Pirarucú is located within the Mamirauá Reserve. About 600 km west of Manaus, this complex system of lakes and channels is between the Solimões and Japura Rivers. This lodge was the first Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil, legislated by the Government of Amazonas in 1996, and remains the largest arapaima reserve in the world. This trip centers on the arapaima (or pirarucu), but that is not the only species on the table. Hard hitting peacock bass, arowana and freshwater pacu are also in the system. For those who live to chase big fish, this should be on the top of your list!
During each week, an experienced angler is likely to hook a good number of Arapaima whose average size is an amazing 60 pounds. Arapaima can grow to over 400 pounds, and most closely resemble a freshwater tarpon. When hooked, they explode in aerial displays and surrender only after epic battles.
The lodge has floating cabins for guests, each with two en-suite rooms and bathrooms. They each have A/C and ceiling fans. The main lodge building features a dining room, living room, and kitchen. Everything is on the water, connected with wood platforms. Sat phone and Internet available.
5 to 9 wt. single-handed rods are good for the pacu, arowana and peacock bass. For arapaima, 10 to 14 wt. range is best as mature fish can range from 100-400 pounds. Reels designed for saltwater fly fishing are the best choice. Tropical weight forward floating lines work best in this fishery.
Most US guests will reserve flights to Manaus out of Miami on American Airlines or TAM Linhas. You will also have to arrange your domestic flights from Manaus to Tefe. The airline is Azul Airlines, and Frontiers can make these reservations for you. A Brazilian tourist visa is necessary for US and Canadian citizens. You will need approximately 4 weeks to arrange the visa – you must surrender your passport to have your visa issued.
Pirarucú trips are based on six nights and five days of fishing for groups of six anglers maximum. The 2016 season is $5,950/angler. Single angler (boat/guide/room): 60% additional. Non-angler: $2,500. Ask about shorter packages of four days fishing. Season is Mid-September to end of November.
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