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Comfortable Single Occupancy Lodge Rooms // Capacity - 4 Anglers
Tarpon, gar, snook and others
Ideal for
Friends and Solo Anglers

Jungle fishing for large tarpon

Part of one of the largest watersheds in Central America that includes Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua in neighboring Nicaragua, the Jungle Tarpon Reserve includes a vast inland system of freshwater rivers, creeks, and flooded lagoons prime for tarpon in late summer into fall after Costa Rica’s rainy season. Tarpon migrate into these immense landlocked flooded lagoons during the region’s “wet season,” and although most mornings start sunny and beautiful, passing storm fronts and torrential downpours can come at any time, especially later in the day. While these periods of wet weather can be uncomfortable, they are usually brief and are why the tarpon are present. During the dry months of the year, these same lagoons that support tarpon, are utilized as farmland for grazing cattle.

With only 15 weeks during the fishing season and a maximum of 4 anglers max per week, this fishery offers limited pressure and shots at very large tarpon in the 60 to 150+ pound class. You can be prepared to put your accuracy skills to the test to target rolling fish feeding on bait along eddy lines in the creeks and rivers, or you may have the opportunity to target rolling fish in lagoons. Huge fish are seen rolling in the main channels of the river and in small creeks where utilizing intermediate or sinking lines can produce massive fish. Gar are abundant and snook are possible to catch as well, and on any of your fishing days you can expect to hear howler monkeys and see spider monkeys, as well as abundant and diverse birdlife, as part of your daily outing.


Accommodation Details

Lodging Details
Even though this is a fishery in the midst of a lush jungle, the lodging is truly world-class.

Anglers stay in a private luxury house located right on the river, complete with 4 private bedrooms & 3 full baths set across 2 floors, AC, WIFI, and even a swimming pool. The spacious house also has 2 living room areas with TVs, couches, fly fishing coffee table books, etc. making it a perfect place for fly tying and relaxing between fishing sessions.

The private dock, where anglers start and end each fishing days, is located on the property and is only a 2 minute walk down the floating ramp from your door.

Food and Beverages
Breakfast is typically brought aboard the boat each morning and is supplied by local families with local delicacies such as meat or fruit empanadas. Copious amounts of hot coffee, juice, water, and milk are all available to enjoy while cruising to the targeted fishing areas each morning. Hot lunch is usually enjoyed at one of any number of local fisherman’s houses to help support the local economy followed by a siesta during the heat of the day.

Dinner is enjoyed at local restaurants such as El Fogon located next door to your lodging for the week. El Fogon has slow-smoked wood-fired meats and vegetables grown on-site in their greenhouses. Beer is not included so it is recommended that you stop en route to purchase any alcohol that you might like to enjoy either on the skiffs for the week or after fishing. Beers are available for purchase at El Fogon.

Typical Length of Stay
The total time in Costa Rica is eight (8) nights / nine (9) days. The time at the Jungle Tarpon Reserve is six (6) nights / six (6) fishing days, with fishing consisting of five (5) full days and two (2) half days. Anglers overnight in San Jose upon arrival before the drive to the Jungle Tarpon Reserve and again afterwards before departing Costa Rica. Additional days in Costa Rica and transfers or extensions to this trip can be arranged. Combination trips with tarpon fishing on the Rio Colorado in northeastern Costa Rica can also be arranged. Please contact Yellow Dog for more details or customized itinerary options.

Non-Angling Activities and Options
The Jungle Tarpon Reserve is in northern Costa Rica approximately 50 Km from the border with Nicaragua. The area is mostly farmland and lowland rainforest. The best time of year for fishing is the rainy or green season, when the river floods the surrounding delta. You can expect rain showers, strong at times, and if you are interested in non-fishing activities, horseback riding, birding, and wildlife excursions can be incorporated into the fishing program or a custom cultural itinerary can be created based on your needs. Non-angling options are limited.

Internet / Communications
Internet service is available at the Jungle Tarpon Reserve. Cell phones also work but you should check with your local provider about rates and coverage.

Travel Details

How To Get There
You will need to play on arriving and overnighting in San Jose (not included in the package) prior to your transfer to Jungle Tarpon Reserve which is on Saturday. You then transfer the four to five hours with a lunch stop (not included in your fishing package) en route. After your time fishing at the Reserve, you will transfer back to San Jose the following Saturday. You should plan on staying at a hotel of your choice on that following Saturday night before your international departing flights on Sunday. We can recommend hotels in San Jose for you for your stay before and after your time at Jungle Tarpon Reserve upon booking.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Most of our travelers arrive on Saturday to San Jose and overnight before the transfer around 9 AM to JTR on Sunday. Transfer back to San Jose is on the following Saturday midday. Travelers can depart the following day – Sunday.

Documents Required
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Costa Rica and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay.

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes. 

