Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dhandarry Resort in Abary River offers fishing adventures

Stabroek News: The thatched palm roof of a benab and simple latticed walkway greets guests as Dhandarry Nature Resort rises serenely from the waters of the Abary Creek after a six-mile speedboat journey.

The resort was the realisation of a dream for 43-year-old Mahaicony resident, proprietor Kumar Ramdeo who told Stabroek News that he had always wanted to transform a piece of land into something where persons could relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Ramdeo said he would often sit quietly and imagine such a place whenever he accompanied his father Dhandarry Ramdeo to tend his rice and cattle farm. Last April Ramdeo opened the resort about 13 miles up the Abary Creek, and named it in honour of his now deceased father.

Already it has hosted several overseas-based guests. An excited guest told this newspaper that the place was “fantastic” and that he would encourage his friends to visit. He said a resort was much needed in Berbice and he commended Ramdeo for “taking up the challenge.” Ramdeo got down to work after visiting other resorts to see what was on offer and acquiring a substantial amount of money. Ivan Charles, a resident of the Rupununi was hired to work on the project and to build the benabs.

Currently guests can enjoy activities such as boating, fishing, biking, bird-watching and sightseeing in the conservancy and in the savannah. Or they can simply enjoy the scenery, especially the birds flying by from the patio. “It is a joy for the guests to watch the manatees go by in the creek especially in the nights, he said. Additionally, guests can also enjoy games such as volleyball, basketball or cricket or choose from the many board games such as Chinese checkers, Scrabble and dominoes or just simply relax in the hammocks. Meanwhile, more adventurous guests can choose to “experience milking the cows in the mornings and horseback riding in the savannah while the vaqueros round up cattle,” Ramdeo said.

At Dhandarry, accommodation is provided in a specially built cabin which consists of three spacious self-contained bedrooms. When persons make reservations they are also asked what food and beverages they prefer and Ramdeo ensures that it is available before they get there. He said proudly the resort’s fare comes from his livestock farm located nearby where he rears creole fowls, ducks, turkeys, sheep and cows. He also provides fish dishes with fish freshly caught in the creek and vegetables from his organic vegetable garden. And if the guests request a buffet style of service the resort can also provide outside barbecues on the lawns or campfire dinners.

Ramdeo said he is in the process of establishing a cassava farm in order to produce casareep. He also intends to build an aqua-culture farm which would be staffed with persons from the area. He also spoke at length about his plans to set up an office at Bush Lot, West Berbice; to add jet skiing to the line-up of water sports and to boost his boating service by buying more boats and outboard engines and even four-runners to traverse the dam. The resort is powered by solar energy.

Ramdeo said he knows that there is still room for improvement and welcomes suggestions. Along the seven-mile drive he spoke confidently about his plans and was optimistic that the resort would soon attract persons from all parts of the country. The trip to the resort, a total of one hour of travelling time was peaceful with cattle ranches and rice farms and a few houses dotting the landscape. When we finally reached our destination, Ramdeo became silent as the roofs of the benabs seem to rise gracefully from the calm waters of the creek.

Guests disembark at a remodelled farmhouse overlooking the creek which now boasts a patio decorated with hammocks. After indulging in a bit of horseback riding, playing a few games of volleyball and basketball, fishing in ponds and enjoying the goodies that we had packed it was time to say goodbye. We left the resort feeling satisfied and vowing to return soon with friends and family to share in the idyllic surroundings.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rockstone Fish Festival 2008 a success

GINA: The third annual Rockstone Fish Festival attracted thousands of international and local participants giving a tremendous boost to Region 10 tourism development.

The event which is held by the Rockstone Fish Festival Committee and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), captivated the huge crowd with various events which included sport fishing guided tours to the nearby Gluck island and Golden Beach in the Essequibo river, fish-cooking and fillet competitions, paddle boat racing and a variety of cultural events.

Director of GTA, Indranauth Haralsingh expressed his delight to be part of this emerging tourism activity. He noted that the area’s potential is vast and the Ministry, GTA and other stakeholders are committed to the development of sport fishing in Guyana.

“What we are doing at the Ministry and the GTA is to brand Guyana as a sport fishing destination. I would like to encourage the management of the festival to be consistent in hosting and marketing this event,” he said.

Haralsingh posited that this event has the ability to be held twice or event thrice a year, since it generates great economic activities for the community.

The Director declared that, “This is domestic tourism at work, the event offers visitors the opportunity to escape from their normal surroundings, to explore, experience and enjoy yet another new event and destination in this country.”

