Tactics and TackleThe Agua Boa river has seen some 20 different species of fish caught on the fly and identified, with the different species of Peacock Bass being the prime quarry for the majority of the guests visiting the Agua Boa Amazon Lodge. These range in size from the Butterfly Peacock (Cichla ocellaris) with an average size of 3 to 5 lbs up to the giant Tucanare Peacock Bass (Cichla temensis)of 23 lbs plus.
The most commonly used rod on the Agua Boa river is an 8 or 9 weight. Your lines should be those designed for the tropics’ high temperatures such as the top quality Rio SW Clouser Tropical Taper, Tropical Outbound Short floating lines and for the sinking a 200 or 300 grain Deep Sea Sink Tip. Leaders should also be those designed for the tropical temperatures, we recommend the Rio 44lb and 33lb Hard Saltwater mono. Flies in the sizes 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, and 4/0, of the large streamer/lure style are the most productive, such as Deceivers, Whistlers, etc with large bead-chain eyes, dumbbell eyes etc. or stick on eyes. For fishing with a floating line, poppers such as Waller Pearly Poppers, Big Boy Trevally Poppers, etc. can produce spectacular top water takes!
Fly Fishing TechniqueFish 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. If you order them around, your fishing will probably suffer. That is not to say that if you are curious about an area, that suggestions aren’t welcome. We divide the river into beats so that anglers do not see anyone else during their day. Guides and beats are rotated daily so that you get a chance to see the entire river. Please remember that we have over a hundred miles of fishable river.
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. Remember that this is not dry fly fishing…just get a cast to the fish with minimal false casts and get the fly moving.
Sighted river fish can be spooky and certainly will see you if you false cast too much. If they are feeding, it is a different story. It is better to throw a fast cast than a perfect cast with twenty back casts. Peacocks on the feed are a sight to behold. They will run up onto shore and even bump into the boat in their pursuit of baitfish.
We suggest that you rig two rods. Set one up with a sinking line and a big fish fly and the other with a floating line and a 3-5 inch deceiver type pattern. Strip rapidly in medium length (say 6-10 inches per strip) and focus less on the speed of the strip than on keeping the slack out of the line between strips and keeping your rod tip pointed at the fish and low to the water. Strip at a comfortable yet rapid pace until you either see the fish eat or feel the fish hit. Keep a sharp hook, hit them hard, strip down and hit them again…then hang on tight and enjoy!!!
When you have hooked a big peacock, don’t try to muscle him or you will lose your fish, break your tip and/or rod. Once hooked, be sure to let large and small peacocks run. Remember to let your drag do the work. With peacocks you will want to be sure to keep your fingers away from the reel handle on any run. If you forget, bruised knuckles will help you remember on future fish.
Peacocks usually make unstoppable runs. When they stop, apply heavy pressure. When a peacock takes off, you must let him run. Don’t worry about the fish getting wrapped up in cover. If you think you can keep him away from it by applying pressure late in the fight that is fine. Once they get into cover, give the fish slack, and let your guide help get the fish out with the boat. Many times the fish will swim back in the direction it came and get you untangled. In a worst case scenario, your guide may swim underwater to untangle the fish.
Agua Boa Lodge Fly ShopOur Lodge Fly Shop has a good selection of top quality flies, Rio fly lines and leaders for sale. For those losing the battle between their rod and one of the giant Tucanare’s, we also have a small selection of quality Sage rods for sale or rent. If you would like to talk to someone before you leave on your trip, we have experts at Sweetwater Fly Shop who have spent a great deal of time at the Agua Boa and can assist you in all of your tackle preparations. Please call Marya, Dave, or Charlie at Sweetwater Fly Shop with questions. They can be reached at 406-222-9393.
The majority of guests stay at the Lodge on a double occupancy basis and will fish two people per boat with a guide. With both guests fishing you can cover a lot of fish, and double takes at any one time being not uncommon. Don’t be surprised if you see a large Tuncanare come after the 3 lb Butterfly Peacock you have on the line. This is a great opportunity for your fishing partner to cast at the marauding Tuncanare! Fish are not only found by the river or lagoon banks, so don’t disregard any area as you may be pleasantly surprised.
Whether fishing the river itself or one of the many lagoons, the best advice as to the tactics and flies to use is to listen to the guides. They have many years of knowledge in guiding on the Agua Boa river, and know where the fish are!
Agua Boa BoatsThe fleet of motorized 18 foot aluminum skiffs with poling platforms and new fishing support rails are ideally suited for fishing the Agua Boa river, its tributaries and lagoons. The jet motors being invaluable in those perfect low water sight casting conditions.
Double occupancy guests will fish two fishermen per boat, whereas single occupancy guests have a boat to themselves. All boats are in radio contact with the Lodge, and with life jackets supplied for our guests safety.
If you require additional information on tactics and tackle just contact your agent of ask one of our experts.