The Rio Marié is scientifically proven to hold larger peacock bass than any other fishery . . . by far. Studies have shown that the Rio Marié holds double the population of big fish compared to other rivers in the Amazon. The unbelievable size and numbers of fish certainly make this fishery special, but they are not the only thing. Rio Marié is remote, pristine, and has 500 miles of fishable water with exclusive, fly fishing-only access. The program’s home base is a mobile, luxurious, technologically-advanced yacht that enables the operation to fish the entire watershed, which effectively manages water level fluctuations (unlike many other peacock bass destinations) and keeps fishing pressure nonexistent.
Untamed Angling’s proven experience developing fly fishing operations deep inside virgin jungle areas, complete with high-end services and refined fishing techniques, is not only refreshingly new to the current Amazon scene, it is revolutionizing the way refined traveling anglers look at an Amazonian angling experience. Local peoples have long referred to the Marié as the “Rio de Gigantes” (“River of Giants”), but it was only recently “discovered” by the international angling community as the best peacock bass fishery on earth.
Peacock bass belong on a very short list of ultimate gamefish. They eat with aggression. They are powerful, with the propensity to break leaders, straighten hooks, and destroy tackle. Their fight is aerial and acrobatic. They are gorgeous, one of the most photogenic fish in the world. And they are BIG. More 20+ pound peacock bass are landed in a typical week on the Rio Marié than in an entire season at most other Amazonian fisheries. While not everyone joins the exclusive “20 Pounder Club,” over half of the anglers visiting Rio Marié in its first few seasons have done so. Pound-for-pound, butterfly peacocks are every bit as strong and aggressive as their larger cousins. They are tons of fun and provide lots of action to break up the search for monsters. Other species include the beautiful Jacunda (a cichlid in the same family as peacock bass), the sought-after Arawana, and the toothy Dogfish – the jungle version of a barracuda.
Each day, two anglers with their English speaking, fly fishing-savvy guide and native boat driver fish a different beat that would be impossible to cover in a single day. The boats feature double casting platforms fore and aft, allowing each angler to cover the water. Lunch is usually taken on the fly, then back to fishing, until light starts to fade, the jungle comes alive and retreat back to the yacht is in order. Comfortable accommodations, an open bar, delicious meals, and wonderful service await at the end of every day. Then it’s up in the morning, to a different beat and full day of battling peacocks.
Make sure to view our brochure for the full fishing description.
“Home” for the week is the Untamed Amazon, a state-of-the-art yacht built in 2015 specifically for the Rio Marié fishing operation. It sets new standards in ship design, luxury, and safety — especially in the middle-of-nowhere jungle.
The vessel is three stories tall, 92 feet long, 26 feet wide, and weighs 130 tons. However, it drafts only 4 feet, allowing it to move great distances within the river system, so that anglers fish new water each day and fishing pressure stays at a bare minimum. But the Untamed Amazon is much more than a superbly functional base of operations to fish the Rio Marié. It is equipped with sophisticated amenities worthy of any fishing operation — but such a high level of comfort and style in the heart of the Amazon is simply amazing. The vessel’s command control center is located on the top floor, as well as the kitchen, large living and dining rooms, and even two big jacuzzis in an outdoor lounge. Drinks and appetizers are served every evening before sumptuous meals prepared by the international cuisine chef and his team.
The middle floor has 8 double occupancy suites, 6 of which are for Rio Marié guests, for a maximum of 12 anglers per week. Each suite has a floor-to-ceiling panoramic view of the jungle outside, air conditioning, a private bathroom, twin beds capable of converting to a California king-sized bed, and plenty of storage for clothing and gear.
Rio Marié is about 500 miles WNW of Manaus, the most important city in the Brazilian Amazon. There are many options to arrive to Manaus, with daily flights from Miami, Panama, Lima, San Paulo, and Buenos Aires. Most American anglers will fly to Manaus via Miami or via Panama City with United Airlines.
Anglers typically arrive late in the evening and spend the night at the Hotel Juma Opera (included). Many opt to arrive a day early to mitigate the chances of flight delays and lost luggage. Coming in early will cost an additional hotel night, but - for some - the peace of mind is worth it. We highly suggest the 1 day buffer. A day spent exploring the cultural and historical attractions and parks of Manaus (a city founded in the 1600’s) is a great start to the trip. The next morning, anglers are flown via Cessna Grand Caravan float plane charter approximately 3 1/2 hours directly to the Untamed Amazon mothership. At the end of the trip, anglers are flown back to Manaus with plenty of time to have a delicious dinner at one of our recommended restaurants before catching a red-eye flight home.
