The Amazon River basin is my favorite place in the world outside Texas. It is a beautiful place with people that want to take care of your every need. You have to go a long way to beat it. If you have an adventurous spirit and you are in reasonably good health, you need to come with me to Brazil next Jan or Feb.
We fish for six days while traveling up and across the Rio Negro. It is a huge black river that meets the Amazon in the city of Manaus.
We fly into Manaus, Brazil from Miami to start our trip, then catch a twin engine turbo-prop plane that flies us for an hour up river to the little fishing village of Barceluis. We board the huge, three story riverboat called the Otter, with all the comforts of home, and are on our way. Everybody is so excited that our feet aren’t even touching the ground. Our fishing guides are in a two story boat called the Dho Dho, which houses them and carries or tows the extra supplies, staff and bass boats needed for our trip. Also along on the Dho Dho have a cook, a captain and a top Yamaha mechanic.
The Otter has Capt Gill and our navigator, who is also a captain, two great cooks and two deckhands. Capt Gill gets everyone together for a little briefing, picking your room and getting settled in.
I start working on getting everyone two rods and reel, with a box of tackle. I pair two clients to a seventeen-foot bass boat with a sixty horse Yamaha. Each guide grew up along the river, and knows it well. Each will take good care of you and make sure you catch fish. The guides each speak a enough English to ensure you have fun. You will have a different guide every day.
You will be throwing top-water lures at the biggest, meanest, prettiest fish in the jungle. They are second to none in fight and muscle, and in the way they head for the worst part of the river when you set the hook.
If the first fish you catch weighs only ten pounds, you know you are going to have a true battle on your hands when you get a bigger one on, and that’s just the beginning. The trip really comes together while you are fishing and you see the parrots flying over head, fussing at you for being there, then you hear something blow, and it is a school of Dolphins playing around. You’ll see gators, caimen and crocodiles swimming ahead, then you’ll here the huge howler monkeys deep in the jungle. Maybe the pirhana are schooling on the next point. Look up, and a family of river otters is playing on some riverbank with deep overhanging jungle. You will smell smoke from some hidden camp and see the tropical fishermen making a living on the water in their often strange river craft. Ancient trees of all kinds teem with life around you. Sometimes you will be in swift running water and sometimes just still and dark pools.
Just before dark the jungle really starts showing out with all kinds of sounds: birds flying to there roost, and other animals to their lairs. At night you sense you are just half a degree from the equator as the old moon is so close you feel you can reach out and just put your arms around it.
Then you know you are a long way from home.
I am already ready to go again, but I must wait until Oct or Nov, or Jan or Feb. You only live once, and now is the time to sign up to go with me. I will make sure you have the time of your life.
Your friend, Bob Holmes
Full time guide on Richland Chambers Reservoir