This is an arapaima, a juvenile version of the largest freshwater fish in the world (with scales). It’s one of the first of these fish ever to be caught on a fly. It was hooked in the jungle waters of Guyana in South America, and for more details on that expedition, you can click here.
But the backstory involves what rods, reels, and lines we used to catch these monsters. That’s pretty simple: in this case, we used a Rio Tropical Clouser line, a Hatch Outdoors reel, and a Sage Xi3 rod.
Truth is, we had a number of rods on this trip. The rod that stood apart when it was time to cast a seven-inch-long streamer that looked like a mini peacock bass 60 feet or more, and then fight that fish in tight quarters from a dugout canoe, was the Sage Xi3.
Granted, rod preference is a purely subjective thing. But “extreme” fishing environments are not. How all this transposes to tarpon, sailfish, and other big species is open to individual imagination, but my mind is made up.