Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
I'm just back from a holiday in Brazil. My third son Richard has recently emigrated and it was his birthday so they were extra reasons for going. This is just a thumbnail sketch of what it was like and I shall put the fishing stuff on my FRESHWATER page in the next day or two if you want to read it. Hopefully I shall be down on the shore sometime this week.
One of my stock expressions when faced with six foot nettles and a forest of willow and alder branches is It's like the ****** Mato Grosso! Now I've been there I can tell you that it isn't. We flew into Sao Paulo, what a horrific place for a country boy like me - seventeen million people, mile upon mile of high rise, a horrifically polluted river and a daily constant four hour traffic jam. Fortunately it was just a place for our arrival and departure so most of the time was spent in much less crowded spots.
Just a few points of interest (other than the fishing). We spent the first ten days in the Pantanal (=Mato Grosso) visiting a variety of wonderful B&Bs. We travelled by car and I was astonished to find that all the cars are duel fuel. They can mix petrol and alcohol (both readily available) in the tanks in any proportions. Alcohol is cheaper and seems just as effective (presumably it's undrinkable). Another interesting feature was that over sixties get priority in queues and often they can get in to museums etc. for nothing, wonderful!
Many of the restaurants and eating places sell their food by weight ('per kilo'). Their system involves a buffet with a really wide choice of food (lots of meat, beans and rice which I like) and you simply choose what you fancy and have it weighed on the plate as you go to the table so there's NO WASTE AT ALL. Very different to the UK where I often see people leaving half a plate of food. Most places offer a free 'pinga' (little glass of flavoured rum) before your meal and free coffee after you've finished. An average meal probably cost three or four pounds. I had the second best cup of hot chocolate I've ever tasted (I once had one in Italy in which the spoon stood up vertically), and one of the worst pizzas ever (fruit and condensed milk were the main ingredients) I once had a worse one - again in Italy. Condensed milk seems to be a staple of the Brazilian diet.
With regard to more 'down to earth matters' the lavatories are pretty clean, well designed and flush like torrents but on the downside you can't put paper down them and it has to go in a little bin. They do however provide you with a high pressure hosepipe to wash your backside first (there's a knack to it). Presumably their sewage disposal system leaves something to be desired.
Although we saw several wonderful rivers we didn't do much fishing (we managed a bit and it was interesting stuff). It's hard (often impossible) to get at the rivers without a boat and the locals had the same story that you hear everywhere in the world - "used to be better, pollution, ovefishing, erosion, etc." amazing when you consider the area of the catchments and the massive flows involved. All in all a fantastic place and no doubt we'll be going back to see Richard and Ana in the near future, perhaps to try and fish in the sea.
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pink poui trees.
Black hooded parakeets and cowbirds.