Friday, December 2, 2011

Peacock Bass in the Amazon: Part 1

I’ve been very blessed to have fly fished many destinations around the world. All have been amazing trips, but one destination in particular I hold close to my heart. Every time someone asks me what’s the coolest place I’ve fly fished, without any hesitation, I always reply fly fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon. Combine the extreme beauty and remoteness of the Amazon Basin with the opportunity to battle one of the most powerful freshwater gamefish on the planet, and it’s pretty easy to see why it ranks at the top of my list. That’s not even factoring in the other bonuses you’ll receive, like catching several other species of fish and witnessing all the diverse wildlife.
“While beginners always seem to catch fish, the persistent skilled angler wielding a precise cast is more often than not rewarded for his/her hard won mastery. Make a good sidearm cast between two logs under a tree and it might be rewarded. Hit that bit of flashing neon green or quickly reload to hit a laid-up chunk of muscle and madness 20 feet off the boat’s bow and it just might work. Peacock bass fishing is intriguing fishing. It is shoulder burning, forearm aching and finger cramping to be sure. There will be snags hooked, lines fouled and fish missed. It is at times maddening, frustrating and patience testing, but ultimately exhilarating, very satisfying and all consuming…and yes, as cliched as it might sound, addicting.” Scott Heywood
Making a trip to the Amazon used to be one of the most economical international fishing trips you could book at a very reasonable $2995, for a week of fishing and lodging. But with the falling US Dollar and economic turmoil we’ve been dealt the last several years, the cost has almost doubled. But in the defense of the Amazon outfitters, so has most other international fishing trips. If your a hardcore traveling angler, you’ve probably gotten used to all the price hikes by now. It’s nothing personal, they’re just adjusting pricing to inflation while covering their own constantly increasing overhead for operations.
If your serious about making a trip down to the Amazon, I recommend going through a sportfishing travel company, like Angling Destinations. They do all the work for you, scheduling out all logistics, prepare custom trip itineraries and packing lists for you, and they’ll answer frequently ask questions so you feel comfortable traveling international. For first timers, it can be a bit intimidating and stressful, especially when you can’t speak the language in the country your visiting. Booking through a travel consultant and not booking straight through the lodge benefits you in two ways.
First, the travel consultant probably has made several trips personally to the destination that your wanting to book. They can tell you first hand what you can expect for lodging and give you up to date fishing conditions at the lodge. They’ll also provide you valuable knowledge on what gear to pack (apparel, fly rod sizes, fly lines, leaders and tippet, and fly patterns) for your trip. Plain and simple they’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t. This will save you a considerable amount of money when it’s all said and done.
Secondly, since companies like Angling Destinations send lodges lots of business, the owners usually go out of their way to make sure clients receive great customer service during their trip. If they don’t they end up risking multiple full group bookings for the year at their lodge. There are some exceptions to this rule but most of the time it holds true for destinations in South America, Africa, Thailand, and so on.
So you made the decision to move forward booking your first peacock bass trip to Brazil or Venezuela. Both countries have very good peacock bass fisheries, but Brazil is your best bet with it’s more stable government and friendly citizens towards foreigners. On top of that, the Agua Boa Lodge is located in Brazil, and it’s the cream of the crop when it comes to fly fishing for peacock bass. The Agua Boa Lodge is the only catch and release, fly fishing only lodge in the Amazon. They have over 100 miles of protected waters exclusively at their disposal. If you’re a fly fisher and conventional fishermen as well, I’d probably recommend additional Amazon outfitters throughout Brazil and Venezuela to check into, but for fly fishermen only, the Agua Boa Lodge is the only way to go. You’ll find 20 foot aluminum skiffs with large casting decks and poling platforms for the guides. And even more importantly the guides understand fly fishing terminology and how important boat position is for making good presentations. You won’t find this fly fishing friendly boat set up or knowledgable fly fishing guide staff anywhere else in the Amazon.
This post is from the Gink and Gasoline blog. Go to ginkandgasoline,com
These guys do a great job and have some magnificent photography. Take a look!!


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