Archive | March, 2010

Wipe Those Tears and Put the Fly Rod Down

March 13, 2010

blog_march_13_2010_1[1] From the Tropical Hotel Manaus – Amazonas Brazil

Unfortunately this last report comes from the hustling city of Manaus, Brazil. Our last cast was officially about 10:30 am. Granny and I and rest of the group got out early this morning to enjoy one a final poke at the fish. For Granny and I it was a little slow with a handful of butterfly peacocks and an impressive leaping strike from an aruana. Oh, and Granny nailed another very unusually colored jacunda also. Fred Truax however, one of the few without at least one peacock bass landed over 10lbs, landed a whopping 16.5lb with 15 minutes to go! If you remember my first report after day one, Fred was the guy who said he’d be happy with just one fish this week. Well, he landed well over 100 and his last was 16.5lb! Fantastic!

blog_march_13_2010_2[1] The sea plane picked us up promptly at noon. Everyone got on the plane wet and covered with the lovely aroma of peacock bass. After the hour and a half flight we touched down in Manaus. The first news we got was that my camera was safe and sound. I did officially leave it on the float plane on the way in. What a dummy! But, at least it was safe and I’ll have it for the next adventure. Everyone is showered up and we are about to chow down some burgers and drink some beers at the swimming pool. This is a really nice hotel.

To conclude this great adventure is simple. This was the best peacock trip ever. The peacock bass fishing here in Brazil is truly unbelievable and I feel every serious angler needs to put this on the bucket list. If you want to do just that, contact me at jeffcurrier65@gmail.com because I will be hosting blog_march_13_2010_3[1]another group here for 2011. Expect me to solidify dates by July. For now it’s a long trip home, catch up on things when I get home and get prepared to for the next adventure in April. On April 17th I head to  Egypt to meet up with friends Mikey Wier and Brent Dawson. There we will be fishing and filming on Lake Nasser for Nile Perch and tigerfish. Be ready for another blitz of exciting fishing reports  to come!

To conclude this great adventure is simple. This was the best peacock trip ever. The peacock bass fishing here in Brazil is truly unbelievable and I feel every serious angler needs to put this on the bucket list. If you want to do just that, contact me at jeffcurrier65@gmail.com because I will be hosting another group here for 2011. Expect me to solidify blog_march_13_2010_4[1]

dates by July. For now it’s a long trip home, catch up on things when I get home and get prepared to for the next adventure in April. On April 17th I head to  Egypt to meet up with friends Mikey Wier and Brent Dawson. There we will be fishing and filming on Lake Nasser for Nile Perch and tigerfish. Be ready for another blitz of exciting fishing reports  to come!

To conclude this great adventure is simple. This was the best peacock trip ever. The peacock bass fishing here in Brazil is truly unbelievable and I feel every serious angler needs to put this on the bucket list. If you want to do just that, contact me at jeffcurrier65@gmail.com because I will be eports  to come!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

Beer and Crocs – Match Made In Heaven

March 12, 2010

Xeriuni, River

Technically this would be the final day of fishing on our Amazon trip; however, we got word that the sea plane will not come for us until noon tomorrow. What this means is we will get to fish form 7 am to 11 am tomorrow morning. Everyone is plenty satisfied if it were to end today but heck, one more morning on this beautiful Xeriuni River, I think we can handle it!

Granny and I got an early start to the day with Mo. Camp will be making a big move downstream today in order to be closer to where the plane will pick us up tomorrow. Therefore, Mo is taking us way downstream to try for some fish. We haven’t fished this area yet. The river is much different here. It’s much wider, the water is darker and there are lagoons and channels going all directions. Mo zigzagged up and down these channels and through lagoons so much this morning that Granny and I could never have found our way out.

We had excellent fishing from start to finish. The morning provided numbers of fish including a new specie of peacock for us – the gray bar or fire belly officially known as the (Cichla monoculus). He has blood red colors in his gills, a black stripe along the lower flank going from front to back and half strips coming down from the top. He’s absolutely gorgeous. We caught several of these lower river dwellers. We also caught some very unusually colored jacunda type fish. I don’t know if there variations of the same species we’ve been catching or what. All I know is they are neat as all get out! We also managed some extra big fish today. In the afternoon I landed a 13lber and an 11lber. The 13lber was my first peacock to strip me into my backing. As usual, Mo put his boat where the giants live.

