Our sixth day was absolutely phenomenal. Getting off to a late start, Terry, Blacks, and I trekked through the jungle to a grass-lined swamp that led to a pond. Right away you could tell this place was special. The pond was full of life; baitfish splashed everywhere; birds chirped; and multiple arapaima were rolling.
That area’s topography was, literally, perfect for fly fishing: shallow, but long enough to fish one end without spooking fish on the far end. Within minutes we were casting to rising arapaima. In no time we had a few eats, but no solid hookups, and as morning turned to afternoon, we decided to fish the grassy shoreline, hoping to catch a few peacocks for lunch. As we worked the shoreline, Terry suddenly noticed two fish heading towards the boat. I immediately switched back to my 12-weight and put a cast directly between them. As I stripped the fly past the first fish, I felt a massive tug on the line. I pulled in the slack and slammed five solid two-handed, full body strip-sets, and the fish took off. I was hooked to a 150-pound female arapaima. After a 10-minute struggle, she jumped and the hook pulled out. For a few seconds I was devastated, screaming at the fish gods, trying best not to lose control and snap the rod across a knee. I turned to say something to Terry and there it was—right by the grassy shore—an absolute behemoth was slowly surfacing.