The filming of Rio de Gigantes and the search for Amazon’s giant peacock bass took me to Rio Negro Basin’s Rio Marie in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. Rio Marie is the first river in the Amazon Basin where the Brazilian Government collaborated with local Native Communities (the Baré and Tukano tribes) and Untamed Angling to develop a project protecting the 800 km wildlife preserve, while promoting catch-and-release fly fishing only. This protected area is more than 400 miles of virgin waters full of giant peacock bass. Rio Marié is known to hold at least twice the quantity of trophy-sized peacock bass compared with any other sport fishing destination in the Rio Negro basin.
For anglers, this translates into very real opportunities to hook and release larger-than-average peacocks on the fly. For me, this translates to an unbelievable opportunity to film epic-sized peacock bass in the jungle. I was treated to an incredible stay on Untamed Angling’s floating mothership, which strategically placed us in the prime fishing locations. Together with angler Brian O’Keefe, I met up with Rodrigo Salles who introduced us to the tribes living on Rio Marie. There I met Charlie, Untamed Angling’s first native guide. Charlie guided us through the jungle, showing us the traditional method for catching peacock bass on the fly. It was not easy!
With golf ball-sized bumblebees swarming our hats, and piranhas chasing our flies all in 100 degree heat and 90% humidity…I succeeded in capturing the adventure, history and true quest of fly fishing in the Amazon Rainforest.
I was particularly challenged by the humidity and heat, which threatened to ruin my chances with a drone at all. I used special packets of desiccant to dry out my gear, and finally I was able to fly the drone over the rainforest treetops and along the Rio Marie. The Rio de Gigantes was probably one of the most difficult, yet most vibrant and fulfilling, films I have ever made.
In a place where everything is alive, and one living thing eats another every single chance it gets, I was able to thrive as a filmmaker…one jungle adventure after another. Thanks to Untamed Angling & The Fly Shop for setting up this amazing adventure. Special thanks to the mothership crew and guides, and angler extraordinaire Brian O’Keefe, for making this video possible. For info about booking this unreal chance of a lifetime please contact The Fly Shop.Thank you to the great people of RL Winston Rod Company and Eddie Bauer for the support.