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
A couple of pics from the speed boat, on the way to the lodge.
Once we got to the lodge, we were all tired and hungry and the chef at the lodge prepared a quick meal for us.
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.
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!
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
Here’s a bunch more from everyone.
I think this peacock caught by ARR may be the prettiest one caught.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s the crew at the Palo Verde Lodge.
More pics of the lodge.
Here we are having a shore lunch deep in the jungle. Chicken and rice. Man, was it good!
Here’s our guide that cooked it, Louis
Here we are at 2 different restaurants in Iquitos
Pics in no particular order
TyGA with the monkey on his back. LOL!
I saved the best pic (IMO) for last.
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.