Pira Lodge is located in Argentina’s Estores del Ibera a vast five million acre wetland encompassing more than five million acres of flowing water. This habitat rich watercourse is home to the formidable golden dorado.

A day fly fishing at Pira.

Setting off from the wooden dock the hells bay skiff weaves its way through narrow channels and and shallow lagoons. As we drive to the Corriente River capybara hurl themselves into the water and caimen warm in the morning sun. The journey gauges the scale of this enormous maze. Slowly, the boat eases into a patch of weeds. With rod in hand I move to the bow of the skiff to get ready for the the morning session. Jose leaps to the platform with pole in hand ready to guide.

Methodically working our way along the edge I cast my fly out and rip it back. Interest comes quickly although it doesn’t fell like a dorado, no jump and little fight. Jose reaches out his pliers, keeping his distance as he prizes a mangled fly from the razor sharp jaws of a piranha. New fly, and keep casting, same result, thump, thump, no run and no jump, another piranha. For the sake of my depleting fly box we reel in, start the motor and move downstream.

A mass of swirling currents at a junction in the river holds large numbers of sabalo (one of the preferred baitfish for dorado). This looks to be a inviting spot, two casts later line is torn from my fingers by a powerful take, a couple of shakes of the head and I can feel the line surge to the surface. The fish shines gold in the sun, displaying the best of its acrobatic skill by spending more time dancing in the air than in the water.  Carefully prospecting structure and interesting currents brings more shiny bars of black and gold to the boat.The steady rhythm of  casting and stripping quickly whittles away the morning session and before long we are working our way back through the maze for lunch.

Argentina, Pira Lodge, Golden Dorado, fishing for golden dorado, Esteros del Ibera, Aardvark McLeod

The Afternoon

A delicious lunch with a cold beer is followed by a quick siesta. Feeling relaxed and rejuvenated we march along the sandstone pavement back to the skiffs. In contrast to the mornings fishing, the plan is to head away from the Corriente River and into the depths of the marsh. There is no mass of open water here, the fishing is far more intimate. Jose eases the skiff gently down the five meter wide channel as I cast the fly inches away from banks of weed and lumps of structure. Surging from underneath the structure a fish charges the streamer, in the clear water all is visible. Its mouth closes firmly on the fly, tail pulsating he springs out of the water ripping his head side to side. Keeping the rod low I angle it away from any snags, persuading him into the channel and away from danger. After four more jumps and several wrenching pulls the fish comes to hand.

Argentina, Pira Lodge, Golden Dorado, fishing for golden dorado, Esteros del Ibera, Aardvark McLeod

We spend much of the afternoon exploring a network of clear streams and well featured channels. The marsh is ever changing and always moving, areas like these may be completely different only a week later. This constantly shifting environment allows for a never ending window of exploration.This day we fished water of hugely varying types, from large open stretches of the main river to small side channels, shallow lagoons and intimate small streams.

Argentina, Pira Lodge, Golden Dorado, fishing for golden dorado, Esteros del Ibera, Aardvark McLeod

To celebrate the days fishing we sip a ice cold beer on the journey home. The sun now setting, reflects shades of deep red and orange on the water. Encouraged by the dipping light the creatures of the night slowly start form a impressive chorus.

For more details on Pira Lodge or to enquire on availability please contact Steffan Jones or Olly Thompson call us on 01980 847389.