Rio Marie Liveaboard - Brazil
Liveaboard Peacock Bass Fishing Adventure
The Rio Marie, also known as the River of Giants, is the most remote river in the Brazilian Amazon. The headwaters of the Rio Marie lie more than 400 air miles northwest of Manaus in the rainforest between Brazil and Columbia.
On August 25, 2022, Rodrigo M. Salles was fly fishing the Rio Marié. On his very first cast of the day, he hooked and landed a 92 centimeter 25.3-pound peacock bass. With this fish, Rodrigo tied the IGFA All-Tackle Length World Record for the species.
Fly Fishing the Rio MarieThe Rio Marie is a very remote river—more than 400 miles by floatplane from Manaus, Brazil. The Marie River begins on the northwest side of the Brazilian Amazon, near the Colombian border, and is a tributary of the upper Negro River. The river is contained inside an Indian territory of more than 494 million acres.
The Rio Marie liveaboard adventure is the first official sportfishing operation inside Indian territory in Brazil. It is now the largest area in the world specifically dedicated to fly-fishing-only and catch-and-release-only.There are over 400 miles of river, tributaries, and lagoons.
The Temensis peacock bass, the largest of all peacock bass, average 10-to 18-pounds in the more remote locations but have been known to reach 30-pounds. In 2016, a 28 ½-pound fly-caught peacock bass was landed at the Rio Marie, and in 2017, a near 31-pounder! (It was disqualified as an IGFA world record due to some technical issues.) The butterfly peacock bass are abundant and smaller, reaching up to 13-pounds.
Season: The Fly-Fishing-Only season runs from August to mid-December—during the dry season when the water levels are at their lowest.
Rio Marie Fishing Facts:
Group size: Eight to 12-guests per week. Based on availability, private rooms are available on the liveaboard for an added fee.
The Adventure begins in the uppermost stretches of the Rio Marie, with the liveaboard moving downstream at about 75 miles each week. They do not overfish any area. Anglers are greeted each day with new water, a constant and fresh trophy peacock bass fishing grounds.
Guides: Two anglers per professional English-speaking guide, plus a local Indian guide who drives the boat.
Boats: Wide-bodied 20-foot shallow draft boats with 90-HP 4-stroke motors and remote-control electric motors. Center console boats have two casting platforms (one at either end of the boat so both anglers can fish at the same time).
Equipment: Fly-fishing outfits are provided to guests upon request (Thomas & Thomas rods, Nautilus Reels, and Scientific Anglers Lines). Flies are available for $10.00 on the liveaboard. A complete gear and tackle list is incuded in our confirmation packet.
Fishing License is included in the package.
Methods: Mostly, baitfish imitations are used.
Lure Fishing: During the Extended Season, lure fishing is allowed, usually early January to early February, dates to be determined for 2024. You may fish with artificial lures with single hooks. These trips sell quickly.
Typical Fishing Day:
5:30 am - Coffee is hot.
7:00 a.m. Breakfast.
8:00 a.m. Head to fishing grounds.
Noon: Anglers will have a picnic-style lunch on the river.
1:00 p.m. Fishing resumes until late afternoon when the guides returns anglers to the yacht around 5:30 p.m. Every day the yacht will be moved, and anchored in a different place.
6:30 p.m. Cocktails and appetizers on the covered patio top deck.
8:00 p.m. Dinners are served in the liveaboard's air-conditioned dining room.
The Mobility of the Untamed Amazon – the deluxe, shallow-draft mothership – When the water is high, they fish the headwaters of Marié further upriver, exploring new tributaries and lagoons. Upstream, there is 100 more miles of river to explore. When the water drops, they move downstream to familiar beats. Not only does this mobility allow them to fish and explore new water, but it also helps to manage fishing pressure on the river by incorporating a beat system across a broad expanse of over 200 river miles.
The Untamed Amazon has three levels. The lower floor is a restricted area for staff only and includes the inner workings of the vessel with twin 200-HP propulsion engines. The main floor has eight guest suites, accommodating up to 18 guests. The top floor is the spacious living and dining room, plus an open lounge where beverages are served. Limited Wi-Fi and two large Jacuzzis.
