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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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!