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Kendjam – Brazil 

More than any other destination that we have visited, Kendjam represents the ultimate jungle experience. A more pristine, beautiful, biologically diverse fishing adventure is truly hard to imagine. This trip will absolutely blow the minds of ardent trout anglers enabling them to use their favorite tackle and techniques to fool a wide range of super-charged jungle species. At the same time guests will have a chance to meet and interact with the Kayapo, Brazil’s most prosperous and traditional native tribe.

For more information please contact co-author Ken Morrish at 800-552-2729


Kendjam Expert Q&A with Rafael Costa
Rafael has guided in Tsimane, Rio Marie, Pirarucu and Kendjam (which is his personal favorite)

Why Go?
1. Arguably the most beautiful, clear flowing jungle river in Brazil with fishing reminiscent of great western trout fishing.
2. Great light tackle, top-water sight fishing for multiple species of hard fighting jungle fish.
3. Incredible wildlife and birding.
4. Ultra pristine wilderness setting with a deluxe jungle lodge.
5. Incredible native culture in one of the most untouched indigenous tribes in the entire Amazon and true adventure travel.

How do I get there?
Guests fly into Manaus, Brazil and overnight before taking a three hour charter flight to the remote village of Kendjam. After meeting the villagers and their chiefs, guests will travel three hours downstream by motorized canoe to the remote safari camp.

When should I go?
July through September.

Where do they fish?
They fish multiple beats of the Iriri River. These beats are 40-60 KM downstream of the village and ultra pristine with lots of fish and varying water types. Boat fishing and wade fishing are both available.

What are the accommodations and meals like?
Accommodations are in comfortable well-appointed hardwood lodge rooms.  They are built on large wooden platforms and have full bedding, ceiling fans, electricity, refrigerators, showers, flush toilets, chairs, tables and storage. Kendjam takes six guests per week. Meals will be prepared by a dedicated chef and will be hearty and tasty considering the remote location.

Describe the atmosphere and style of the lodge.
This is a casual yet comfortable camp for adventure travelers. There will be far more employees than anglers, many of whom are Kayapo and they will have limited interaction with guests while the bilingual fly fishing guides will interface often with guests.

Is there internet and cell service?
No, maybe internet in the near future. Make sure to ask.

How do they fish?
Fishing will be done from the boats (aluminum boats) and while wet wading. There will be both sight fishing and blind casting opportunities with most sight fishing being done on foot. The wading is somewhat challenging but adds immeasurably to the overall experience. Bring your felt boots with you and if possible a walking staff.

 What fish will I catch?
The primary species in order of abundance are: yellow peacock bass, pacu-borracha, wolf fish, matrinxa (know also as jatuarana), and bicuda. There are additional species as well.

How many fish will I catch?
5-25 a day depending on skill, conditions and species targeted.

Is there wade fishing?
Yes and there is a lot for those who want it and are good on their feet. Good cleated wading boots help and you can wade aggressively as the water is warm, non threatening and you are wet wading.  Most guests take several deliberate swims a day to refresh.

How far are the fishing grounds from camp?
Runs range from 10 minutes to 40 minutes depending on the beats. When and if you elect to head to the lower base camp, that run will be several hours. The trip from the main camp to the village (on transfer days is typically around three hours depending on water levels.

Does the lodge provide equipment?
No but you will be able to purchase some flies on site.

What is your favorite rod for the trip?
7wt. with weight forward floating line. 

Are there other activities?
Yes, there is great birding and nature lovers who just like being out can really get a lot out this remarkable location as you will be in the heart of one of the largest tracts of uncut rainforest on earth.

What are the physical demands?
The travel is fairly arduous and the wading is moderately difficult. Also when the water is low guests will need to get out of the canoes and help push and/or pull the canoes through shallow sections.

What are the guides like?
There will be two types of guides. The Kayapo boatmen who are, for the most part, very reserved and either Brazilian or Argentine fly fishing guides. The fly fishing guides have the skills one would expect and will vary in terms of how outgoing they are.

Do the guides speak English?
There are only a few Kayapo who speak any English, and most Kaypo speak very little, even to one another. The fly fishing guides will all have basic English skills and will be able to help anglers understand and approach the fisheries.

Are there special skills required?
No, basic trout fishing skills are all that are needed to enjoy this trip.

Dangers and annoyances:
Kendjam is a real adventure travel trip and a lot of time is spent moving about in slow boats due to the nature of the region and river. There are lots of freshwater stingrays that anglers must be mindful of. The river has rugged terrain and rapids, and props can get broken and plans delayed. There are lots of jungle creatures (including jaguars) and there are lots of river creatures (including electric eels) but neither represent an immediate threat to visiting anglers. Despite the wide array of creatures in the area, the Iriri river experience has a comfortable, friendly non-threatening feel to it.

Are there heath concerns?
We recommend that all guests traveling to Brazil check the CDC’s website for the most current information pertaining to the region. Also note that the Kayapo require all guests to have a Yellow Fever certificate.

The new lodge likely represents the most comfortable accommodations in a 200 mile radius of this remote and wonderful location.

Top-water yellow peacocks on light tackle are one of several unique angling attractions.

In terms of a unique cultural experience, Kendjam and the Kayapo are off the chart.

In terms of creature comforts, climate, cuisine and insects, Kendjam is very comfortable and limited to eight anglers per week.

In addition to world class light-tackle fishing for multiple species of gamefish, Kendjam has remarkable wildlife and bird watching opportunities.