Trophy Peacock Bass fishing
and the comfortable accommodations of an air-conditioned yacht.....
An Amazon River travelog.
Cruising the Amazon on the Blackwater Explorer
by Paul Reiss
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye,
I caught sight of water moving heavily around the base of a huge fallen
tree near the center of the lagoon. For the last half-hour, I was
fastidiously probing the shoreline structure to my left with my big Luhr-Jensen
Woodchopper. Without missing a beat, I swung to my right and launched a
cast right into the disturbance. Instantaneously, a big peacock inhaled
my lure and took off screaming for the safety of the branches. While
I tried to turn him, Junior, my "guide-in-training", tried to help by moving
the boat to give me better position. But my quick about-face
fouled-up his directions. As soon as he pulsed the trolling motor,
the bow of the boat swung straight toward where Mr. Peacock was trying
to go. And he quickly got there. Within seconds, the fish wound
my line through the underwater limbs of the big downed tree and was happily
splashing his way toward the horizon on the other side.
Junior had a pained look on his face - - we both understood
what had just happened. While I drooped in disappointment, Junior
launched himself into the water from the back of the boat and headed for
the tree. He didn't hesitate. He grabbed the line and swam
down after it. After what seemed an awfully long time, his head popped
up on the other side. Junior held up the line and told me to wind
it tight. With one more dive, he released the line from the last
restraining branch and to my surprise, it went tight and I could feel my
big fish moving again. With the line free of the branches and the
fish headed for open water and I was once again in control. By the
time I got him close, Junior was already back on his perch at the rear
of the boat. He unhesitatingly thrust his hand into the big, tired
fish's jaw and hauled him out of the water. This kid might not have
had a lot of experience, but he sure had the right attitude. We both
grinned as I lifted the 15-pounder into photo position with my Bogagrip.
Junior happily did the honors with the camera.
For many years, I had been hosting and guiding fly-in peacock
bass trips to remote jungle camps. My mind had long been geared to
"roughing it" -- being mano a mano with the primeval forest. Yet
here I was grinning like an idiot on my first day fishing from a mothership
operation, something I never thought I'd consider. How did I wind
up on a comfortable, safe and secure floating homestead? What does
all this stuff about air-conditioning, comfortable lounges, electric lights
and flush toilets have to do with fishing, anyhow? Shouldn't I be
sleeping on the ground and roughing it to have access to great fishing
To my surprise, not only did I find out that
roughing it wasn't necessary, but I loved every minute of the learning
process along the way. I had been forced into using a yacht by the
vagaries of Mother nature and I hadn't expected to be happy about it.
I would never have dreamed that a month later, and with 1000 miles of river
behind me, I'd be sorry to leave the big mothership on which I found myself
working. When it was all over, I realized I was committed to perfecting
this method of access to trophy peacock bass fishing.
Whether it's something we humans have caused or just the normal inexorable
cycles of nature, weather in the Amazon can sometimes drift out of its
usual predictable cycles. One year "El Ni?o", can dry out rivers
early and then the next year "La Ni?a" can counter with unseasonable heavy
rains. We deal with it, because that's the nature of fishing and
the specific focus of our peacock bass operation. Our entire outfitting
system is based on flexible logistics and the mobility to access the right
rivers at the right times. We simply move our operations as necessary
to find optimal water levels and counter Nature's one-two punches.
So when our peacock bass season rolled around, I was ready to settle
back into a normal schedule of rivers and a well-planned season of fishing
The Blackwater Explorer - A comfortable home base
for fantastic fishing.
But Nature had a few larger than usual surprises
in store for us that year. The season began with rivers dropping
2 or 3 weeks later than expected. OK, we could deal with this by
moving slowly north at Nature's pace. But then, Nature suddenly fooled
us. Rivers began dropping rapidly. As soon as we responded
by quickly moving our camps further north, the rains began all over again.