Meals: On the third level, there is also a full-scale kitchen for chef-prepared four-course meals. American and regional favorites. You'll enjoy expertly prepared four-course dinners in the comfortable dining area. Exotic dishes of freshly caught fish, fresh-baked bread and pastries, chilled wines, ice-cold beer, spirits, and soft drinks await each guest throughout the week. With advanced notice, special diets can be accommodated.
Alcohol: Wine, beer, and regular spirits are included in the package.
Cabin Suites have extra-long twin beds. Two suites are set up as single-occupancy. Each room has a private bathroom with hot water, air conditioning, 24-hour solar-powered electricity, a ceiling-to-floor picture window, and space for storage.
Dr. Meng Syn's Trip Recap - Blog, Videos...
Our client Meng Syn does a phenomenal job of his trips recaps. Read his blog and see his outstanding videos listed below.
Dr. Meng Syn's Vimeo Videos:
Butterflies - Butterfly Madness
Flies for the Rio Marie
Dr. Meng Syn's Blog:
The Rio Marie River of Giants
Dr. Meng Syn's Flickr Albums:
More of the Rio Marie
Getting to the Liveaboard:
It is best to arrive in Manaus a day early (on Friday night) rather than late on Saturday night. At the international airport in Manaus, you'll be greeted by an English-speaking representative. He'll arrange for transfers to a boutique hotel in Manaus. You and another angler will share a double occupancy room included in the package. After an early breakfast at the hotel, the driver will pick up your group between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. and head to the local airport. You'll take a 3.5-hour private charter flight on a Cessna Caravan hydroplane to where the liveaboard is anchored and waiting for you. (The ground transfers, the first hotel night in Manaus, and the roundtrip hydroplane flight are included in the package.) On the liveaboard, you'll have a light lunch, followed by a short orientation. There will be no fishing on the day of arrival. You'll have a chance to get situated and prepare tackle.
Departure Day: After breakfast, you'll have a couple of hours to relax before the hydroplane flight back to Manaus. Depending on your departure time, you can fly home on the same day or spend another night in Manaus. (Final hotel night is not included in the package.
RATES & PACKAGES
2023 USD Rates:
8-nights and 6-days guided fishing
August - December:
Two anglers per room and skiff:
$7,600 + $700 Native Comm Fee
= $8,300.00 per person
One angler per room and 2 per skiff:
$8,400 + $700 Native Comm Fee
= $9,100.00 per person
One angler per room and skiff:
$12,540 + $700 Native Comm Fee
= $13,240.00 per person
$5,150 + $490 Native Comm Fee
= $5,640.00 per person
Extended Season - Fly or Lure Fishing
You may fish with artificial lures with single hooks.
January 8 - February 5, 2023.
Two anglers per room and skiff:
$5,450 + $520 Native Comm. Fee + $600 flight
= $6,570.00 per person
One angler per room and skiff:
$8,992 + $520 Native Comm. Fee + $600 flight
= $10,112.00 per person
One angler per room and two per skiff:
$6,250 + $520 Native Comm. Fee + $600 flight
= $7,370.00 per person
$4,150 + $380 Native Comm. Fee + $600 flight
= $5,130.00 per person
The Native Community Fee:
This Project was based as a long-term social Project which supports the preservation of the Indian Culture and improving their quality of life. The Rio Marié River has formed an association (ACIBRN) and board to protect their interests moving forward. This Association includes representatives from all 14 Indian Communities. The Project has a significant user fee on all visiting anglers. The funds from the fee will primarily be used for social projects, infrastructure development, transportation, and medical and education projects. The tax is payable in cash (USD) to the representative upon your arrival in Manaus and goes directly to the Indian Association Account. Anglers receive a receipt from the Association. The fee represents an important step in the continuing effort to protect their ability to share this amazing and unique part of the world.
One night (double occupancy) at a boutique hotel in Manaus upon arrival, all necessary ground transfers in Manaus; roundtrip hydroplane flight between Manaus and the liveaboard (except for the Extended Season), boat transfers, all meals at the liveaboard, wine, beer, and spirits; daily laundry and maid service; guided fishing, fishing license, use of fly fishing outfits upon request, and our eBook Fly Fishing for Peacock Bass by Larry and Guy Schoenborn.
