Guyana is a small South American country neighboring Brazil, Suriname, and Venezuela. Known for its dense tropical rainforests, vast river systems, rich biodiversity, and unique jungle fishing opportunities, Guyana is a truly epic destination for fly anglers searching for adventure. The remotest areas of the country also host one of the largest gamefishes on earth—the prehistoric arapaima.

Arapaima are the largest scaled freshwater fish on the planet–and quite possibly the biggest fish anywhere that you sight-fish on the fly. Reaching beyond 400 pounds and 10 feet in length, these prehistoric beasts are not for the faint of heart. As air breathers, arapaima must rise every 10 to 20 minutes to gulp–revealing their position and presenting a shot opportunity. If you can put your bird-sized fly within a few feet of their nose, they’ll often crush it so hard you can hear the impact 40 feet away. Strip-set hard and often and you’ll soon be treated to hundreds of pounds of scales and muscle tailwalking across the formerly-calm surface. In the world of fly fishing, nothing else really compares.

While arapaima are the main event, the rivers of Guyana offer some of the world’s best topwater action for a variety of exotic species. Peacock bass, arowana, and “vampire fish” payara rise up from the depths and absolutely destroy poppers chugging across the surface. Keep your eyes peeled around waterfalls and rapids and you might also spot bright-orange pacu, often reverently called “river permit” for their shape and immense challenge with fly tackle. If you’re lucky enough to hook one and land one, you’re in for a Guyanese delicacy. Speaking of good food, Guyana’s rivers also teem with muscular, ornate, and extremely tasty catfishes including redtail, tiger, leopard, butter, and even the massive jau and lau lau.

Guyana’s best fishing is found deep in the interior of the country where you can visit either via jungle camps or ecolodges. While this is a fantastic fly fishing destination, it’s not for everyone. If you are looking for a rugged adventure and an opportunity to catch a massive, rare, and exotic species, please contact Gil for more information!

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