|Heaven of Gold|
A photographic essay.
It’s dislocating. You’re wet-wading a trout stream—could be the Willowemoc, the Gallatin, the North Platte. But that’s no crisp bamboo unfurling a BWO toward 10-inch trout
It’s a double-hauled 9-weight honking out a 10-inch streamer, a jarring smash from a 40-pounder. Welcome to Bolivia and the upper Amazon.
At every familiar riffle, you expect mayflies and caddis popping into the air, cattle lowing, a chugging John Deere. Instead, psychedelic butterflies waft from the rain forest, and a jaguar coughs in the distance. You rifle out another 60-foot cast, and another golden dorado smashes your psychedelic streamer and arcs into the sun.
Spanish conquistadors searched the Amazon for a legendary golden city, a king covered in gold dust. Five hundred years later, Argentinean fly fishers searched the upper Amazon and found, well, this—wadable water and fishable fish, a golden beauty the natives call the Kings of the River. Catch one here, and you’ll agree.