Nov 9th, 2017
Pirarucu Lodge – Brazil
Pirarucú Lodge is a new Brazilian destination whose primary focus is to fish over and catch an unprecedented number of aprapaima – the often illusive, prehistoric and tarpon-like game fish that many consider the ultimate jungle trophy. Here anglers will fish in the Mamirauá Reserve, Brazil’s first Sustainable Development Reserve which totals more than 1 million hectares and was created first and foremost to preserve aprapaima and their habitat. In addition to the hard fighting, aerial arapaima, the reserve offers great fishing for timbaqui, a large pacu like fish, the exotic arowana and yellow peacock bass. The region is characterized by long chains of lakes and interconnected channels. During the wet season, it is a world renowned destination for birders. When the water drops in the fall, the angling opportunities reach their peak. Guests will stay at a simple, floating, solar-powered, eco-tourism lodge built from native hardwoods. The lodge features ten floating cabins. The lodge is also very suitable for guests keen on a range of general eco-tourism activities.
For more information please contact Kyle at 800.552.2729.
Expert Q&A with Rodrigo Salles, co-owner of Untamed Angling and Founder of Pirarucu Lodge
1. To target arapaima, air-breathing fish that resemble a pre-historic freshwater tarpon that can reach 400 pounds. These fish are one of the world’s largest freshwater gamefish.
2. Fish within the largest protected wild arapaima reserve in the Amazon which holds the densest population of arapaima on the planet.
3. Easy travel to a wild and pristine Amazon jungle destination.
4. Spectacular wildlife and birding opportunities.
5. It’s the best place in Amazon to sight fish for arowana with dry flies.
Where is the lodge?
Pirarucú is located within the Mamirauá Reserve, about 600 km west of Manaus. It is in the midst of a complex of lakes and channels between the Solimões River and Japura River.
How do I get there?
Guests fly to Manaus and overnight in a 4-star hotel (included in the package). The following day a private transfer service meets guests at the hotel and transfers them to the airport for a quick flight to Tefe. Once in Tefe, a representative of the lodge will meet them at the airport and transfer them 1-hour up the river by boat to the lodge.
When should I go?
Fishing season corresponds with the region’s dry season which spans from early September to early December
Where do they fish?
We have six different fishing beats that encompass more than 60 miles of lagoons, lakes, channels, and river.
Who is best suited for this destination?
Anglers looking for the challenge of catching monster arapaima as well as other exotic jungle species. It’s also great for non-anglers with a keen interest in birding and jungle life.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Meals are comprised of fresh, local, healthy foods but they are not fancy. They serve lots of vegetables, salads, chicken and fresh fish. Cabins are big with private bathroom, hot water, ceiling fans, a porch with river views. The main building has a living room and dining room. The lodge is very casual, and modest.
Describe the atmosphere and style of the Lodge?
It’s a simple floating lodge made entirely by the local communities with sustainably extracted wood and solar powered generation. The atmosphere is very casual and understated.
Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Rafael Costa is the manager and head guide. He’s been with the operation since the beginning of the project and he is the most experienced arapaima fly guide on the planet.
How do they fish?
Guests fish from state of art skiffs with two casting platforms, 60hp four stroke engines, wireless remote-control trolling motors, GPS and radios. Casting is important but so is the speed one can strip the fly. Quick hook sets makes the difference for arapaima. Guests will see dozens of rolling fish around the skiff. These rolling fish swim deep after surfacing. Arapaima are air breathers and take up to 70% of the oxygen they need from the air, so they can roll on the surface every 5-20 minutes.
Will we see other anglers?
This is an exclusive destination and you will not see other anglers that are not staying at the lodge.
What fish will I catch?
Arapaima, arowana, tambaquis, yellow peacock bass, pacus and some piranhas.
How many fish will I catch?
Think of trophy arapaima fishing as trophy tarpon fishing, sometimes fishing can be fast and furious while at other times it can be slow. Every day you can expect a chance to land a monster arapaima but it’s hard put exact numbers on fish per day landed. The smaller arapaima numbers (fish around 10-60 pounds) are completely different. You can expect several bites per day and have some days with a dozen fish landed per boat per session. Our average over the last two seasons was 3.5 arapaima landed per angler per day. Of these numbers, you can consider that 1 in 5 are giant fish (over 150 pounds) and the rest are between 10 and 150 pounds.
Is there wade fishing?
No. Anglers fish from extremely comfortable flat skiffs, custom designed and crafted by Untamed Angling. Each skiff is equipped with two large casting platforms, and an electric trolling motor with remote control, for moving silently within the lagoons.
How far is it to the fishing grounds?
Ten to 20 minutes is standard. Every day guests come back to the lodge for lunch and a siesta before the afternoon session.
Is there internet and cell service?
Yes, there is slow satellite Wi-Fi internet service and a satellite phone.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Yes, the use of Winston Rods, Nautilus reels, SA fly lines are included. Also, there is also a small shop with fly lines and flies for purchase.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
11-12 weight rods for the giant arapaima, 9-10 weight rods for baby arapaima and tambaqui, and 6-7 weight rods for arowana.
Are there other activities?
Yes, guests can choose to join eco-tours including canoeing, jungle treks, photo safaris, bird watching and visits to local native communities.
What are the physical demands?
It’s good to be able to cast big flies with big rods and handle the humid tropical weather.
Do guides speak English?
What are the guides like?
Untamed Angling has designed a unique working platform for all its projects: a team formed by a professional and a native guide working together. The pro guide provides specific technical skills and the native guide provides intensive knowledge of the jungle. Working together as a team allows them to enrich our guests fishing experience in a way that neither could achieve alone.
What is the cost?
Please see the Rates and Details section of our Picarucu Lodge web page for the current rates:
Does this trip combine well with other destinations?
Yes, it’s the same season as many peacock bass destinations in Amazon and it pairs particularly well with the giant peacock bass destination, Rio Marié.
Are there special skills required?
Practice casting 10 to 12 wt rods with big flies.
Dangers and annoyances?
Even being in the middle of the jungle there no big dangers. We don’t recommend swimming in the water as there are lots of caimans. There are few mosquitoes and it can be really hot.