Rain. Yeah, that’s the word that always causes a flood (get it?) of mixed emotions. It has the power to spoil most any day, yet without it, there wouldn’t be a day to spoil.
I live in the rainforest and it rains a lot. Some times of the year you can count on rain coming twice a day. Other months it may be as infrequent as once every three days, that’s the Amazon all right.
Fortunately rain has less effect on fishing with nets than some other hobbies, say fishing with hook and line or getting a tan (sometimes you can still get a tan while its raining though) But like any outdoor sport, it causes problems. For one, rain-water will gush into the river and cloud it instantly. In minutes a clear tranquil creek becomes a raging muddy tsunami, at least that’s what happens in the Amazon.
Its not impossible to fish then, but it can get harder and the fish may become seemingly scarcer and scarcer.
As I approached my target stream with my nets, breather bags, and camera, the booming of thunder came ominously closer. The moment I entered the water the clouds blocked out the sunlight as if someone had flipped a switch. When I brought up the first fish in my net, cool breezes flowed over me bringing shivers with them. While I put the first fish in the photo tank the first drops fell. I figured I had 30 minutes before the tempest arrived. Not much time, but there is never enough time when you are fishing.
Now I will back up a little to 3:56 the time that I was walking along a sandy path towards the stream. I put my gear down near a palm tree. I had a sudden impulse to try to find spiders and capture them. Not hard, I found a small web in the palm tree but as I peeled back the bark the poor mygalamorph (its complicated to explain what that is) scurried into an inaccessible crevasse. I walked around the tree hoping to find a similar home to spoil. I found another pouch like web and opened it up. A black spider with a bright crimson orangish abdomen sped effortlessly across the palm tree and into a hole. I finally managed to extract him from this, and put him in a plastic, air-filled bag. I continued to the stream occasionally shooting pictures of flowers along the way.
My hope for this trip was to catch a few female Apistogramma rupununis for my lonely males, and to see if there really were Taeniacara candidis here. I also wanted to find a pike cichlid or two and explore along a trail.
I walked along the trail first and found a perfect biotope for fish. The bottom was terribly muddy, it was gray, nasty, smelly stuff intent on stealing my shoes (It almost succeeded). The water here was clear, but with a definite brown tint to it. Spalsh tetras danced near the surface and I saw a few, dark, Apistogramma like fish darting from plant to plant (yes there were a few sickly plants) I dipped my net into the water and scooped one up. Looking into my net, it took me a few second to figure out what it was. I figured it out and immediately ran back along the trail, I had forgotten my photography tank.
Stay tuned for the next installment about the fish caught.