While noting that the festival is a unique attraction that offers relaxation and entertainment for both visitors and locals alike, he said that, “the principal reasons for showcasing the skills and talents of the residents are to improve the profile and image of Linden, to increase the awareness of Linden as a tourism destination and to share with the world the lifestyle and activities of this fishing community.”

The festival is the first of its kind to be held in Guyana and it continues to generate interest and excitement among fishing enthusiasts. In addition, activities such as bird watching, river safaris, nature walks, sport fishing and visits to the nearby beaches are all ideas that will be explored.

Chairman of the Rockstone Fish Festival Committee, Selwyn Lancaster, said that, “We have been having a real good time because we have the maximum number of tours taking place.
Everything is on schedule and it’s way beyond our expectations right now.”

A member of the Guyanese disapora in the U.S, Dennis Ramprashad said, “We just came out for a day of fun fishing with our friends, we knew that the festival was going to be an activity but we are not professional fishermen… it has potential, I know some people came and they stayed overnight…if you have a resort or a hotel, people can come and spend more time.”

Jiri Jiranek, from the Chec Republic described the experience as being great. “It’s excellent, good fish, many nice people… Sport fishing potential is enormous, the infrastructure should be arranged and some propaganda in Europe to bring Europeans and Americans here.”

Persons participating in the fishing competition had a lot to display, with a variety of Ariwana, Himara and Lukunani.

A group called “Bass Tracker” won the first prize having netted the most fish weighing 32 lbs!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rockstone Fish Festival 2007 Prizes were given to the various winners of the competitions held and while in some cases persons who were not officially recognised as participants still impressed those in attendance. The winner of the biggest Pirai fish was E. Leung which weighed 3-3/4lbs, Richard Lambert and Nand Kishoon who is from St Vincent catching also a Lukanani fish which weighed three and three-quarter pounds.

The biggest Cat Fish (Cullett) was just less than two and three-quarter pounds and Vishwanand Narine caught an Arawana which weighed just under one and three quarter pounds.

However the strangest fish was caught by six-year old Daniel Rampersaud, for which a special prize is to be given, while two men were seen with what was the biggest catch of the day. They, however, were not official participants and their catch of two Hymaras of 15 pounds and 14-1/2 pounds were easily the most impressive.

But later Gregory De Souza, who was stranded, having caught the biggest Lukanani at Rattlesnake Rock, seven miles from Rockstone up the Essequibo River, which weighed over seven pounds, was also rewarded for his catch.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Rockstone Fish Festival Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad stated that Rockstone is a potential tourist attraction. His comments came during the first-ever Rockstone Fish Festival held over the weekend in Region Ten.

Rockstone is a community located on the Essequibo River , some 32 miles above Bartica.

A fish festival celebrates the contribution made by those persons involved in the local fishing industry. The event organised by the Region Ten Tourism Association in collaboration with the Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP), the Youth Neighbourhood Development Movement and the Tourism Ministry, attracted individuals from Linden , Bartica, Mahaica, Georgetown and New Amsterdam .

Head of LEAP, Kathleen Whalen, said that the event was a success. She said that some 900 people paid at the gate to enter the fishing area.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Taken from here.

Fisherman Mike

Mike Roberts: Waters are full of fish! People are friendly! Travel is relatively easy and cheap! Guyana is one of the world's last frontiers offering unimaginable miles of virgin territory packed full of fish that have never even seen a fly or lure. Feel free to contact me for information on the how to and where information that is hard to find unless one bites the bullet and jumps on a plane bound for the unknown. I'm always on the lookout for fellow fisherman wanting the adventure of a lifetime!

How does one contact you Mike? We saw not contact information listed.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lukanani Lodge, Abary River

Although the official rainy season for Guyana is May-June, I think it is safe to say it started on April 7th with the onset of a fourteen hour rain. There is good reason for calling a rain forest a RAIN forest! As the rains came in, my usual fishing territory disappeared beneath the flood waters of Region 9.

The rainy season has never been a welcome sight for most fishermen in this neck of the woods as the Rupununi District, where most do their fishing, largely vanishes under umpteen feet of water and the Peacock Bass head into the impenetrable vegetation which becomes mostly submerged. In past years, I hung the rod & reel on the wall and patiently awaited the blue skies of August to bake the Rupununi Savannah as the flood waters pulled back into the river banks. When September was showing on the old calendar, it was time to blow the dust off the camping and fishing gear and look forward to the action that awaited me in the interior regions of this beautiful country.

