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OUR KENDJAM EXPLORATORY trips were developed as a reconnaissance vehicle to further our understanding of the clear Iriri waters and give anglers a view of the potential of the unexplored Kendjam fishery, while simultaneously helping us get more familiar with the social customs of the Kayapó nation and introducing Kendjam to sport fishing.
The Kayapó have set aside sometimes fractious internal relationships and joined forces to take control of their future in a most logical way, by capitalizing on their own skills, fishing knowledge, expanding their universe to slowly include capitalism and free enterprise, and exploiting the ridiculous wishes of others from the “outside world” to catch the fish in their river and let them go.
Their river is loaded with a unique variety of peacock bass, and 10 other different sportfish in a crystal clear, 430-mile long, fast-moving river. Most of it is shallow and ideal for wet wading and sight casting.
THE KAYAPO PRESERVE is among the largest protected expanses of tropical rain forest in the world. It’s self-managed by about 9,000 indigenous people, most of whom can’t read or write and who still follow a largely subsistence way of life in 44 villages linked only by rivers and all-but-invisible trails.
The most remote of these is Kendjam, named after the 800´ high rock which shades the village. At the mountain’s base are the glittering braids of the Iriri River, the largest tributary of the Xingu, itself a major tributary of the Amazon.
“If they were battered, they were never broken,” said Chip Brown in his definitive 2014 National Geographic article, describing how the Kayapo harnessed their warrior culture to achieve their political goals, evicted ranchers and gold miners, patrolled their borders and sent trespassers back to town naked and on foot, wearing only a death threat if they returned.
Their chiefs learned Portuguese and went so far as to enlist Sting to help them protest the building of six dams on “their” rivers, defeating five of them (“For now!”) and effectively exerting control over an area the size of Kentucky, which is offically theirs. As a result, they are perhaps the most powerful of all the indigenous tribes remaining in Brazil. Their ceremonies, their kinship systems, language, knowledge of the forest and conception of the continuum between humans and the natural world are intact.
They are legend.The Kayapo are warriors.
You are invited to be among the first ever allowed to fish among the Kayapó; to help us explore what we expect will be the next jungle jackpot for fly fishermen, and experience with us what promises to be both a spectacular angling and cultural event.
The season is from May through November. n 7-nights 6-days fishing $6,500
Call us for more details or reservations
The Kayapó will be more than landlords. They will be hosts and participants in the use and protection of their fishery. They’ll be involved in guiding and welcome the prospect of interacting with anglers and advancing their social and language skills. s phone 800-669-3474 21

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