The Hidden Honey Holes of Guyana

The Hidden Honey Holes of Guyana
When these old flood channels are full of water, arapaima use them to migrate deep into the jungle. During the dry season, it takes a team of boat haulers (and sometimes a little help from the guests) to get the boats to the best fishing. Beth Sweeting photo

The fishing in Rewa, Guyana, is spectacularyou're hunting the biggest scaled freshwater fish in the world, and they are often in tiny ponds of just a few acres. When the Rupununi River floods, the arapaima thread their way back into the jungle to find the stillwaters where they prefer to feed, spawn, and raise their young. When the dry season comes, oxbows, side channels, and lagoons become disconnected from the main river. To get to the fish, a team of 12 or more boat handlers drags two or three 14-foot aluminum johnboats a mile or more through the jungle for a morning of fishing.

At lunch while the guests are eating, the boatmen drag the boats out of the jungle and move them to another pond for the afternoon.Why not just leave the boats at the pond? Because many of these ponds are fished only once per season, and the village cooperative has only a handful of boats provided by the nonprofit Indifly for this sport fishing venture. The guides are careful not to pressure these small waters that might only contain a handful of arapaima. From our base of operations at Sunburst Campa 3-hour boat ride from the village of Rewawe fished a new pond every morning and every afternoon. You never see the same place twice when you're exploring the hidden honey holes of Guyana.

In this short clip (an excerpt from the film Rewa: Fishing for Change by Outside TV) Oliver White and I badly wanted to fish a remote spot called Tapir Pond that had not been visited in three years. Even with a team of haulers it was tough to get the boat through the dense underbrush. Oliver and I added some muscle to get the boats up a steep embankment, a location that also shows a dry flood channel and the likely pathway for arapaima that migrate during flood events. Barefoot was the only way to get any traction in the thick mud. Flip-flops were consumed by mud and shoes were even more useless.


For more info on arapaima fishing in Guyana, see my story "1 Guy with a Fly Rod" in the Oct-Dec 2017 issue of FLY FISHERMAN or watch the film by Outside TV we shot on location in March 2017.


Kimber Aegis
Ross Purnell, guide Shun Alvin, and Oliver White with a middling size arapaima Purnell caught while filming Rewa: Fishing for Change. Beth Sweeting photo
//www.flyfisherman.com/files/2017/10/Guyana-2017-March-1107web-786x1024.jpg
Boat handlers drag aluminum johnboats through the Guyana jungle to access remote stillwater ponds. Beth Sweeting photo



Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

American Rivers today released its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers, identifying ten rivers facing imminent threats. News

2019 Most Endangered Rivers

Fly Fisherman - April 16, 2019

American Rivers today released its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers,...

Modern methods for catching smallmouths on topwater flies. Bass

How to Catch Smallmouth Bass on Topwater Flies

Dave Karczynski and Tim Landwehr

Modern methods for catching smallmouths on topwater flies.

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly. Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the world. Worldwide

5 Best Trout Fishing Spots in the World

Ross Purnell, Editor

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the...

Read about Colorado's backcountry fly fishing in United States

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Colorado

Steven B. Schweitzer - May 03, 2016

Read about Colorado's backcountry fly fishing in " Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Colorado."

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

See More Stories

More Worldwide

 Richard Clark casts to Lake Iliamna rainbows on the Gibraltar River under the guidance of Royal Worldwide

Rainbow Trout of Katmai

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 12, 2015

Richard Clark casts to Lake Iliamna rainbows on the Gibraltar River under the guidance of...


Utah's largest wilderness area remains mostly untapped by fly fishers
Some anglers spend their Worldwide

Exploring the Uinta Mountains

Brett Prettyman - June 25, 2015

Utah's largest wilderness area remains mostly untapped by fly fishers Some anglers spend...

Learn more about Bolivia's hard-fighting Dorado in Worldwide

Fly Fishing Bolivia

Sarah Grigg - May 03, 2016

Learn more about Bolivia's hard-fighting Dorado in "Bolivia Gold".

See More Worldwide

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.