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Agua Boa River 2/1-9/2020: Days 3 and 4

By Scott Heywood


On our second full day, Doug Jeffries and I were away from the dock at 7:15 am. In the cool of dawn, we motored with our guide Preto to the furthest beat upriver. This trip took over an hour and a half, but the time was well spent. Doug and I whiled away the day catching fish, watching birds and goofing off with Preto who we have known since our days on the houseboat on the upper Agua Boa some 15 years ago. On this day, we caught so many fish, Doug and I instituted a rule: The guy on the deck could catch 3 small (which included borboletas or butterfly bass up to 6-7 lbs) or one big peacock (anything over 8 lbs) before stepping down. We changed often. As the day wore on, the angler not fishing often said "one more" when said quota was reached or the angler fishing often relinquished the deck early... these are the signs of a very good day.

Preto and Doug with a hefty peacock.

Wolfish... keep your fingers away from that maw.

Preto wore his peacock camouflage shirt


If you feel you are being watched it is because you are!

As the afternoon wore on and the equatorial heat began to slowly bleed out of the day, Preto turned our skiff downriver and pointed our bow towards home. Doug and I stowed gear, cracked a beer and clinked cans. Everyone arrived at the dock at the end of the day with smiles on their faces. Just another great day on the Agua Boa!

DAY 4: After a beautiful clear night, Anna Riggs and I headed downriver the following morning with our guide Bacaba. Early morning mists were quickly burned off by the sun and soon Bacaba throttled down as we pulled into shore. Under the canopy, a small stream could be seen swiftly draining water from some unseen lagoon upriver. We hopped out and started to walk as Bacaba pushed and poled the boat upstream. Bacaba said, "Slow going up, fast coming out."  

We were in no hurry. The stream was beautiful. Clear water ran over fine sand. Toucans and howler monkeys could be heard off in the diatance. Fallen blossoms swirled in the eddies. Tapir and otter tracks lined the banks. As Bacaba poled the boat, Anna and I walked and waded upriver. Eventually we reached a lovely lagoon. As we stepped out from under the canaopy, heron and Muscove ducks scattered. Today would be a good day!

  Sun bittern


Anna caught a beautiful big peacock to start off our day. As the day wore on, we caught lots of 8-12 lb. and a few pushing 14 lbs. In one lagoon, we saw some arapaima rolling in the afternoon and burned a couple exciting, if futile, hours pursuing these giant creatures. Eventually we gave up on the arapaima and caught a few more large tucanare' peacocks and a couple hefty paca peacocks to finish out our day. We even managed a few tawa peacocks. The rare peacocks are smaller, brigtly colored and unique. A beautiful fish to see.

  Tawa peacock

       The tail of a tucanare' peacock

 Alice Ellis and Scott Sawtelle enjoy the ride home after their day on the river.

Our 4th day was just wonderful. We saw a beautiful lagoon system revealed by a journey up a magical small stream. We caught some great fish and saw a lot of wildlife. We even got some shots at the legendary arapaima! A terrific day and my thanks go to Anna and Bacaba!