This post is a version of the article published in the Digital Magazine Sol y Mar MagazineFly Fishing for the Legendary Pirarucu. The text and photos are property of Dr. Martín Aróstegui. To see the most recent edition of Sol y Mar Magazine please visit our webpage:www.solymarmagazine.com.
As the sun rises and the golden rays of light penetrate the mist to illuminate the tropical lagoon, we admire the beauty of this tranquil place, landlocked and surrounded by rainforest. The waters are partially covered by huge water lilies with beautiful pink flowers called Victoria Amazonica, the national flower of Guyana. Overhead, a pair of blue macaws fly undisturbed, adding to the beauty of this wonderful place.
Our dugout canoe glides quietly, propelled by the paddle of our guides Rovin and Oliver. I stand at the front, looking attentively, fly rod at hand, ready to cast my fly at a surfacing river monster. The Pirarucu can grow up to 400 pounds and are one of the largest fish in the Amazon.
The Pirarucu spend the dry season in oxbow lakes formed when the river changes course leaving a semi circular lagoon. When the rainy season arrives and the water level rises, the Pirarucu leave the lakes and return to the river. As I look carefully for any sign of a rising fish, all of a sudden, one appears out of the depths of the lagoon and rolls gently after taking a gulp of air. I quickly cast my fly, which lands quietly in front of the fish. My fly does it’s job and fools the fish into swallowing the hook. The line comes tight, I bend the fly rod in a hook setting action and all of a sudden the river monster erupts out of the water totally disrupting the tranquility of the lagoon. The fight is on! The Pirarucu jumps numerous times in an attempt to throw the fly.
The fight continues for an hour until the fish tires enough that we can hold it at the side of the canoe. My guides Rovin and Oliver paddle us into shallow water so that we can jump out and take photos of the fish. We revive and release this majestic fish so that it can resume its existence in this beautiful Amazonian lagoon. I take a deep breath, admire the beauty of our surroundings and thank the fishing gods for this unique opportunity. This catch was very special; it was truly the catch of a lifetime! A special thanks to Costa del Mar executive Al Perkinson, Costa fishing team pro Oliver White and our Amerindian guides Rovin and Dennis Alvin. These gentlemen have worked diligently in order to make this fishery a reality for the members of the Rewa village in Guyana, and in doing so are helping to preserve this beautiful rainforest. https://www.costadelmar.com/home; http://www.rewaguyana.com
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