recommend 9-foot 7 or 8-weight rods. We love the Scot Mackenzie rods as they have swift action, making them ideal for fishing at Pira.
A high-quality fly reel is essential, with a substantial, smooth drag is a must, as giant Dorado are both strong and fast. Reels should have the capacity for the fly line and 100 yards of 20-pound backing. Bring reels with spare spools to make it easier to change over fly lines for the different opportunities each day.
Please pack weight-forward tropical floating fly-lines (redfish, tarpon, and bonefish lines work well). Also, consider “over loading” your rods. For example, we often use an 8-weight floating line on a 7-weight rod, which has dual benefits: 1) It makes it easier to load the rod with less line, and 2) the heavier line makes casting larger flies easier. Also, we recommend bringing a fast-sinking line such as Rio’s Leviathan (or similar), which has a 26-foot, 300- to 350-grain sinking tip. Intermediate tip lines are good options, too, including RIO’s General Purpose Tropical F/I. Note: DO NOT bring conventional cold-water floating lines. The tropical weather makes them soft and gummy and, therefore, difficult to cast.
Leaders should be heavy enough to turn over big flies. Spools of mono should include 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 lbs, test weights. You should have 9 foot long tapered leaders (Knotted or Knotless, depending on your personal preference) for floating lines. For sinking lines 4-6 feet of 30 lb. mono should work well in most conditions. Maxima Ultragreen Mono is a good option for leader material. An important thing to consider in a Dorado leader is the shock or bite tippet. These fish have very sharp teeth that will cut even the strongest mono. Bring plenty of 20 to 40 lb test steel leader for your stay. AFW (American Fishing wire) in mat camo colour is a favourite among our guides.
A question that gets asked many times is it possible to extend my stay? The simple answer is yes; you can stay at Pira Lodge Fly Fishing for as long as you wish. Although our standard itinerary is based on six days of fishing, this can be as short as only a two-day fishing trip if you would prefer. This makes Pira Lodge the perfect destination as either a dedicated 1-week trip or as an add on to any of the other incredible destinations we have to offer in Argentina. We can arrange for you to fish different rivers for Sea Trout, fish smaller rivers for wild Brown Trout, Chase monster Chinook Salmon and even Golden Dorado fly fishing. Being the UK leading specialist in fishing holidays to Argentina, we can tailor your itinerary to suit. Please feel free to ask, and we will always work something out for just you. View all tours in Argentina
This stylish and exquisite lodge benefits from a panoramic view of the wide and vast wetlands. It can accommodate up to 10 guests in 5 deluxe twin rooms, each with a private entrance, private bath, two double beds, ceiling fans and air conditioning. A separate building, attached by covered walkways and open-air patios, accommodates the spacious living room, bar, and dining room areas, each with tall doors open to the wide veranda. Award-winning architects designed Pirá Lodge to respect traditional regional elegance offering all of the comforts and luxuries of a contemporary hotel. Relax and enjoy a cocktail at any hour, and cool off in the outdoor swimming pool after a rewarding day of fishing.
Pira Lodge prides itself on using fresh and regional meats and produces, and by combining these, they create delicious flavours and varied meals that will fulfil any guest requests. The very experienced team of international chefs trained in both classic and avant-garde techniques execute the food. All the meals are prepared from scratch to be served at a moment’s notice, and team this with some of the world’s finest and best wines; you will soon find yourself living in your little piece of paradise.
Pira Lodges northern Argentinian kitchen specialises in diverse dishes that pair prime cuts of local meats with the freshest fruits and vegetables. Beyond traditional asados, salads and sides, enjoy exotic appetisers such as yacaré meat, savoury cheeses, and homemade bread such as our classic chipá rolls. Desserts tantalise guests with multiple textures and flavours designed to provide an unforgettably delicious final touch.
Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Arrive Buenos Aires
Once you have arrived you will need to get a taxi to Jorge Newbery Airport. Transfer approx. 40 minutes (taxi not included). When you have arrived at Jorge Newberry airport you will need to check in for your short flight
Depart Jorge Newbery Airport, Arrive Resistencia
There will be a representative from Pira Lodge waiting to transfer you to the lodge. Transfer (approx. 4 hours)
Overnight Accommodation: Pira Lodge (Twin rooms) F/B
A typical spring fishing day will start in the morning from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, you will then have lunch at the lodge, followed by an afternoon fishing from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm. This will avoid fishing in the heat of the day and given how strenuous the fishing is, it will be a nice break from the sun. The majority of the fishing is sight casting to cruising fish or targeting deeper holes and fast runs from the bow of the boat with a single-handed eight or nine weight fly rod loaded with a floating or sink tip line is the ideal choice.
Streamers and Cockroach imitations are tied to steel traces to prevent a lightning turn of the head slicing the line in the Dorado’s dash for freedom.
Overnight Accommodation: Pira Lodge (Twin room) F/B
At a pre-arranged time you will be transferred back to Resistencia airport, where you will take the small flight. (Transfer approx. 4 hours)
Depart Resistencia, Arrive at Jorge Newbery Airport
Once you have collected your bags, make your way out of the terminal building and take a taxi to your overnight hotel (Taxi not included)
Overnight Accommodation: Buenos Aires Hotel (Twin room) B/B
Depending on your flight time, you will need to arrange with the reception at your hotel for a taxi back to the airport for your return flight. (Taxi not included)
Depart Buenos Aires
Arrive the UK
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 82%
"That is what the whole trip provided 100% attention to detail making our holiday one to remember and dream about going back too."
"Everything was organised to perfection, I just wished my casting and presentation was up to the same standards. The fishing takes a little getting used to with the large flies, fast stripping but that was my shortcomings. If I could make one suggestion, it would be that customer tries some Pike fishing in the UK first for practice casting large flies with a double-handed strip."
"Never fished for Dorado before had read and listened to the stories, but know I have lived the experience and feel I could write my own, great fishing and stunning lodge, defiantly top end location."
The season runs from December to March.
Season: All year
Peak: December to April
Weight: 5lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 6lb
Season: All year
Peak: December to April
Weight: 0.5lb to 2lb
Average Weight: 1lb
Season: All year
Peak: December to April
Weight: 2lb to 20lb
Average Weight: 8lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.
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