A photo essay by Brian Grossenbacher

The primeval jungles of Guyana hide arapaimas, where 150 million years have changed little about these living fossils of the rainforest. Highly predatory, they are reported to reach 10 feet in length and exceed 800 pounds, but landing one isn’t the hardest part.

First, you have to get there.

The task of dragging boats through miles of dense foliage to the isolated lagoons falls on the local Amerindian guides, but the cast, presentation, and hook set are all you. The arapaima rises to the surface to fill its air bladder at 20-minute intervals so your window is small. But the reward is an encounter with a demon possessed, jumping and thrashing its way to hand.

You’ve caught your dinosaur.

Rewa village, a remote community of roughly 300 Makushi tribe members, is home to the Rewa Eco Lodge, which sits at the confluence of the Rewa and Rupununi Rivers in Central Guyana.

Brian Grossenbacher worked with WorldCast Anglers (www.worldcastanglers.com) to visit the region, which is renowned for its ecological diversity and abundance of wildlife. The seasons are short, with four weeks in late February/early March and four more in November.

You’ll need a 12-weight rod and floating lines.