Packages Do Not Include:
International airfare; Indian Association Fee (Native Community Fee) paid in cash upon arrival to Brazil; gratuities for guides and camp staff, fishing equipment, flies ($10.00 each on the liveaboard), premium spirits on the liveaboard, food and beverages in Manaus, any private city tours in Manaus, satellite phone calls ($5.00 per minute), extra hotel overnights, airport departure tax (if not included in airfare), Global Rescue, travel insurance, and anything not mentioned under inclusions. As of December 10, 2020, Fishing with Larry now adds a 2.5% convenience fee to all credit card transactions.
Gratuities: Generally, you’ll tip 10% of the trip cost (excluding taxes and air travel), approximately $730.00 per angler for the week. On the last night, the manager will collect the tips and split them among the guides and staff.
Optional Activities/Expenses in Manaus:
Extra night or Day-Use rooms: If you would like extra night accommodations in Manaus at the boutique Hotel on arrival or departure or would like a day room on your departure day, please let us know. All extra nights and day-use bookings will be paid directly to the hotel.
Extra Night in Manaus: $200 to $220 USD per night/room, based on double occupancy.
All prices are subject to change based on availability/season.
Restaurant Shuttle: Roundtrip from Hotel to Dinner $20.00 p.p. minimum of six people. Five people or less $120.00 to share between anglers (does not include dinner).
Full Day City Tour: 8-hour tour - $120.00 per person
Half Day City Tour: 4-hour tour - $60.00 per person
Rio Marie High Water Policy:
Fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon jungle represents one of the last frontiers in the fly-fishing world. As with any such hyper-remote destinations, there can be challenges associated with offering a first-class experience in the ‘back of beyond.’ In the Amazon, water level conditions will, on occasion, present such challenges. The Amazon River annual water level cycles are not a simple equation, even for the most experienced local experts.
Normally, high and low water levels here follow a fairly predictable monthly cycle, but climate changes and the effects of stronger or weaker El Niño and La Niña cycles can directly and immediately affect those levels. Specifically, these El Niño and La Niña events tend to impact the amount of rain in the headwaters of Amazon rivers, which in turn affects the entire Amazon basin. Water levels are important when fishing for peacock bass, and understanding how to work around them is a key component to success. Low water does not always result in the best fishing, just as high water is not always the worst thing. More important is to understand where and how to fish as the water fluctuates.
The Rio Marie system has several hundred miles of rivers, tributaries, and lagoons from its headwaters down to its merging with the Rio Negro. Within this extensive water system, the liveaboard can move up or downstream throughout the season—every week or even daily—to reach the best water levels for trophy fish. This system is useful when navigating less than ideal water conditions. Although the Rio Marie’s season is based on the best water conditions, it’s difficult to predict water levels, and this is one of the risks associated with fishing the Amazon. If you are not comfortable with the risk of the river levels being too high or low during your trip, then it is probably not the trip for you. You will not be refunded for water conditions that may not meet your expectations. In the event the water is too high to fish on any given week, your week will be rescheduled to a later time, but there will not be a refund of your trip payment.
Rio Marie POLICIES:
A Signed Indemnity Release is Required: The Lodge requires that all guests sign a KNOWLEDGE LETTER, All guests, without exception, must sign the knowledge letter and the terms of responsibility prior to their trip.
Deposit Policy: Prices are subject to change until the confirmation deposit is received. Once the deposit is received, the price will remain the same for that customer until the final payment. To confirm a reservation on a trip, a 50% deposit is required per person. Reservations made within 30 days of departure require full payment. The final payment is due 90 days before departure. If this installment is not paid when due, the operator reserves the right to treat and consider the reservation as canceled.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellations will be confirmed only upon receipt of written notice by the customer that the trip must be canceled for him or her. The reservation deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE unless the client is replaced.
The following fees will be charged:
a. 180 days or more before departure date: 50% of trip cost.
b. 90 to 179 days before departure date: 75% of trip cost.
c. Less than 60 days before departure date or no-show: 100% of trip cost.
We strongly advise the purchase of international trip cancellation insurance after registering for a trip. The operator also reserves the right to cancel the trip for any other reason judged necessary. In the case of trip cancellation by the operator for any reason judged necessary, a full refund will be made to the customer.
Fishing with Larry strongly recommends purchasing trip insurance. Click here for our Travel Insurance page.