AFloat Fishing in Colombia, South America
Akuani Floating Camp is a floating mobile operation on the Tomo River and its major tributary the Gavilan River targeting three different species of peacock bass:
1.) Temensis: (Cichla temensis)
2.) Butterflies: (Cichla orinocensis)
3.) Royal or Intermedia Peacock Bass: (Cichla intermedia)
The concept behind the floating lodge allows the outfitter the ability to manage the water for optimum fishing by rotating beats over a stretch of 75 mile stretch of river. This flexibility allows for a dynamic angling program.
The Tomo is a diverse fishery with daily shots at large Temensis peacock bass that can hit the 20 pound mark and above. In addition to trophy sized peacocks, the Tomo, its tributary the Gavilan and the endless back bays and lagoons has a very strong population of two other species of fierce, hard hitting and fighting peacocks for anglers that predicate their success on big numbers of daily landed fish. It’s an action packed and exotic jungle angling adventure, in a remote setting, just what we like in a jungle fishery.
The Tomo River is a tributary to the Orinoco River, and played a role in the exploration for peacock bass in South America. Rugged early trips into the jungles of Colombia for peacock bass were executed in the 70’s and 80’s by outfitter Kjell von Sneidern, and his sons Erland and Erik. What they discovered during those ground-breaking, rough-and-tumble expeditions was some absolutely incredible fishing, soon to be sealed into darkness by political instability and battling drug cartels. Wonderfully, the past decades of drug-related violence in the jungle have vanished, the FARC all but eliminated, making it safe once again to fish in this spectacular tropical wilderness.
This experience is an opportunity to live and fish in a true jungle wilderness. Your camp will be located on a long white sandbar in a jungle, with the sounds of parrots filtering down through the trees at dawn. For a week your small group of anglers will have this world class fishery all to yourselves, guided by local guides. It’s not uncommon to observe howler monkeys, capybaras, tapirs, and if you are lucky an anaconda or a jaguar. You can fish popping bugs for butterfly peacocks, cast to schools of baitfish being destroyed by hungry giant peacocks, and then dine on a delicious meal for dinner. We guarantee that you will never forget your journey to fish the Tomo River, and the wilderness that surrounds it.
Your trip to Tomo River is well designed and orchestrated and begins with an overnight in the fascinating city of Medellin. Medellin is he Capital of Antioquia province, a fertile region famous for its coffee plantations and its flower farms, for its orchids and butterflies, it is known as the City of Eternal Spring for its idyllic climate. The next morning, from Medellin, you will fly in a private charter to La Primavera, Vichada followed by a four hour drive in air-conditioned 4-wheel-drive trucks to the river. The trucks are well stocked with water, soft drinks, beer and a full lunch for the drive. Upon arrival at river your guides will be waiting with skiffs for the final water transfer to the floating camp.
Accommodations are simple, yet comfortable, featuring floating cabins shared by two anglers. Each cabin features a flush toilet, cool water shower, and oscillating fans over each bed.
This is a true wilderness fishing camp, far off the beaten path, perfect for those anglers looking for an all-inclusive peacock bass fishing adventure, at a very reasonable price.
While there are a number of world-class peacock bass rivers in Colombia, the Tomo is particularly intriguing due to its angling history, small size, and that access to the river is strictly and completely controlled by the indigenous people who live there. The angling window is short, coinciding with the dry season and low water flows – December through early April. Because the local people are very protective of their fishery, and the fishing season being so short, the river is rested for at least 7 – 8 months each year with no anglers being allowed on the river at all. It is to their credit that the well-being of this fishery comes first to them; because of this they strictly enforce a single, barbless hook only rule, and gently release these magnificent creatures back into their river and lagoons.
The Colombian Peacock Bass fishing experience is an opportunity to live and fish in a true jungle wilderness. Your camp will be located on a long white sandbar in a roadless jungle, with the sounds of parrots filtering down through the trees at dawn. For a week your small group of anglers will have this world class fishery all to yourselves, guided by the only people who live there. In our trips here we have observed a sloth swimming in the river, pink freshwater dolphins, huge river otters, and watched caiman slide into the water as we fished. You can fish popping bugs for butterfly peacocks, cast to schools of baitfish being destroyed by hungry giant peacocks, and then dine on Paraná soup for dinner. We guarantee that you will never forget your journey to fish the Tomo River, and the wilderness that surrounds it.
