Agua Boa Lodge is situated high on a bank overlooking the Agua Boa River with the Amazon Rainforest on one bank and a natural savannah on the other.
Peacock Bass are not a bass at all. In fact, they are a cichlid and not at all similar to their stout American counterpart, the Largemouth bass. They undoubtedly have a large mouth, but this is the only similarity. Imagine, if you will, casting to a pack of six, 10-18 pound peacocks bright green in color, with stripes, red eyes and orange gills, all while moving at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour up the shallow end of a white sand beach, driving one-pound baitfish onto the dry land! You can see these brutes from 50 yards away on the Agua Boa. In fact, it often seems more like flats fishing, except your quarry are not a gentle crab-eating bonefish or permit, but a rod breaking predator with a strike that can break the heaviest of tippets. These fish are bad-ass!
Agua Boa Lodge is situated high on a bank overlooking the Agua Boa River with the Amazon Rainforest on one bank and a natural savannah on the other. The lodge is very comfortable, with a Brazilian atmosphere, and utterly enchanting. The lodge has every amenity imaginable including phone/fax line, satellite TV, well-furnished library, 24-hour electricity, game room, swimming pool, full bar, and a wonderful indoor and outdoor dining room. Guest rooms are air-conditioned and well-appointed with views of the adjacent white beach where you can easily catch a glimpse of the eighteen-foot long pet black caiman, Rex, awaiting a meal of piranha thrown to him by the guides. What a sight it is! The lodge accommodates eight guests and allows fly fishermen immediate access to over 100 miles of the Agua Boa River and lagoons. Because the Agua Boa is an ecotourism preserve, only one licensed sport-fishing operator is allowed on the entire watershed. Absolutely no commercial fishing is allowed or has been allowed for the last 10 years.
On the Agua Boa, the fishery revolves around the lagoons, inland lakes and river channel. The lagoons and inland lakes offer solid fishing for butterfly peacocks (the smallest of the peacock family) up to 8 pounds. Butterfly peacocks are numerous and take poppers and streamers greedily. These fish fight hard and jump often. The problem is, after you have witnessed the power of the spotted peacock or the Temensis peacock, the enjoyable security of catching twenty to thirty 8-pound butterflies on poppers, will be ditched to chase these larger varieties of peacocks. Truly large peacock bass are one of the toughest freshwater, or saltwater, game fish in the world.
The fishing in the river channel is the greatest surprise of all. Typically, the river fishing is done by poling down through the shallow stretches of the river and sight casting to peacocks, Aruwana, and other jungle species. The fly-fishing for aruwana is remarkably similar to Florida Key’s tarpon. The aruwana are a spooky fish that move in schools throughout the river, working edges and currents. Fly presentation is key. A head-on shot with a tarpon fly, worked in short strips, works best. The fish average 6-10 pounds and fight hard. The peacock bass in the river are a different story all together. Smaller peacocks are in the shallow water and respond well to any quickly stripped baitfish pattern. The Temensis and Spotted peacocks roam throughout the river in search of food. If they are actively eating (there is rarely any question as the water is exploding with colorful baitfish), any cast will do. In other cases, 10-20 pound singles or doubles are spooky and require good casts. These are exciting shots, as in most cases; you can see the fish coming from a long way off.
Agua Boa is the perfect place for anyone to experience the Amazon. The wildlife and bird life is abundant. You’ll have a chance to see tapir, giant Amazon River otter, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, soldier storks, macaws, parrots, toucans, etc. This is a spectacular jungle experience – the river itself is an aquarium. It is truly a wild trip that none should miss.
Reservations & Rates
Seasons at Agua Boa Lodge
The best of the Amazon fly fishing season directly correlates to the regions dry season, which varies depending on what side of the Equator the destination is located. Basically you want low water conditions, where the vast majority of the water is in the main river channels, tributaries and oxbow lagoons. For Auga Boa this is usually the case from mid-October through March and sometimes into early April. However, this is Amazonia, the jungle and rain is almost certain, often daily. Occasionally water levels rise even during the historic "dry season". River
levels in this watershed can change quickly and will affect fishing conditions, regardless of the season or historical dry season patterns. Historically, the driest and subsequently lowest water levels of the season are the second half of December through mid-February.
The fishery on the Agua Boa River is in our twenty years of exploration the best we have encountered. It is perfectly suited to fly-fishing. When at normal levels, the water is so clear, that most strikes are visible and a good percentage of your days will be spent sight fishing.
To understand peacock bass, you need to first consider their habitat. Most everything in the Amazon is being eaten, or is in the process of eating something else. As a general rule fish in the Amazon are built tough with razor sharp teeth or brutal strength. This makes for interesting fishing as some fish will cut you off and others will pull you straight into the structure and tangle you up. Peacock bass do not have the razor sharp teeth, but there is not a fish that is tougher in freshwater. They are happy to break rods and the toughest mono trying to get away. Peacock habits vary to a large degree depending on the size of the fish. Small to mid-size peacocks tend to congregate around structure for both food and protection. Large peacocks tend to feel a little more comfortable in not getting eaten by predators. Over time they become bullies and roam the lagoons and river channels in packs. Peacock bass are a pursuit predator, which means that they will keep after their prey until it is either in their belly or on the shore. It is not uncommon to have large peacocks drive shoals of baitfish onto the shore.
