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Brazil: Uacari, Amazon, October 2021

One of the largest freshwater fish is the Arapaima. It can weigh up to 400 pounds and lives in the Amazon region. Probably the best place to fly fish for big Arapaima is Pirarucú in Brazil.

I had planned for a long time to fish there and to shoot a video . In October 2021, the dream finally came true.

How to fish for arapaima? The flies should be big streamers with a lot of water displacement. Streamers with a length of 20-25 cm. I personally found that the color of the streamers didn't matter. While Jako and the others caught most of their fish with black ones, I caught mine with light colored flies. Most of the bites came in deep water, so we fished with sinking lines. The fact that we were constantly surrounded by arapaima fuelled our ambition.

Facts on the Arapaima

This fish can weigh 20 kilos during its first year of life in the Mamirauá area. Adult fish are about 150 cm long and weigh between 35 and 40 kilos. A fish of two meters is only about six years old! The population of Arapaima in Mamiraruá is just incredible. During the low water months from August to December, fish of different sizes live in the area. The largest Arapaima recorded by biologists in the reserve was 290 cm long and weighing 173 kg. The biggest fish landed on a fly rod was 249 cm long.

Sometimes, we had to cast a lot. When the bite comes, you suddenly feel the pressure and the pull, as if you had a tree trunk on the hook.

The next moment everything starts to move and anything can happen. Anything is possible from extremely fast escapes far into the backcountry, to hard hits on the rod, to jumping out of the water with extreme head shaking.

The four of us had a very successful four days with 22 Arapaimas, seven of which were over two meters. Each fish was a new adventure. Vaidas, who was always in action with his camera, was able to capture a lot of material for a great film. The film was selected by the Rise Film Festival 2022 and will be released soon.

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