Last weekend, my outlook on the fishing season took an about-face as I had the privilege of visiting The Lukanani Lodge, located on the Abary River. Now, this is truly an amazing place and my only regret was I scheduled FAR too little time for all the lodge has to offer. Originally, my wife and I were looking forward to an enjoyable and relaxing time, expecting to see some beautiful jungle, a few birds and a couple animals, if luck was with us. I'll tell ya, were we ever in for a shock with the NON-STOP action those 30 hours had in store!

The Lukanani Lodge was first constructed in the 1950s but had major renovations in the 1990s, by the Mekdeci family, to be used as a weekend get-away for the family and friends. Over the years, it has seen little commercial use. The lodge is strategically located on the high ground that forms the barrier for the Abary Water Conservancy, a vast and pristine, +300 square mile reservoir for the rice lands and sugarcane fields of Guyana. Just off the lodge's front veranda, snakes the beautiful Abary River. From the back steps, one has immediate access to the virtually untouched conservancy.

The comfort level of the lodge is superb as each bedroom has an air conditioner, private bathroom with hot water, and flush toilet. The meals were outstanding with no shortage of food. Activities are only limited by one's imagination.

As Sandy, my wife, and I reflected back on the whirlwind weekend it is hard to imagine we were able to squeeze so much adventure into so few hours! We arrived at the lodge at about 3:00PM on Saturday. While we were unloading the boats from the Abary River side, the workers were putting two boats into the conservancy side. Within minutes, up to five boats were coming and going in approximately one hour intervals, each bound for a different adventure. The group broke into parties of two and we each headed for which ever boat was doing an activity we were interested in.

After a quick cold drink, we headed out to test the Peacock Bass (Lukanani, as they are called in Guyana) action in the conservancy. On the second cast, a plump five pounder was netted. She hit on a yellow and white fly and put up a fight worthy of the legendary fishes reputation. In the hour we fished, four Peacocks were landed and twice as many got away.

While we were in the conservancy checking out the Peacock action, others in the party were fishing the Abary River for Tarpon. After about an hour, we headed back to the lodge where Sandy and I spent the next hour relaxing in the cool breeze of the open front porch. I have to admit, it sure was tempting to immediately jump into another boat which was heading out to look for birds, which is also an excellent activity in this area but we opted to relax. As the sun set, we hopped into a boat on the Abary River side and watched an assortment of birds fly overhead as the sun set.

Ahhh, what a peaceful and relaxing way to bring the daylight hours to an end.

The lackadaisical pace was soon interrupted as we broke from the diner table. Sandy and I headed out the back door and into the conservancy for some nighttime wildlife spotting. From the very beginning, I was impressed at our boat captain's skill as an operator and fishing guide but during the night I was amazed at his knowledge of the local wildlife and expertise in navigating in the pitch black waterways.

The next morning came too early as I hopped into a boat bound for Tarpon in the river. I was still yawning and rubbing my eyes as we traveled the 35 minutes to an area where the surface of the water was in constant motion from countless juvenile Tarpon gulping air and snapping down freshwater shrimp. Shortly after I went out the front door, Sandy headed out the backdoor with a friend to watch him fly-fish for Peacocks.

Upon our return to the lodge, we sat down to another delicious, belt-loosing, meal before we headed out with our guide into the jungles to look for wildlife. The local wildlife species include Spectacled Caiman, Tapir, Jaguar, Capybara, Giant Anteaters, Peccary, Red Deer, Paca Agouti, and an assortment of monkeys, just to name a few. The walk was around three miles and the jungle was teaming with sounds, movement and life. It was simply amazing to be in a place that had absolutely no sign of human existence!

Upon our return from the jungle, we climbed into the seats of a brand new, state of the art, aluminum airboat equipped with a Lycoming 0540 and carbon fiber prop. During our sightseeing trip, we skimmed over water vegetation that would have been a nightmare to plow through in any other boat.

Before we realized it, it was time to return to civilization and leave our new friends and the Lukanani Lodge behind. As I sit here and attempt to record only the most exciting events of the last weekend, it is difficult to do justice to such an enjoyable, relaxing and adventurous time.

That was definitely one of those weekends we'll get a lifetime of stories from as we continue to tell people about this virtually unknown destination.