It was little rowdy around camp this evening. It’s our last night after a phenomenal week of fishing. The beers and mixed drinks were flowing both before and during dinner. This was perfect because we decided to go out and catch some caimans in the dark after dinner. A few drinks are exactly what you need when catching crocodiles. Mix in how tired you are and it’s a perfect match. Nonetheless, all the guys were excited to get after it, me included and shortly after dinner we had two boats with the two local guides, Daka and Hi pointing spot lights along the river banks. There were caiman eyes glowing everywhere, the problem was most of them were six to ten footers. We were no match for these big boys.

During the adventure we managed to net a few exotic little catfish and a stingray before finally we ran into the caiman nursery where we found some three footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, you could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but I guess it was the crazed look in our eyes that caused Daka to keep us just out of reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest of us had just got our second wind and were ready to stay out all night. So were the guides, but such is life. The “Granny” dropped the hammer and we were done. Just as well, we are fishing early in the morning.

Beer and Crocs – Match Made In Heaven

March 12, 2010

Xeriuni, River
blog_march_12_2010_1[1] Technically this would be the final day of fishing on our Amazon trip; however, we got word that the sea plane will not come for us until noon tomorrow. What this means is we will get to fish form 7 am to 11 am tomorrow morning. Everyone is plenty satisfied if it were to end today but heck, one more morning on this beautiful Xeriuni River, I think we can handle it!

Granny and I got an early start to the day with Mo. Camp will be making a big move downstream today in order to be closer to where the plane will pick us up tomorrow. Therefore, Mo is taking us way downstream to try for some fish. We haven’t fished this area yet. The river is much different here. It’s much wider, the water is darker and there are lagoons and channels going all directions. Mo zigzagged up and down these channels and through lagoons so much this morning that Granny and I could never have found our way out.

blog_march_12_2010_2[1] We had excellent fishing from start to finish. The morning provided numbers of fish including a new specie of peacock for us – the gray bar or fire belly officially known as the (Cichla monoculus). He has blood red colors in his gills, a black stripe along the lower flank going from front to back and half strips coming down from the top. He’s absolutely gorgeous. We caught several of these lower river dwellers. We also caught some very unusually colored jacunda type fish. I don’t know if they are variations of the same species we’ve been catching or what. All I know is they are neat as all get out! We also managed some extra big fish today. In the afternoon I landed a 13lber and an 11lber. The 13lber was my first peacock to strip me into my backing. As usual, Mo put his boat where the giants live.

blog_march_12_2010_3[1] It was little rowdy around camp this evening. It’s our last night after a phenomenal week of fishing. The beers and mixed drinks were flowing both before and during dinner. This was perfect because we decided to go out and catch some caimans in the dark after dinner. A few drinks are exactly what you need when catching crocodiles. Mix in how tired you are and it’s a perfect match. Nonetheless, all the guys were excited to get after it, me included and shortly after dinner we had two boats with the two local guides, Daka and Hi pointing spot lights along the river banks. There were caiman eyes glowing everywhere, the problem was most of them were six to ten footers. We were no match for these big boys.

During the adventure we managed to net a few exotic little catfish and a stingray before finally we ran into the caiman nursery where we found some three footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, you could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but I guess it was the crazed look in our eyes that caused Daka to keep us just out of reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first blog_march_12_2010_4[1] small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest of us had just got our second wind and were ready to stay out all night. So were the guides, but such is life. The “Granny” dropped the hammer and we were done. Just as well, we are fishing early in the morning.

flyfishing, fly fishing, fly fishing, fly fishing During the adventure we managed to net a few exotic little catfish and a stingray before finally we ran into the caiman nursery where we found some three footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, you could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but I guess it was the crazed look in our eyes that caused Daka to keep us just out of reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first  small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some

blog_march_12_2010_6[1]

pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest of us had just got our second wind and were ready to stay out all night. So were the guides, but such is life. The “Granny” dropped

the hammer and we were done. Just as well, we are fishing early in the morning.  During the adventure we managed to net a few exotic little catfish and a stingray before finally we ran into the caiman nursery where we found some threedfdfdfdffddfddfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdddfdf blog_march_12_2010_7[1]

footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, you could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but I guess it was the crazed look in our eyes that caused Daka to keep us just out of reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first  small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest of us had just got our second wind and were ready to stay out all night. So were the guides, but footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, yblog_march_12_2010_5[1] ou

could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but I guess it was the crazed look in our eyes that caused Daka to keep us just out of reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first  small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of f blog_march_12_2010_8[1]reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first  small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, you could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

The Boys From Wisconsin Meet the Amazon

March 11, 2010

blog_March_11_2010_1[1] It was Paul and I today. Paul and I have been close friends for over twenty-five years. We went to college together in northern Wisconsin. We fished frequently during those years but since we both graduated we have lived far apart. Usually about once every two years he will make it out to the Jackson Hole area and I get him into some nice fishing. In recent years we’ve made a point to do some big trips together. Our most recent big trip was an epic eighteen day exploratory float trip in Mongolia. I think we would both agree, Mongolia was and always will be one of the most incredible journeys of our lives. Of course now, every time we fish we want to try and top it. Today would be nothing different.

