Lake Guri update
An update from my good friend Steve Shoulders regarding Lake Guri.
My reports have been far and few between these past two months, but thatís what happens to a fishing report when there is no fishing. These past few weeks we have watched as the water level in the rivers feeding Lake Guri have risen over 4 meters (13 feet), and then in a matter of two days fallen 6 meters (19.5 feet).
During this up and down period, we have also had to play dodge a tree when moving around in one of our boats as we were checking on the fishing, and I am here to tell you that keeping an eye out for a tree the size of the space shuttle, while at the same time attempting to entice a fish to bite, can be nerve racking.
With the water level in the river fluctuating so rapidly another problem has arisen, and that being my guides are the first to admit they aren't white water daredevils. Two weeks ago I had Santos, my senior citizen guide, bring a boat up to the camp from El Manteco so that we could do some investigating of the area. The trip upriver was uneventful, but during the course of our stay at the camp, the force of the current in the river doubled. Then when we were all ready to return home, Santos found himself having to navigate Class 5 rapids near the camp, which he safely did, but not without making a few life decisions on the way. The primary one being that after three hours of having safely passed the rapids, he still couldn't get the boat cushion upon which he had been sitting loose from his butt.
From the report I received this morning from the camp, the water is rising again at a rate of 10-15 inches a day, as the first true rains of our annual rainy season fall heavily in the mountains above the lake. The long range forecast has these rains continuing to fall, so we should be back in business sometime in mid to late June. I will not reopen until I know for sure that it is safe to navigate, and that the fish have started to feed in the shallows again.
Since my days of fishing have been on hold lately, I decided to use this as a time of learning. What I wanted to learn was how I would enjoy down time if I actually retired at some point in the future (you are probably asking yourself, "who would want to retire from a life of fishing all the time?"). The up side is not having anything pressing that would force you to get up at the crack of dawn each day, the ability to spend more quality time with the family, and having the time to sit down and enjoy a good book at my leisure. What I quickly found out is that retirement is not something I am programmed for, and the consensus of opinion of those around me is that I suck at it.
Now that we all know I am bored to death, and you know that after this long period of no fishing you are ready to start casting at a mud puddle in your driveway, we are getting close to both of our day of salvation. The best part of all this is that when the water returns to a safe level and clears up, we will experience fishing of a quality few have ever witnessed. Both peacock bass and payara will be packed on the rocky points near the camp where they will be gorging themselves on the mass of bait fish coming downriver with the current. It will be a matter of you throw it, and they will hit it. This will definitely not be a time of trying your luck with ultra-light tackle, unless you bring lots of it to donate to the fish.
Lake Guri, Venezuela
Al "Legend" Schaefer
available for consultation