The priority fly fishing for peacock, payara or picuda is to be comfortable with your gear because the majority of fishing is blindfishing, meaning a lot of casts !
Choose whatever suits you the best from an 8 to 12wt fly fishing rod. The best is to have 2 rods, 1 medium action rod with an intermediate line, one fast action rod with floating and sinking line. Two 9/10 wt rods with different actions makes a perfect all-purpose combo.
We strongly recommend you to have a spare fly rod in case of jungle stress and other fishing incident. #didyouseethatmonster
Reels don't need to hold a lot of backing, 60 m is fine, because peacocks don't make long runs, but a smooth, strong drag is essential. Make sure that your fly line is coated Tropical, otherwise your regular line will end in a tangled mess and it will turn your fishing day into a nightmare (#beentheredonethat)..
Beginners and those who don’t feel very comfortable technically can relax. Usually you will not need to cast very far, and even if the fly ends up with a splash it may still be followed by an explosive take!
Tippet doesn’t need to be very sophisticated as peacocks aren’t that shy. 6ft (2m) of fluorocarbon 50/40lbs - eventually with a 70lbs shockleader - makes the job. Take a lot of leader material, because of the abrasive teeth of amazonian fish species.
Fly fishing for peacocks is extremely productive, but can be exhausting if you're not used to blind casting (and strip) a heavy-weight fly rod all day long at100°F in the jungle
Popper, deceiver, minnow, zonker and all models for pike, largemouth bass flies could work if they are tied on a strong hook 5/0 (or circle hook) with good abundance of tinsel in the following color combinations: grey / white, red / white, olive / white, black / purple, pink / purple, fuschia / green, blue / white and of course green / yellow (with the addition of black stripes). And why not make a buzz with a fat mouse or a frog fly?
If you travel only with a floating line, be sure that your fly box has minimum 15 streamers tied with dumbell heads.
All lures must be armed with simple hooks.
First because it is the rule in the Colombian Natural Parks also for the sake of equity and preservation, the safety of the fish and the fisherman too!
(Peacock Bass - Payara - Picuda)
If you can take only one rod, choose a MH heavy medium rod 10-28g with fast action.
The ideal combination is 2 more rods to fit all patterns :
1 Medium rod 1/4 - 3/4 oz. (6 / 22g) for light topwater, minnows and jerkbaits.
1 Heavy rod 3 / 4-2 oz. (20-80g) for torpedo lures, sliders, large softbaits and spinnerbaits.
Robust Reel with high-speed retrieve ratios and decent break.
30/65 lbs braid - tippet 50/80lbs fluorocarbon
If your crazy dream is to hug one of those huge Bagre, the Colombian catfish, which can weigh more than 100lbs, get a 50 / 60lbs spinning rod and a good reel with 80lbs braid.
Popper, stickbait, walking the dog, propeller bait, frog or mouse imitation, lightweight softbait…
Take a variety of lures that can explore to depths of 1 to 12 feet.Minnow, jerkbait, swimbait, spinnerbait, slider, lipless, jigs ...
Softbaits are extremly effective among many fish species of the Amazonian basins, maybe a little too effective, as piranhas, vampire fish, tiger fish love them and swallow them whole without getting hooked in the process ! #whereisthetail Unfortunately their effectiveness is matched also by their weight; they weigh down your suitcase and then don’t last long, but they do catch a lot of fish ! Our tip : we suggest you to take the longest Jerkbait (like Fluke) and privilege hardbaits, as they survive longer !
As all sizes of fish are present in the two Colombian oceans, the range of equipment that you carry might be vast if there was no drastic weight restrictions on Colombian national flights !
Depending on the fish targetted, choose your weapons wisely. Fish are fast and furious in Colombian oceans so make sure it is proper saltwater gear.
If you carry one rod, grab a 50/60 lbs spinning rod for medium tuna, red snapper - cubera, rooster fish, sailfish...
You can add a 60lbs jigging rod, and a 100 lbs spinning rod, if you target larger fish.
Reel Shimano Stella 10000/18000 or Daiwa Saltiga 5000 / 8000H
Popper (River2Sea Dumbbell, Splasher Sebile, Sert Dumble ...), Jig 60g/200 g (Williamson Vortex, Smith Gamasa ...), Stickbait (Sebile Shad ...).
Tippet 60, 100, 150 and 250lbs. Rings 9mm to 11mm.
We strongly recommend you arm ALL your lures with single hooks such as Inline BKK Lone Diablo, VMC 7266 or Mustad Kaiju.
10wt rod for small tuna, snook…
12wt for sailfish, rooster fish, amberjack, GT, medium tuna …
The largest arbor fly reel possible with very good and smooth drag with at least 170 yds of backing - or 300 meters of 80lb braid. Bring two spools for your reel one with floating line and sinking tip, the other with sinking line.
Tippet 60, 100, 150 and 250lbs. Rings 9mm to 11mm.
Flies : popper, deceiver, clouser minnow, surf candy ...
(colors white / green, blue / tinsel, anthracite / white …).
Essentials of the trip
Long-sleeved t-shirt / Hat or cap / Water shoes / Lightweight QuickDry Trousers or Shorts + Leggings / Rain jacket / Fishing gloves / Fishing pliers / Clippers / Waterproof bag (for smartphone, camera) / Polarized Sunglasses with safety cord / Reel lubricant / Multi tools (Leatherman) / Hook sharpener / Tape measure / Scale / First aid box / Sunscreen / Water resistant bug repellent / Mosquito headnet.
Striping basket (Optional)
For the camp
Head lamp / Toilet set / Portable solar charger / Half-length Socks / Books, Reading tablet …
The staff offers daily laundry service, so no need to bring a lot of clothing.
For the trip
Passport and Photocopy / Casual travel clothes / International travel tickets / Personal Travel Insurance