Situated in the virgin Esteros del Ibera in Corrientes province, Pira Lodge is the most recognized lodge in the world of Dorado fly fishing. Twice the size of the Everglades and the second largest marshland in the world (behind the Pantanal in Brazil), Esteros del Ibera boasts a staggering array of wildlife. Caiman and capabarra (the largest rodent in the world) are common sights, and the area is one of the world’s most alluring destinations for birding aficionados. I was so blown away by the sheer amount and variety of bird species that it almost made the fishing seem secondary. Almost.
The weather is highly variable at Pira, and in our short stay we experienced everything from pleasant, sunny days to torrential downpours and lightning storms. When dealing with mother nature you simply never know what to expect, but the fish gods must have been smiling because the dorado action was surprisingly consistent, regardless of the weather. In recent years Pira has been plagued by low water conditions, and the general consensus had been that the Esteros were full of only small fish. Luckily for us that wasn’t the case. We found a lot of sizable fish and several in the 10-14 lb range. A dorado over 10lbs is a great fish anywhere, and especially in the pristine environment found at Pira. In fact, over the 4 days that we were there we saw only one other person – a lone gauche tending his cattle. Wild indeed. Next it’s farther north to fish the brawling Rio Paraná near the Paraguayan border. Stay tuned! Peace