Weather & Water:
Water Levels in Brazil are normally in a ten year cycle, most years the lowest water of the year coincides with January, February, March and April. It should be noted though that in a normal ten year cycle there will be weeks, months or even seasons where the water levels don’t drop to the point where sight fishing is possible. During these times the fishing can still be good with catches ranging from 6 fish a day per boat to over 100.
Getting to Agua Boa Lodge
The lodge week at Agua Boa is from Saturday to Saturday. Most US guests will reserve flights to Manaus out of either Miami (American Airlines) or Panama City (Copa Airlines).
Friday – The day before scheduled arrival at lodge:
Arrive at Manaus international airport. Guests will be greeted by our English-speaking Agua Boa representative. They will meet you after you
pass through immigrations, with a sign with your name and Agua Boa Lodge on it. He will arrange for transfers to the hotel that you will have pre-booked in Manaus.
Hotel Information: Manaus Hotel Reservations (to be arranged for and paid by guests).
Arrival at Lodge - Saturday:
Guests will be collected from their hotel about 5.00am and transferred to Manaus airport. There, guest will board the private charter for a 1.5 hour flight to the Lodge.
On arrival guests will be greeted with a champagne reception by our Lodge manager. A full breakfast will be served followed by an orientation and introduction to the Lodge and its surroundings while guest’s luggage is transferred to their accommodation.
Guests can then chose to unpack and relax for the morning, or immediately commence their fishing experience on the Agua Boa. Lunch is taken on the river, followed by an afternoons fishing. All guests will return to the Lodge by 6.00pm, where you will be greeted with a relaxing glass of Caipirinha and have the opportunity to relax in the swimming pool prior to the evening meal which is served at approximately 7.30pm.
Sunday to Friday:
Breakfast is available from 6.00am every morning, and the guides will be ready and waiting to take guests for their days fishing from 7.00am. Lunch is taken on the river, followed by an afternoons fishing and return to the Lodge by 6.00pm. The evening meal is usually served at approximately 7.30 pm.
Departure from Lodge - Saturday:
Breakfast from 6.00 a.m. The return charter flight to Manaus will leave the Lodge at approximately 9.00am, with an estimated arrival time in Manaus of 11.00am. You can depart Manaus on the same day or later in the evening.
On arrival back to Manaus from the lodge the transfer agent will take you either to the international terminal to catch your flight home, or to the hotel you have pre-arranged if you are staying overnight in Manaus.
Lodging at Agua Boa Lodge
Located on the Agua Boa River, an uninhabited tributary of the remote Rio Branco, 200 miles northwest of Manaus, Agua Boa Amazon Lodge was bought by the current owner in early 2007. Already established as a fly fishing location, the current owner has made a great location even better by improving the quality of the service supplied in all aspects of the trip. Our aim is to ensure all staff are prepared to go that extra mile to make every trip a memorable one.
Set in landscaped gardens on the banks of the Agua Boa River, the Lodge House is comfortably furnished and equipped with all modern facilities, including television with English channels, a bar and a games room. Wireless internet access is available, at no additional cost, in both the Lodge House and the individual chalets. Both the Lodge House and the chalets are constructed from local materials and are finished to a high standard. Set right on the banks of the river, a 20 meter swimming pool and pool bar, provide a perfect place to relax after a days fishing.
Breakfast is buffet style, with a choice of hot and cold dishes, breads, pastries, cold meat, fresh fruit and cereals. In addition, fresh fruit juices and coffee are freely available. Lunch may be taken either at the Lodge, where our chef will provide a cooked meal, or a packed lunch can be prepared in the morning for those who prefer to stay on the River all day.
For those taking lunch on the River, all our boats have a cooler on board to keep food fresh, and our guides will ensure that plentiful supplies of cool drinks are available throughout the day. A three course dinner, with wine, is served in the dining room each evening. The main course is a buffet, with a choice of several meat and fish dishes, all freshly prepared by our chef. Throughout the day and evening, snacks and hot and cold drinks are always available.
The six chalets are constructed from local materials and are finished to a high standard. Arranged in a row along the river bank , each with an uninterrupted view of the river and its wildlife, the chalets are all excellently well appointed.
Each of the well furnished air conditioned chalets have two queen beds, a large bathroom with en-suite solar heated shower, dressing room and separate toilet. All chalets are equipped with frigobar, wireless internet access, and have plenty of storage room for even the best packed fishermen. Outside there is a large porch area with a table and chairs.