The water levels quickly moved right back up just as our fall trips were
set to begin. All of a sudden we found ourselves faced with the dilemma
of having a camp ready and waiting on a river not ready to fish.
As my anglers arrived, I made the only decision that I felt could properly
serve my client's interests. Forget the planned camps and head for
fishable waters instead. We had an ace in the hole waiting....
The "Explorer's" air-conditioned lounge
is a great place to relax,
tell fishing lies or enjoy a cold drink.
The "Blackwater Explorer" is our new, 77-foot, broad-beamed Amazon
River yacht. Her classical, 'regional' design creates a wonderfully
comfortable and roomy environment for Amazon anglers. Built of native
Amazonian hardwoods, her clean white exterior perfectly offsets the richly
lacquered, native wood lounge area. Launched in September of 2007,
she is probably the best purpose-built sportfishing vessel plying Amazon
waters today. The Blackwater Explorer is the result of that quest
for perfection in the mothership method of accessing peacock bass, launched
during that long ago adjustment to the vagaries of weather.
The Explorer's first deck houses many of the yacht's working areas;
the pilot house, the fully-equipped kitchen and the twin water-level embarkation
points from which our fishing boats leave every morning. Four of
our large cabins are also located here. The second deck houses six
more angler's cabins. Each brightly lit cabin contains a comfortable
bunk, an ample closet and its own air-conditioning system. U.S. standard
outlets provide 120 volt AC for charging your camcorder or other device's
batteries. Each cabin also boasts its own private bathroom.
Roomy, and with all of the expected amenities, the hot showers put a final
touch of luxury into every angler's day.
The Explorer's capacious lounge and dining
area is located aft, with wrap-around windows and an always open bar.
Here, anglers enjoy the hearty breakfasts and full-course dinners that
make a peacock bass fishing trip a weight-gaining experience.
For some of the Explorer's guests, the open-air
top deck rapidly becomes the favorite roosting spot after a full day of
fishing. Appetizers and an always open bar accompany our customary
evening cruises, punctuated by stunning Amazon sunsets. It's also a wonderful
way to enjoy the southern hemisphere's spectacular night sky.
Belowdecks, the "Explorer's" powerful yet
efficient main diesel engine provides the propulsive power to let us cover
hundreds of miles of water each week in our quest for the best fishing
conditions. Four powerful generators provide electricity for all
of the yacht's amenities. Her ample storage area lets us carry adequate
supplies to be self-sufficient for weeks at a time. Our staff quarters
are located here as well. From stem to stern she's a classy yet purposeful
Our smiling cooks produce delicious meals in the
fully equipped kitchen.
For many years, we have used a combination of modes for our peacock
bass trips. This has long allowed us to provide the best possible
fishing conditions at all times. We used camps when conditions demanded
it. We used a fixed lodge when conditions permitted it, but
we often were forced to scramble when conditions began to change.
Now, with the Blackwater Explorer at our service, we are able to offer
remarkably productive peacock bass trips during any part of the season.
Once we identify the best fishing waters
(determined by water level and productivity) we can get there in a hurry.
We bring the big boat into the region already loaded up with supplies,
gasoline, diesel, foodstuffs, right down to the soda and beer. And
if conditions change in a hurry, we move right along with them. The
Explorer can cover 200 plus miles in a day, allowing us to completely change
river basins overnight. We are always in the right place at the right
The real reason I do this work is to go fishing. No matter
what trip I'm hosting or guiding, I always manage to get in a good amount
of fishing for myself. Sometimes I'm fishing with a client, sometimes
helping a beginner to get started and sometimes I just sneak off on my
own. This trip, my partner Norberto had asked me to help train a
new guide. Seventeen year old "Junior", formerly a camp kitchen helper,
was campaigning to become a guide. Norberto's standards are high
and he requires a great amount of experience, competence and capability
from his guides. It takes years to qualify, so Junior needed to get
an opportunity to begin gaining all of the above. Sending him off
to fish with me was a perfect way to get him started, inconveniencing no
one. Having a person to run the boat was a great treat for me, as
well. It looked like a win-win situation all around. Little
did I know that it would take quite a while until the two of us learned
how to fish together.