The way things lined up we got Daka. Daka is the small muscular local guide that Granny and I had a few days ago. Daka is young and all about the fish numbers so Paul and I quickly made it clear, we wanted to get into something a little different. We decided the first move would be to go blog_March_11_2010_2[1] with Granny and Amanda who were also sharing a boat today and dunk bait in the already proven catfish pool.

We rolled into the catfish pool at about 7 am. The first task of the day was to nail some piranhas for bait. Paul rigged up a small silver Rapala and we took turns dragging in silver piranhas. The heads of these piranhas seem to be the best bait to use because they sink to bottom fast from the weight of the skull, but also, they are the most difficult for the living piranhas to eat off the hook.

The girls pulled their boat close to ours and blog_March_11_2010_3[1]soon  each boat had one catfish rod out. As usual, it didn’t take but a minute for the living piranhas to clean the hook and in some instances bite the hook right off the steel leader. It is so frustrating! Then an hour into it nearly frustrated enough to give up, Granny set her hook into something much larger than a piranha. Out went Granny’s line and the game was on.

In this low water the catfish don’t run great distances because they prefer to stay deep. Granny’s burly fish simply bulldogged his way around the hole for about five minutes Then she gradually worked him to the shallows. Once in view, it was another gorgeous redtail catfish! blog_March_11_2010_4[1] In minutes a 24lb redtail catfish drooped over Granny.

We gave the catfish pool another hour or so then we were out of piranhas for bait. Paul and I said asta to the girls and headed out on our adventure with Daka. One thing we explained to Daka was that with the strength of the three of us, no secret lagoon was too far to try to get to. Daka took us serious on that and after a long run up the Xeriuni; we were dragging the boat for a mile up a small creek. It was a grunt to say the least, but eventually we arrived at an extremely remote and beautiful lagoon.

blog_March_11_2010_5[1] I stood from the bow of the boat and threw some long casts with my 10-weight Ross and one of RIO’s intermediate sinking lines. Even though I was making some seriously long casts, Paul would load that jumbo spin rod with his gigantic woodchopper lure and throw about twice as far. It was very apparent why he and Amanda were catching more big fish than anyone. They simply cover three times as much water in a day with a bait that is massive compared to my largest fly. It was awesome to watch Paul work. Naturally though, he doesn’t catch many small peacocks with his huge lure so in about an hour I had about ten peacocks up to blog_March_11_2010_6[1] 5lbs and he had one, however it was 9lb.

It was great just catching up with Paul. Our fishing was surprisingly slow, but neither of us noticed. That was until about 2pm when some bait started busting 150ft from the boat. Obviously I couldn’t reach it with the fly so I ducked down and Paul launched the woodchopper. What I then witnessed was something I won’t soon forget. Paul’s mighty lure hit the water like someone tossing a 2 x 4 into a pond yet in an instant an enormous peacock bass exploded on it and game was on! It was one of the most incredible fish eats I’d ever seen! That wasn’t all either. This beast tested Paul’s heavy gear to the max by making his drag sing and his 80lb braid buzz through the guides. Then the monster jumped and left me with a vision that will be with me to the grave. It was unbelievable!
I could go on and on about this fish but this is a blog not a novel. Paul landed a 16lb peacock that was impressive to say the least.

It was time for a couple beers and perhaps do  blog_March_11_2010_7[1] something unusual. I knew just the thing. Daka had leaped from the boat several times during the morning. At first we didn’t know what the heck he was doing. He speaks little or no English. Finally he got across to us that he was trying to catch turtles. With that in mind, I suggested to Daka that we take break from peacock fishing and catch some turtles. Paul laughed at the thought of us catching one, especially as I took off my shirt and hat and put my turtle game face on in the front of the boat. Surely if Daka had made several unsuccessful attempts it would be hopeless for us.

