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.