I've been fishing since I was a kid,
over fifty years now. I had been pretty much a plug caster my whole
life., but a decade ago, trying to prove that you can teach an old dog
new tricks, I decided to make a genuine effort at becoming competent with
a fly rod. I bought some gear, I watched a video, I read a book,
I got some tips and slowly but surely began to make progress. Every
trip I took, I tried to get in a little bit of fly-fishing, hopefully improving
my casting, stripping and fish-fighting techniques along the way.
On this trip, I had planned to devote a major part of my time to the fly-rod,
maybe even landing a double digit peacock on the fly for the very first
time. All of Norberto's guides are very experienced at handling fly
fishermen, carefully operating the boat in synch with the techniques and
skill level of their anglers. Junior, however, had never even held
a fly-rod and to my chagrin, he didn't have a clue about its use!
Our first day out was a slapstick comedy. At times he must have thought
I could cast 100 yards, other times he placed me 15 feet from the bank.
He drifted bow first, then stern first, then turned sideways for good measure.
My novice skills couldn't handle the complications and I soon sat down
in frustration, my line twisted and wound around any available protuberance.
This was going to take some work - but not just yet.
Roomy cabins with private bathrooms and
luxuriously hot showers make
comfort the watchword aboard the Blackwater Explorer.
I put away the fly-rod, picked up my conventional
gear and we headed off to catch peacocks using techniques with which I
was confident. Even this took a while. Since it was Junior's
first time sitting in the guide's seat, he wasn't familiar with the variables
in lures, gear and casting ranges. We started off using a woodchopper
with my medium-heavy baitcaster, working the structure along the banks
of a bowl shaped lagoon. At first we had some of the same problems
as with the fly gear, but my ability to compensate with conventional tackle
was much greater. I could readily overcome Junior's inexperience
and I managed to keep everything working. With a little talking and
some trial and error, Junior soon got the hang of properly placing us and
maintaining a good working pace. We started to catch fish.
After a few nice 3, 4 and 5-pound peacocks came to the boat, I was feeling
ready for anything. That's probably why we were both taken by surprise
when that first big fish got a hold of us.
After Junior made a believer of me with his diving act,
we made faster progress. We took our time and worked through all
of the techniques that a good guide needs to master. Each time I
changed lures, we started the learning process all
A Zara Spook doesn't travel as far and doesn't cover water as quickly as
a Woodchopper. Junior learned and adjusted quickly. Using a
jig called for yet another set of boat handling parameters. Again,
we worked our way through each of these techniques. By the end of
a week, Junior and I were making a pretty good team. I started thinking
about my fly-rod again, but it would have to wait. We were no longer
in fly-fishing water.
That long-ago yacht trip had a great first week with a very satisfied
complement of clients. Following our cruise to the fishing grounds,
we enjoyed terrific angling. The boat covered over 350-miles and
put us into a wide variety of fishing waters. The first morning,
the anglers headed out in their 17 foot fishing boats, working their way
along the banks and lagoons of the Rio Preto, a deep, clear, rocky-banked,
black water river buttressed with numerous gigantic lagoons. The
Rio Preto lends itself to fly-fishing along its rocky banks, while the
big, shallow lagoons favor the superior water coverage of conventional
tackle. By the second day we hit the Rio Matupiri. This is
a river whose lower reaches are very dependent on proper water levels for
its performance. It supports a beautiful system of structure-laden
lagoons. When water levels are right, the peacocks have a field day
in them, chasing bait and taking advantage of the structure. This
lets the anglers have a field day as well. The levels were perfect when
we got there, so for three days we stayed in the lower reaches, enjoying
the superb conditions. Anglers were catching 20, 30 and sometimes
even more fish per day.