But the “Currier” can surprise now and then. Even at 44, my turtle catching skills from way back are still with me, and after sizing up a couple opportunities at cruising bottom-hugging turtles, I made a plan of attack. When the third turtle I saw was zipping along the bottom I ditched my Polaroid’s and dove off the bow of the boat. Once submerged with momentum from the dive carrying me through the water column as graceful as a speeding caiman, I opened my eyes only to see the scurrying turtle three feet ahead. I kicked vigorously and reached as far as I could. At this second the turtle was likely to escape his clumsy predator, blog_March_11_2010_8[1] however he opted to stop and hide in the mud and at that second I caught up and with both hands corralled him. Up I came, turtle in hand, only to see both Daka and Paul staring at me in great disbelief. I’d caught my turtle!

One would expect that to top off an exciting day with the “Boys from Wisconsin”, but it didn’t. We had the good fortune of seeing some giant Amazon River otters on the ride home. We thought Daka was holding the boat so we could try to snap some pictures, but no, Daka decided to park the boat and try to catch one. The otters made a crucial mistake. Instead of diving and swimming away, they ran into the woods. Daka took off after them and of course so did Paul and me (much slower I might add). To both of our disbelief, Daka caught the smallest otter by the tail! I was petrified that the otter was headed to Daka’s dinner table, but luckily we took a picture that hardly came out because is was near dark and then let him run back off to his family. Wow!

That’s how a days fishing with Paul and I often go. We fished. It was an adventure. A lifelong memory of a great fish transpired, then something funny as heck that probably no visiting angler has ever done occurred and then the otter – just another day of fishing with Paul.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

I Wonder If It’s Snowing In Jackson?

March 10, 2010 blog_march_10_2010_1[1]

Xeriuni River

We got word first thing this morning that camp will no longer be able to move upstream. Normally River Plates floating camp set up that we are using continues to travel throughout the week, but because the water level is so low we are locked to this location until we move back down where we started. It seems like a bummer because we may have to fish the same water twice or more times. However, everyone is catching so may fish and having such a great time that it appears it really doesn’t matter. Amazingly, the guides assure us that there is so blog_march_10_2010_2[1]much untouched water and hidden lagoons nearby that we won’t fish the same water twice anyway.

Today they were certainly right. Granny and I fished with Ben. David and I had a stellar morning with Ben yesterday. To start off today, Ben hiked us in about ten minutes to a remote lagoon. The camp staff had already carried in a small boat for us so all we had to do was show up. According to Ben, this lagoon is such a hassle to get to no one had fished it in years. We were pretty darn excited at that thought.

Once we got to it, we had to kick back a minute blog_march_10_2010_7[3]as a nice size caiman was chilling out by the stashed boat. Finally we chucked some wood his way to get him moving. The lagoon was long and narrow and quite beautiful to cast in as the sun rose and lit up the gorgeous jungle vegetation. Sadly, an hour into the adventure we caught only one small peacock and a few dogfish and picudas. I could see the disappointment in Ben’s face as like us he thought this was going to produce us a few huge peacocks. The lagoon ended up being only about a half mile long and within two hours we covered the entire location and caught almost nothing. Soon Ben made the call “we’re out of here”, and off we went.

blog_march_10_2010_3[1]You kind of feel sorry for a guide when he goes out of his way to try and do something special and it doesn’t work out. I’ve certainly been down that road before with my clients when I guided and there’s just nothing that can be done. Granny and I made it obvious that we appreciated the efforts and we simply hiked out and got in the regular boat and motored to another piece of water that looked excellent as well. And it was. This was a larger lagoon that involved no hiking or boat dragging; we just paddled in and started casting. Fifteen minutes in we had already landed several peacocks including a 6lber, some dogfish and a few huge piranhas. This was one of those don’t fall overboard locations.

blog_march_10_2010_4[3]One particular flat in this lagoon offered exceptional site casting. I noticed a nice brightly striped peacock aggressively foraging the shallows and dropped a fly about two feet in front of him. He charged the fly so fast that when I made my first strip he was already hooked. It turned out to be only about 4lbs but one of the most beautifully colored peacocks ever. Within the next hour Granny site cast to a giant. I mean this was a fast cruising 15 pounder. Granny did a great job launching a 70 foot cast but the large wise peacock appeared to see the flash of the line in the air. Even though she landed the fly with pin point accuracy the fish was out of there before it blog_march_10_2010_6[3]touched down.

