Rewa River, Guyana - February 2025

Remote Expedition Pursuing the World’s Largest Freshwater Fish – Arapaima

Rewa Village is a small Amerindian community located in the North Rupununi forest in central Guyana. It is situated at the confluence of the Rewa and Rupununi rivers. Rewa is home to about 300 inhabitants, mostly from the Makushi tribe. The Rewa area is renowned for its abundance of wildlife such as jaguars, harpy eagles, and of course the legendary arapaima.

To make this unique resource more available to tourists, the Rewa Eco-Lodge was built with a community grant provided by Conservation International. In the recent past, visiting bird enthusiasts noticed that the waters surrounding the area were teeming with giant Arapaima gigas, a fish nearly extinct throughout their natal waters of the Amazon basin and Central/South America. Several organizations including Conservation International, USAID, and Costa Del Mar Sunglasses began a project in 2010 to assess the strength of the fishery and the feasibility of pursuing the North Rupununi as a sport-fishing destination.

Fishing for arapaima takes place during the dry season, when the waters that normally flood the forest are reduced to small secluded lagoons. A plethora of fish are concentrated into these bodies of water, and the arapaima becomes the top predator for these smaller fish.

The specific fishing technique is very similar to lagoon fishing for tarpon: patient poling with angler on bow, suddenly the arapaima rolls, angler presents the fly ASAP, and hopes for an eat. The only difference is the arapaima will follow the fly and often times eats right at the boat, so keep stripping! Once hooked, just like a tarpon, the arapaima is an explosive jumper and strong fighter.

Besides arapaima, other species anglers can target include peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris), haymara (wolsh, Hoplias aimara), payara, arawana, pacu, and catfish.


What is Fishing like on the Rewa River, Guyana?

Arapaima gigas:

12 weight single-handed rods and large arbor reels are ideal for subduing large powerful arapaima. The arapaima do not typically run into the backing, but a very high-quality drag is needed to put adequate pressure on the large fish. As reel parts/maintenance can be challenging in the jungle, a sealed drag and an extra rod and reel just in case is highly recommended. 

Tropical lines floating, intermediate, and sinking/sink-tip to vary depths when searching for fish. Floating and intermediate will be most often used. In the past, there has been a high failure rate with traditional fly lines, as the core strength is usually in the 25-30 pound test range. Highly recommended are GT lines or any other line with a stronger core, both in floating and intermediate. Bring multiple spares; not only do lines break but the red-bellied piranha bite them to pieces as well.

Just like a tarpon, the arapaima has an extremely hard boney mouth. We recommend strong chemically-sharpened hooks in sizes 3/0-8/0. Tube flies can also work well, especially with wiggle tails. In past expeditions, we have found that having all white/silver flies to imitate arawana, all black flies to imitate wolfish, and peacock flies are a great way to cover all bases. Deceivers tend for work well as they plunge quickly to present to rolling arapaima.

Other species:

6-8 weight rod/reel combinations are ideal for other species we will find like arawana, peacock bass, and payara. Tropical floating lines are the best bet for the lagoons and bring spares in case of piranhas. It is also worth having an intermediate tip and a couple of sinking lines 200-400 for the river. Bring a full arsenal of large streamers, poppers, gurglers, etc. for these smaller species.

Leaders and tippet for all species: 

A selection of fluoro or hard mono in 20, 40, 60, 80, & 100 pounds – one of all except 80 or 100, which 2 would be ideal. 20-30 lb. knotable wire is required for catching toothy “bycatch” species. 20 lb. leaders are recommended for these smaller species. 


Fishing Season on the Rewa River, Guyana


Lodging & Food on the Rewa River, Guyana

The first few days of the trip most of the fish is close to Rewa Village. During this time, anglers sleep in a small luxury ecolodge built and managed by the local Rewa community. However, the real adventure awaits upriver, and anglers will use community-operated fly camps deep in the Guyanese jungle. Thatched roofed huts cover sleeping and dining quarters, and the sounds of the jungle serenade anglers to sleep after exciting days on the water. While both locations are remote, the quality and uniqueness of the food and lodge are unmatched.

Itinerary Breakdown for 2025 Hosted Trip

January 31 – February 9, 2025

4 rods available

  • DAY 1 – Arrival in Georgetown, Guyana via Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO). Private transportation to Cara Lodge. Lodging Cara Lodge. 
  • DAY 2 – Private early morning transport to Ogle international airport. 
  • Charter flight to Apoteri in interior Guyana with Brittan-Norman Islander (twin engine aircraft), flight time 1 hour 45 min. Upon landing anglers are met by Indifly representatives for a 1-hour upriver boat ride to Rewa Eco-Lodge. Once at the lodge, guests settle into a private cabana to unpack and stage their gear for a week’s quest for arapaima. After a soft drink or a cold Banks beer and a quick bite, guests have the immediate opportunity to break personal records, and perhaps world records, for a fly-caught freshwater fish. By the end of day one, guests will be well aware of the truly remarkable fishery that is interior Guyana. Lodging Rewa Eco-Lodge. 
  • DAY 3-8 – Each day anglers set off to fish different lagoons in the forest. Please note that each day we will hike to new ponds to seek out fresh arapaima. The hikes are easy-moderate and range anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. (Please make sure to see gear list and pack some light hiking shoes or flats booties.) Lodging Rewa Eco-Lodge or fly camps in upper Rewa river. Fly camps are equipped with shower, toilet, cots & hammocks with bug nets, and a complete staff of local people to help with cooking, cleaning, and guiding.
  • Day 9 – Charter flight back to Georgetown arriving mid-afternoon. It is recommended that international departures are set for Sunday, Feb. 17 in case there is mechanical or weather events that delay the charter schedule. Private transportation to Cara Lodge. Lodging Cara Lodge. 
  • Day 10 – Private transportation to Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO). International departure from Georgetown, Guyana.