Species
Peacock Bass, Arapaima
Destination Type
Lodge
Fishing Style
Jungle, Sightfishing, Skiff
Season
September - November
Fishing Days
6
Rate
$$$
Why We Go
  • Fish for the powerful and awe-inspiring arapaima, one of the world's largest freshwater gamefish. The arapaima or pirarucu is an air-breathing giant that can reach 400-pounds.
  • Explore the largest protected wild arapaima reserve in the Amazon which holds the densest population of arapaima on the planet.
  • Enjoy easy travel and short stay options to a wild and pristine Amazon jungle destination. Guests of Pirarucu lodge can add a few days at the lodge before or after visiting other Amazon destinations.
  • Take-in amazing jungle wildlife and birding opportunities.
  • Challenge yourself at the best location in the Amazon to sight fish for arowana with dry flies.
Overview

Pirarucú Lodge is a Brazilian destination whose primary focus is to fish over and catch an unprecedented number of arapaima - 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 arapaima 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.

Location: Pirarucú is located within the Mamirauá Reserve, about 600 km west of Manaus, a complex of lakes and channels between the Solimões River and Japura River.

Fishing Program

Anglers will fish from well equipped flats boats complete with Yamaha outboards, electric trolling motors and push poling platforms. The region is dominated by narrow lakes and interconnecting channel where the arapaima congregate in periods of low water. The fishing season runs from mid September to November 30th. Fishing will be done exclusively from the boat and due to high concentrations of large caimans, photos of fish will be taken on the deck of the boat or on shore. These are extremely durable air breathing fish that can easily handle a few minutes out of the water, after which time all fish will be released unharmed.

Accommodations

The lodge is simple but very comfortable and beautiful. It is a floating lodge, constructed of local woods. It is utilized during other times of year as an ecotourism lodge for bird watching and wildlife viewing and is one of the top five bird watching areas in the Amazon. It is also a perfect destination for guests interested in eco-tourism activities such as bird safaris, jungle tracks (with professional guides) and visiting the local communities. The lodge has ten floating cabins, each with two en-suite rooms with ceiling fans. The main lodge building features a dining room, living room and kitchen. Everything is on the water, connected by wood platforms. The lodge is located in the heart of the reserve, with very short run times to the fishing. In fact, most days guests will return to the lodge for a well-prepared lunch before returning for an afternoon fishing session. Satellite phone and internet are available. Hearty meals will be served in the main lodge.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Manaus, Brazil. A representative of the lodge will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Dinner on your own.

Day 2: After breakfast at the hotel a representative of the lodge will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Tefe. A representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the marina for the 1-hour boat ride to the lodge. Arrive at the lodge for lunch. Fish the afternoon session.

Day 3-8: Six days of guided fishing for Arapaima and other jungle species.

Day 9: After breakfast you will take the 1-hour boat ride back to Tefe for your return flight to Manaus.

Rates & Details

2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6½ day package: $6,400 plus $640 native fees
  • 5 night/4½ day package: $5,350 plus $530 native fees

2025 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6½ day package: $6,590 plus $660 native fees
  • 5 night/4½ day package: $5,510 plus $550 native fees

Included: One overnight at 4-star hotel in Manaus, ground transfers in Manaus, ground and boat transfer from Tefe airport to the lodge, accommodations, meals and beverages including beer, wine and alcohol at the lodge, guided fishing, optional guided eco-tours, fishing licenses and daily laundry at the lodge.

Not Included: International flights, Native Community Fee (cash required), flight from Manaus to Tefe, meals and beverages at the hotel in Manaus, gratuities to staff and guides, airport departure tax, satellite phone calls, city tours in Manaus, extra hotel overnights, fishing equipment and flies (available at lodge for a fee).

Season: September to November

Species: Arapaima, timbaqui, pacu, arowana, yellow peacock bass.

Capacity: 6 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

What are the top reasons to go?

  • Fish for the powerful and awe-inspiring arapaima, one of the world’s largest freshwater gamefish. The arapaima or pirarucu is an air-breathing giant that can reach 400-pounds.
  • Explore the largest protected wild arapaima reserve in the Amazon which holds the densest population of arapaima on the planet.
  • Enjoy easy travel and short stay options to a wild and pristine Amazon jungle destination. Guests of Pirarucu lodge can add a few days at the lodge before or after visiting other Amazon destinations.
  • Take-in amazing jungle wildlife and birding opportunities at a destination that great for travel companions.
  • Challenge yourself at the best location in the Amazon to sight fish for arowana with dry flies.

Who is best suited to this destination? Pirarucu is best for anglers looking for the challenge of catching monster arapaima as well as other exotic jungle species. Guests that can cast large weight rods with large flies accurately are going to have the most success at Pirarucu. The lodge is unique in that it offers short stay options. This means that guests can add a few days of arapaima fishing to their trip after or before fishing other Amazon programs.  Pirarucu Lodge is also great for non-anglers with a keen interest in birding and jungle life.

Where is the lodge? Pirarucu is located within the Mamiraua Reserve, about 600 km west of Manaus. The floating lodge lies in the middle of a complex of lakes and channels between the Solimoes and Japura Rivers.

How do I get there? To get to Pirarucu Lodge guests will need to fly to Manaus, Brazil (MAO). In Manaus guests will overnight at a local 4-star hotel (included in the package). The following day guests are transferred to the airport for a quick domestic flight to Tefe (TFF). 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.

To alleviate the stress of tight connections, lost luggage, and long travel days some guests choose to arrive in Manaus a day early.