In conclusion, I was wrong in thinking the Guyana fishing season was limited to just the dry season. When the Rupununi goes under water, it's time to focus on the Abary. When one does not have a lot of time or money to put a trip into the remote Rupununi, it's time to consider the Abary. When one wants to forget about the logistical headache and hassle of planning such an exciting adventure, it's time to contact Hinterlander Tours and leave everything except the fun up to those who specialize in just such action packed vacations as my wife and I had the opportunity to enjoy at the Lukanani Lodge.

Written by Sandy and first published here.

Here is another fishing report with excellent photos.

What's your story? Email them: fishinguyana[at]

Fly fishing adventure at Apoteri

By Dr. George Marzluf

A long-time fishing friend, Hal Fisher and I arrived October 22nd at Georgetown, Guyana and were greeted by Peter Gorinsky, who had organized the Fly Fishing Expedition to Apoteri, a lodge originally built by the British nearly a century ago. Hal is 88 years old, loves fly fishing, and caught more than his share of fish on the trip.

Three other anglers joined us for a group of five guests plus Peter who also would be fishing. After overnighting in Georgetown and an early flight to Apoteri, we were treated with a sumptuous breakfast and soon had our tackle assembled and on our way to a lake that led from one of the main rivers. We immediately caught fish.

This was followed by four more full days of fly fishing. Fishing for peacock bass, or Lukanani, was outstanding with an abundance of peacocks in the 3 to 5 pound range, with the possibility of hooking larger ones. These fish hit streamers and poppers, jumped and fought very well, but their sheer numbers was what was most amazing.

Several times our group hiked to an inland lake where boats awaited us and were rewarded by continuous action with large numbers of peacock bass and also several species of piranhas, especially, the black piranha, large, aggressive, with a mouthful of razor sharp teeth. Each boat had two guides and accommodated two anglers. The guides understood English and quickly responded to any suggestions such as moving closer to shore or to a new spot.

Fishing in the rapids of the large rivers was also exciting and provided opportunities to hook other exotic species, such as Arawana and Payara, large fish which jump with authority. Several of these impressive fish were landed. I also hooked a large pike-like fish, locally called a swordfish, which ran strongly and jumped twice before throwing the fly.

Peter Gorinsky is an accomplished fly fisher and provided everyone with guidance as far as the flies that were most effective at the time, how to entice Arawana to inhale a popper or to fish deep in the rapids with a huge white streamer to attract Payara. Peter also has had many amazing experiences in his lifetime and while demonstrating fly tying in the evenings he would entertain us with interesting tales.

Meals at the lodge were excellent with many interesting local offerings. The staff was friendly and helpful and always greeted us with cold drinks and appetizers, followed later by dinner. The lodge itself is very basic but comfortable. One of the rewarding sidelines was the abundance of wildlife.

I enjoyed seeing a number of tropical birds, squirrel monkeys, a herd of peccaries, several otters, several large caiman, bats, and even a huge tarantula. Another interesting and enjoyable sideline was a visit to the nearby Indian village. The people were friendly and welcomed us in the nicest way.

Finally as we headed back to civilization Peter had arranged for us to visit Kaieteur Fall, a beautiful waterfalls and the highest in the world, and this was a special time that will long be treasured. While at the falls we saw a relatively rare brilliantly colored bird, known as the Cock of the Rock and lovely golden-colored miniature frogs that live only in a certain luscious plant. An hour later we were in Georgetown and had dinner together and then an early morning flight back to the U.S. All in all, a great adventure.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lukanani and Tarpon action in Waini river system

As posted by Tropic here: The small dark freshwater rivers looked more like a good peacock bass water than a tarpon haven. But the juvenile tarpon in sizes from 5 to 20 lbs. were there in great numbers. Using top water Gurglers in Chartreuse , Yellow and Black colors produced the most action and # 4 Circle hook tied Deceiver streamers in blue/white/silver also were great catchers. Using #4 and #6 flyrods with floating lines worked best and the fishing usually was an all day experience. Some other fish like the Yarrow, Houri and Haimara were also caught and most of these needed a wire bite tippet. The best river was the Luri River in the lower Waini River system. Juvenile tarpon were found in most of the small creeks leading inland for about five miles. Some of the best fishing was also found in the canals off Shell Beach in the North West and in the Abary River in the South. Here the tarpon fishing was definitely tidal and limited to the few hours of ideal water flow.

The biggest Lukanani

What's the biggest Lukanani ever caught in Guyana? Does anyone know? Have you caught one that has claimed to being a 'monster'?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Assorted fishing photos

Photos found here.

