The Fishing

The fishing

The upper Parana is a large system.  A tailwater about 70 kilometers below  Yacireta Dam. Because it is a tailwater, unlike other large Argentine rivers, the water is generally clear. The nature of the river and fish requires skills, so the better, more experienced casters are rewarded. The reason is that much of the fishing is sight casting to fish you see, or have seen, near tree stumps, behind rocks, or under overhangs and along cut banks. Accurate casts are rewarded. You will be fishing for Dorado up to about 25 pounds, but most will be 5 to 10 pounds.

Pacu is considered the permit of Argentina, and is the attraction for the best anglers because of its size and power. Pacu in the 14 to 25 pound range have been caught, but most will be 8 to 12 pounds. 

The Pira Pita is a smaller fish, the biggest one caught was about 15 pounds, and acts basically like a trout. It is called the Paraná Salmon only because of its red meat. It looks nothing like a trout or salmon. It is a hard fighter with good jumps and can be skittish and sometimes hard to hook. There are two different species of this fish, white and yellow. Many fisherman go to the upper Parana just to fish for Pira Pita. It is unique to this area. Pacu and Pira Pita take dry flies, often dead drifted, just like fishing for trout. It is an incredible experience to see one of these big bruisers slowly come to the surface and sip in your bumble bee or another insects imitation.

Other species include dentuda (a small barracuda looking fish) and Palometa, the largest of the piranha. Most of the fishing is done from boats. The Parana is a huge river, several miles wide in some places, and you will mostly be fishing side channels that are 50 to 150 yards wide. The boats are specially designed so two fishermen are casting at the same time. The ecosystem of the Parana is essentially a jungle environment. There are monkeys in the trees, toucans , and an array of other birds and animals.

Breakfast is served around 6:00 AM and the clients generally are on the boats around 6:30 AM !!!. There is a short walk to reach the boat moorings. From there fishing begins immediately. You will be fishing the side channels of the Yahape and Itaibate areas, locations now famous for the concentration of fish. Casting while drifting along the shore is the most common practice and you will mostly be fishing structures.

It is generally hot at mid-day, so we normally return to the lodge for lunch and a break and nap (siesta) or beach time, and go back to the river and fish from 4:00 PM or so until dark. This way we maximizes the productive time.




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