The fish was a sub adult male Taeniacara candidi. I deposited it in the photography tank but I was shaking too much to get a good picture. The next few scoops brought up several splash tetras, shrimps, and to my delight, a nice, bright yellow Apistogramma rupununi in breeding dress, I dropped it in the photo tank and snapped a few photos.
I returned to the water and noticed a kind of aquatic plant that I had never seen before. Here there were many small trees and fallen logs, it was shaded and cool. I also caught a first for this area, a huge Crenuchus spilurus male, it was close to two inches long and the largest I had ever seen.
Taeniacaras were actually common here, the net sometimes producing two at once. I caught a few large, beautiful specimens, some of the largest I have seen. When they come up in the net they look beautiful and light but they soon turn a checkered dark brown when stressed.
I returned to the main river and saw that it was relatively clear even though the rain had started. I caught a female A. rupununi and a few males along with some shrimp.
I generally, am pretty reckless when I am fishing but sometimes when entering a lonely, dark jungle stream I get pretty spooked. The key though, is to not let it get to you (I am not necessarily saying it is a good idea though…). Irrational fears have spoilt many trips with companions for such thing as crawdads, tarantulas, or snakes, they are almost never as dangerous as commonly thought. While I was there I actually saw a snake disappearing into the bushes, but I was unable to catch it, or even take a good look at it.
I moved to a different biotope and the fish species collected changed: No more Taeniacaras and fewer splash tetras, the water here was a bit more oxygenated. I caught many more shrimp, a species of pencilfish, and a few small, silverish tetras.
The trip didn’t produce a single catfish however; I was hoping I would find one. I also caught several Mesonauta insignis and even an Aequidens tetramerus. I was in high spirits when I caught a pike cichlid. It appears to be Cr. lucius but I am not exactly sure. It is only a bit more then an inch so as you can imagine it isn’t very easy to ID.
Then it started to rain. Hard. The thunder rumbled close by, ominously. I was soaked pretty quickly. The Nikon was covered but I was sill a bit worried about it. I caught a very large Apistogramma rupununi, probably my largest yet. It had a nice blue sheen on the scales and was at least 2 ½ inches.
It was raining hard and the river was getting muddy. I had no time piece and I figured my time would be up about now. A half an hour later I was still waiting, soaked to the skin, enduring the multiple cars speeding by, splashing water on me and laughing. This is generally why I don’t take people with me on my travels to the jungle! The rain had stopped and I wished I could be fishing. I brought out the camera and it didn’t work. Great. The lens wouldn’t come out or go in all the way. At first I thought I had got some sand in it but I am not so sure. I hope to have it cleaned out by the end of the week.
My ride came right on time. But I had been waiting for a half an hour. Oh and did I mention I was wet?