Travel Tools
Airline Ticketing

Moon Phases
Rent This Rod
Trip Insurance and Emergency Evacuation
Global Rescue Membership


General Information
Anglers can expect to fish from simple but efficient river pangas, with 2 anglers per boat taking turns on the bow. Since the environment is quite dynamic, fishing situations are also varied, ranging from sight casting at tarpon hunting or waking in shallow lagoons and creeks, waiting for tarpon to roll or break bait on the surface before presenting a fly, and blind casting in likely areas. There are even times when tarpon congregate at the mouth of one of the jungle’s many creeks and line up in feeding lanes like giant trout in an explosive feeding display one has to see to truly believe. As in most tarpon fishing worldwide, knowledge of distance casting and accurate presentation is a major asset, but due to the intimate jungle environment anglers can often get much closer to their quarry than in other global tarpon fisheries, making this a unique place to hone one’s skills.

Overall, anglers can expect shots throughout the week at fish ranging from 20 to the magical 200-pound mark. And since the tarpon here are actively feeding fish with little exposure to fishing pressure, flies are often grabbed without a second thought. Should the tarpon fishing slow down other species provide great sport on lighter tackle like common and fat snook, machaca, tropical garfish, tilapia, and jaguar guapote. Or do as the locals do and try your luck at artisanal hand-lining.

Due to the nature of the jungle river, conditions change drastically each week. Anglers are encouraged to practice both distance and accuracy casting before they come. Close range loading and delicate presentations with large 11 and 12-weight outfits are important as well, so working on side-arm and slot casting can also greatly help prepare anglers for whatever mother nature decides to throw their way. While some weeks are extremely productive, this can also be a very moody and challenging fishery at times, so being ready from the start will greatly improve the likelihood of capitalizing on opportunities as they come.

Boats and Equipment
The guides run 20-foot long pangas with large casting decks with plenty of room for anglers and gear. The tarpon are medium-large (20-200 lbs) and require 12 weights to tire them quickly before release. Floating lines work best in most scenarios, but sink tip lines can also be very useful if tarpon are in some of the river’s deeper pools or as the day heats up. Having 2 rods with both a floating line and a sink tip rigged onboard is preferred so that each fishing scenario can be efficiently handled. If you’d like to bring a 3rd line we also often use intermediates when tarpon are feeding in the river. On some windless hot days, tarpon sun themselves on the surface of the glassy lagoons. In these conditions, a 10-weight with floating line can be a great tool to have. Leaders are pretty standard tapered with shock tippet to 80-100 lbs. Anglers may also wish to incorporate a piece of 20-40 lb. class tippet into their leader system so that if a tarpon runs through some branches or submerged logs we have the ability to break them off and not damage the fish.

In terms of flies, the tarpon feed mostly on various types of minnows and other small-medium baitfish, so 3-6 inch deceivers and variants of deceivers are highly recommended. The river is stained a reddish-orange from tannins in the water, so colors that produce either match this coloration (orange, red, yellow) or stand out against it (black, white), preferably in combination (orange/black/white, red/black/white, yellow/chartreuse, etc). Standard black and black/purple flies are also highly effective in both the river and lagoons. Weighted flies are recommended to break the water surface quickly, and spun deer hair heads help flies push the maximum amount of water and vibrations to get tarpon excited. An important thing to note is that starting in 2016 only carbon steel hooks will be permitted by local authorities (no stainless). Note: Custom hand-tied collections are available for sale on-site.

Not included in the package price, but available on site, is rental equipment available with Thomas & Thomas Fly Rods, Hatch fly reels, and Airflo & RIO lines, flies (custom hand-tied collections available for sale on-site), and leaders (available for sale on-site)

Rates and Terms

Package Rates
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. 

2023 Rates:
$4,990 per person (based on single occupancy accommodations / double occupancy fishing)

The maximum capacity per week is four (4) anglers

Two (2) anglers per boat plus two (2) guides/captains

Only 15 weeks total in each season (August to December)

What’s Included:

• Lodging at the Jungle Tarpon Reserve (single occupancy lodging – double occupancy fishing)
• Private ground transportation from San Jose
• All meals on location
•Non-alcoholic drinks, fruit, and snacks for each day of fishing
• Five (5) full days and two (2) half days of fishing
• Park entrance fee & fishing license

What’s Not Included:
• International flights to San Jose
• Lodging in San Jose on first/last nights
• Meals, drinks, or additional costs in San Jose
• Lunches on transfer days
• Fishing tackle or flies (tackle rental and fly purchase available on-site)
• Insurance (travel or medical)
• Beer or alcohol
• Souvenirs
• Gratuities for guides and lodge staff

Jungle Tarpon Reserve (Costa Rica)
A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due at the time of booking for all Jungle Tarpon Reserve lodging and fishing packages, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. For cancellations, all deposits and payments are non-refundable. Because of the operator’s no refund and no credit policy, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. In no event will Jungle Tarpon Reserve be responsible for any cancellation of services or operations due to inclement weather, any event of force majeure, airline delays or flight cancellations, or any other reason beyond the control of the outfitter. If your flights are cancelled and connections are missed, Jungle Tarpon Reserve is not responsible for alternative travel arrangements including flights, hotels, meals and any other expenses incurred. If a cancelled package is resold by either the operator or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be issued minus a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Costa Rican packages.


Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment at the time of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.

Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.

Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment

  • ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
  • Traditional checks (sent via mail)
  • Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)

*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.

**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.



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