At lunch time we were drinking beers in the shade. While Granny and Ben started napping, I couldn’t resist trying to catch one of the many beautiful tropical fish in the shallows hiding in the tree roots. I took a stick and tied five feet of 3X tippet to it and attached a small nymph. I always bring some trout stuff just for this type of situation. Like a blue heron waiting for a meal, I eased my rig out over the water and gently lowered my nymph. I laid it on bottom and waited. Soon, a crazy looking fish with long dangling pectoral fins wandered my way. I lifted my nymph and twitched it once and wham! The bluegill size exotic was on and quickly to my hands. I admired the gorgeous fish and took a photo and let him go. Ben opened one eye from his nap to see what the hell the loco gringo was doing. He was not impressed.

It ended up being a huge fish number day with numerous solid 5-6 lb fish. Granny landed a colorful 7 lb fish near days end but overall that was our biggest. She also caught her first traira. When we got to camp we found that Paul and Amanda had great success again. Amanda who was chucking a woodchopper (not fly fishing) caught three 13lbers in three casts. Then in the next lagoon she landed an 18 blog_march_10_2010_5[3]pounder! She is completely covered behind this amazing fish in the photo. What a day for Amanda. Paul and Amanda are the only non fly fishers in our group. They are excellent anglers and have caught a lot of incredible fish not only here, but they have traveled with me to Egypt and Mongolia as well. Tomorrow should prove to be a very exciting day as Paul and I will be fishing together. Of course first we need to nibble on these interesting appetizers!

 

 

 

blog_march_10_2010_9[1]Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

 

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

March 9, 2010

Xeriuni River

blog_march_19_2010_1[1] This morning both Fred Truax and Granny were feeling a little kruk so they opted to sleep in and skip the morning fishing session. Rather than fish alone, David Truax and I fished together. David is a long time fishing guide and friend from Jackson, WY and we had never fished together. Our guide was Ben.

Ben saw that he had two men in his boat and figured we had the strength and ability to drag the boat somewhere special. We made a short run up the Xeriuni then pulled off to the side. Then we removed everything from the boat, screwed off the motor and hoisted the boat up a steep bank. Once up top the bank, Ben and a kid he’d brought along just for this event, laid logs across a machete trail so that the boat would roll along as we dragged and pushed it. They did this for over 200 yards through the jungle! Once the ground work log work was done, the four of us pulled and pushed the boat all the way to a  gorgeous lagoon. There was no doubt we were going to hammer some blog_march_19_2010_2[1]fish. I gave David the front of the boat and I casted from the center spot. David’s a great caster and Ben maneuvered the boat well away from the banks in order to less likely spook fly chasing peacocks. I was launching a popper and quickly hung up some nice peacocks. From 7 am until 11 am, David and I caught over fifty peacocks! It was a phenomenal morning! Best of all, we caught several up to 9lbs. The only bad thing that happened was that I failed to hook what looked to be a peacock significantly over 10lbs. I literally watched this huge fish chase my fly, eat my fly and turn with it completely consumed in his mouth. You never want to use your rod when setting the hook on a peacock because thereblog_march_19_2010_3[1] mouths are so hard. What I mean is a rod literally doesn’t have the power to drive a hook point into the flesh of a peacock’s mouth. So  instead, you strip real hard until you drive the hook into the fish. Then once you hook him and he takes off, lift the rod and fight the fish. On this particular monster fish, I strip set and felt nothing, strip set again and nothing and striped again, and too my disbelief I never felt this fish. My fly completely disappeared inside his mouth yet somehow even strip setting like mad I never made contact! Crazy and very disappointing I might add. Funny blog_march_19_2010_4[1]thing is, minutes after, my fly grazed David’s back and sure enough it hooked the heck out of him. Luckily, David grit his teeth and Ben yanked it out without much trauma.

At 11 am, Ben and I walked back through the woods where we met guide Daka who brought Granny and Fred out to join in for the afternoon fishing. Fred hiked with Ben back to the boat in the lagoon to fish  with David the rest of the day and I hopped in the boat with Granny and Daka and we went for a long run for an hour or so up the Xeriuni. Daka, one of the local guides, is tiny little man yet made of solid muscle. He took us to a deep section blog_march_19_2010_5[1]of river where we proceeded to spend the entire afternoon hammering on small peacocks, dogfish, picuda, jacunda, traita, and a new species for me, an oscar. Oh and how could I forget Granny hooked up to an angry 4ft long caiman while fishing the popper. Luckily he was just holding her fly so when we got him near the boat he just let it loose and growled.

