Photo Essay By Kayla Lockhart June 13, 2019
When we approached this “bridge” my initial thought was “we must’ve made a wrong turn, there’s no way we’d cross this?!”…by then the front tires were already bending the bridge and we crept over it.
After a four hour washboard, pothole-filled drive we made it over two river crossings
Camp Numero Dos: I got used to the sounds of the jungle after so many days sleeping outside in it. I went to sleep with strange sounds that I didn’t recognize to waking up to the sounds of howler monkeys in the morning.
We worked hard to access a lagoon that hadn’t been fished all season, there is a reason it hadn’t been fished too… you had to carry the boat, the cooler, the motor and all the gear through the overgrown jungle trail.
For the Peacock bass we were primarily tucking casts as close to the shore as possible and stripping back to the boat starting slow to fast.
Pound for pound these peacock bass will bulldog you down deep and tangle you up into the mangroves with the power of their paddles.
In one shot this sums up the release of a peacock bass release, pure power slapping their way out of your hand.
Every fly that got eaten in Colombia had above normal shows of “wear and tear”
I casted my baitfish pattern into the bank of the lagoon, stripping it back fast and short, resulting in my fly getting T-boned by this peacock and the fish instantly ran under the boat and to the deeper water… we chased after the fish with the boat as the fish ran in all directions, we eventually ended up landing it near an opening to the second lagoon.
The natives throughout the tribe were all eager to share their land and culture with us, we were waved down while cruising in the boat, so we pulled up to be greeted by a native woman holding two parrots, we traded some coca cola for a photo.
The first time we were waved down we pulled up to the beach where a native man had the cutest big-eyed, fawn spotted baby ‘Lapa’’.
If there wasn’t a bug trying you crawl into your eyes or suck your blood, there would be the scorching strong sun burning you – Keeping your Buff on at all times was a must.
As I tailed my fish I felt my feet begin to slide down the slippery granite-like rock… with nothing to grab onto and not wanting to lose my fish I looked up at my guide and as my legs entered the deep water, I reached up and he grabbed my hand where he then landed me, landing my fish.
The “Golden Tarpon” -Sardinia, This fish slammed my popper in the fast water and quickly ran down with the current, jumping with the resemblances of a tarpon head shake.
After breaking off four payara I was down to the last day to fish for them and my second cast of the day I hooked into one, only to be led into two rocks in the middle of the fast current where my fly line got stuck and sucked under the rock…
Determined to not lose this fish, Simón from @fishcolombia jumped into the boat and got to the rock, jumped onto the rock, scraped his bare stomach across the sandpaper rock, grabbed my fly line and raised it above his head and in unison the payara is cartwheeling down the river, I quickly mended my line over him..
Thanks to Simón I was able to finish the fight with the payara and land my personal fish of a lifetime.
One of the hardest fish I have landed, after an incredible amount of hard work I was beyond happy to have accomplished catching a Payara
It was the icing on the cake that I caught this fish on a fly I tied.
The Orinoco river is not to be taken lightly, the strong deep currents will swallow you up in seconds.