A Fly Fishing Journey in the Bolivian Amazon
Viewfinder: What Kind of Meat?
Watch a few trout bum videos in a row and you’ll get the gist: the fishermen (always well bearded) nail the stunning location and hippie vibes. There are nice soliloquies about the power of nature voiced over slow-mo shots of flowing water and unfurling casts. They’ll make you want to fish even if you can’t tell a caddis from a cadillac, and they’re entertaining.
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But throw in some monkey meat and you’ve changed the paradigm. During an exploratory fly fishing trip in the Bolivian Amazon last year, the Provo Bros introduced a new sort of fishing adventure. One with dance club techno bumping from a portable speaker in a jungle camp; joyous waterside play-by-plays (“that thing hit that thing like a freight train!” and “Dude, he fucking hiiiit that thing!”); a payoff of an irate roadside bystander (did they drive on his land? Fuck his daughter?); a random trip to the source of the Amazon, that is, snowmelt from the Andes, for a skiing and snowboarding aside. And yes, one that involves two dead monkeys being grilled and eaten, which is gnarly.
As for the fishing, the prehistoric-looking monsters that the fishermen haul from the river (while screeching like banshees) are legendary for their aggressive eating habits and for their moxie during a fight; among cultish fishermen, they’re known as a destination-worthy fish. But while the fishing is entertaining, it’s the unpredictable ways in which the adventurers uncover Bolivia’s fantastical beauty that make the video worthwhile for a broad audience. “All we wanted to do was catch a big Golden Dorado on the fly in a jungle choked, Amazonian headwater stream, but the trip evolved into something much greater”, Neil Provo explained on his blog. “Our fly-fishing trip became more of a lesson in the immense diversity of Bolivia’s landscapes and people.” He fails to mention the diversity of their food.