Payara are found throughout the San Simon River in the deeper water with current. Drop-off at the downstream end of islands, switchbacks in the river and high cut banks and deep runs. They usually show themselves, slightly breaking the surface of the water when they are actually feeding. You can wade and bank fish at times, other times you fish from the boat. A medium to fast-sink tip is best, depending on water levels and depth, with six feet of 30-40 pound leader tippet and braided wire leader. Use Tiger brand wire leader in 15-30 pound test. Cast your spuddler-type fly into the pool (quartering downstream casts are best) and let the fly sink. It is important to have a straight line to the fish so put your rod tip right down on the water and strip back the fly with long medium-to fast strips. When the fish strikes, set the hook with a strong jerk of your strip hand. Set the hook a couple of times, as payara have very boney mouths. When you hook a fish, it is usually airborne instantly. Barb the hook for better penetration and hook set. It is important to have very sharp hooks—laser sharpened are best. Payara fight until they are completely exhausted, so take care in reviving the fish before release.

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