For a river not famous for giants, we
were pleasantly surprised by veteran angler, Joe Crane's, 21-pound monster.
Joe and I
have fished together many times. He had scheduled this trip specifically
to fish a river almost 500 miles north of where we found ourselves, a river
known for its 20-pounders. Finding himself instead on a river more
famous for its large numbers of fish, Joe, nonetheless went to work looking
for his lunker. Sure enough, persistence paid off. Fishing
the big lower Matupiri lagoons, Joe attained his goal and landed a beast
of a peacock. As he told us all the tale of his big fish, I had to
shake my head in wonder. This huge fish had grabbed his bait inches
from the boat, almost causing Joe to lose his balance and join his adversary
in the water. Once he overcame his surprise and regained his
equilibrium, he quickly put his fishing experience to work and boated his
trophy to the impressed approval of his fishing partner and dad, Ned.
Numerous other anglers also caught fish in the teens. After three
days of excellent fishing, I consulted with the group about moving.
Joe (rear) and his dad, Ned, show off Joe's 21-pound
The "hog" at weigh-in, before release.
The consensus, even though the fishing was great here, was that everyone
wanted to see and fish the lovely upper reaches of the river. So
we fired up the engines and headed upriver.
The upper Matupiri is not nearly as sensitive a
fishery as the lower reaches. Basically devoid of lagoons, the peacocks
here relate to riverbank structure, including big sprawling rock piles
and deep cuts and bends. These places hold fish through a wide range
of water level fluctuations. The fishing remains pretty consistent
throughout the regional dry season. True to form, it fished well
when we got there, but not quite as well as the lower river. So we
enjoyed the scenery for a day, with its high-banked primary forest and
stretches of quick water, while the Explorer waited at anchor at the farthest
navigable section of the river. That evening, the consensus was to
head back downriver. We fished our way back and finished up a great
week. But the water levels were dropping, not enough to slow down
the productivity of the lagoons on our last day there, but clearly dropping
Three days later, the Explorer was loaded up with
a new complement of anglers. We spent the first day once again enjoying
excellent fishing on the Rio Preto. But, by the time we reached the
lower Matupiri, I was astounded at the changes. The river had dropped
a full meter and the lagoons had gone from a soft, fairly clear, green
color to a murky brown soup. The fishing changed just as dramatically.
Anglers were catching half as many fish here as the week before and big
ones were suddenly hard to come by. Here's where the Explorer's mobility
proved its value. After just one day on the lower reaches, with the
anglers comfortably asleep, the Angel traveled through the night to reach
the upper Matupiri and its dependably productive fishing. We spent
three days here, enjoying good numbers and big fish in the varied environments
of the upper river. During the night, after our fourth day of fishing,
the Explorer once again headed downriver steaming right through the now
unproductive lower reaches.
The dawn of the fifth day offered something new.
Explorer was anchored at the confluence of three rivers, giving us an opportunity
to explore new waters. To our west lay the great expanse of Lago
Tacuia, a forty mile long flooded forest ending in the headwaters of the
Igapo Ac?. We loaded the fishing boats with extra gasoline and headed
off into new, unexploited waters. Some concentrated on the lake,
while others cruised through it and right on into the river. That
night a tired but satisfied group of anglers exchanged stories of their
adventures. Most had great fishing, some caught trophy sized fish,
but all enjoyed a unique Amazon experience.
Two weeks after our first attempt at fly-fishing together, Junior and
I found ourselves once again on the Rio Preto. Out came the fly-rod.
My G. Loomis four piece, 9 weight travel rod was fully loaded with
a 300-grain sink tip line and a hand-tied 5/0 peacock bass fly. The
rocks beckoned from the shoreline. I knew the fish were there and
waiting. All I had to do was deliver the goods. So far it had
been easier said than done. Junior and I talked a bit.
