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The great Amazon adventure!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:57 pm
by sumtershoaliefan
The journey to get the Amazon was arduous but well worth the trouble. TyGa10, BasserDrew and myself met at Hartsfield international and we met AmazonRiverRunner in Miami. From there we flew to Lima and then on to Iquitos. From Iquitos it was a 3hr speed boat ride to the Palo Verde lodge.

Here’s TyGa10, BasserDrew and myself waiting for our flight in Atlanta
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A couple of pics from the speed boat, on the way to the lodge.
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Once we got to the lodge, we were all tired and hungry and the chef at the lodge prepared a quick meal for us.
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The food at the lodge was top notch all week long. We all really enjoyed the expertly prepared peruvian cuisine.

We fished some the first afternoon but we pretty much struck out. In fact, we struck out in every oxbow lake we tried except for one. The reason for this is that the river was higher than it’s been in 15 years and the water was still in the forest. Typically the water is back in the main channels and lakes this time of year. This made it difficult to locate the fish as most of them were still in the forest. However, we did find one oxbow lake were the waters had retreated from the forest more than most and when we did, we found the peacocks! The only problem was that this lake was about a 4hr boat ride through the flooded jungle. At least it was the first time though. After that, it was a lot easier. I think the last time it only took about 1.5hrs.

We caught many different species of fish and I’m going to try to name them all now. Butterfly peacock bass, oscar, red-belly pirrahanas, arauana, sabalo, dogfish, wolffish, and pacu.

Like I said, the ride to the isolated lake were the best fishing was to be had, was a rough one.
Here’s some pics of our boats going through the flooded jungle. Our guides literally hacked our way through.
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Once we got to the good lake, and started to catch some fish, we knew we were going to stay, so we set up camp and stayed overnight. When we woke up in the morning, there were squirrel monkeys playing in the trees directly over our tents. That was an awesome sight. We didn’t really get any good pics of the monkeys but Drew got some good video. Here’s some pics of the campsite, deep in the Amazon!
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Ok, now time for some butterfly peacock pics. Keep in mind that these are not the giant peacocks of Venezuela and Brazil. Butterfly peacocks max out around 12 pounds. The biggest ones we caught were around 3.5lbs and we all lost at least one over 5. I know I lost 2 that were both well over 5. Anyway, they hit like freight trains, destroy topwater baits and fight like shoalies! On with the pics.

Here’s my first one
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Here’s a bunch more from everyone.
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I think this peacock caught by ARR may be the prettiest one caught.
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Here’s the pics of the other fish we caught. Not pictured are some really large piranhas that we caught. However, we did get some good video of them and I hope to post some soon.
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One night, we stopped by the house of one of our guides, Juan. He lives in the local village, but his house is at the confluence of 2 smaller rivers and is an ideal place to catfish, so we did. Turns out the kids like catfish as well and they were thrilled to take our fish off the hook and pose for pictures.
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The part of the trip I enjoyed the most was the Peruvian people, especially the village folk. Here’s a bunch of pics of the villages and people of the Peruvian Amazon.

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Here’s the crew at the Palo Verde Lodge.
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More pics of the lodge.
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Here we are having a shore lunch deep in the jungle. Chicken and rice. Man, was it good!
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Here’s our guide that cooked it, Louis
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Here we are at 2 different restaurants in Iquitos
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Pics in no particular order
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TyGA with the monkey on his back. LOL!
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I saved the best pic (IMO) for last.
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What an awesome trip it was. Truly a trip of a lifetime. Although, I plan on going again next year. The trip was an absolute success in that it was a scouting mission and we accomplished what we set out to do. Find the peacocks! Next time we’ll go later in the year during the dry season and they’ll be much easier to catch, especially now that we know where they are.

Thanks to Drew and Tyga for being great traveling companions and fishermen and special thanks to AmazonRiverRunner for setting this whole thing up and for running a top notch operation at Amazon Expeditions. Oh yeah, we've got tons of video that is going to take weeks to edit. Hopefully, we can get some of it out before too long.

SSF

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:58 pm
by Jre 1274
Great report ssf that was a trip of a lifetime.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:45 pm
by MacBass
Sweet John. Me and WBW have been talking for years about doing something like that. We will sooner or later.....Awesome photos can't wait for the vids.....

MacBass

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:05 am
by olcaptain
Great trip & wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing!!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:48 am
by Bamaspot
That has to be one of the best reports ever!
Thanks for including so much local flavor.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:02 am
by BigSam
absolutely gorgeous stuff! that's a brown howler monkey on Ty's shoulder. were they as loud as i'm told?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:07 am
by sumtershoaliefan
BigSam wrote:absolutely gorgeous stuff! that's a brown howler monkey on Ty's shoulder. were they as loud as i'm told?


Oh yeah, we heard them "howling" nearly every morning and evening.

SSF

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:36 pm
by sparky
....Great Post, Thanks, Must be a once in life time trip....

Luv the pic's of the fishing , interaction with the kids, the scenery etc....

But the Boats Man the Boats' I was straining my eyes to see how they were constructed, wonder the history on them, they where great, I noticed there was no water in the bottom, they looked like gaint "ruff cut" bomb proof canoes with gaint weed-eaters with props...Thanks again, wish I wasn't terrified of flying...

P.S. "Great day in the morning"....I think I counted 24 people in a 30ft. water craft.....

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:46 pm
by sumtershoaliefan
sparky wrote:....Great Post, Thanks, Must be a once in life time trip....

Luv the pic's of the fishing , interaction with the kids, the scenery etc....

But the Boats Man the Boats' I was straining my eyes to see how they were constructed, wonder the history on them, they where great, I noticed there was no water in the bottom, they looked like gaint "ruff cut" bomb proof canoes with gaint weed-eaters with props...Thanks again, wish I wasn't terrified of flying...

P.S. "Great day in the morning"....I think I counted 24 people in a 30ft. water craft.....


Those boats were plank constructed and they leaked badly. Everywhere we went, that's the kind of boats people were using. You could see them under construction on the river banks. They require constant bailing. Oh yeah, that boat had 28 people in it.

SSF

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:14 pm
by Seminole Steve
cool John! This is to be the year of adventures for you!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:31 pm
by FishingAddict
Awesome stuff! Wish I could have made it. Hopefully next year!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:43 am
by nielson
The great Amazon adventure

Fitting name for a great trip. Thanks for sharing your story and photos.
Jim

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:24 pm
by Worminator
Great report SSF!

That is the kind of trip most of us dream about...I'm glad you got to do it and thanks for taking us along with your post.

W.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:27 pm
by Reelin'Rick
Awesome report & pics!Thanks for sharing

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:38 pm
by SmallieSam
That's a trip you won't soon forget, John. Great write-up and I really enjoyed the pics. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun with the locals. Good stuff, thanks for posting.