It’s our inherent desire and eagerness to cast a fly in virgin water that pushes us to access the seemingly inaccessible. Overcoming the inevitable challenges of reaching these special places holds the promise of untold fishing, but it’s the adventures and discoveries that lie between civilization and the middle of nowhere that justify the risks that come with seeking the unknown.
Home to the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon River Basin has attracted explorers, adventurers and outdoor thrill seekers for decades. Just like its floor and canopy high above, the waters that flow below teem with life. Fishermen wielding fly rods in lieu of spears are only just now beginning to explore rivers such as the Iriri. Simms Pro Team member, Rooster Leavens and Ramiro Badessich recently returned from this remote waterway.
By their account, “To realize the full fly fishing potential that looms this deep in the world’s most notorious jungle, you have to be prepared to fish to the extreme.” The terrain both in and out of the water of the Amazon suggests that anglers are not welcome, but the rewards of showing up uninvited lie in the unknowing of what kind of beast might erupt on your fly from out of the shadows.
Anglers are not creatures of habit, and few find complete satisfaction fishing the same water day after day. It’s this intrinsic curiosity that drives us to pursue new discoveries that live well beyond the beaten path. While much of our planet has been explored, for those willing to push themselves, their skill and their equipment, there are still special places such as the Amazon’s Iriri River that remain untouched by the modern world and unexplored by anglers.
When it comes to exploratory missions, planes, trains and dugout canoes will only take you so far. So the next time the opportunity arises to truly explore — say yes — and pack your bags with the gear that will give you the confidence to push on and see what’s around the next bend.