Reservations & Rates
Akuani Floating Camp USD $4,500 + USD $400 (Native Community Fee)
2 Hotel nights in Medellin, Colombia | All ground shuttles | Private charter flight from Medellin to fishing destination | Ground transportation at fishing destinations | Fully equipped room in floating camp (two single beds, electricity, bathroom, fans) | 6 Full Day’s Fishing | 3 Full Meals a day and unlimited snacks | Unlimited soft drinks and beer | Fishing License
International airfare | Additional hotel nights in Medellin, Colombia | Meals and other activities while in Medellin | Spirits/Wine | Gratuities for guides, camp and hotel staff | Personal items | Prescription medications | Fishing gear | Global Rescue (required) | Travel Insurance (optional)
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at AFloat
The angling window is short, coinciding with the dry season and low water flows – December through early April. La Primavera in Vichada has a tropical monsoon climate with heavy rainfall from April to November and little to very little rain from December to March.
This is a strictly enforced catch and release, single, barbless hook only fishery.
Getting to AFloat
Day 1 – Friday Arrive Medellín, Colombia at Jose María Córdoba International Airport. An Afloat representatives will meet your flight and drive you to the Hotel Diez in Medellín, which is one of the best in the city and within walking distance of some fine restaurants, cafes and bars in the area. You'll have the chance to enjoy a night full of Colombian culture, food and wonderful people.
Day 2 – Saturday
Morning pick-up at the hotel and transfer to Medellin's domestic airport, for your private charter to Primavera in Vichada, a one hour and thirty minute flight, where 4-wheel trucks will be waiting for a 4 hour ride to the Tomo River. During the ride you will have lunch, snack, soft drinks and beer available.
Upon arrival at the landing site, guides and lodge staff will be waiting riverside to whisk you to the floating camp. You will be received with cold drinks, appetizers and shown to your cabin to unpack and get organized. Cocktail hour is in the evening an accompanied by a complete camp and fishing program orientation, followed by a delicious dinner
Day 3/8 – Sunday to Friday
Six full fishing days! Each day is different with a wide range of fishing experiences on two rivers, the Tomo River and the Gavilan River.
Day 9 – Saturday
6:00 AM scheduled departure from camp to meet vehicle transportation back to Primavera in Vichada to meet your private charter, an afloat representative will be waiting for you at the Medellín domestic airport to transport you to your hotel.
Day 10 – Sunday Depending on your scheduled international flight, an Afloat representative will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to the Jose María Córdoba International Airport for your return flight back home.
Each evening your host will meet with you for appetizers and dinner, and discuss the fishing plan for the following day. Anglers typically take turns fishing upstream or down each day, leapfrogging the other boats to fish rested water.
Morning coffee will be ready at 6:30 AM in the dining tent, with breakfast served at 7:00 AM. Your river guides will be waiting in their boats with your lunch and a cooler filled with ice and drinks. You’ll finish breakfast, load two anglers per boat, and depart for your day. Lunch is taken in the shade of the jungle canopy, along with a short break from the fishing. You’ll be fishing from aluminum, shallow-draft fishing skiffs powered by 30 horse powered outboard motors. Each skiff also has an electric trolling motor to silently navigate the fishing waters along with forward and aft casting platforms. The boats are large enough to allow both anglers to fish at once, and the fishing is a mixture of blind-casting to structure, and sight-casting to “floaters” suspended just beneath the water’s surface. Typical Day
• 6:30 AM – Coffee is hot and waiting
• 7:00 AM – Breakfast is served
• 7:30 AM – Gear up, load the boats, and go fishing
• Mid-day – Shore lunch in the shade on the river bank. Enjoy lunch, relax, and take a swim to cool off if desired. You’ll fish all afternoon, returning to camp around 6:00 PM
• 6:30 PM – Cold beverages and appetizers. Plan the next day’s fishing
• 7:00 – 8:00 PM – Dinners will be served in the open-air dining tent or on the beach
Lodging at AFloat
The Akuani Floating Camp, is a remote floating camp featuring five double occupancy cabins, and although the cabins are certainly comfortable, well equipped and efficient given the operating environment, they are not deluxe. Each cabin accommodates two guests and are not air conditioned, but do have individual oscillating fans over each bed that run during night. The cabin’s open air design allows for plenty of air circulation. In addition, each cabin features a flush toilet, as well as a cold shower, sink and vanity.
Each season, the Afloat Teams tows the flotilla of cabins up the Tomo River, and locate it on a large sand bar that is strategically located to access the fishery quickly and efficiently.
Meals are simple and hearty, prepared by a talented staff, and served riverside in an outdoor dining tent. Lunch is usually taken on the fly, although for those fishing within close proximity, can return to the mobile camp for a sit down lunch which allows for a proper siesta, only to head back in the afternoon or evening for more fishing. Expect full days of fishing, although each day can be tailored to meet each pair of anglers wants and needs.
