Fly Fishing or Conventional Fishing -
Which one is better in the jungle?
Watch Kristi land her 4th and 5th fish on 6 casts and see the results of Jason's perfectly placed bucktail jig. Click on the sound!
On a typical week, roughly 70% of our Guests are fly anglers and 30% are using casting and spinning rods.
This makes us a very unique Amazon operation. Why? MOST OUTFITTERS IN THE AMAZON CATER ONLY TO GEAR FISHERMEN, conventional anglers. There's nothing wrong with that, as this is the largest demographic of anglers who are most likely to be attracted to chasing peacock bass.
WE LOVE HOSTING CONVENTIONAL ANGLERS because they will often land the biggest of our fish. The learning curve for our fishery is significantly easier for a conventional angler and they can often hit the ground running and get right into fish. Our Guides have hosted conventional anglers for their entire career.
FLY FISHING IS A BIT OF AN ENIGMA IN THE AMAZON, often misunderstood by the locals. Many Guides don't want fly anglers in their boat. In their minds, it is way too much work for very little payoff. They don't believe a fly rod can land a trophy peacock bass. IF the outfitters allow fly fishing, look closely at the gear recommendations on their website. That's a great indicator to see if they really have the ability to offer a fly angler the best experience possible. There are two popular outfitters in the Amazon whose fly equipment recommendations are from the late '90s. Go look, it's been on their websites for years. What does this tell you?
We had a potential Guest reach out to us last year...and HE WAS PISSED. He had just returned from a trip of a lifetime to the Amazon. He booked with one of the most expensive outfitters in Amazonas. He paid over $13k for his trip for a single-occupancy cabin and a single boat. Planning this trip for months, he purchased all new rods and reels and brought a suitcase full of flies that he had tied. When he started his first day rigging up his fly rod, the Guide told him he could not fly fish. The booking agent said he could. The website said he could. None of that mattered because his Guide wanted no part of it (and he was assigned that same Guide for the week). Problem was, this Guest didn't know how to fish with a conventional rod, nor did he want to. The result: he spent $13k for a week of trolling with a spinning rod!
SOME OF THE BEST LODGES THAT CATER TO FLY ANGLERS ARE FLY FISHING ONLY, gear fishing is not allowed. These lodges are very good at what they do and offer a great experience. The hidden problem is that very few anglers have the patience/stamina to cast a fly rod all day in the jungle. In response to this challenge, these lodges fish their Guests for much shorter days.
OUR GUESTS HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL of how they fish, and for how long they want to fish. For example, our schedule in the Matupiri allows our Guests to come back to the air-conditioned mothership for a break anytime they like. This is unheard of in the Amazon.
WE PREFER TO OFFER A GREAT EXPERIENCE TO BOTH GEAR AND FLY ANGLERS. We host a large number of father-son and buddy trips that often have a mix of anglers in the group. Family, friends, and working together as a team is what we are all about. Why in the world would we exclude someone simply because they prefer to fish a certain way?
THE OTHER REASON MIGHT SURPRISE YOU: We firmly believe that the best boat set-up is to have one conventional and one fly angler in each boat. It's a deadly combination. Sshhh, just don't tell anyone that.
OUR GUIDES ENJOY HOSTING BOTH STYLES OF ANGLING. A conventional angler can cast further and cover water that the fly angler cannot reach. He can also throw the largest lures that will entice the true trophies in our waters, drawing them out of cover. Our biggest fish are usually landed by our conventional anglers. For every long cast made by a conventional angler, the fly angler will make 2-3 shorter presentations. The fly angler can put his fly in a spot that a lure can't reach. He will usually land more fish and a wider variety of sizes. The biggest fish hooked on a fly are a true challenge to land, even for the most experienced fishermen.
It takes great skill on a Guide's part to manage the speed, distance, and direction of a bass boat in order to maximize both anglers' capabilities. This is what our Guides do, and their skills are exceptional. Most of our Guides and Staff have been with us since day 1. They are often approached by other Outfitters, offering them more days and longer Seasons, but thankfully they stay with us. As a member of the Nomadic Waters family, they receive better pay, better food, better lodging, and keep 100% of their tips (unusual in this part of the world).
Above: Our fish landed on casting and spinning gear. Below: Our fish landed on fly gear.