When we first think of fly-fishing in the rivers of the Orinoco basin it comes to our minds large Peacock Bass and Payaras, the maximum trophies,. That is what we are going after in these waters. And large Peacock Bass and Payara have a predilection for large flies, so we are going to focus on what they love most.
Almost all the flies shown here are tied on 5/0 hooks and are about 7" to 10" long.
Both Peacock Bass and Payara are basically piscivorous, they feed on fish most of the time. In these waters there are thousands of fish species of multiple shapes, colors and sizes that are their main food source.
Peacock Bass are not very demanding with flies, it is possible to capture them with almost any style or size of fly, but there are some patterns that have proven to be much more effective than others. Some color combinations, the adition of abundant flash or the under water action of the fly are most of the time keys for success.
Not all the time the same fly will be effective, it is almost always necessary to switch between contrasting colors, imitations of baitfis and strong colors to find the correct fly for that time. There are no water or light conditions clearly established for a certain kind of fly, the decision about the color of the fly to use depends more on our perception of the environment than a few fixed rules.
Let’s take look at the flies that ensure us a good fishing in these rivers.
THE CHINO. The chino fly is a baitfish imitation that have all the elements of this type of flies to attract big fish, it is developed to have a nice action on the water and be very durable after many strikes. It can be replaced by other baitfish imitations tied in other materials or with other techniques. Here we will take as an example for baitfish style flies.
We must say that in 2016 a Chino was the fly for a Peacock Bass world record!
CHINO BAITFISH IMITATION. A big percentage of the small fish that live in the Orinoco watershed lakes and rivers that are food sources for Peacock Bass are clear colored and shiny. The most of them have greenish or olive shades on their back.
GRAY AND WHITE CHINO. Some of these baitfish are gray on their back. This combination of colors tends to be very productive in some circumstances with Peacock Bass and especially Payara.
RED AND WHITE CHINO. This color combination is superb for all top of the food chain predators and Peacock Bass are no exception.
RED AND YELLOW CHINO. When for some reason Peacocks are not going after red and white flies, this combination will be effective. It is great for big Peacock Bass and Payara.
FIRE-TIGER CHINO. This mix of colors is more unusual than its own name. We do not know why was it invented but is very effective especially in low light conditions or dark waters.
PERCH CHINO. Yes, the Perch color is the same of Pecock Bass, and as almost all fish, Peacocks will not miss the opportunity to eat a smaller sized peaock bass. This fly is particularly productive almost all the time.
BLUE AND WHITE CHINO. A color brought to us by the saltwater mackerel imitations. Blue is a especially productive color for the Orinoco when fish are not after other fly colors. This color is perhaps the best for Payara fishing in white water.
CHINO "MOJARRA" STYLE. Due to the tying technique of the Chinos, they can match imitations of wide and short fish as the mojarras and other cichlids of these waters which are also an important food source for Peacock Bass.
WIGGLE TAIL CHINO. This Chinos with a wiggling tail have a an additional ingredient for attracting peacocks in lagoons.
These tails with free lateral movement, especially red ones, makes the Chino irresistible and do not generate asignificant additional weight.
DOUBLE BUNNY CHINO. In smaller hooks and approximately 7 cm long are very effective when Peacock Bass are not going after large flies.
BUNNY DAHLBERG DIVER. These flies with deer hair head have a nice striking movement very well complemented with the long zonker tail. The deer hair head should be waterproofed with very liquid UV resin or a lightweight epoxy in order to prevent the excesive weight caused by warm water.
ARMORED CATFISH IMITATIONS. Armored catfish that we see usually in fish tanks glass are a usual prey for Peacock Bass in areas where there are rocks on lagoons and rivers. We recommend to tie these flies with heavy eyes for fast sinking and with the hook turned up so they will not get entangled in the rocky bottom.
THE "MOTTAS". These flies are a wise adaptation my friend Raul Motta did of an old pattern for Peacock Bass that have all the elements to be an outstanding fly.
And they are outstanding (Really outstanding), they are shiny, have waving movements, pulsatile movements, contrasting colors, red tail, so they have everything we should look on a good fly.
TARPON TROPICAL PUNCH. This is a variation of the magnificent invention of Dan Blanton, a little longer and with some additional ingredients and sparkle. The basic color is white with orange collar and red head. This fly have catched more than four Peacock Bass world records, some alive today.
BUBBLEHEAD. This fly has a great movement and moves a lot of water when it is retrieved. It has provided many large Peacock Bass since it design was developed to make it light and durable.
The most successful colors have been white with red head, yellow and red, and firetiger.
BUBBLEHEAD WITH BUCKTAIL HEAD. This modification of the Bubblehead has been very productive because of the bucktail natural movement on the head and the grizzly hackle in the body.
THE SABROSITA. This fly designed by Armando Giraldo is one of our favorites to get large Peacock Bass. It is light, has a lot of flash and the bucktail on the head gives it an additional movement that makes it very productive.
THE REDUCER. This flie moves in stillwaters or lagoons like no other.
Unlike almost all other flies for Peacock Bass, the Reducer must be striped up steady with strong pulls to deploy the pulsatile movement of the bucktail head and the winding movement of the grizzli hackle and flash tail.
LONG DEEP CLOUSER MINNOW. Very long with a lot of sparkle is great when we want extra help to take down the fly.
Is very useful when fishing near stones and submerged branches so it will not get tangled on them. The white with red pattern and the olive with white pattern, both with a lot of flash, are very productive.
GAME CHANGER. This fly is very effective with Peacock Bass and Payara thanks to its similarity with a baitfish and the segmented body extra movement. Very effective but a little complicated to tie.
BIG POPPERS. Especially in the first hour of the morning and in the late afternoon, when Peacock Bass are looking for prey on the surface, are very productive, especially casting to the shores or toward the woods where Peacock Bass are ambushing prey toward the surface.
POLE DANCER. These flies are very effective for surface fishing, but unlike poppers and other surface flies as imitations of frogs, it must be fished in parallel to the shores with short movements to let them make their traditional dance.
THE ARARI. This fly is the imitation of a baitfish (Arari or redtail) of the Orinoco rivers and lagoons that is a food of choice for Peacocks. The fly should be done in sizes ranging from 7 to 12 cm that are common redtail sizes. The wiggling tail gives them a really good natural movement.
CANDIES. This fly is very effective because it moves a lot of wáter, and due to its heavy eyes has a very special vertical movement. It works very well in white with red head, Firetiger and all pink.