Three weeks in Brazil was exactly what the doctor ordered for this burnt-out fishing guide! Heading into late September, I was nearly at the breaking point after a long season here in Southwest Montana that was best characterized by more early mornings than I care to ever repeat again. The summer was hot and the best fishing was early from late June on up until the end of September. So, the trip to Brazil ended up being just what I needed to get my head back together while doing the one thing that I truly love to do more than anything else…fish with a fly.
The first half of the trip took me to an operation in NW Brazil that is run by Untamed Angling called Rio Marie. Rio Marie is actually the name of the river and is a tributary to the Rio Negro. The Amazon River and Rio Negro pretty much drain the entire Amazon floodplain. Rio Marie is a relatively remote destination in itself and the fishing concession is limited to a couple months a year with a limited number of anglers each week. The “thing” with Rio Marie is that it has one of the highest concentrations of trophy class Peacock Bass in the Amazon.
This was my second trip to Rio Marie as I was also there in 2015. Many of my friends could not understand why I wanted to go back as I came back last year with less than stellar reviews. The truth was that I had a great time in 2015, but I have always been one that trends to do well while suffering! Although there were some things that I didn’t like about the trip in 2015, it was the fish and the landscape that I just couldn’t stay away from.
Peacock Bass are an amazing fish, if you ask me. They are as beautiful and violent a fish that I have encountered. They don’t tend to be easily spooked and they eat flies that are enormous, colorful, and rattle. You can strip your flies slow, fast, deep, or on the surface. If the fish are there and hungry, they will eat a fly with unimaginable viciousness words really can’t do justice. The colors and patterns of these fish are stunning to behold and demonstrate the evolution of camouflage in the aquatic world as well as anything that I’ve come across in my travels.
The enormity of the Amazon jungle is beyond comprehension. I imagine that it is similar to the size of the continental USA, maybe not but maybe even bigger. In my experience, I have flown over about 8 hours of unique jungle landscape in small planes and had the feeling that I was seeing a very small swath of it from the air. The monotony of the vegetation, topography, and waterways is simply staggering. To be immersed in that for a couple of weeks is an experience that I will cherish forever and hope to share with my kids someday. I don’t think there are too many intact ecosystems of this size left on the planet earth that are truly void of humans.
If you are serious about this fly-fishing game and enjoy traveling, a trip for Peacock Bass in the Amazon jungle should be very high on the bucket list. I plan on doing a more complete rundown on my trip over the next week or two, so be sure to follow along as I share some of my experiences and photos from this remarkable rewarding adventure!