Friday, December 16, 2011

In Need of a Slump Buster

December 7, 2011

We awoke to just another spectacular Amazon sunrise. I was up at 5 and strolled around camp. It appeared the water dropped about six to eight inches while we slept. All the floating cabins were tilted from the loss of water. This should be good news for the fishing I thought.

Today I was back in the boat with Becky and Matu. We took off on the usual machete-chopping and paddling adventure through the rainforest and finally into a lagoon of untouched paradise. Becky and I got right to work casting to all the nooks and crannies retrieving our flies from as far back in the jungle as we could reach. I had a constant feeling that something big was following my fly on every cast.

Three hours into the morning that confident feeling started to slip away. Becky and I hadn’t hooked a single fish. It was especially tough on Becky because although she caught several fish yesterday, they all came in the morning. She was now more than 24 hours into a fishless period, very unusual for peacock fishing. And it wasn’t like she wasn’t getting it done. Becky has truly grasped this style of fishing. Her fly is always in the zone. It was simply a bad slump.

We did have the luck though of seeing some fantastic Amazon wildlife. At least three giant Amazon otters entered the lagoon we were fishing. I heard some splashing behind us and expected to see a pink dolphin only to see an otter. At first they were shy, but gradually they worked their way near our boat. Then it all made sense, otters that are over six feet long probably don’t attract fish.

At 11 AM we were in a new lagoon and I declared we were not going to be skunked at noon – absolutely not. I’m not sure what I meant or what I had in mind. It wasn’t like we needed to do anything special, we were fishing hard. But my declaration worked and finally I stuck a good one. It was a spot that Becky already hit several times from the front of the boat, but sometimes the peacocks observe repeated presentations before sealing the deal. This fish was encouraging and we expected things to turn for the good. Surprisingly, the fish continued to elude us.

Despite struggling, I was catching some fish. Unfortunately I was catching them and Becky wasn’t. I couldn’t figure it out. She was hitting all the spots. She had a great fly. It was just a bad slump. In addition to her bad fishing luck, the blister on Becky’s casting hand exploded. The wound looked extremely painful yet it didn’t stop her.

I think everyone who really fishes has been in one of these crazy slumps. It happens. I’ve certainly had some ridiculous ones in my fishing life. Luckily they never go on forever and Becky nailed her “slump buster” at 4 PM. It was a gorgeous speckled peacock. Poor Becky was almost too exhausted to smile. And notice the bee buzzing her head? That crazy annoying bee-fly-thing had been buzzing her head for hours. When she let this peacock go the terrorist bee flew away and Becky nailed another peacock on her very next cast.

Evidently swimming around camp is getting popular. Ken and I swim every night but tonight Becky and Steve joined us. It was a scorcher of a day even for the Amazon and the swim felt fantastic. Then it was caipirinha and beer time. I could keep this lifestyle up for awhile!


  1. Regardless of the pictures, I still can't fathom swimming in the amazon. Nice lagoon!

  2. These are awesome pictures...Really nice post just good to read about your adventure. Keep it up and I look forward to the grand finally! Thanks

  3. Hey guys, glad your enjoying the posts. Barramundi, I just got off your site. I need to go someday! All those new species a must for me!