I explained to him that being right handed, I found it easier to cast to
my left. If the boat moved along a left hand bank, it would be most
practical for me to stand on the bow, using the front casting platform
behind me as a line collector for the rapidly stripped fly action that
peacocks demand. I told him to keep me about 60-feet away from the
rocky structure on the bank, with enough distance from the boat to give
the line a chance to sink and the fly a chance to work.
"Don't creep up on the fly by getting ahead
of the line." "If I hook up, keep the bow from swinging toward
the bank." On and on I went, loading the poor kid's head with a list
of demands that would have made a labor lawyer proud. Finally I was
satisfied that we had it all worked out and we headed to the rocks.
Three casts later, I was once again frustrated, befuddled and befouled,
with line hanging from every available place I didn't want it to be.
I hadn't taken into account the strong wind blowing upriver against the
current, making it almost impossible for poor Junior to keep the boat parallel
to the bank and for me to maintain any sense of direction. Junior
said "Eu sei como concertar - I know how to solve this". And sure
enough he did.
We motored across the wide Rio Preto to the opposite bank. Junior,
using the electric trolling motor, set-up the boat pointing upstream.
He used the motor to slowly guide a drift downstream. The grip of
the prop blades biting into the water kept the rear of the boat solidly
locked onto its path, while the strong winds kept the bow pointing dead-on
upstream. We began grinding slowly downriver in reverse. Three
casts later, I thought to myself, "Wow, what a good fly-caster I am".
Junior's common sense made me look a whole lot better than I was.
By the fourth cast I was into a scrappy rock-dwelling peacock and the fun
started. An hour and three rocky stretches later, I boated 17 peacocks
ranging in size up to 8-pounds. This was good, real good, but I still
hadn't gotten what I was after, a double-digit fly-rod peacock. It
took another hour and some adjustment on my part to hook up with a big
It seemed that the rock-dwelling peacocks were often
grouped up into small gangs of five to ten individuals. When one
of these hoodlums decided that my fly was indeed edible, several others
often joined the chase. The problem is, smaller fish seem to be quicker
and more agile than the trophies and usually win the race for the bait.
I needed to avoid the gangs and look for the lunkers I was after in a more
solitary pattern. The answer was to get a little deeper and concentrate
on the points or transitions of the rocky structure. The bigger fish
seemed to be keeping these optimal hunting lairs for themselves.
By getting deeper, the big fish caught sight of the fly long before the
roving gangs picked it up. We backed the boat further off the bank
to get a longer stripping distance and I counted down a few seconds before
beginning my retrieve. This technique began to work for me and I
promptly netted a 9, and then a 10-pound peacock.
The culmination came for me as we drifted onto
a prominent rocky point. To my surprise and pleasure, I let fly one
of the best ever long casts I had made in my novice fly-fishing career,
dropping the fly between two boulders standing as sentinels on the point.
As I began rapidly stripping the line, my arm was suddenly almost jerked
out of its socket. The line whipped tight and I knew I had a big
fish. I told myself, "O.K., now think, don't just react".
I flicked the loose line into the water while I swept the rod-tip over
the bow and away from the bank. The peacock chose the path of least
resistance and I took advantage, cranking line simultaneously onto the
reel while the fish pulled it out through the rod guides. In a moment,
I had the fish on the reel. Now I could let the rod and drag absorb
his powerful mad dashes and violent rushes. When he finally tired
and came to the boat, I sighed in relief, realizing that I finally put
all the pieces of a fly-rod catch together. What better time to make
everything work than with a big, 12-pound fish on the line. Boy,
was I proud of myself.
Junior with "our" fly-rod fish.
When I glanced over at Junior, I realized that he
had his chest puffed out just as far as mine - and with good reason.
He had managed a complex set of parameters just to make it possible for
me to make a good cast in the first place. In fact, now that I thought
about it, the bow of the boat had conveniently swung outward just when
I needed it to turn the fish and clear my line. Looking back at the
fight I realized that I had always been able to keep the fish in front
of me and that we had ended the fight well away from the rocky banks and
any chance of a hang-up or cut off. That didn't just happen
accidentally. Just like that first big fish we caught together nearly
three weeks before, this was Junior's fish just as much as it was mine.
