Uraima Falls Lodge, Venezuela
Exciting opportunity to target a unique species
Uraima Falls Lodge, 550 miles southeast of Caracas, is on an island at the base of the Uraima Falls in the state of Bolivar. This magical spot in the eastern Venezuelan highlands is home to the Paragua River, the biggest payara river in the world. Anglers here can expect challenging fishing, with the payara often described as ‘salmon with a bad attitude’. The rewards are great with the current record fish caught here weighing in at just over 39lb. Uraima Falls is the only lodge in South America exclusively geared to target payara.
Home waters for giant payara
There are plenty of options when it comes to casting at these river monsters. Your guide may have you fishing in fast water beneath the falls or in the main and quick currents of the river. Fishing can be both shore and boat based. The payara often exceed 30lb, striking with enormous power and stripping line off very fast. There is also the chance to fish for aymara, another prehistoric species and a hard crunching fighter that grows up to 40lb. The guides do not speak perfect English, but enough to help you with fly selection. The 35-foot dugout canoes are ideal for fishing this area and the furthest fishing spot is only ten minutes from the lodge. The canoes are crewed by a driver and your guide and accommodate no more than two anglers. They have a swivel seat and provide a stable casting platform.
“We caught 210 fish in four days to three rods – I was completely blown away by how savage these things are!” F.R., UK
The rustic lodge comprises four thatched, private cabins and hosts a maximum of eight anglers at a time. Each cabin has two rooms with two beds and a shared bathroom. There is a main cabin where meals are served and two open cabins which are great spots for a siesta. There is 24-hour water and electricity is available after 6pm. The lodge overlooks the river and there are several sandy beaches within walking distance. Breakfast is served around 6am. Lunch and dinner are served family-style, with dinner around 7pm. A mixture of American and Venezuelan foods are served.
Remote Venezeulan gem
This is the heart of the Venezuelan rainforest and the open sided lodge design gives an atmosphere reminiscent of being hosted in a private family club in the middle of the forest. To reach this remote gem anglers fly into Simon Bolivar International Airport and overnight nearby. The following day you fly onward to Puerto Ordaz City where you spend the night. From here it’s a three hour road transfer to La Paragua and then a three hour boat ride to Uraima Falls Lodge.