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n Non-angler Eco-Tour $2,500 s email:
Arapaima are the cutting edge of jungle fly fishing!
Dead-center in one of the Amazon’s most spectacular bird and wildlife preserves
TOP ON THE LIST ofnew fly fishing experiences may be sight-fishing for Arapaima, the largest scaled freshwater fish on Earth. And there’s no better place in the tropics to try your hand at landing these monsters than the inland lakes of Pirarucu.
Arapaima can grow to over 400 pounds, and veteran anglers are quick to equate them with tarpon. When hooked they explode into the air, obviously pissed off that anything would challenge their alpha role. They take off on long runs, and sur- render only after a battle that will generally test both angler and fish.
Anglers spend their days scanning the surface of lakes, channels and rivers, searching for singles, pairs, or even schools of these big fish. It’s all sight fishing at Pirarucu because these monsters hold close to the surface, and if the fish are there, you’ll spot them gulping for air or hunt-
ing smaller fish and birds. It’s
much like hunting saltwa-
ter’s mangrove flats for tar-
This complex waterway is located within the Mami- raua Reserve and is one of the few places in South America where fishing for Arapaima is even allowed. It coincides with the dry season, beginning in early September and continuing thru November.
As a rule, there’s plenty of Arapaima action during all those months. Most fly rodders can expect to hook reasonable numbers of fish that will average an as- tounding 60 pounds, and occasional opportunities to hook up with much larger fish that just can’t be landed.
Since there are as many varieties of fish found in the Amazon as have been identified in the entire Atlantic Ocean, it is hardly any wonder that exciting new fly fishing targets are being recognized every year.
Fly fishermen at Pirarucu use the same, swift, custom-tailored skiffs found at Rio Marié.They’re powered by 60 HP 4-stroke Yamahas and cover long distances very quickly. GPS and VHF radios are on board, and boats are equipped with two large push pole platforms and an electric motor for silent movement.
Last year was the first season of operation at Pirarucu Lodge and the several dozen adventurous guests who sampled the fishing were not disappointed. They expected a lot, and what they found awaiting them was far more than was promised in every way.
The Pirarucu lodge was built of stunning hardwoods. Each of the four duplex cabins have en suite baths and are connected on the water to a larger dining room, kitchen, living area, and bar. It is simple, utilitarian and beautiful.
The operation is situated in the heart of the largest Arapaima and wildlife refuge in the world and sur- rounded by an astounding 2.6 acres. The remote location can be reached only via a 1.5 hour motor launch ride from the city of Tefe.
Getting to Pirarucu is time-con- suming, but easy. Guests first fly to Manaus, overnight at the Tropical Hotel, continue on a one-hour flight the next morning via jet to Tefe where they are met and transported by boat to the lodge.
Though the intricate spiderweb of waterways is immense, it’s not neces- sary to go far for action, and anglers
usually return to the lodge for lunch.
The fly-savvy, English- speaking guides are excel- lent and the whole
operation is wonderful. It’s a rare opportunity to be among the first allowed to fish this re- gion while being a part of assisting the native com- munity to sustain and pre- serve their native lifestyle and help develop their fishery as a catch-and-re- lease, fly fishing only
pirarucú 2016
The package includes Manaus Airport reception, airport to hotel transfers,
Manaus accommodations on the night prior to the 600-mile flight to Tefe, liquor, fine wine and meals, lodging, guides, and everything with exception of tackle, tips, and gear. n 7 night/6 day package $5,950 Not included is a 10% Native Fee for trespass and development, interna- tional flight to Manaus, or the round trip commercial Tefe flight.
When mature, Arapaima
known predators, and they often cohabit with other terrific fly fishing quarry: Pacu, Yellow Peacock Bass, and a bevy of great sportfish native only to the Amazon (including the 3 to 8 pounds Arowana that will nail a Chernobyl, hammer a hopper or smash any other topwater fly) and are totally unfamiliar to most of us Yan- kee fly fishermen.
The floating lodge is used in other seasons by eco-tourists for viewing wildlife and birdwatching. It is one of the top 5 birding locations in the en- tire Amazon and is an ideal destina- tion for angling couples and fly fishermen with a non-fishing compan- ion.The scenery is startlingly beauti- ful and the night time lullaby provided by a countless variety of exotic nest- ing birds is soothing and memorable.
have no

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