Ecolodge of Brazil - Part 1
The second part of my Brail 2016 took me to the “Ecolodge of Brazil,” located in the southern Amazon. This is technically located in the southern Amazon, about a 2.5-hour flight southeast of Manaus. The rivers in the area are tributaries of the Amazon River and are considered “clear water” as opposed to the “dark water” of the Rio Negro and it’s tributaries. The draw of this region is the diversity of species and abundant fish numbers that are readily accessible from the Ecolodge.
As with most things foreign (except for New Zealand & Canada), the names of the rivers and areas we fished are well beyond my enunciation skills. I can describe them as massive waterways with a variety of structure including bedrock shoals, classic riffles, long glides, sandbar flats, with side-channels, oxbows, backwaters, etc. By massive, I mean nearly a mile across in places and at least a half-mile in width everywhere. I have never seen so much moving water in my life.
The Ecolodge is located at the junction of the Teles Pires & the Juruena rivers, which becomes the Tapajós River. Access is by charter flight from Manaus to a landing strip in the community of Sao Manuel. The Ecolodge is a short boat ride from the landing strip and is a fully self-contained, floating hotel on the Tapajós River.
The lodge has 12 rooms on the second floor and a large bar/restaurant area on the main floor. The rooms are large, sleep two, feature ensuite bathrooms, outside decks, and individual AC units. Daily room and laundry service makes it easy to pack light with just fishing-focused apparel. The meals were hearty and flavorful, served in a buffet style.
I particularly liked the large size of the rooms, which enabled me to get all my gear spread out and sorted at the beginning and end of each day. When looking at spending 5-7 days out in the middle of nowhere, it’s hard to beat the comfort and amenities afforded by the Ecoldoge.
Sure, the place was nice, but I was there for the fishing. The fishing ended up being some of the most enjoyable of my angling life with a new species and new situation to be found, literally around every corner. Sight fishing to Peacocks, Arwana, Becuda, Brekken, Pacu to be followed by swinging streamers for Payara was all-new to me.
The wildlife and sights here were remarkable when compared to that along the Rio Marie. We saw scores of different types of birds, freshwater porpoises everywhere, otters, Cayman, and a Jaguar was even spotted by some other guests while I was there. The jungle is thick and vast, with some changes in topography that gives the landscape depth and vastness beyond my abilities to capture with a camera.
It took a day or two just to take it all in upon my arrival as the size of the area that we fished was enormous. I spend most of the first couple of days trying to find something familiar to give me a sense of scale. After a few days, I started to feel like I knew where I was relative to the lodge…it was however far away an hour or two upstream of the lodge going at about 22 MPH. Things started to feel familiar when I realized that I could find my way back as long as I headed down river and stayed on “river-left.”
In terms of having a ton of water to fish in a beautiful and remote jungle setting, the Ecolodge would get 5 out of 5 stars in my book. The lodge is incredibly comfortable and staffed with very gracious folks (limited English) that just want to make sure that you are enjoying yourself and comfortable. The fishing was great, diverse, challenging, and for me…incredibly entertaining. I’ll go into more details about the fishing in future posts, later in the week!