WHEN TO GO / SEASONALITY
In this area of the Amazon, the fishing season normally runs from September through Febuary. This is the dry season for the upper Negro basin, when waters are typically at their lowest and most stable levels. That opens the entire river system to fishing, including the many tributaries and lagoons. When the floodwaters retreat from the jungle interior after the rainy season, huge populations of peacocks concentrate on shallow sandbars and the entrances to creeks and tributaries. It's at this time that peacocks are most aggressive, slamming brightly colored streamers and savagely striking top water flies and poppers.
Water levels are important when fishing for peacock bass, and understanding how to work around them is a key component to success. Low water does not always result in the best fishing, just as high water is not always the worst thing. More important is to understand where and how to fish as the water fluctuates.
Each year’s hydrological cycles vary, but since Rio Marié is a headwaters system, combined with the immensity of its drainage and mobility of the Untamed Amazon, it is much more stable than other regional destinations.
Fly fishing is the predominant activity at Rio Marié. However, adventurous non-anglers are welcome to join as well – especially nature lovers and photographers. The bird and wildlife can be spectacular in the deep jungle, particularly in the mornings and evenings. You may see parrots, macaws, parakeets, toucans, cotingas, flickers, manakins, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds. The beauty and sheer numbers of butterflies can be stunning. Tapir, nutria, peccary, squirrel, and howler monkeys can be seen at times. If you are lucky, you will see freshwater porpoises and giant river otters that swim and hunt the waters of the Rio Marié. The jungle is very dense and the wildlife shy, so you can expect to hear more wildlife than you will see, but it is definitely a bonus to the fishing.
*** Inquire about low-season rates in January / February
- All charter flights and boat transfers, and all necessary ground transfers
- One overnight at Juma Opera Hotel in Manaus on arrival
- Guide-operated 21-foot, fully equipped shallow draft skiffs per two anglers
- Fishing licenses
- All meals and beverages, including wine, beer and spirits
- Daily laundry and maid service on mothership
What's Not Included
- International airfare to Manaus, Brazil
- Brazilian visa
- Native Association Fee ($710 cash paid onsite)
- Gratuities for camp staff and guides
- Mandatory evacuation coverage
- Food and beverages in Manaus and any private city tours
- Airport departure tax
- Satellite phone calls ($5/minute)
- Extra hotel overnights
- Hotel accommodation on return, if needed
- Flies (the floating lodge has an extensive selection of the best flies, at $10/apiece)
Terms & Conditions
Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides, outfitters and lodges which it represents. Rio Marie’s policy follows: A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to secure all reservations. Final balance is due 90 days prior to departure. All deposits are non-refundable unless clients can be replaced. Full payment may be transferred to another guest for original dates. Tailwaters Travel reserves the right to charge a handling fee of $150 per person for date changes after initial reservation has been made. No credits or refunds are given for fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Refunds of deposits/payments made on credit cards will be charged a 3.5% service charge to fully compensate Tailwaters Travel for all bank charges incurred. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgement that the registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses.
RIO MARIÉ HIGH WATER POLICY
Fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon jungle represents one of the last frontiers in the fly fishing world. As with any such hyper-remote destination, there can be challenges associated with offering a first-class experience in the ‘back of beyond.’ In the Amazon, water level conditions, on occasion, present such challenges. The Amazon River annual water level cycles are not a simple equation, even for the most experienced local experts. Normally, high and low water levels here follow a fairly predictable monthly cycle, but climate changes and the effects of stronger or weaker El Niño and La Niña cycles can directly and immediately affect those levels.
Specifically, these EL Niño and La Niña events tend to impact the amount of rain in the headwaters of Amazon rivers, which in turn affect the entire Amazon basin. Water levels are important when fishing for peacock bass, and understanding how to work around them is a key component to success. Low water does not always result in the best fishing, just as high water is not always the worst thing. More important is to understand where and how to fish as the water level fluctuates.
The Rio Marié system’s main river and two major tributaries alone account for more than 425 miles of river, from its headwaters down to its merging with the Rio Negro. This unique and extensive water system allows for incomparable flexibility. The Untamed Amazon moves up or downstream throughout the season — every week or even daily — to reach the best water levels in which to find trophy fish. This is useful for mitigating less than ideal water conditions. Though the Rio Marié season has been chosen to coincide with the best water conditions annually, it’s difficult to predict water levels, and this is one of the risks associated with fishing the Amazon. If you are not comfortable with the risk of the river levels being high or low during your trip, then this is probably not the trip for you. You will not be refunded for water conditions that may not meet your expectations. In the event the water is too high to fish on any given week, Rio Marié will reschedule your week to a later time, but will not refund your trip payment.
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