Electric supply is through standard US sockets and is 110 volt. Chalets are normally shared by two guests, but single occupancy can be booked at additional cost if required. A daily laundry service is provided, at no additional cost, for those guests who prefer to travel light.
Fishing at Agua Boa Lodge
There are three species of peacock bass present on the Agua Boa: the butterfly, spotted and Temensis. They are all great fish for the fly rodder. 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. Butterfly peacocks provide plenty of action between shots at larger fish. The spotted and Temensis peacock bass are both 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 land to escape. If you can get your fly into the action, the results are spectacular: a ferocious take, a blistering run, a jump and or a run into structure are just a few of the possible obstacles you might be confronted with.
The other jungle species are also well worth pursuing. The Arowana look and act 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. Smaller patterns stripped slowly and in short increments seem to be the most successful. Arowana have a jaw similar to tarpon and require a hard strike. They are aerial fighters and good runners. Arowana average 6 -10 lbs, but can reach nearly 15 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. In front of the camp there are pods of hundreds of Pacu rising nightly.
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 and probably one of the most difficult game fish on the planet to land on a fly. They are acrobatic and excellent fighters. It is tough to describe the excitement of seeing a six foot fish and trying to manage a cast to one.
Fly Fishing Techniques:
Fish everything... structure, shoreline, middle of the lagoon etc... Don’t get keyed into just casting at the bank. Also if your partner gets a strike, throw in the same area. Remember these fish are attracted to commotion. The most important tip we can give you is trust your guide’s instincts. Our guides are experienced and will do their best to get you into fish.
A good deal of the fishing on the Agua Boa is sight fishing. Stay alert and be ready to throw at likely targets. In the river in some cases you will be able to see the fish from a good distance…often as much as 50 yards.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• SIGHT FISHING IN GIN-CLEAR WATER FOR PEACOCK BASS:
The waters of Agua Boa, under normal conditions, are crystal clear and offer sight casting to cruising peacock bass as well as the elusive Arowana as they glide across sandy bottomed shallows. Its waters flow out of the “mountains” of northern Brazil, and during the dry season, the river runs low and clear. Once you have fished the crystal clear-waters of the Agua Boa, you will come to realize why this river is so unique and special. If you like to hunt your fish, sight-fish, in clear water for some of the strongest freshwater fish species in the world, then Agua Boa is right for you.
• VARIETY OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF WATER KEEPS IT INTERESTING:
The fishing program at Agua Boa is not just confined to the actual rivers, much of the fishing takes place in the many lagoons and small creeks leading off from the main river channel and also in hidden lakes and ox-bows deep in the rainforest; waters left behind after the rainy season floods. This allows anglers the ability to fish different types of water and no matter what the weather and water conditions; your guide will be able to put you on fish – now that’s peace of mind.
• FLY FISHING ONLY – CATCH & RELEASE FISHERY:
Agua Boa is exclusively a fly fishing destination, with a strict ‘catch and release’ policy, single barbless hooks only. Fishermen at the lodge have taken at least eighteen different species of fish on a fly in the waters of the Agua Boa. A strict fly fishing only, catch a release policy ensures a healthy fishery with excellent populations of a variety of different fish species which makes this destination fishery a favorite for fly anglers looking for multiple fish species catches and a high quality fishing experience.
• YOUR OWN PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE:
Agua Boa Amazon Lodge is a Nature Reserve, located between an ecological park and a national park. The Agua Boa river and its surroundings have an Ecotourism Reserve Status and consists of thick rainforest and savannah and home to the Jaguar, Tapir, Sloth, freshwater (pink) Dolphin, giant Amazon Otter, Capybara and a myriad of other animals, many of which are endangered. The bird life is tremendous, a veritable paradise for birders and provides fantastic photographic opportunities. In any typical square mile botanists have discovered an incredible 3,000 different plant species, 1,500 flowers, 750 species of trees, 400 different bird types, somewhere in the region of 150 different species of butterflies and moths, and approximately 160 kinds of reptiles and amphibians. There is something for everyone at Agua Boat, anglers and non-anglers alike, everyone will be happy!
• WORLD CLASS LODGE COMPLEX:
Agua Boa Lodge is a deluxe facility and the perfect jungle retreat for anglers and non-anglers. The lodge features 24 hour electricity, air conditioning; reliable internet, satellite television, snooker, ping pong, and an extensive library. Guests stay in well-furnished, air-conditioned bungalows with a large front and back porch, with hammock and sitting area. Each room features two double beds, a reading area, frig-o-bar, and table. The bungalows have hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, and enough storage for even the best packed angler. Outside there is a 20 meter swimming pool, bar area and easily accessed hiking trails where knowledgeable guides will provide interruption of the flora a fauna. Meals are delicious, prepared by professional chefs and the three course dinners, with wine, are served in the dining room each evening. Just because you are in the middle of remote Amazonia doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable – Agua Boa is a deluxe destination lodge, perfect for the most demanding guests.