THE ROYAL AMAZON LODGE, AGUA BOA RIVER, BRAZIL
The Royal Amazon Lodge is located on a quiet stretch of the Agua Boa river, a small clear water tributary of the Amazon perfectly suited for peacock bass. It is one of the few regions in the Amazon under permanent protection by IBAMA, the Brazilian Environmental Institute for the Protection of the Amazon and the governor of the state of Roraima. This "Ecotourism Reserve" status has insured that the river and the forest that surrounds it will be protected for years to come. Sport fishing is allowed on a catch and release basis. This is one of the few drainages in the Amazon where commercial fishing is absolutely prohibited, and single barbless hooks are required. Moreover, the Agua Boa is one of the few areas of the Amazon that you will not see another inhabitant during your entire stay.
The Agua Boa runs through the reserve and is crystal clear with a white sand bottom, flanked by tropical rain forest and jungle. It is not uncommon to find beaches filled with the tracks of the endangered Amazon River turtles, tapir and even jaguar. Nothing could be more spectacular for an angler than the return ride to the lodge after a great day of fishing through meandering bends of this great watershed as the forest comes to life each evening.
At the lodge, clients are attended by a friendly Brazilian staff. We have kept the size of the lodge small to afford anglers a great expanse of fishing water and to insure that the atmosphere at the lodge is a pleasant one. For those of you that have traveled on houseboats with 14-20 bass fisherman crammed into a small space, the small family atmosphere and sheer elegance of the lodge will make the Royal Amazon a very attractive alternative.
The Royal Amazon Lodge was built in 2001 by the owner and operator, Dr. Jan Wilt. The lodge is a spacious facility with a large dining room, a living room, bar and game room. The game room has a snooker table, ping pong table, darts and an endless array of games from chess to backgammon. There is also an entertainment area with a DVD player, and satellite TV. The lodge also has a great porch with an eating area, hammocks and sitting area. Outside there is a 20 meter swimming pool and bar area and a volleyball and soccer field. The Royal Amazon has the finest facility in the peacock bass world.
Clients will fish two to a boat with one guide. Our guides have been trained extensively and have many years of experience guiding for peacock bass. They are not bilingual but are somewhat conversant in fishing English and will understand your needs. After breakfast, you are welcome to fish with your guide until 6 pm. Clients are guaranteed an 10 hour day of fishing, but most are happy to be on the water at 8 am and off by 6 pm.
The rivers and tributaries around the Royal Amazon Lodge are rich and diverse. Possible species include the three species of peacocks: the butterfly (up to 10 pounds), the paca or spotted (up to 20 pounds), and the temensis (up to 24 pounds although it is almost certain that a world-record fish is present in the system. The current record stands at 27 pounds). Peacock Bass are perhaps one of the toughest game fish around. Their top water strike is often so ferocious that the entire fish will fly several feet out of the water with the fly. Once hooked peacocks exhibit a savvy toughness unknown to trout and largemouth fisherman. A large peacock is unstoppable on its first few runs. Anglers can only hope that the fish stays well away from the structure. This is usually their second escape route. Most fish go aerial in a tarpon like display...gills rattling as they fly end over end...only to run again. They are a not for the weak of heart. Everyone that fishes the Royal Amazon will return with stories of stripped reels, destroyed tackle and memories of giants that couldn't be stopped.
Due to its clear water and white sand, it is also the best suited fishery for a fly-fishing lodge. The water on the Agua Boa is so clear, that most strikes are visual, and many anglers come strictly to sight fish for bass ranging from 1-25 pounds, arowana, pacu and a host of other jungle species. The boats have poling platforms and are rigged specifically for sight fishing. There are also incredible wading opportunities on the Agua Boa. The wading will remind you more of flats fishing in Florida than what you would expect of the Amazon.
Peacock Bass come in a large variety of sizes and species. There are three species on the Agua Boa: the butterfly, spotted and temensis.
The Butterfly Peacock is the most numerous in the system. Butterflies are aggressive takers on poppers and 3-4 inch streamers. They are great fighters and jump often. They range between 2 and 8 pounds with approximately a 3 pound average in the system.
The Spotted and Temensis Peacock Bass are a totally different beast. These two species are the largest of the peacocks and can attain weights of 25 pounds. These Peacocks are some of the most aggressive game fish on the planet. They wander in schools of up to 40 fish and feed together working bait like bluefish. It is difficult to describe a school of these large peacocks in full feeding frenzy. Needless to say that 1 pound baitfish are flying everywhere in a desperate attempt to escape. In many cases the baitfish will jump onto to dry land to escape. If you can get your fly into the action, the results are spectacular: a ferocious take, a blistering run, a jump, a run into structure are just a few of the obstacles you might be confronted with.
The other jungle species are well worth pursuing. The Arowana looks and acts a lot like a tarpon. They have huge scales, are air breathers, spooky and wander through the river in schools in search of baitfish. Arowana are a surface oriented fish. They are very visible and provide exciting sight casting. Beware they are spooky and difficult to hook and land. Their jaws are similar to tarpon and require a hard strike. They are an aerial fighter and good runner. Arowana average 6-10 lbs.
Pacu, also known as the silver dollar, are a fun fish and can be taken on trout patterns like Royal Wulffs, caddis and flesh flies. They are shaped like a permit and in the Agua Boa they reach weights of 5 pounds.
Pirarucu, the giant tarpon of the Amazon, reach weights well in excess of 200 pounds. These fish look and act a lot like tarpon, but are so smart that at the lodge they have not landed more than a handful of them. It is tough to describe the excitement of seeing them and trying to manage a cast to one.
Beginning of October through mid-April.
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