April 2016


Pira Lodge – End of Season 2016

Pira Fishing

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 […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 20 – 25, 2016

Unseasonably warm weather this week was a pleasant surprise, keeping the water temperature high and the fish in a relatively good humour. Many weeks particularly at this time of year have been destroyed by cold and dirty water.  The conditions lead to the opening day of the week starting with a bang with just eight anglers hooking forty fish of which twenty nine were landed. Father and son team of Roberto and Fransisco from Argentina had differing fortunes on both sessions, Fransisco saw all the action in the morning landing a total of three fish while it was his father Roberto who account for a total of five in the evening. Argentine guest Christian came equiped with a single handed set up but strong winds early in the week saw his guide suggest the use of a double hander, the speed at which he grasped the technique was astounding, experienced anglers find the single spey difficult to master at times but Christian was at the stage of fine tuning after just twenty minutes. His new found talent ensured he landed fish after fish. His fishing partner Ed from the States joined us for his second season in a row, having only taken up fly fishing in recent years this guy has become a complete addict making multiple trips each year to destinations such as Kamchatka, Alaska and here. Although he failed to beat his personal best of 22 pounds from last season a not to shabby 18 pounder with Andrei has no doubt ensure his name will feature on the team sheet next season. Fishing partners for many years Arnold and Steve from the States were here for their first time. The pair were a complete pleasure to guide, relaxed anglers of considerable talent their expectations were set at just […]

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Alto Paraná Fishing Report – March 2016

This season has been an interesting ride, considering we had one of the highest water years on the Parana I’ve ever seen: from a booming beginning of January, to almost normal levels in mid-February, to higher than ever the first week of March. Despite the conditions, the fishing was surprisingly good. Not easy, but rewarding. We had weeks during which clients had many hookups. We also had slower weeks when some species were off, and others saved the day. Those hero fish often came in the form of BIG pira pita. We consistently found strong, healthy fish in good numbers. Most of them were taken on mouse patterns, and the eats were dynamite. Pacu, on the other hand, were elusive. High water gave them a lot of room to hide. But fishing improved markedly when water levels temporarily dropped last month. Dorado remain the kings of the Parana. From feeding frenzy situations to long drifts along holding spots where they wait to ambush prey, we found success with a selection of large and small streamers—even mouse patterns. We want to thank all of our guests who worked so hard while keeping spirits up through some difficult conditions. We hope to see you again soon on this amazing part of the Paraná River. The Best, Fabian Anastasio Fishing Manager at Alto Paraná Lodge  

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 12 – 19, 2016

For me one of the major attractions to fishing for sea trout on the Rio Grande has always been the ability of the river and its fish to put the angler to the ultimate test. If you do not have “your shit together” as a former guide used to say, you will experience frustration, the feeling of inadequacy can burn through your arms as each cast fails to land in its desired location. Its not all doom and gloom however as each session passes your ability improves and you slowly begin to conquer your demons. Your confidence rises once things start fitting into place and that burning sensation turns to pure elation once your line goes tight and you feel thoses first couple of head shakes. I feel a greater appreciation and sense of achievement is  obtained by doing some hard yards at the start of the week rather than nailing fish from the get go. The Rio Grande certainly made our guests appreciate their fish this week as gusts of 80 kmph were experienced on the opening session. The river was transformed into a sea of white horses and for the first session of the season all guides returned for siesta empty handed. A significant abatement in the wind for the evening session allowed us to restore some parity on the scoresheets. Italian angler and Kau Tapen regular Andrea managed to land three fish, the biggest of which was 13 pounds, while his fishing partner David landed the fish of his dreams a beautiful 19 pound female. On the same evening Bernard here for his second week had a 19 pounder with the current big fish specialist Diego. Monday morning saw the wind causing more havoc, blowing from a North easterly direction which makes many of our pools extremely […]

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Pirá Lodge Fishing Report – March 2016

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.

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Villa María Lodge: March 6 – 13, 2016

We just finished another “tempestuous weather” week! The wind and large temperature variations across the days made this week quite particularly challenging in that aspect. Winds up to 60mph and near freezing temperatures overnight were the main challenges to defeat. But with patience and between wine talks, jokes, and hard work we enjoyed great success. Similar to the last couple of weeks, we had a few hours of rain that bumped up the water level a couple of centimeters. Even when it still looks like too little to make a difference, that event stirs things up. There was no a pattern of behavior of fish preferring one fly over another. In one pool someone was catching on green machines and in the next one below, on collie dog tubes. Even leeches were good on some cold mornings and when the fish were not moving to anything else. Of course Leeches remain the almighty option in lower light conditions. Regarding lines, skaggit lines with short sink tips were the best options, as usual. Floating and intermediates lines saw a lot of action this week with great success when fished teamed with a Sunray shadow style tube.  