We had both come a long way together, improving our techniques and our
ability to act as a team.
The Blackwater Explorer's ability to provide a safe and secure
home base while accessing some of the most remote
Amazonian real estate affords anglers the opportunity to comfortably explore
their surroundings. We often set off on a variety of non-fishing
adventures. We mount nighttime spotlighting expeditions to view some
of the nocturnal fauna in the surrounding jungles, from the safety of our
fast fishing boats. Caiman wrangling is one of the favorite activities.
Our young, competitive and seriously macho guides have an ongoing competition
for who can wrestle the biggest caiman (an Amazon relative of the alligator).
When a set of red-glowing eyes reflects in the spotlight trained on the
river's edge, the boats make a beeline for the spot. The first boat
there drifts in slowly while one of the guides kneels on the bow.
If the caiman cooperates by holding still, the guide will drop off the
boat and onto its back while grabbing and holding its jaws closed.
Usually, all hell breaks loose thereafter. The surprised reptile
will thrash its powerful body to escape, often throwing off the guide while
it scoots into deeper water to the great delight of the guffawing anglers.
Once in a while the guide will get a solid grip and manage to hang on to
the caiman. This is greeted with cheers and a flurry of photo flashes.
The caiman are always released unharmed afterward.
"Caiman Wrangling" - The visiting reptiles are released
The caiman's generally shy and retiring nature ensures that the guides
are unhurt while the unruffled reptiles make good their escape.
Anglers explore the mysteries of the Amazon's
Jim Butters (with red cap) visits a caboclo
The spotlight often reveals other nocturnal animals
on the shoreline. Sightings sometimes include agouti (a large, capybara-like
rodent), a variety of nocturnal birds such as owls, night-hawks, and greater
curassow. Occasionally we'll glimpse an ocelot, a margay or even
the king of Amazon cats himself, the jaguar. If a small clear-water
tributary, called an igarape, is close at hand, we can even spotlight fish.
In addition to big peacocks and their gamefish brethren, many familiar
aquarium species can be seen. Angelfish, discus, geophagus, piranhas,
characins and catfish all are readily identified under the beam in the
Chris Colasurdo samples sipo da agua, the
"water vine" of the jungle.
Occasionally, we make afternoon forays into the
jungle. Our hikes start at high banks, bypassing the often thick
igapo or flooded forest and enabling us to easily access terra firme or
primary forest. Our guides are all born and raised in the Amazon
and have an intimate knowledge of the plants and trees of the rainforest.
Anglers get an overview of the fantastic diversity of Amazonian plant-life.
We're generally too noisy for any animals to hang around long enough to
be sighted, but we'll often see their dens or spoor. The eerie darkness
of the rainforest is only rarely punctuated by a brightly lit clearing
and leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.
Diehard anglers, who still haven't had enough after more
than ten hours of plugging away each day, can try a nighttime catfishing
expedition. Sometimes, with a couple of boats loaded with anglers,
cut bait, tackle and snacks, we'll tie up together at a deep hole or confluence
on the river. Soon the heavy baits can be heard pelting the water
like a rain of rocks as the fisherman stake out their spots - - then silence.
Most often nothing more happens. The silence will slowly turn into
tall tales. The snacks, accompanied by 'caipirinha' the national
drink of Brazil, can become the highlight of the evening. But every
so often, someone's line will take off like a shot behind a big, heavy,
red-tailed cat and the chase is on. The boats disengage. All
the other lines come out of the water and the surprised angler is in for
the fight of his or her life. We've boated big cats up to 95-pounds
in this manner. Even if the catfish don't show up, however, it's
always a fun night of story-telling and camaraderie.
The last week of our unplanned mothership expedition began
relatively uneventfully. Junior got better and better as a guide.
