Fly fishing for a legend

Pirarucú is an extraordinary jungle lodge set in the largest arapaima reserve in the world.   It’s the perfect spot from which to target these ancient fish which can grow to over 400lb and most closely resemble a freshwater tarpon.   

The biggest jungle fish in the Amazon 

Anglers will fish both the inland lakes system formed during the rainy season from January to June when highwater floods the inland jungle areas, and the system of channels that remain to connect them during the dry season.  The arapaima are often seen gulping air from the surface which means sight casting to singles, pairs and even schools of fish is possible.  When hooked they explode in aerial displays and take off on long runs.  A 10# rod with floating/intermediate line is recommended for smaller fish, with 11# to 12# and sinking lines better for the larger specimens. All rigs require strong leaders rigged with large streamers that imitate the baitfish found around the arapaima’s home waters. 

During each fishing week, an experienced angler is likely to hook a fair number of arapaima, whose average size is around 60lb.  For numbers, it is better to go for the shallower, smaller fish (10 to 60lb) in the bays.  For the larger, and potential trophy fish, (80 to 300lb), anglers will concentrate on blind casting and dredging the depths of the lake and channels where the fish are rolling. Other species to try for include arowana, peacock bass and tambaqui.  Anglers fish from modern skiffs with large casting platforms.  The season at Pirarucú runs from September to the end of November which matches the middle of the dry season in this part of the Amazon and is when the fish congregate in the lakes and channels.   

Comfortable floating lodge 

Pirarucú Lodge floats on the same waters you fish during your stay.  The ten cabins are connected to the  main lodge via a wooden walkways over the river.  The  main lodge building features a dining room, living room and kitchen.  The lodge is in the heart of the reserve with very short run times to the fishing and most days anglers will return to the lodge for lunch before setting out for an afternoon fishing session. 

Accessible, yet remote destination perfect for anglers and non-anglers 

Pirarucú is set within the Mamirauá Reserve, a complex of lakes and channels between the Solimoes River and Japura River, about 600km west of Manaus.  Guests usually fly into Manaus, overnight here, and then fly onward to Tefé (approximately one hour).  From here it is a one hour boat transfer to the lodge.  Pirarucú is a great destination for non-anglers and families and offers daily guided activities including boat tours, hiking, bird and dolphin watching, canoeing and community visits. 

The Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve is a state protected area and the biggest protected flooded forest in the world.  It was the first sustainable development reserve to be designated in Brazil, in 1996, and remains the largest arapaima reserve in the world.

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