At about 5 pm we packed it up and began the run back to camp. Along the way we ran into Paul and Amanda who were waving for us to pull over to them. There was a lot of excitement going on and I just knew Paul had caught something special. As we pulled up Paul had a grin from ear to ear as he lifted a gorgeous 29lb redtailed catfisblog_march_19_2010_6[1]h from the water. Each day Paul was  dedicating the last two hours to try and catch one of the many beautiful catfish of the Amazon. I’d joined him on one occasion only to be frustrated by the piranhas which usually eat up the bait before it even reaches bottom where you might catch a catfish. Sure enough, Paul was quick to say that just before the catfish ate, they were about to call it quits because the piranhas were so bad. Fortunately they decided to give it one more try, and along came the magnificent redtail cat.

After a bunch of pictures we released the beautiful fish back to his deep hole. Of course now it had been proven that a cat could be blog_march_19_2010_7[1]caught despite the nasty piranhas playing havoc with bait, so they tossed out the bait again. After a few more piranha incidents, Amanda got the bite we were hoping for. After a powerful battle she too landed a redtail cat. Amanda’s weighed in at 24lbs!  Unfortunately, for safety reasons guides and clients are required to be back to camp by 6 pm so we left the hot catfish spot. But what a day it had been for everyone. The cats were top fish for Paul and Amanda. Granny and I felt lucky just to see such incredible fish. And more big news around camp was Gregg Friedman landed an 18lb peacock with Mo. 18lbs is a true giant!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

Big Mo Means Big Fish

March 8, 2010

blog_march_18_2010_1[1] From Camp 2 – Roraima, Xeriuni River Brazil

Today ranks as on of those “hard as you can fish” days. It was by no means a top ten, I think all those came when I frequented the flats during my youth, but today both Granny and I fished extremely hard. It was one of those days where you never stop casting the big stick, stripping hard, standing on a hard boat deck in bare feet, fighting big fish, dragging the boat through shallows all while dealing with scorching heat. It was all part of the program if you wanted to catch fish. It was so hot today that at one point around noon the deck got so sizzling so fast that I burned the bottoms of my blog_march_18_2010_2[1]feet while scrambling to find a flip flop. You literally could have fried an egg!

Granny and I fished with a different guide than yesterday. While most places give you the same guide all week, here at the Xeriuni River Camp, River Plate Outfitters rotates guides daily amongst their guests. The reason for this is that for every professional guide they hire they must hire a local Indian. This is part of their deal that gives them exclusive rights to fish this section of the Xeruini River which happens to belong to the Indians. It’s a really good deal for all. The Indians don’t net the river, but rather help protect it. I like it blog_march_18_2010_3[1] because the pro guides and the Indian guides each have something unique to offer both in their different personalities, but also their ideas on pursuing the fish of the Amazon. For instance the pros are all about hunting big peacocks. They don’t put you in places where you are likely to catch the odd species. The Indians however will fish for anything. They seem to also enjoy pointing out the wildlife while telling you much about their interesting way of life.

Today we had professional guide Mo. Mo is from Manaus but boy does he know the Xeriuni River. He is one of the top guides and frequently gets his clients into large peacocks. blog_march_18_2010_4[1]We  motored up the shallow Xeriuni River about 45 min before dragging the boat into a lagoon. This was a large lagoon lined with fallen trees and quite deep in the center. It had big fish written all over it. Granny and I immediately started banging up the butterflies. There were plenty of fish here. Then, just when Granny expected another butterfly to charge her fly from under a sunken tree, out came the larger species of peacock, and like yesterday she got completely worked over. I was focused on my own cast but could hear the line whistling through her guides and the hiss as it cut the water surface. Before I could look her way, I had a fish slam me and break off due to a flaw in my butt section, likely blog_march_18_2010_5[1] caused by a passing piranha earlier in the day.

Those few seconds called for a complete check up of equipment. One thing unacceptable in a remote corner of the globe is equipment failure due to not keeping an eye on things. First I cut off Granny’s leader and redid the entire thing. This time the old fashion way, straight 40lb. It sounds ridiculously heavy but for these beasts its common practice and perhaps the best way to go unless you are specifically searching for an IGFA world record. On this trip we are not.

That proved a good way to go because we hooked and landed some very nice fish. We stayed in the lagoon all day because there was fleeing bait everywhere. When you could reach the havoc with your cast you always hooked a fish. Granny and I landed over 50 peacocks with several fish up to 7lbs. I lucked into a 9.5lb as well as an 8lb. Best of all, the 9.5lb was crashing bait in 2-feet deep water and I sight casted to him and watched him charge and eat the fly. It doesn’t get much better folks!

