Again, I apologize. This post is not about Cuba!!! I cannot refrain from sharing great trips to other parts of the world, and this is one of those. I just returned from a week in the Brazilian jungle with a great group of guys from across the US. This was my first trip to the Amazon, and based on the experience, it will not be my last.
Agua Boa is one of the most respected fishing lodges in all of South America. Guests fly to the lodge from Manuas in a private charter and land directly at the lodge's airstrip after about 2 hours of flying over the jungle. The lodge can accommodate up to 12 guests, in very comfortable cabins all with their own bathroom and shower. The lodge facilities are amazing given where you are ultimately at, and include a freshwater swimming pool, game room, and sitting room with satellite TV. Carlos, the manager, along with Matt Ramsey who hosts at the lodge for part of the season could not have been more accommodating and attentive to our group.
Auga Boa is a Peacock Bass fishery. Yes, there are other species of fish here, but 95% of what anglers catch are the three species of Peacocks that inhabit the river, lagoons, and lakes isolated during the dry season. Most boats in our group caught bass over 10 pounds every day of the trip, with the biggest reported at around 14 pounds. The fishing changes dramatically here, according to the lodge, throughout the season. The river itself can recede as much as 15' from the high water at the beginning of the season, to the very low water of the late dry season, which is what we experienced. There are advantages to each. Higher water means that the fish are less spooky, feeling comfortable in the deeper darker water. In low water, there is more sight fishing, but of course the fish are able to see boats, fly lines, and poor casts!!
For me, the best aspect of this trip was the isolation and incredibly intact environment. We did not see another person during our entire week, that was not part of the lodge. And it dawned on me after day 3 or 4, that I had not seen a single piece of garbage on the river.....not a plastic bag or bottle in sight! Furthermore, the wildlife was amazing. I was not prepared for the abundance, and size of the Black Caimans that we encountered, some of which neared 15'. The group also saw several Tapirs, an incredible diversity of wading birds including huge Wood Storks, several species of monkeys, Amazonian River Otters, and freshwater dolphins. The lodge reported that for the past several weeks each group had seen at least one jaguar.
Stay tuned. I will be returning to the jungle and may invite you to join me!