Photos: An Exploratory Trip into the Heart of Brazil

Written by: Jeremy Kehrein, Orvis Sporting Travel Program Manager

Jeremy Kehrein shows off a fine Brazilian peacock bass.
Photo courtesy Jeremy Kehrein

Since it was my first time to the Amazon, I had no idea what our charter flight would be like.  As we took off from the largest city in the Amazon River basin, Manus, the vista of high-rise apartment buildings and busy streets and suspension bridges turned into a sea of green: an endless view of trees, isolated lakes, and large river systems. The occasional small village and red-clay-colored road popped out, but this was rare in our hour and a half charter flight.

Orvis’s Tyler Atkins with a toothy sword payara. Gotta watch your fingers with these babies.
Photo by Thiago Carrano 

We circled the Ecolodge da Barra, a floating lodge on the Tapajos River, and landed on the dirt-and-grass air strip next to the remote village of about 200 residents. It appeared that the whole village was there to greet us. None of the villagers spoke English, but with the nods of the heads from the adults and the smiles of the children, we knew we were welcome.

Motoring up a tributary of the Tapajos River, in search of new water.
Photo by Tyler Atkins

Each morning, we took off from the lodge in fog to a new area to fly fish–remote rivers, hidden lakes, sandbar flats, and other parts of the expansive Tapajos River. And each day, we caught or hooked a new species of fish, including three different species of peacock bass, arawana, payara, piranha, bicuda, and others that we didn’t even know the names of.

The piranhas are tough on tackle and will steal your flies.
Photo by Brian Goulart

Once the fog burned off and the temperature rose, hundreds of butterflies surrounded us on the boat. These incredibly colored creatures are attracted to salt and tend to congregate near any place on your body that you sweat.  It was amazing to see the harmless swarm around each angler as he cast to fish.

Tyler Atkins fishes for peacocks and matrincha and on one of the smaller tributaries.
Photo by Brian Goulart

During the boat run back to the lodge on the last evening, we watched an incredible sunset, entered the lodge to freshly made caipirinhas with limes and Cachaca, and toasted to the final night in an incredible place that we didn’t want to leave. We all agreed that this was an amazing trip to be a part of and that we will return.

Daniel Seymour shows off a bicuda, one of the many species available to fly fishers.
Photo by Brian Goulart

Want to join us on our next trip? There are four one-week options available from June-September. Click here for more information.

A peacock takes to the air on the main stem of the Tapajos River.
Photo by Brian Goulart

Roberto Veras hoists another killer peacock.
Photo by Brian Goulart

The sunset over the river on the final evening was stunning.
Photo by Tyler Atkins

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