RENOWNED Toowoomba fisherman Peter Taylor has fished some of the tops spots around the world but few more demanding than his last trek on the famous Amazon River in Brazil.
Mr Taylor joined an international crew of two Australians, three Americans, a Frenchman and an Italian for the two-week trip to one of the most remote areas of South America in the very north of Brazil just 100km from the Equator.
aIt took us three days to get there and three days to get back,a Mr Taylor explained.
aWe flew from Sydney to Dallas, down to Miami where we stayed overnight, then a 6hr flight to Manaus in Brazil where we stayed another night.
aThen we boarded a single engine plane for a two-hour flight over the Amazon jungle to near our camp where we landed on a grass airstrip cut out of the thick jungle next to the river.
aWhen we were landing the pilot had to do two runs to make sure there was no wildlife on the runway before we could land.a
Alighting from the plane, the group encountered its first hurdle a the 40-plus degree heat, 100% humidity and insects.
aThe insects are bad in the jungle,a Mr Taylor said.
aTheyare like sandflies, the locals call them a[approximately]canat see aema and you have to put plenty of repellent on.
aWe then boarded the 18ft (5.4m) punts for a 1A1/2-hour trip up the river to our camp which gave us an idea of just how big the river system is and helped us acclimatise to the very hot conditions but we didnat see another boat.a
The group was housed in two-man floating huts linked together and towed along the river by the head vessel which housed the 10 or 12 Indian guides on the trip.
The fishermen rose each day at 5am for breakfast before heading out to fish at 6am.
aWe fished on four 18ft (5.4m) aluminium punts with two to a punt and an Indian guide to drive,a Mr Taylor said.
aThe Amazon is such a huge river with all manner of fish including piranha but we were mainly chasing peacock bass, a beautifully coloured fish and good eating.
aThe piranha is very good eating too, nice white flesh.a
Due to the heat, the visiting fishermen would fish for a few hours before retreating to the bank about 11.30am where the guides had set up a rest camp complete with hammocks under shady trees for the group to rest and enjoy lunch before heading out onto the river again about 2pm.
aIt was all catch and release fishing and wead only keep enough fish for us to eat.
aThey (guides) would just make a fire on the bank, fillet the fish and cook it over the fire.a
The fishing itself was a far cry from that on Cressbrook or Cooby dams. …