Monster Arapaima & Trophy Peacock

Brazil - Marie & Pirarucu | Brazil
Pirarucu Flyfish Adventures 2021

Double trip Experience

The journey to South America is intricate, which is why I considered combining two destinations. While this dual trip may be costly, it provides the opportunity to fish for two entirely distinct target species and enjoy two different locations with just one journey. The premier river for catching large peacock bass is the Marie River. The optimal place for catching sizable arapaima is the Mamiraua Reserve. Within the Mamiraua Reserve lies the Pirarucu Lodge. We present it here.

Brazil - Marie & Pirarucu | Brazil
17. - 29. September 2023


Day 1



From Manaus, we proceed directly to the Marie River.

Day 1-7

Marie River

Catching Peachock Bass

During the first week, we spend time on a houseboat on the Marie River, fishing each day with our fishing boat.

Day 8-13


Catching Arapaima

On September 24th, we continue to Pirarucu by seaplane. From Pirarucu Lodge, we use our boats for arapaima fishing.

Our First Stop


Marie River

The Marie River is situated within an Indian reservation, offering us a network of over 800 kilometers of rivers, 180 known tributaries, 60 lakes, and 3 main tributaries of the Amazon.

The waters we fish at the Rio Marie are home to the largest peacock bass in the entire Amazon basin. At any time, there's a possibility of catching a world-record peacock bass. Normal sizes range around 10 pounds, with many exceeding 15 pounds and some reaching the 20-pound mark. In addition to the giant speckled peacock bass, the river also holds many smaller butterfly peacock bass, averaging 2-6 pounds.

The fishing season runs from August to the end of December. This period coincides with the dry season in the upper Rio Negro Basin. As a result, it's possible to explore the entire area, and the low water levels allow safe access to numerous tributaries and lagoons.

The weather is typically characterized by high temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius with high humidity. Occasionally, there are brief showers at night.

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    Marie River
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    The colors of Nature
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    Peacock Brass
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    What a Feeling
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    Meeting great people
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    Big Catch
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    The Accommodation
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    On the way to our fishing area
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    The Peacock Brass
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    The Houseboat
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    Our Team
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    Bedrooms with greatest view
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    Marie River

Fishing a


peacock bass

Our second

Pirarucu Flyfish Adventures 2021


Mamirauá is the largest Arapaima Reserve in the world. Pirarucú is located in the Mamirauá Reserve (Amazonas), about 600 km west of Manaus, a complex of lakes and channels between the Solimões and Japura rivers. Mamirauá was the first sustainable development reserve in Brazil, established by the Amazonas government in 1996 and remains the largest Arapaima Reserve in the world.

The Arapaima bears a striking resemblance to a freshwater tarpon and can weigh up to 400 pounds. It's an incredibly powerful fish, known to jump out of the water after being hooked, creating an explosive display on the water's surface. They put up prolonged fights before being subdued. They are constantly seen at the water's surface. Being obligate air breathers, they surface every 20 minutes or so. This constant presence of Arapaimas around keeps the fishing experience in Pirarucú thrilling as they are almost always in sight.

During a week of angling at the Pirarucú Lodge, a skilled fly angler can catch a good number of Arapaima, with an average size exceeding 60 pounds. Fish over 200 pounds are also regularly caught. Anglers fish from very comfortable and smooth flat-bottom boats equipped with two large casting platforms and an electric trolling motor with remote control, allowing for silent movement in the lagoons.

While Arapaima is a major focus, there are three other species that one can catch on the fly in Pirarucú: Tambaqui (related to the pacu family), Arowana, and Peacock Bass.

Trip information

Here you will find the most important travel information.

The travel price of 12,750.00 USD is composed of 7,600.00 USD for the full week and 5,150.00 USD for 5 nights in Pirarucu (a discount of 500 USD is given for double occupancy). The price does not include the "Native Fees" of 1,210.00 USD, which must be paid on-site. The travel price is to be paid in USD.

General information

Brazil - Marie & Pirarucu | Brazil
17. - 29. September 2023
min 1 persons
max 8 persons
Anreise: Airplane
Suitable for advanced fly fishermen



Charter flights to Marie River, charter flight from Marie to Pirarucu, all ground transfers, and boat transfers


All accommodations on the houseboat in Marie and at the lodge in Pirarucu are all-inclusive, including lodging, daily laundry service, meals, and drinks (including house wine, beer, and spirits). The organizer also covers one night's stay with breakfast in Manaus on the arrival day and provides airport pickup


Two anglers and one guide, along with native guides, on a motorized 7-meter skiff.


Guided, fully equipped 20-foot skiffs with shallow draft for two anglers.

Fishing boats

4 fishing boats for 8 people

Fishing license

Not included


  • International flights and departure tax at the airport
  • Domestic flight – Manaus-Tefe-Manaus (booking at

City tour

Meals and beverages in Manaus, as well as private city tours

Fishing equipment

Flies (we have a wide selection of premium flies at the camp - $10 each) Daily laundry at the fishing destination


Visas and COVID tests; fee for the local community


Tips and gratuities for camp staff and guides

Off-site accommodation
Phone calls

Satellite phone calls ($5 per minute)


Additional costs: "Native Fee" (on-site): $700 for Marie & $510 for Pirarucu, Single room supplement: $500

  • Pirarucu Flyfish Adventures 2021
    Arapaima 220 cm
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    Unsere Skiffs
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    Unterkunft Pirarucu
  • Pirarucu Flyfish Adventures 2021


To be fully prepared for your journey, you'll find all the information here regarding your equipment. Please note that there is a 40-pound weight limit for the charter flight to Marie River, with 30 pounds allocated for checked luggage and 10 pounds for carry-on. Only soft luggage bags are permitted; no hard-shell suitcases are allowed.

