Fishing Brazil! (Peacock Bass)

Exotic By Thomas R. Dempsey, M.D. CCI

By far the hardest fighting fish ounce for ounce, pound for pound, is the peacock bass.

Instructor Tom Dempsey and Nashville hunting and fishing guide and fishing partner, Chris Nischan just returned from their fifth trip to South America where the peacock bass was the target species. Miami to Manaus is a 4-1/2 hour trip followed up with a 200 mile skip to the Agua Boa river and the Agua Boa Amazon Lodge. This fly fish only camp is located on a very small river that is noted for it’s crystal clear waters, a Mecca  for sight casting to marauding fish.

The Amazon is home to over 350 species of fish all of which will hit a fly. We had the good fortune to catch 17 different kinds of fish the first day. Although the camp is 200 miles from civilization in the middle of the jungle, there is air conditioning, internet service and the best food this side of grandma’s table. Fishing, all catch and release, is from jon boats with jet drive engines for the really skinny water. Props simply don’t hold up. All the guides are masters at poling and welcome the opportunity to show you they can cast a fly rod also. With over 600 lagoons to fish, as well as 135 miles of river, you hardly ever see another boat from your camp and never fish the same water twice.

Eight weight rods with floating lines and 30 lb. leaders are the tools for landing anything short of a monster. All amazon fish have teeth and everybody eats everybody. Expect to catch any where from 25 to 125 fish per day. The camp record is 550 in one day, no kidding. The PH of the water is so acidic from all the foliage that falls in the river that there are few bugs to worry about. No malaria or Zika here. The extremely low water levels this year pulled a zoo of animals to the river for a drink, peccary, jaguar, howler monkeys, tapir, amazon deer, giant rodents, and a slew of others I can’t begin to name. The location on the equator means the sun comes up at 6 am and sets at 6 pm everyday, and at night there are continuous showers or shooting stars.

This is a bucket trip even for the non-fisherman!!