We also stumbled into a real treat today of a game fish, the aruana. If you haven’t seen or heard of this fish before, then you don’t watch the National Geographic Channel. Aruana have been the talent on TV many times because they are famous for leaping six feet out of the water to yank insects, birds and small mammals from overhanging trees above. They are seriously cool fish. This was my second experience with them. Last year I found a colony of them and finagled several on Chernobyl Ants.
Upon returning to camp, we found that once again everyone had a great day. Paul and Amanda caught several fish up to 14lbs! This is looking to be an easy trip to host. As I speak, our camp is surrounded by huge thunderstorms. There’s lightning flashing everywhere. We just came in from watching the distant light show while enjoying some ice cold beers and cigars. What a great place!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

I Don’t Need No Stinkin Camera

March 7, 2010

From Camp One – Roraima Brazil, Xeriuni River

I wasn’t feeling like a million bucks this morning as a true angler should when he awakes to go chase peacocks. That’s because I never slept. As my exhausted body slumped on to my bed last night a little alarm in my brain went off telling me that my SLR Cannon camera was missing. It was. Due to the excitement of our sea plane landing and meeting the awaiting guides in their boats, my protective Pelican camera case got left on the plane. Yes, left on the plane!
The only thing that kept me from flipping out upon realizing this was that I have my cheap camera. Fortunately it was around my neck during the flight and deplaning. I knew I could take some pictures. However, not for long because my extra batteries and photo cards are in the Pelican box. Unreal! And two days ago in Manaus I thought it was a disaster that I brought two right feet to my flip flops!

It was the pure stress and anger with myself that kept me up all night. But as the birds and animals of the rainforest sounded off and strong coffee entered my veins, I slowly woke up. By the time we finished up our early breakfast things were looking up.   
First off, I put the incident behind me. I was hosting a trip to Brazil. I have a great group. Everyone including me and Granny are pumped. Why carry the stress any further into the trip. There was nothing that could be done. Don’t look back. It’s all about the memories. Screw the camera. Also, everyone in my group brought spare cameras and batteries. Paul and Amanda were quick to loan Granny and I their extra compact camera and Gregg and Jo have a battery charger that matches. So other than
being a little groggy and annoyed with my own stupidity, things were going to work out fine.

The true medicine was to watch Granny get absolutely manhandled by a quality peacock five minutes after breakfast. Once on the water, our guide Hi, took us around the corner of camp and we immediately started pounding the banks. I had Granny fixed up with my 9’ 8-weight Ross Essence and a floating line. She was tossing a fly tied by the infamous “Milkfish”, a cool kid that worked for me at the fly shop. It’s basically an olive and orange Puglisi style fly about a size 4/0. He put some realistic stripes on it with a sharpie so it really resembles a baitfish I see here all the time. It is always a killer type fly for me when searching for freshwater exotics. Unsurprising to me, Granny got rocked hard quickly.

In 1993 Granny experienced the smaller peacock specie, the butterfly (Cichla ocellaris), in Lago Gatun of the Panama Canal. They are arguably the most beautiful of all peacocks. But pound for pound they are no match for the natives of Brazil. She simply hooked this fish with an excellent strip set then proceeded to get the worst line burn she’s ever experienced. In fifteen seconds the fish pried the line loose from her trigger finger and entangled himself in the submerged trees. He was gone. I was too tired still to laugh, but it got me fired up.

We didn’t start to slay them like you might expect. We had to work at it. We both missed a few more violent strikes before finally we started boating some fish. Most of these were the butterfly peacocks with a few of the larger speckled (Cichla temensis) and striped species mixed in.

I was rigged with my 10-weight Ross Worldwide and the Rio Outbound with the intermediate sink tip. Attached to this I have an 8-foot leader with a 20-pound class and a 40lb shock tippet to handle the abrasive mouths and gill plates of a large peacock. Attached to the end of this with my favorite loop knot, the non-slip mono loop, a 4/0 no name bomb fly tied by a friend we call Warpath (Brent Dawson). My philosophy is to let Granny pick off the cooperative fish from the front of the boat while I dredge up some of the deeper tougher fish. Today I did not pull out any big boy peacocks, but I did manage plenty of fish up to 7 lbs and a few other species. First off, I added a new species to my list, the jacunda. He’s a good looking fish that aggressively takes the same flies as the peacocks. I managed three of these each displaying their own unique array of colors. I also managed a traira (Hoplius malabaricus) a fish I’ve met in northern Argentina while dorado fishing. He’s as ugly as you can imagine and resembles a dinosaur more so than a fish. Last, we caught numerous Picua (Acestrorhynchus falcatus), referred to by the guides as dogfish. He’s a fish that looks incredibly like a barracuda of the saltwater flats. Oh, of course, you always catch piranhas and today was no exception. 
Despite the way the day started, it was really great by the end. Everyone in the group caught fish. Fred Truax, a neat older fellow from San Francisco, came in hopes of catching a fish this week – today he caught about twenty! And Jo Friedman caught a 13-pounder! The guides working here are fantastic and the camp staff is great. The manager’s name is Jerry and there’s a 29 year old gringo named Adam who keeps things running smoothly.

