FISH STORY: AN EXTRAVAGANT OR INCREDIBLE TALE by Eric Ladd In the heart of northern Argentina lies the kingdom of the Do..
These past months have been the most productive season we have experienced since I started guiding at Pira Lodge. Absolutely amazing doesn’t come close to describing it, and words can´t explain what a great summer it was, and I went by in a blink of eyes.
We enjoyed some of the finest water and weather conditions we have ever had, with the Ibera Marsh sitting right at the perfect water temperature and level to keep all the fish concentrated in the channels, as they should be! We welcomed new guests, made new friends and visited with old friends who came back to share in the experience of fishing in our pristine environment.
By the end of January, we had already smashed the lodge record for largest Dorado, which was landed by Jim visiting from Ennis, Montana. His trophy tipped the scales at 33-pound of pure gold. The big girl ate while he was swinging his fly on a sink-tip line in the Corriente River. Some other remarkable fish from this season were Olech’s 20-pounder landed in a tiny pond surrounded by cattail grass using a streamer and floating line, and another 20-lb fish for John S., caught in the deepwater of the Corriente River. Besides those, we landed 3 fish over 18 lbs for three lucky anglers, Michael, Jason, Peter W. On top of landing some of the largest dorados in the march, we landed numerous double-digit fish in the 10-to-15 pound range in different fishing situations.
The true beauty of this fishery is that it allows us to use a variety of techniques and different types of lines and flies depending on what our anglers are feeling. We can use dry flies like mouse patterns; streamers on floating, intermediate and sinking lines; divers, and poppers, and fish all of these effectively. We’ve taken plenty of fish around all of the diverse structure available. We took plenty of fish while swinging 2-handed rods, stalked dorado on foot in skinny water, and hunted gold in the lagoons. Hiding in those lagoons, where the weeds flow like green hair and water lilies float on the surface, live some of the highest quality double-digit dorado we caught this summer. Recently, in one of our lagoons we had a dorado snap 40-lb bite wire like it was nothing, in the eat alone. All we saw was boiling water and a flash. The whole show ended in about two-seconds, something we have never witnessed on the marsh to date!
By the end of the season, the rain never arrived, water level started to become lower and lower. But, somehow, our migratory fish decided to hang around in our system, especially in Corriente River and the braided section in the North part of the marsh. These zones are home to incredible structure in fast-flowing creeks, just large enough to sneak a skiff through. It was amazing to see how well our fish held in those fast bends and seams.
As the summer progressed, the weather continued to stun us with unbelievably sunny days and cool breezes. Aside from the insane quality of the fishing, we were surrounded, as always, by the untouched natural beauty of our region. Large flocks of migratory storks and ducks arrived to nest in the marsh. Our usual cast of caimans and capybaras lined the green banks, and in some areas, we were graced with sighting local marsh deer, a very rare occurrence.
Sadly this season was cut short due to the current global situation, and many around the world are suffering or doing their best to prevent the spread of the virus going around the world. We hope that everything will carry-on normally for everyone in the near future. Just like the optimism we feel at the start of a new season, we are equally hopeful that all of our friends and family will stay strong and healthy in these coming weeks.
Our Season by the Numbers:
Total Fish Landed: 2,968
Fish over 30 lbs: 1
Fish between 16-20 lbs: 8
Fish between 10-15 lbs: 115
Jose Caparrós. Pirá Lodge Head Guide