The first time I saw a photo of a peacock was way back when. While I can’t you whether the picture was magazine or internet, how the fish was caught or who holding it. I do have, etched into my memory, an image of a 20lb plus black-barred, red and yellow fish being held above the angler’s head. Like he was offering it up to some unknown fishing god. My eye keep sneaking back to the big white-rimmed black dot sitting snug against end of the caudal peduncle.

WHAT! My naive and youthful fisherman’s mind exploded. I had yet to discover many of the other species catchable on fly in the world. I was only 13 after all! And this was a revelation that changed my outlook on fly fishing forever.

Since that first ‘experience’ I’ve had a burning desire to catch a Peacock Bass.

Not actually bass, these cichlids natural range is found within the Amazon River basin but has been introduced to Hawaii, Panama, Florida and Mauritius amongst other places.  So basically anywhere in Northern South America you’ll have a chance at one of the 15 different species.

The way to catch them, it appears, is to use big flies and employ aggressive retrieves. Casting to structure is evidently also a winner. Flies: poppers, streamers and “any other fly that’ll push a f*%k load of water”.

The following photos are thanks to Francois Botha of The Guides Company and are from his Aqua Boa gallery. The three fish, in order, are the Speckled, Butterfly and Barred Peacock Bass.