Although he would not be 'soloing' with his own clients for at least a
year or more because of Norberto's strict standards, he was gaining invaluable
fishing experience to complement his innate knowledge of his homeland.
One thing he knew right off the bat, was where to find fish. He always
took us into productive waters, in each of the rivers we visited.
Even when we found ourselves in a tough fishing situation, such as the
rapidly drying lagoons on the lower Matupiri, Junior had a knack for finding
We were fishing the mouths and deep entries of lagoons
in this rapidly-drying area for the better part of a morning, working hard
for our fish. As we drifted further into a big, convoluted lagoon,
I could see the sun-dried mud banks left by the receding waters.
"Let's get out of here - there won't be a lot of
fish in the hot, shallow water deep in the back of this lagoon", I said
"No, wait, I hear something splashing back there,
let's go and look" Junior responded. I nodded agreement and we worked
our way deeper into the lagoon. Suddenly, I heard it too, but it
wasn't the swirl of a feeding fish or even the slap of a striking peacock.
This sounded like a compact car being dropped into the water. If
this was a peacock, it had to weigh 100-pounds. Even from a distance
we could see that it wasn't. We beached the boat and quietly walked
along the hardened
banks until we reached the very back of the lagoon and the source of all
The shallow little cove left barely enough room
for the boto to submerge his back (upper left) or forehead (inset)
There, in a little shallow cove, was a pink
dolphin, boto vermelho cavorting in the water with a series of lithe
pirouettes and surface glides. What was this all about? As
we slipped in closer to the cove, we saw the reason. Watching just
outside in the deeper water of the main lagoon was an obviously interested
female dolphin. This was a courtship ritual! But they saw us,
and everything went silent for a few moments. Then the male
boto lifted his oddly human-like face out of the water and looked directly
at us. Sinking slowly back into the water, he began his dance again.
We sat stock still on the bank, jaws agape, watching the Delphic ballet.
As the male's gyrations increased in intensity, the female entered the
cove and slowly circled her dancing paramour. I was afraid to move
a muscle, let alone take a picture, but I couldn't just let this extraordinary
event go undocumented. Quietly, I slipped out my camera and snapped
off a shot. They didn't react at all. Either the big aquatic
mammals had decided we were no threat or they were so enrapt in their behavior
that they no longer noticed us. Gradually the female joined the dance,
twisting and rolling, closer and closer to the male. Then she intertwined
her movements with his, making short contacts, more and more often, until
they moved as one through the shallow cove. We watched the pair for
almost an hour, from their shy initial behavior to the culmination of their
mating. When they left the cove, swimming out together, neither Junior
nor I had anything to say. This was not an everyday experience.
I was truly sad to leave the yacht when the last of my trips aboard
her came to an end. I never expected how
lquickly I'd become accustomed to the level of comfort and the pleasant
atmosphere that she would provide. And I couldn't have been more
pleased at how satisfied my clients were with the big boat. Many
of them already asked to come back to a mothership trip the next year.
The two dolphins looked each other over in their little
cove, as the dance began.
What started out as a makeshift accommodation
to a vagary in equatorial weather patterns, had proven to be a terrific
way to access Amazonia's explosive peacock bass. My response was
simple. We would build the best mothership in the Amazon. Before
I left, Norberto and I sat down and planned our dream vessel. Now the Blackwater
Explorer is finally plying the waters of the Amazon in pursuit of the mighty
peacock bass. Today ourclients can look forward to a comfortable,
productive and well-planned stay aboard our beautiful yacht. As for
me, I can't wait to return.
A TRIP FOR AMAZON PEACOCK BASS?
"Blackwater Explorer" trips
are available during September and October
For more information on booking a Peacock Bass fishing adventure,
Paul Reiss at (866) 832-2987
E-Mail Paul Reiss, or:
Garry Reiss at (866) 431-1668
E-Mail Garry Reiss
Copyright © 2008 by Paul Reiss
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