Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Off to Brazil to photograph peacock bass

There is one species of freshwater fish that I have been dying to see and photograph for years now, and that is the insanely coloured and from what I hear massively powerful peacock bass. Well tomorrow I am flying out to Brazil to fulfil this dream of mine and get to spend a week or so in the middle of the Amazon jungle on the hunt for these fish. Excited ? I'll let you work that one out !! I turn 40 next month and still I catch myself wondering why on earth somebody like me gets to go and see this kind of fly fishing, but it's a part of my job and I need to go and photograph stuff like this. It's thanks to the thoroughly nice and professional people at Aardvark McLeod that I am going on this trip.

So on Thursday afternoon I fly from Heathrow to Miami. Gordon (a very nice bloke from Scotland who I have travelled with plenty before, and he's got the whitest pair of legs you have ever seen, in fact they are so white they play havoc with my camera's metering system - honestly, the sun obviously shines loads where he lives !!) and I are overnighting in some hotel there and then on Friday afternoon US time we will fly from Miami to Manaus in Brazil. An overnight in Manaus and then we take a small plane deep into the jungle and get picked up by some boat which will take us where we need to get to. Three flights, two overnights and a boat ride - my kind of photography trip. My understanding is that we will be staying in these kind of house boat things that will move depending on where the fishing needs to be. I believe that if conditions are right then there should be a degree of sight-fishing to these awesome looking fish which sounds pretty mad. This high-end fly fishing operation is being run in Brazil by the same crowd who run that insane Bolivian jungle dorado fishing that I photographed a few years back, and considering it was about the most impressive freshwater fly fishing I have ever seen you can sense my anticipation for this Brazil trip. I just can't wait to get one of these peacock bass in front of a wide angle lens............

I am not sure if I get any kind of internet connection where we are going, but if I do I will try and get some Brazilian stuff up on the blog - and if it goes quiet on here for a while then I'm in the jungle with no connection and I'll update you all when I get back in about a week and half or so. I will be hugely interested to see if any big bass are landed around where I live while I am gone. It doesn't seem that there are big numbers of fish around on the lures at the moment, but a friend of mine lost what he reckons was a double figure fish on Sunday morning on a MegaBass X140 (a little bird told me that his leader knot came undone..........!!, but whatever the case I am gutted for him), and somebody else I know who was fishing with him I hear lost a bass around the 6lb mark that he had hooked off the top on a Patchinko. Gotta love that in January. If the conditions go right again then I see no reason why a few fish should not be landed around here, and if it stays mild then just perhaps we will get some lure fishing right the way through. Or is that wishful thinking ? Anyway, catch up soon - best pack my gear up, find the sunblock and get myself to that lovely part of the UK that is Heathrow airport.