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 5 – 12, 2016

Adjectives Reading people, specifically anglers is a talent all guides acquire after just a short time guiding, as my ghille back in South Kerry would say “ is not needed but paying close attention to the adjectives they use usually gives the game awayhe week, however  you can tell by the way they walk down to the boat whether they are any good to fish or not”, of course this refers directly to talent which ultimately affects the anglers success during the week, however success does not have to determine how much an individual angler enjoys their week. This is where reading your guests goes to the next level, a degree in phycology is not needed but paying close attention to the adjectives they use usually gives the game away. “I need to catch a fish this evening”, as opposed to “I would like to catch a fish”. Kau Tapen guide Diego, with his limited English (a good deal better than my Spanish) uses what I feel the perfect adjectives when it comes to fishing, his catch phrase has become ¨maybe I have the opportunity and possibility to catch a fish in this place¨, for all anglers, no matter where they are fishing this is a super approach to take. Needing to catch a fish is like buying a lotto ticket in order to pay your next mortgage instalment, you will be over the moon if it comes through but there is an even bigger chance you will be disappointed with the end result. Timo from Sweden was our most anticipated guest of the season, somewhat of a father Christmas to the guide team he had in his possession a large order of Danielsson reels which we had ordered, needless to say we were like children around a Christmas tree […]

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Villa María Lodge: February 21 – 28, 2016

Looks like rain is the big absent this summer on the Rio Grande. The river remains very low and clear, but it’s still delivering the best sea-run brown trout fishing on the planet! Light rain last week bumped water levels by less than an inch. That doesn’t sound like much, but the fish feel the difference and react accordingly—charging upstream or changing positions in the pools. The group of return anglers we had knew the drill and how to properly adapt to the ever-so-slight changes. Faced with low water, relatively strong winds, and cool temperatures—dropping all the way to 3-degrees C at night—they found success. The “Best New Entrance Award” goes to Ingve, our Icelandic pal who during his first Rio Grande tour hooked and landed a superb 24-pound buck! But that wasn’t the only big fish of the week; everyone in the group landed at least one fish over 20 pounds, with Neil scoring his at week’s end—right before the buzzer! Again, we dabbled with a variety of flies for best results across changing light, temperature, and time-of-day conditions. Summertime staples like small nymphs and green machines performed somewhat better than others. And leeches remain the almighty option in low-light conditions. Regarding lines: Skagit heads with short sink-tips have been the go-to option. Although, floating and intermediates lines saw a lot of action this week—and success. The group also enjoyed using ultra-light switch rods, so it was fun dealing with some monsters that the river kicked their way. Largest fish of the week: 24 lbs. Fish over 20 lbs: 7 Fish over 15 lbs: 28   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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Kau tapen Lodge: February 20 – 27, 2016

  Midway point Week number 7 has seen us reach the half way point in our season, physcoligically for all staff this is a significant milestone, working in an isolated location, far from family and friends is not easy but knowing you are on the home stretch gives you a calm reassurance that you are almost there. We had a predominantly Russian group of guests this week with the exception of Kau Tapen legend and all round gentleman Gianni who was also accompanied by his wife Lalla. Thankfully the moody fish of last week have settled into the cold water regime and  were less affected by cold overnight  temperatures. Persistant upstream winds on Sunday, Thursday and Friday did hamper the anglers efforts at straight line presentation however cloudy conditions on the evening sessions made for very productive fishing and with the early on set of darkness some of the fishing at the so called magic hour was ridiculous. Sergei with guide Gaston set an early benchmark on the warm up session landing a 13 pound fish which heightened expectations for all other guests immediately. His fishing partner Igor did not have to wait long and went one better the following morning landing an 18 pounder. Fishing alone Gianni did what he does every year, taking his time he carefully picks out as many fish as he can from each pool, at the age of eighty  the mans ability to catch fish after fish is amazing and if the truth were told caught many more fish than men half his age. The phrase “the olde dog for the hard road and the puppy for the path” comes to mind. There was a touch of Hollywood around the place as Vladimir, making a film about different fishing destination around the world had […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: February 13 – 20, 2016

Mood Cycles The sea trout at Kau Tapen this week reminded me of a girlfriend I once had, her early morning mood was generally bad and no amount of cajoling or sweet talk could bring her around. As midday approached her spirits would lift a little and a smile or even a kiss were not out of the question but as soon as darkness fell a whole new person would appear and the cranky tyrant that you had to tip toe around all day was as playful as a puppy. We went our separate was in the end and to this day I could never figure out the reason for her daily mood cycles, as for the trout behaving in a similar fashion the reasons are straight forward, freezing over night temperatures made them slow and lethargic, as temperatures rose during the day they became more active and by nightfall they were happy to cooperate. Obviously fewer fish were landed in the morning sessions but in the long run the figures balanced themselves, the simple reason being that more fish were willing to take the fly at night, having not felt the anglers hooks earlier in the day. David and Kjell for Norway made the short trip over the fence from Aurelia lodge just upstream, to spend there second week in pursuit of these prized fish. David had a case of déjà vu landing the biggest fish of the week, a title he also received during his stay upstream. Kjell’s tales of big fish are far less joyous however, clumped by a giant of a fish on Wednesday night he returned the following evening for revenge only to be clumped for a second time. Scottish pair of David and Lorne had been well informed of what to expect down here […]

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