Pira Lodge

The First Dorado Lodge

Destination: Argentina

Holiday: Pira Lodge

Pira Lodge in the Ibera Marshlands in Argentina was where “it all started”! It was the first dedicated lodge focused on catching Dorado and was the training ground for both many of the guides and experts who have taken that knowledge to other parts of South America. It was the lodge that put Dorado on the international map and remains the best lodge to fish for them in Argentina.

What does all this translate to! In essence a trip to Pira is a crossover between something that feels like a saltwater Flats fishing trip fishing for an acrobatic and very aggressive predator species. Two recent videos and a description of the type and style of the location.

1. Morphology: The Iberá Marshland, located in Corrientes Province in northeastern Argentina, is the world's second largest wetlands system after Brazil's Pantanal. Difficult access makes it a celebrated wilderness stronghold. In 1983, it was designated a Provincial Natural Reservoir, making it Argentina's largest protected area. Its headwaters slowly flow in a southwesterly direction, eventually merging to become the Corriente River, an important tributary of the Paraná River. The system is a dorado fishing sanctuary, defined by its natural beauty.

2. Species: There are numerous fish species swimming through the Ibera. But in terms of angling, the dorado is the most heralded. For those who enjoy stepping out of the mainstream experience, there are other interesting opportunities. Pira pita, tararira, surubi, to name a few-plus a long list of smaller exotic species for ultralight fishing enthusiasts.

3. Size: In recent years, the Ibera system is where most 8- to 15-pound dorado have been landed on flies. Most of them with floating fly lines. There have also been good numbers of larger fish caught, reaching upwards of 15 to 20+ pounds.

4. Privacy: Although there are technically no "private waters" in the system, tough access provides shelter from human impact. It's highly likely that guests will not see another boat during their visit. Encounters with other anglers, from other lodges, are not an issue here.

5. Fishing Techniques: From Pirá Lodge, we can fish two different types of waters: the Ibera Marsh, and the Corriente River and its headwaters. Fishing in the marsh is always from our Hells Bay flats skiffs, quietly drifting through clear water streams and channels while your guide uses a push pole to put you in casting range. This is an all floating-line experience. And when conditions are right, you'll be sight-casting with dry flies. At the river and headwaters, if the water levels are not too high, you can alternate between boat fishing and walking the banks. You'll use floating or sinking lines depending on conditions. Sight-fishing can also be good.

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