End of Season 2016
The Dream Season
Seasons, just like the name implies, are all about change. Some are challenging, where rewards are hard won. Others are easier, where seemingly every cast comes with the promise of a hard-pulling dorado. Seasons are about weather: Too much rain. Never enough rain. And seasons are about the fish. Where were they? Did they bite? And how much did they weigh? This past season at Pira Lodge was all of the above, but more than any one individual seasonal-ism, 2016 will be remembered for its great overall fishing. It was a dream season for all those involved.
It’s always great to get back to the marsh to see how big the dorado are getting. This year our guides and clients found some HUGE ones. Starting in January we found healthy numbers large fish. High-water conditions also gave us ample opportunity to explore outside the main river and fish small channels that are typically dry. We found some spectacular mousing for mega dorado in these skinny-water haunts.
February was also fantastic at Pira. With water levels dropping and cooling, golden dorado became active and aggressive. Stormy days with sweeping atmospheric pressure changes made the dorado go wild. Fishing in the marsh came to life with some exciting surface action. The Corrientes River, on the other hand, also fished well. We saw many fish in the 5- to 10-pound class, with a good number of 11- to 15-pound dorado. A special mention must be made of our Russian guest who landed a beastly 21.5 pounder, which is an excellent fish for Pira. Or anywhere for that matter.
The good fishing theme continued through March—in the marsh and on the river and its productive side channels. It was a month of great visual takes and some great fish. Notably, another 21-pound dorado was landed alongside another 19 pounder. Both fish came out of shallow-water lies. And most groups landed double-digit fish during their weeks.
Throughout the season we were able to monitor the state of the dorado population at Pira. We’re happy to report that the fishery is looking extremely healthy. As these fish continue packing on the pounds, get ready for more awesome fishing this upcoming season and next.
The rainy season is almost over, water in the marsh is dropping, and fishing conditions are as good as they get. Over the past week, we’ve had success on the Corriente River swinging large streamers on a deep (300-grain) line. Floating lines have also done well, blind-casting to the banks with 2/0 streamers in black/purple, black/red, and straight black with a little flash and a muddler-style head.
Mouse patterns have also been moving fish off the banks.
Fishing in the marsh, on the other hand, has also given us some nice surprises. One of them was Michael’s 13-pounder that measured 89 centimeters and put up a great fight. Rick’s 9-pounder was also memorable. It appeared alongside a school of dorado close to the boat. With some fast thinking he dropped his streamer in front of the pack, stripped fast and hard, and watched as it was instantly annihilated. That kind of visual is hard to beat.
The fish of the week, however, went to Cole who connected with his 19.5 pounder in a sidechannel trickle. The dorado jumped the fly in about 5 feet of water, and after an incredible battle Cole and his guide, Fergus, were able to tail it for the camera. Congrats, guys!
Looking ahead, the forecast remains promising with coolish mornings and evenings and ideal river temps for tempting more big dorado.
February 2016February started with the best week of the season so far. Water in the marsh was at a perfect level and dorado are concentrated in island side-channels and deep pools near Camalotes.Floating lines with small dark deceiver-style streamers have been awesomely effective. We’re also having success with mouse patterns on the surface in the marsh. The Corriente River, on the other hand, continues to produce good numbers of sizeable dorado for anglers who like to swing streamers and bang the banks with big flies.During one session, guest Jeff S. landed 7 dorado from 5 to 7 pounds. Jeff is an amazing fly tyer and his custom streamers were the ticket. Michael “Mickey” D. focused on fishing mouse patterns in the Ibera backcountry, and was rewarded for his efforts with an 11-pound rodent-muncher. Guest Jeff B. tangled with a 15-pound dorado in the headwaters of Corriente River. And those are just a few of the MANY highlights.Overall conditions remain great, with a few storms around and just enough cloudy days to give us relief from the hot sun. In addition to fishing, wildlife watching is always great this time of year. Cayman and capybara populations are healthy, we’ve spotted swamp deer, and migratory birds are out in force.Come join us in dorado fishing paradise. We look forward to seeing you soon.Jose Caparros, Head Guide, Pira Lodge
Since I arrived at Pira Lodge after Christmas, the guides and I have been busy scouting the region in order to find the very best fishing we can find for our guests. Compared to past years, the water is on the high side, but not so high as to be of a concern. We started scouting along the channels of the marsh, looking for productive areas, and we found dorado in some classic places such as Surubi and Escondido. Once we had those classic areas in our pocket, we branched out to find more fish. And, we found more fish in an area not too far from the confluence of the Corrientes River, where the whole marsh and the river join in a delta. We scouted the lower part of the marsh-and the results were good, not big dorado–most of them around 7 lbs, but we were able to easily catch them on floating lines with small deceivers which is always fun.
We also looked for fish in the clear water marshes where you find small channels with a gentle current. In areas like this, casting with floating # 6 or #7 on the structure we again we found nice dorado. So good for us so far.. because we are finding the kind of fishing we really like—active water–where you can land your fly and expect the attack of a golden dorado. The fish we caught in the clear water marshes were around 9 lbs.
We have also seen some really nice fish in the range 10-20 pounds and Jumped a few already on the Marsh.
The weather in the marsh now is hot, typical for January. Also we have had a few storms arrive, not much rain to rise the level of the marsh but enough to cool things down a bit. Wild life as always is incredible here. We see Capybaras and caimans along the channel when we run to the fishing spots. Bird watching is amazing too, with hundreds of different types of birds in the region.
We look forward to having a very good season,and hope we can welcome you to Pira Lodge sometime soon.
Jose Caparros, head guide Pira Lodge.