Apr 9, 2015

Monster Arapaima in the Deep Jungle of Guyana

Some anglers like to fish the same water for many years. Each time you fish there it becomes like visiting an old friend, reflecting on special days and fish from the past. Other anglers look beyond what they know and where they have been for new angling challenges and adventure. That is exactly what clients Dave Farley and Tim Youngkin had in mind when they heard about fishing for Arapaima in Guyana from my article in the Gorge Fly Shop Newsletter in the spring of 2013.

It is a very limited fishing season in Guyana, for 3 weeks in the spring and 3 weeks in the fall, with only 4 anglers per week. Outside of that the fishing for this species is illegal in these protected waters. The next available week was in November 2014. They said we are in and put their money down. There was a lot of preparation on their part with fly tying and buying as well as a lot of new heavy duty 65lb core Rio Leviathan lines. The rest of them break like trout tippet. As there is a weight limit on the charter flight into the jungle, strategic packing and planning was essential. This part was unrealistic but the reality of the situation. This is not a full service fishing lodge but the remote jungle Rewa Eco lodge reached by charter flight and a boat trip.  The money they get from this tourism helps the tribe be self sustaining without selling of logging and mining rights that would destroy this rare place.

After fishing the water nearby the lodge the guides determined there were more fish up river and further into the jungle. So they left the comforts of the lodge for a hammock in the jungle under an open shelter. They spent days up there without creature comforts. It was extremely rustic but in the middle of huge Arapaima that would eat the fly. There was also a scientist along that had been studying those ancient fish for years. They both had some ass kicking action as well as landing fish. The two photos included show a fish landed by Dave and one by Tim. The largest was well over 200 lbs.

So get out of bed….put down the remote….get off the computer and make a plan to get on the water!

Jerry Swanson
Fish Head Expeditions, LLC


"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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