Kendjam‘s early season begins in mid to late June when the waters of the Iriri River gradually recede, lasting until mid-September. We opted for the golden middle ground, arriving in the jungle on July 16th. During this time, the river becomes easily navigable in many areas, making it the perfect season for sight fishing for peacock bass, matricha, pacu, and various other fish species. We could wade through most sections of the river, accessing small jungle creeks, shallow flats, and runs with ease.
We knew from the outset that Kendjam wasn‘t a haven for giant trophy fish. Instead, it was a paradise for anglers seeking clear waters, lightweight flyfishing gear, and technically demanding fishing. The diversity of species was overwhelming, and we primarily focused on sight fishing with dry flies, which was the highlight of the area.
Each day of our adventure allowed us to catch seven to eight distinct fish species. The Iriri River boasts at least three known Pacu species, with the pacu leaping out of the water to snatch insects. We used dry flies, wets, and nymphs while wading upstream with 5-weight rods to catch them. We also pursued peacock bass with streamers, including an endemic species unique to the Iriri River basin. These bass are known for preferring moving water over stagnant pools and can reach impressive sizes of up to 20 pounds. Another thrilling species we encountered was the matricha, pound for pound the strongest fish in the jungle. They feed on fruit, flowers, insects, and other fish species, making them prime targets for dry fly fishing. Then, there were the Bicuda, resembling barracudas with their body shape and turbocharged tails, making them the speedsters of the Iriri River. These topwater predators were a joy to sight fish for.
In addition to enhancing our flyfishing skills, we had a blast with our guides, who formed perfect teams consisting of a professional and a native guide. This combination was ideal, with the pro guide providing technical expertise and the native guide offering their extensive knowledge of the forest and river.