When we begin to plan a fishing trip, we immediately start to dream about the fish that we will catch, their sizes, the action on the water, the nights with friends and the stories that will be told (some true, others not so much). Most of us will look forward to these days as they can magically pull us away from our routines and our problems (who does not have them?); such days have the power to bring us closer to our adventurous selves, and make us feel better about everything, for a long while.
Some of us will also think about the adventure to get to the fishing locations, about the excitement to see a different landscape and meet local people. For these people, the trip starts when all gear is packed and they are ready to go. The journey is a great part of the experience for these anglers, the fishing is an extra benefit.
Finally, there will be a smaller group that will take a more holistic view of the trip. These anglers will be equally eager to experience the local culture; to try all the different food and beverages that one is able to; they will show genuine interest about how local people live, will respect the different habits and costumes, will attentively observe the variety in the local fauna and flora, and will appreciate the opportunity to have been exposed to such an experience. For these people, the trip starts in the planning phase; they will look for locations that are exciting, and different, and they will try to educate themselves about all aspects of the trip.
With all that being said, I strongly believe that a fishing trip is, and should be, much more than just about the fishing!
This is how I see a fishing trip to the Brazilian Amazon; above it all, it is such a wild adventure!
Follow my line of thought for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine yourself fishing trophy Peacock bass and so many other different species of fish that are not even present in other parts of the world. Imagine landing in a country where the language is Portuguese, so different from English or even from the Spanish spoken in the neighbor countries. Imagine navigating in a comfortable Yacht for a full day, deep inside the tropical forest, just to get to the right fishing location; while observing flocks of birds only seen in movies or in the zoo, and eventually sightseeing the unique pink river dolphin alongside the boat. Picture yourself with a fishing buddy, going out for 5 days, catching the fish of your life (possibly missing some of them too), and gathering at the deck of the Yacht at night, over glasses of cold beer, "caipirinhas" or fresh tropical fruit juices, to tell and hear fishing stories. Think about all the different and delicious fruits that you probably have never heard of and that will be available to you, start drooling with the thought of having fantastic meals from the local cuisine, with an indigenous touch, that you can only get in the Amazon (I hope I can soon write more about that northern cuisine!) . All that is part of the full experience. A fishing trip to the Amazon is something that will be remembered forever, and that you will likely want to repeat once in a while.
If you have ever fished in the Amazon, let me know your impressions.