Roddy Hall strikes gold at two locations amidst some stunning Argentinian scenery.
I have just returned from a trip checking out a brand new destination, Suindá Lodge on the Upper Paraná River near Corrientes in Argentina, and after fishing a couple of days at both Pirá Lodge and Suindá, I am convinced this is an ideal combination trip for those wishing to catch large golden dorado in stunning surroundings within easy reach of Buenos Aires.
Golden dorado are an exceptional fish. Aggressive, beautiful to look at and free takers of the fly, they are the South American equivalent to Africa’s tigerfish and seem to claim a distant kinship with our salmon. They take hard and are then airborne for much of the fight. Generally you will be using large streamers or surface flies such as mouse patterns and at both these lodges the water is clear so you can see the take. I used an eight weight rod and alternated between floating, intermediate and sinking lines.
Suindá is a brand new lodge on the banks of the upper Paraná River. It is nestled amongst the trees and has quite a contemporary feel, incorporating a lot of beautiful wood and glass alongside other features. The food, staff and guides are all exceptional and the guides have years of experience from other lodges targeting dorado and also the sea trout of Tierra del Fuego.
The river here is wide, in fact it reminded me of the lower Zambezi that separates Zimbabwe and Zambia and with howler monkeys creating a racket in the morning the jungle atmosphere was complete. There is a huge variety of water to fish, including sandbars, drop-offs, currents around islands and structure created by dead trees and stumps in the water. The fishing can be quite technical, and the dorado moody, but you have a chance of a very large fish. A thirty-plus pounder was landed just before I arrived, I saw several fish over twenty ( I will be going back for those!) and I know fish of over twenty pounds are landed most weeks. In addition there is great dry fly fishing for pirá pitá, a fascinating game fish that runs to double figures, as well as pacu – the largely vegetarian member of the piranha family which must be fished for with flies tied to resemble fruit.
An easy four hours’ drive away from Suindá, the majority of which is on good tarmac roads, is Pirá Lodge. Although here the target is the same fish, the golden dorado, what makes this lodge combine so well with Suindá is that the habitat is completely different.
At Pirá you are fishing the Iberá wetlands, a huge protected area of marshland teeming with bird and animal life. Depending on water height, fishing is on skiffs poled by the guides through channels of varying width. The dorado are more numerous here, but slightly smaller, and although a fish over 20lb is possible they are much rarer. However I landed plenty of fish up to 12lb, which were all very exciting. The lodge is again superb and the guides and staff all extremely good company and experienced. Bedrooms are large and airy and it is impossible to fault the operation.
There are various ways to access the lodges, but a one hour flight from Buenos Aires and a short drive means the trip is straightforward. We will be putting together a week long hosted trip for next season that combines the two lodges to give a unique dorado experience. However, it is easy to make the journey on your own and the lodges are happy with arrival and departure whenever it suits you, and any length of stay.
Please contact us for the options.