Luggage & Essentials

  • Passport with at least 6 months validity
  • 2 copies of the passport
  • Flight ticket and travel itinerary
  • Brazilian tourist visa
  • Cash for travel, lodge gratuities, and payment of the Native Fee
  • Credit cards
  • Emergency contact number
  • Toiletries and necessary medications, along with electrolytes
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof sunscreen SPF 50
  • Lip balm with sun protection
  • Universal electrical adapter
  • 2 x polarized sunglasses
  • 2 x buffs (neck gaiters)
  • Cap with a brim
  • Pliers
  • Hook sharpener
  • Gloves for sun protection
  • Tippet holder
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Lightweight synthetic fleece for evenings
  • 4 lightweight long-sleeve t-shirts or shirts
  • Good boat shoes that can also be used for wading without the risk of losing them
  • Camera equipment
  • Headlamp
  • Waterproof backpack


At the Marie River, our target fish is the peacock bass. I recommend using an 8-weight rod at a length of 9 feet. Since we predominantly fish with baitfish flies and poppers, it's best to have two rods on the boat—one rigged with a popper and the other with a baitfish fly.

For fishing Arapaima in Pirarucu, it's crucial to use an 11-12 weight rod because we often cast heavy sinking lines and large wind-resistant streamers. Additionally, Arapaima can weigh anywhere from 100 to 400 pounds.

It's advisable to have at least three rods on the boat with different lines and flies—one for Arapaima and one or more for other species. I recommend a 6-8 weight rod with a floating line for Arowana, Peacock Bass, and Tambaqui. An 11-weight rod with a full intermediate line is suitable for smaller Arapaima, and a 12-weight rod with a 400-600g sinking line is recommended for Giant Arapaima. Please plan to bring an additional spare rod. Sturdy rods with a strong butt section are recommended.


Bring the appropriate reel sizes for your rods. It's important that you have sufficient backing, 30-50 lbs, on the reel, and that the reels have a reliable braking system.

For Arapaima fishing with 11-12 weight lines, I recommend having at least 200 meters of backing with a capacity of 50-80 lbs.

Fly Lines

It's important that the fly lines are suitable for tropical conditions, featuring aggressive tapers with shorter heads, as larger, wind-resistant patterns are often cast.

Marie River:Most of the time, surface fishing is conducted. Therefore, floating lines suitable for tropical regions are the first choice. For instance, the Scientific Anglers - Mastery Tropical/Jungle Titan or the Rio Outbound Tropical Short in a floating version is the best option. For specific areas with deep water or during high water levels, also bring a sinking line. In this case, I find the Scientific Angler Sonar Tropical Custom Tip to be an excellent choice. This line can be easily customized to fit any rod weight, with instructions provided on the packaging. Always carry a spare fly line as well, as with these powerful fish, it's easy to lose a fly line or damage it. Be prepared!

Pirarucu: Currently, the best Arapaima sinking line is the Scientific Angler Sonar Jungle Custom Tip. As an intermediate line for Arapaima fishing, I recommend the Scientific Angler Sonar Titan Full Intermediate. For fishing Arowana and Tambaqui, use a full flotation line suitable for the tropics and matched to the rod weight. The best choice is the Scientific Angler - Mastery Tropical/Jungle Titan.


At the Marie River, for peacock bass fishing, I recommend using fluorocarbon leaders in strengths of 40, 50, and 60 pounds. The bass aren't leader-shy due to their aggressive and swift attacks. However, it's often crucial to keep the fish under control and away from structures. The initial run of a peacock bass is forceful and can quickly break a 40-pound leader.

For Arapaima fishing at Pirarucu, fluorocarbon leaders of at least 80 pounds, preferably 100 pounds, are essential. For fishing Tambaqui and Arawana, bring a spool of 20 and 30-pound tippet.


Marie River: The peacock bass is an aggressive predator that attacks extremely fast. Use baitfish flies in bright, vivid colors like green, yellow, orange, and black. Ideal size is 10-15 cm, tied on quality barbless hooks (1/0 to 4/0). Foam poppers, Nyap, and large mice patterns also work well, as do divers. If you often fish in saltwater, bring your streamers and poppers as they work great for peacock bass too. While flies are available at the lodge, it's still recommended to bring a good selection.

Pirarucu: Arapaima usually attack the fly deep underwater, using their senses to locate it. Therefore, the best patterns are large baitfish flies between 15-25 cm in length that displace a lot of water when stripped. Since we're targeting a very strong fish, only use the best hooks in sizes 4/0 to 8/0, such as Tiemco SP 600, Owner Aki, or Gamakatsu SL 12 S.

As we're using full sink lines, there's no need to add extra weight to the flies. Baitfish flies with wiggle tails are also a good choice. The best colors are a topic of debate, but I believe it doesn't matter much as Arapaima don't hunt by sight.

Aside from Arapaima, it's also enjoyable to catch a few Arowana in between. The best flies are small surface foam poppers or small baitfish flies in the 7-12 cm range.

For Tambaqui, a round fish similar to Pacu, fruit fly patterns tied on strong hooks are suitable.