Rupununi Trails

Duane and Sandy de Freitas and the other folks over at Rupununi Trails coordinate and organize fishing and other trips for local and international tourists alike.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gordon Moseley reports on the Rockstone Fish Festival 2007

Rockstone Fish Festival 2006 lauded

GINA: Prime Minister (designate) Samuel Hinds has lauded the efforts of the Linden Tourism Association in promoting what is described as yet another milestone in the mining town’s tourism thrust.

Minister Hinds who is currently performing the duties of President yesterday addressed a gathering at the launch of the first annual Rockstone Fish-Festival in Linden, Region 10.

Among those present at the event were Executive Directors of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Indira Anandjit and Donald Sinclair.

A number of participants from various institutions including the Linden Multilateral School were also in attendance.

Mr. Hinds noted that fishing which was originally used by many to earn a livelihood has eventually evolved into a pastime.

He lauded the innovation behind the staging of the activity which he said would hold multiple prospects for persons in Region 10.

It was noted that in addition to encouraging tourists to visit Linden, the Fish-Festival would also give fishermen a chance to showcase various species of fish.

The event was conceived by a number of local and overseas-based Guyanese and was initially highlighted during the Linden Town-Week 2006 celebrations.

Yesterday’s event which was held in McKenzie featured cultural presentations, exhibits of fish-dishes and a lecture on the importance of fish in one’s diet.

The Fish Festival continues today with cycle races and fishing competitions.

Among the locations which will be showcased during the event are Rockstone 16 miles Compound, which will feature displays of domestic and aquarium fishes.

The Rockstone Landing and the Paramacusi Creeks will also be featured prominently on the day’s events.

During the Fish-Festival weekend, hotels, restaurants and catering establishments in Linden will be featuring a variety of tasty fish menus.

Among other initiatives which have been launched to breathe new blood into the tourism sector at Linden are the Linden Town-Week and the Kashif and Shanghai Football Competition which attract visitors from all across the country.

Rockstone Fish Festival 2008 launched

Kaieteur News: Fishing enthusiasts from Guyana and further afield will have the opportunity once again to put their skills to the test at the third Rockstone Fish Festival.

The organizers vow that this year’s event will be the biggest and best yet.

This year’s Rockstone Fish Festival was launched yesterday at the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce boardroom.

Present at the launch were Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad; Guyana Tourism Authority Director, Indranauth Haralsingh; Chairman of the Fish Festival Committee, Selwyn Lancaster; Advisor to the Committee, Wilfred Simmons; and Transportation Officer, Coretta Braithwaite.

Selwyn Lancaster said that this year the festival will run for two days, an expansion of the one-day event, from October 25. Lancaster said that those two days will be filled with exciting events.

Events include fishing competition, fish cooking contests, kayaking contests, and several others.
Committee advisor, Wilfred Simmons, said that the reason for expanding the festival to two days is mainly due to request by several persons that attended last year and who wanted to camp overnight.

This year, Simmons added, there will be facilities in place for camping. And for the first time, Rockstone will be holding a beauty pageant.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fishing Guyana

There is a growing body of freshwater fishing enthusiasts in Guyana who are constantly in search of the better coastland and inland spots for a wide variety of Guyanese freshwater fish. Of course we have seen in various documentaries on Guyana's hinterland that the Rewa river is one of the renowned fishing holes in the country and most keen anglers in Guyana know that the Abary River has more than enough Lukanani (otherwise known as Peacock Bass) for one to enjoy some good action.

From the limited information available online it would appear as though there is more than just a small group of fishing enthusiasts in Guyana but they are more or less operating independent of each other and have been formed on the basis of small groups of friends and family (mostly urban based) getting together for the adventure and fun.

It would appear as though these folks fish mostly on weekends and especially on holidays when they head to various parts of the hinterland but mostly along the Essequibo river and some of its tributaries.

Fishing in trenches and ponds along the coastland has always been a favourite pastime in Guyana especially in the rural areas and at places such as the National Park in the city but this has been expanding to groups fishing on the various rivers using specially designed boats, high quality rods and other tackle and equipment. The sport is being seriously pursued by many.

Despite growing interest there appears to be no formal grouping with the only 'coming together' being the annual Rockstone Fishing Festival which has now been put on the annual calendar of events.

If you have any information, videos or photos on fishing in Guyana that would be useful to fellow anglers please feel free to share at fishinguyana[at]