Guides’ Corner – tips and tricks for Peacock Bass in the Amazon
Put your best foot forward
The difference between a 10-fish day and a 100-fish day is your ability to cast well and accurately. This means throwing big flies and 9wt rods with aggressive weight-forward fly lines for extended periods of time. Get familiar with your gear and don’t waste precious game-time practicing your casting! There are fish to be had so make sure you put your best foot forward.
Work smart not hard
Peacocks like to come onto the fly with aggression so get that fly moving erratically quickly. To avoid ‘strippers claw’ and inflammation, practice the under arm two handed retrieve. This way you always have a hand on the line and your efficiencies of energy is maximized.
‘No use-a da rod!‘
As in ‘DO NOT USE THE ROD’ a saying often shouted from the polling platform by your local flyfishing guide in his best broken English. Trout striking is a big no-no. Strip strike and bring it home.
Learn the various knots necessary for attaching leaders and flies. These include the Perfection Loop, Improved Homer Rhode and Uni. You’re fishing pretty thick abrasive resistant nylon so seating your knots correctly is very important. Your guide will be on a polling platform at the back working his ass off holding a line. Asking him to tie on your flies will only slow down the entire process.
A sharp hook is a non-negotiable. If you clip the boat while false casting, hook mother earth on a retrieve or klap your fishing buddy in the back of the head. Check your hook and make sure that point is the way it should be.
One of the most effective ways of catching Peacocks (and sizeable ones at that) is to piggyback your fishing mates. Once someone hooks a fish, the other angler straight away ‘covers’ the fish with a cast. Often you’ll find a hooked fish darting around the boat attracts other fish which are usually bigger. Nothing quite like a double-up.
Arapaima; Payara; Surubi; Arowana; Wolf Fish; Dog Fish… the list goes on. There are so many epic species that are equally deserving of your attention so avoid the dreaded tunnel vision and get some species under the belt.
The ‘two pee’ rule
Dehydration is something you want to avoid on any fishing trip. No more is this true than when you’re dealing with 90% humidity in the equatorial jungle. We like to live by the ‘two pee rule’. If by the time you have gotten onto the boat in the morning you’ve needed to pee twice you know you are drinking enough water.
Have fun but be kind
You’re in a wild and untouched place which has had very little interference by mankind… our aim is tokeep it that way. Practice sound catch-and-release methods, de-bard your hook, keep all loose items safely stowed on the boat so it doesn’t fly off when making runs.