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Remember our report last month about peacock bass fishing in the Amazon and how it is catching on among fly anglers? Garrett VeneKlasen, who books trips to the Amazon and elsewhere under the name InterAngler LLC, dropped us the following note about the report. We welcome his additional perspective on the Amazon as a fly fishing destination:
“I recently read Larry Larson’s article on fly fishing for peacocks and wanted to emphasize a few crucial points readers should remember when booking a fly-oriented peacock trip to Brazil. First of all, you won’t find optimal fly fishing conditions in just any Brazilian tributary, or even throughout the entire season in any specific fishery. Some fisheries (like the Negro, Unini or Urubaxi, for example) are trophy fisheries only: The population densities in these ‘blackwater’ rivers are relatively low, but the average fish size is very high. This is not the best for fly casters: Blind casting a 10-weight all day in the scorching sun is a lot more like hard work than fun.
“What fly casters generally want are river systems with high fish densities and relatively clear water. Anglers can enjoy constant action with relatively little effort if they target smaller peacocks (three to eight pounds) with a 7- to 8-weight rod, floating line and small streamers, poppers and sliders.
“As Larsen pointed out in his article, timing and water levels are critical in peacock bass fishing. That is particularly true when you go fly fishing for peacocks. Each fishery in the Amazon has a specific low-water period when the water comes out of the trees. The baitfish and peacocks follow the water line. Fly fishing when the water is in the trees is incredibly frustrating. When booking a trip, anglers need to pick an agent who knows the nuances of water levels and an outfitter who is willing to re-schedule if water levels are too high.
“Below, in no particular order, I’ve listed what in my opinion are the top Brazilian fly rod spots. Depending upon water levels, they are all clear- to relatively clear-water fisheries with high fish densities:
• Rio Branco/Negro Brach Tributaries: Agua Boa, Tapera (also called Itapera), Xeruini and Jufari rivers. Best time to fish: usually mid-January to mid-February.
• In the far south, the Marmelos River is a magnificent clear-water river that usually fishes best in late July/early August.
• The Matupiri River, best fished in late September and October, is a great fly rod fishery with high peacock densities but the water is not clear.”