My first two weeks in the jungle have been unreal. I’ve been staying at “Camp Galletas” way up the Las Piedras River, named for the the circular slices of logs that form our wood floors. The jungle is unlike anything else, with so many insects, snakes, frogs, birds, mammals and more. The first week was spent macheteing trails and areas for the new camp that is being built, but I’ve been able to have some great adventures along the way. Now there are around 30 workers, volunteers, and interns at the camp so it’s a busy place. I’m working as an intern for Fauna Forever, a nonprofit organization that seeks to survey and research the wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest to help preserve important areas and create sustainable ways to harvest resources. I have begun work with Alexis, the bird coordinator, doing mist netting and bird banding. I’m learning so much about this process and gaining a lot of experience. In the first three days of mist netting we captured 38 birds of about 30 species. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. Expect another update in a few weeks!
It’s my second day in Peru and I already experienced so much. My flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado offered amazing views of the Andes mountains and eventually the Amazon Rainforest. Upon landing, I met with Chris, the Fauna Forever leader and he showed me around the main Fauna Forever site. We then went into town to meet other members of the crew. The main house is near town but tucked back in a small forest. In addition to people, it hosts several Tarantulas, bats, Tamarin Monkeys, and a bunch of birds.
We are planning on heading out into the field tomorrow, where we will be traveling up the Las Piedras River to a new campsite that Fauna Forever and Arc Amazon are working on. I think I’ll be spending most of my time there, although I will probably come back in town for wifi and some good food occasionally. I’m going to be taking general photos along with specific birds photos, as well as helping with the bird research near the campsite. A lot of the details are still unknown so I’m just going with the flow! I’ll leave you with these photos until next time!
With the semester drawing to a close, fishing has taken the back burner. Instead of being able to enjoy these warm spring evenings on the water, I now have to finish projects, write reports, and study for exams. Not my idea of enjoyment, but it needs to be done. Do not think however that I did not make time for one last fishing trip! For some time now, my fishing buddies and I have wanted to fish the fabled waters of the Missouri River. It was decided that Sunday, May 3rd would be the big day. With the flies tied and the car packed, we hit the road Saturday afternoon around 4. After two and a half hours of driving and a few stops along the way, we arrived at our campsite and pitched our tent.
After a solid meal of chili and tortillas (they ate cold hot dogs), we sat around camp and talked of the past and future fishing adventures.
We then turned in for the night, all knowing sleep would be a long time in coming. Finally after a fitful night of rest, the day came and we busted out of camp around 7:30 AM. Fifteen minutes later we arrived at the river and wadered up (put on waders). We hiked for about 20 min and then began fishing. Cody was the first one to hook up for the day and landed a beautiful 17 inch rainbow trout.
The fishing continued on, but we could not hook up with any more fish. Finally after about an hour I caught and released my first fish for the day, a nice fat 16 inch rainbow. We fished downstream for about and hour and a half and then I hooked up with what would later be the biggest trout of my life. I let my line drift downstream, when my indicator dipped i set the hook and watched a giant rainbow roll over. After minutes of fighting I landed my biggest wild trout to date, a 22 inch wild rainbow trout.
After that fish I did not really care what happened for the rest of the day.
The rest of the morning was rather uneventful and the fish were few and far between. Early afternoon found us downriver about 2 and a half miles from are car, so we decided so slow down the pace and fish one spot for a while. Cody caught his first fish on a dry fly and was happy to finally learn the beauty of dry fly fishing. Nymphing the shallows hooked me up with another large fish, a 20 inch rainbow.
At about 5 we turned around and headed back upriver to return to our car. Cody and Billy headed to the car, but I decided to fish one more small stretch before breaking down the rod. I managed to catch two more trout, one of which reached 21 inches on my tape measure. What a way to end the day. I returned to the car with a smile plastered to my face, proud to have caught 3 of my biggest trout in one day. It was a great trip and one that will be long talked about. Hopefully it will get me through the next two weeks before I return home. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment!
One last picture of Missoula, before I end this post.