The rain was relentless until 4 AM this morning. We got up about that time and powered some coffee and snacks then loaded the boat for a full day of filming. The rain stopped completely at 4:45 and at 5, when the glow of daylight began, we shoved off. Our goal was to put some “Jungle Tarpon” in the air for Grant Wiswell’s upcoming film, “Atlanticus”.
The mighty jungle river was swollen and a color deeper than melted chocolate. Fast current put our guide on edge as he motored downstream dodging new snags, submerged hidden trees and floating logs, all a danger to the motor and could flip the boat. Tarpon, snook and the resident freshwater cichlids are adapted to feed in these conditions but flies must literally hit the fish in the face.
Despite discouraging conditions we remained optimistic. Dylan went to work first and as he did the rain started again. Filming in the rain isn’t much fun and risky to Grants high quality filming equipment. Tom Enderlin held an umbrella over Grant as he filmed all morning long.
Dylan and I rotated casting turns. We saw a mere two tarpon roll so we concentrated on places Tom sees tarpon regularly – just hoping. We cast our 12-weights relentlessly until 11 AM without a strike or even a swirl behind the fly. Rather than fight the battle all day we returned to camp for a three-hour lunch and siesta. It was a tough morning to say the least but fortunately the rain stopped and the skies looked better for the afternoon.
Though it didn’t rain anymore, the late afternoon/evening session didn’t go much better. On a positive note, we saw more rolling tarpon and the river drops fast here when it doesn’t rain. Tomorrow could be perfect and Grant found this cool place where we can fish from shore. A hook up and fight with a 100lb tarpon from shore on this small river would add some life to the already superb looking film.
I didn’t mention it to start todays blog but this morning when I flicked on my bathroom light in a 4 AM sleep stupor, I thought is saw a large spider scurry behind the sink. I brushed the sighting off as nothing but a bad dream and went fishing. Tonight, Julius II (Julius I was one in Tanzania in 2013), was waiting for me. The sickeningly huge arachnid was t-boning a 2” cockroach. I considered smearing him but my flip flop wasn’t large enough and the mess likely would’ve spattered all over me. I left him alone. Needless to say, I didn’t fall asleep easily.