When should I go? The fishing season corresponds with the region’s dry season which spans from early September to late November. How will I fish? Guests fish from comfortable flats skiffs. Each skiff is equipped with two casting platforms, 60hp four stroke engines with wireless remote-control trolling motors. Hard hook sets make the difference for arapaima fishing as they have very hard mouths and getting a proper hook set can be difficult.  

Guests should be prepared to fish with 10- to 12-weight rods, sinking lines, and large flies.

Is there wade fishing? No. Anglers fish from flat skiffs, custom designed and crafted skiffs specifically designed for jungle fly fishing.

Where will I fish? There are six different fishing beats that encompass more than 60 miles of lagoons, lakes, channels, and river in the Mamiraua Reserve.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Less than 20-minutes up to 1-hour depending on water levels. Every day guests will come back to the lodge for lunch and a siesta before the afternoon session.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Arapaima, arowana, tambaqui, yellow peacock bass, pacu, and piranha.

How many fish will I catch? Like most trophy fishing, sometimes fishing can be fast and furious while at other times it can be slow. Guests can expect a few encounters with arapaima larger than 60-pounds daily, and if all goes well guests will bring a few to hand during the week.

If guests spend time chasing the arapaima that weigh less than 60-pounds, they can expect several grabs per day and it is reasonable to expect to land two or three of them per day.

Will I see other anglers? No. This is an exclusive destination, and guests will not see other anglers that are not staying at the lodge.

What are the guides like? Untamed Angling has designed a unique working platform for their guide program: a team formed by a professional and a native guide working together. The professional angling guide provides specific technical skills, and the native guide provides intensive knowledge of the jungle. Working together as a team allows them to enrich the guest’s fishing experience in a way that neither could achieve alone. The professional guides speak good English and are warm, patient, and safe on the water. 

What are the physical demands? Guests will need to be able to cast big flies, with big rods, sinking lines, and handle the humid tropical weather. It can be exhausting fishing especially if anglers are fishing for trophy arapaima which usually requires time blind casting large tackle through deep lakes and lagoons.

Are there any special skills required? It is best to practice casting 10- to 12-weight rods with large flies and sinking lines before arriving.

Does the lodge provide equipment? Yes, the use house equipment is available, but guests are encouraged to bring their own. There is a small shop with at the lodge with fly lines and flies for purchase.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? The complete angler would have an 11- to 12- weight setup with a full sinking line for the giant arapaima, a 9- to 10-weight with an intermediate sinking line setup for smaller arapaima and tambaqui, and a 6- to 7- weight with a floating line setup for arowana. Lines should be a jungle or tropical specific. Avoid cold-water lines and bring a backup sinking line as piranhas will sometimes eat the sinking lines. 

What are the top flies? Most angling is done using baitfish imitations. Typical patterns include Glimmer Minnows, Sardinia Crusiers, Whistlers, Deceivers, Puglisi Streamers, and Intruder patterns.  Flies should be tied on high quality 6/0 hooks and have some flash in them. Colors are most often combinations of black/red, black/purple, black/orange, all white, white/orange, and white/yellow. Most flies are approximately 7-inches, but it is important to have some larger flies up to 12-inches. Flies are often available at the lodge, and we recommend buying a few of what the guides say are working.  

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? Most of the time the guides can find good water to fish. If there is a torrential storm guests will have to wait it out at lodge. 

What is a typical day like?

5:30 am – Coffee is hot.

6:30 am – Breakfast.

7:30 am – Head to the fishing grounds for the morning session.

12:00 pm – Anglers will have a short ride back to the lodge for lunch.

2:30 pm – After lunch, fishing will resume until late afternoon when the guides deliver anglers back to the lodge around 5:30 pm.

6:00 pm – Cocktails and appetizers.

7:00 pm – Buffet Dinners will be served inside the dining room area.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere and style of the lodge? Pirarucu Lodge is a simple floating lodge made entirely by the local communities with sustainably extracted wood and solar powered electricity generation. The atmosphere is very casual and understated.

Is there an on-site owner, manager or other point-person at the lodge? Yes.  Untamed Angling manages the destination and they always have a senior guide on site

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? All meals are taken at the lodge. Hearty meals are comprised of fresh, local, healthy foods but meals are not fancy. The lodge serves lots of fruits, vegetables, salads, chicken and fresh fish in a buffet style.

What is the alcohol policy? Limited wine and beer are included in the package. If guests would like something special, they are encouraged to bring it with them.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The lodge has five floating cabins, each with two guest rooms. Six of the rooms have been renovated to include tower and ceiling fans. Rooms are big with two double beds, private bathrooms, running hot water, and a porch with river views. The main building has a living room and dining room. Power outlets are only available in the dining room, is solar powered, and only available between 10am and 10pm.

 The lodge is very casual, and modest. Single rooms are available for an upcharge.

Is there internet and/or cell service? Yes, there is slow satellite Wi-Fi internet service.  There is no cell service but there is a satellite phone that guests can use for a fee.

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. The lodge is world-class for its birding activities. 

Are there any other expenses? Guests will pay a Native Community fee that supports the indigenous people of the area. Guests must also purchase a domestic flight from Manaus to Tefe.

Do I need a visa? Yes, starting January 10, 2024, a visa is required for Brazil.

Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? The jungle is surprisingly friendly.  There can be some mosquitoes, horseflies, and no-see-ums so we recommend covering up and wearing bug spray. The biggest danger is that it can be very hot so guests should plan to hydrate as much as possible.

We recommend that guests always consult with the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites for general travel information and guidelines.

Tell us about yourself and we'll reach out to plan the details of your trip