That’s it. I’m ready to tank before I do a second all-nighter!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site
















Watch Those Fingers!

March 6, 2010

Camp 1 – Xeriuni River We were expecting to get some fishing in today, however, like many of my South American experiences, schedules rarely flow as planned and instead of reaching camp for lunch we barely made dinner. A fishing afternoon has been lost, but the important thing is we are here now and we have the next six full days to chase everything from peacock bass to piranha.

To give you our exact location, follow a detailed map about 200 miles up the Rio Negro from Manaus, Brazil. Look for where the Rio Branco dumps into the Rio Negro. Follow up the Rio Branco and flowing in to it from a north westerly direction you will find the Xeriuni River. We landed a float plane near the Xeriuni River mouth and as the plane dropped us off and we were met by our fishing guides who drove us upstream by boat. We are presently camped on a gorgeous sandy beach about twenty miles upstream from the Xeriuni River mouth. The operation that puts this trip together is called, River Plate Outfitters, and I can assure you from my personal previous experiences they run a fantastic operation that is extremely unique and offers prime fly fishing opportunities not found at lodges.

If you can’t see yourself camping in the Amazon, think again. This is a very comfortable camp. Two anglers share efficient air-conditioned tents that even have their own bathrooms with shower. This convenient floating camp goes to places where river boats can’t reach when water levels drop. We could never fish here this week with a river boat because the water level is approximately seven feet lower than normal! It is so incredibly low that it has me concerned, however the guides and our camp manager assure us fishing will be good. They have even promised us some sight and wade fishing opportunities, a rarity when chasing peacock bass.

Once we arrived tonight, the camp fixed us a delicious meal as we enjoyed a few cold refreshments in our dining tent. The dining tent is as comfy as any dining room only it floats on water. When most of the group opted to retire for the evening, Paul, David, Granny and I as well as camp host Adam decided to dunk some catfish baits and view the stars. The bait settled on bottom only about 30 seconds before it was completely devoured by silver piranhas. Usually this meant hook and all. That was until we broke out the 40lb wire. Although a nuisance, piranhas are fun to catch. I’ve caught the odd piranha over the years, but to the

others, “first piranha” fascination took over. These fish are really incredible to look at. One after another, I thought we’d never go to bed. It took complete exhaustion to drive everyone away from the river. At 5 am it will be time to chase peacocks.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

 

Incredible Fish Market

March 5, 2010
From the Tropical Manaus Hotel

Amazonas Brazil

My group of anglers including Granny, Paul Cavanaugh and his girlfriend Amanda Welch, Gregg and Jo Friedman, and David and his dad Fred Truax are all here in Manaus, Brazil in high spirits and ready to go fish. We will be using the floating camps of River Plate Outfitters, a well known company that has been leading fishing trips to the Amazon for many years. Most of us have been here since early yesterday morning when we arrived from the States. Our fishing trip begins tomorrow when we will catch a float plane into the Xeriuni River. In the meantime, we are relaxing and enjoying the peacefulness at our stopover hotel along the banks of the Rio Negro River.

This morning we visited the fish market here in Manaus. I visit fish markets throughout the world but there are few that compare to the one here. The Amazon River Basin is home to over a thousand

fish species – more species than the entire Atlantic Ocean! This market offers a rare opportunity to set eyes on the unusual pirarucu as well as the most exotic looking catfish species you can imagine. For me it is few hours of paradise in which I dream of each of these species some day sucking in my fly.

After the market visit we took a boat ride out to the famous “Meeting of the Waters”. This is where the enormous Rio Negro dumps into the even more impressive Amazon River. I broke out a little “Monsoon Currier” luck as we got absolutely poured on by torrential rain during our short trip. There was no harm done though as the temperature here is hovering in the upper 90°s.

It was great day but now everyone including myself is itching to get our butts into the jungle and start catching some bad-ass fish.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

preloader