Trip Report: Colombian Amazon peacock Bass

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Posted by Adam on 2019-02-01 14:09:51

This was my second trip to Las Lagunas fishing camp (rustic but comfortable: No A/C, big top-shelf single occupancy tents, good food, very accommodating staff of local natives) on the Inirida River (a black water river that feeds to the Rio Negro,) ( and it was much better than the first trip. Last year the waters were extremely low, and this year although not very high, the water levels were at a reasonably low and constant level. The peas were wherever you fished, although they weren't always taking.

This is not a numbers fishery, although there were areas where one could catch a lot of fish in the 3-8# range. However, there are plenty of opportunities to catch big peas. Many 15-21# fish were caught by the conventional casters. My partner flyrodder and I loose count after 5 fish, but we did catch at least 8 fish in the 10-14# range using 9wt rods with 4-6" streamers attached floating and intermediate lines. We did spend at least 1 hour/day using top water flies (gurglers and double barrel, size 3/0 hooks) and the best I think we did was to dig up some 5-8#-ers. Perhaps, better casters could have used bigger surface flies to catch bigger fish?

The camp is in its 3rd year and usually accommodates only 6 fishermen at a time. It is a bit of a schlep to get there: Overnight in Bogota at a very nice hotel, next morning take a 1:15hr jet plane to Inirida (town of 13,000), then a 2.5 hr boat ride up the river to the camp...all of this in country travel was very well arranged and executed. The skiffs were large and stable, with two seats and a carpeted casting platform...plenty of room for two flyrodders casting at the same time. Running time to the various fishing areas ranged from 1=15". We fished from 6am-12pm, lunched/napped at camp from 12pm to 2pm, then fished 2pm-5:30pm.

In order to fish in this secluded area, the owners (a really great husband and wife team, Eric and Anna-Marie) had to make special arrangements with the natives who "owned" the area. That is, they had to use natives chosen by the village chief. Eric would spend several days training each chosen native how to run the skiffs for the fishermen. But, each week there would be different guides as the chief would want to give all his able bodied men a chance to guide. So, although the guides know where the fish are, they are not like experienced guides you may be used to having. None spoke English, although they did speak Spanish...a good opportunity to practice your highschool Spanish. Nonetheless, these native guides were extremely hard-working, caring and helpful.

As I had said before, my partner and I don't count fish, but we were very happy with our catches. In fact, perhaps due to the newness of the camp, my partner holds the camp record of fly rodders with a 14# pea and I came in second with a 13#-er. Here are a couple of the mandatory pics:

[click here to display pictures]

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