Fishing at AFloat
The fishing program focuses on the Tomo River and its major tributary the Gavilan River targeting three different species of peacock bass – Temensis: (Cichla temensis), Butterflies: (Cichla orinocensis) and Royal or Intermedia Peacock Bass: (Cichla intermedia). Teminsis peacock bass are the big boys and can grow to 20 plus pounds. They love to pound big baitfish flies as well as aggressively striped poppers. Big Temnsis are very territorial and fierce protectors of their breeding nests and usually, if you find and hook one, another, (its mate) is not too far away. This is down and dirty fishing, where the main objective, after hooking a monster, is to keep him out structure. Targeting trophy-sized peacocks is not a numbers game, but the rewards are substantial and measured in pounds!
Perfectly pairing with hunting big peacocks is targeting the large numbers of Butterfly and Royal peacocks. These fish like to gather in schools and are ferocious feeders and very aggressive. Anglers can expect to catch these two species in high numbers both with subsurface and surface flies aggressively fished over shallow water sholes, sand flats and lagunas.
Each morning pairs of anglers, accompanied by a seasoned guide, depart the front deck of their floating cabins in skiffs and travel varying distance to the fishing grounds. Some days the fishing is within close proximity of the lodge, while on other days, you may travel a substantial distance to explore remote locations. The boat rides are an exciting part of this jungle adventure and highlighted by sightings of a variety of wildlife.
The fishing program incorporates two distinct fisheries the Tomo River and its tributary the Gavilan. The Tomo is a large river, with a ton of varied water to fish and explore, including cutbanks, underwater structure, sand flats and shoals as well as oxbow lagoons. Some of these lagoons and oxbow lakes are accessed by a short hike along a well-established trail, to a hidden lodge skiff
Downstream of the camp is where the Gavilan tributary joins the Tomo, and skiffs will turn upstream to explore and fish its clear waters. This is where the majority of sight fishing takes place and is not to be missed.
Please note, that fly fishing for peacock bass, anywhere they call home, is casting intensive. The idea is to cover as much water as you can, casting to likely holding spots such as rock gardens, heavily brushed banks, sunken trees as well as open water shoals, drop offs and flats. The more water you cover the more fish you are going to shake hands with. We have found that tropical-tapered-intermediate clear tipped fly lines work great for streamer fishing while tropical-tapered floating lines for popper fishing work well. Be prepared and bring two rods, so you can easily adjust to varying fishing conditions.
The Akuani Float Camp, outfitted by Afloat is a first-rate peacock bass fishery allowing anglers a terrific cross section of high volume fishing along with a daily chance of landing a true monster fish in 15-pound or larger. What it may lack in creature comforts in a land-based operation is more than made up in its ability to stay within easy and short distance from high-quality fishing in a remote environment true jungle fishing enthusiasts will value and appreciate. Additionally, this high-quality adventure is very affordable and a terrific value in the world of peacock bass fishing.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
LARGE & PLENTIFUL PEACOCK
The Tomo River and its major tributary the Gavilan, boast excellent numbers of large peacock bass (Temensis) as well as a very healthy population of two smaller species, (Butterflies and Royal/Intermedia). This gives fly anglers the best of both worlds, high catch volume fishing as well as a chance at a peacock bass of a lifetime.
OVER 75 MILES OF PRIVATE WATER TO FISH AND EXPLORE You’ll have access to 75 miles of river to fish, not including the infinite number of lagoons, back bays, oxbow lakes which results in happy and unpressured fish, that hammer big streamer flies with abandon. More water, rested water, rested fish, happy fish – fish that eat.
AN EXPERIENCED OUFITTER Your outfitter, Afloat, is an experienced and recognized outfitter in Colombia and the world of sportfishing in South America. These folks are pros with years of operating experience in the remote areas; you are in very capable hands. The management and staff will take care of all the logistics, support and mechanics of the trip, all you have to do is fish as hard as you can and enjoy the experience.
A CULTURAL & JUNGLE EXPERIENCE For those anglers looking to fish and experience a remote and wild destination, far off the beaten path, then Eastern Colombia definitely qualifies. The Llanos lowlands of Colombia are wild, crisscrossed by hundreds of waterways and inhabited by exotic and rare mammals of the grassland and savanna. For a fly fishing naturalist, this destination is will check all your boxes.
GIVING BACK TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND INDIGENOUS NATIVES Afloat partner with local Indigenous Indians and the Colombia Government in an effort to promote conservation, sustainability and culture. Your dollars help the local native people by providing funding for health care and access to education. A portion of your dollars are making a difference in native’s life and the understanding and conservation of Eastern Colombia Llanos lowlands.