A Fly Fishing Trip of a Lifetime – Epic Battles in the Amazon Jungle – "amazon" – Google News

The peacock bass is a violent, angry, mean fish (and I say that in the nicest way possible). If it weren’t for those qualities, it wouldn’t be the great fish it is for the fly rod.

You Are Not in Kansas Anymore

It’s difficult to describe the hook and fight of a peacock bass over 10 lbs. You are casting poppers made from champagne bottle corks with 6″ feathers. The water is calm, the air is heavy with humidity. You hear exotic birds scream and cackle from somewhere in the jungle. You work up a sweat from casting and retrieving the popper in big ;strips. You are trying to make the biggest commotion you can as the popper gets pulled through the water. 

Then it happens. It is explosive and violent. A peacock bass will hit the popper at top speed, slashing from the sides. Sometimes it’s not trying to eat the fly as much as kill it with that big knot of a forehead. I’ve seen poppers knocked six feet out of the water and then the fish comes back to engulf it when it lands. It is all at once heart stopping and exhilarating. 

The “Mike Tyson” of Fish

And that’s just the beginning, now the fight begins. it doesn’t run long distances, but good luck on moving it, it’s a puncher, not a sprinter– Mike Tyson type body punches, heavy and brutal. This fish is all that and more. Even the small ones fight big.

A First Class Fly Fishing Camp in the Heart of the Jungle

I find it a bit surreal to be in the middle of the remote Amazonian Rainforest and living in first class accommodations. But that is exactly the set up TC Fishing of Brazil provides. Floating cabins and support cabins form a “River Train” that make it possible to access and fish remote, unpressured waters of the upper reaches of the main river tributaries.

Fishing All Day – Food, Drink and Sandy Beaches at Night.

Fresh brewed Brazilian coffee awaits at 5 am, followed by breakfast at 6 am. Then, you hop into a 21′ bass boat and head out to explore the creeks and tributaries of the jungle. It’s a full morning of fishing until noon, then the guides set up camp on a picturesque stretch of shore, stringing up hammocks for you to rest or nap while they prepare lunch featuring some of the smaller peacock bass you caught during the morning, and perhaps even piranha, which, by the way, is an excellent tasting fish.

You eat and rest while the hottest part of the day burns off. Then you get back into the boat and fish till early evening.

While you are out fishing the support boats have broken camp to move to another sandy beach somewhere up river. Every day the camp moves to a different location which means you get to fish new and unpressured water each day.

A Caipirinha (Or Two) to End a Magnificent Day

The evenings are for drinking Caipirinhas, eating delicious food, relaxing by the river under a jungle sky, and the sounds of the rainforest. I always kept my fly rod rigged close by. It was not unusual to spot cruising bass in the shallows on the beaches where we set up camp. 

Be Prepared With the Right Fly Fishing Gear

Brandon Powers is the exclusive booking agent for TC Fishing. He’s done this trip plenty of times and knows the gear needed for targeting peacock bass. He says, “I would recommend a 9 wt rod for anglers that are used to throwing a 5 or 6-weight for trout. Suddenly jumping up to a 10-weight can wear you out. For fly fishermen accustomed to throwing a heavy rod I would recommend the use of a 10-weight. When fishing for peacock bass you will often bring your rods home in more pieces then you left with, so be sure to bring several fly rods with you so that you will have at least one to use the last day of your trip!”

Brandon goes on to say, “Peacock bass are like fishing for a Rottweiler that hasn’t eaten in a week, not much is going to scare him away from a meal. Believe me, these fish are not leader shy. Six to seven feet of heavy leader is what you want to use as you have to worry about abrasion if these fish get back into the brush or wrap you around a stump or log. Peacock bass which have no more teeth than a black bass, feel like 30 grit sandpaper so you don’t have to worry about steel leaders. This is a good venue for braided or furled leaders, or a straight up chunk of 35 – 50 lb mono or fluorocarbon. Check the terminal end of your leader occasionally as Piranha will swipe at your fly and nick the leader.”

Fly Fishing Dreams Are Made of This

The floating cabins, the food, and the river camps are nothing short of four-star comfort. But once you go out on the bass boats to chase the peacock bass, you’re in a wild jungle. The quarry you’re after is a product of that wildness and will test you with a savage intensity when hooked. It is a fight that will light you up, and the experience of it will stay with you for the rest of your life. KB

“The gods do not deduct from man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.” – Herbert Hoover

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