Fd: Who is Kid Ocelos?

Kido: Well fellas, Kid Ocelos is a 42 years old guy in love with cartoons, an illustrator above all and a fisherman. Fishing came to my life by chance and Fly Fishing even more so. When I first saw someone fly fishing, I thought that was something for me, something eccentric and different. I remember that first time in 1993, I couldn’t let it go ever since. During my life, I have always practiced martial arts, dance and extreme sports but my time was really dedicated to art and illustrations, which later became part of my job. Today, I work with my both passions: Fly Fishing and illustration. That is what I do for a living. So, I am Brazilian, my parents are from the northeast of Brazil, I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro where I stayed until 1994. I went to Brasilia, then went back to the northeast and now I live in Rio Grande do Sul. I fish everywhere as long as the place has a pool of water.

Fd: What can you tell us about the origins of Fly Fishing in Brazil?

Kido: In Brazil, in my point of view, the great start of Fly Fishing happened with the TV program Fish and Co. The presenter was Rubens de Almeida Prado, known as Rubinho. He was a pioneer in talking about Fly Fishing. Before that, in the early 70s, fishermen started bringing gear from abroad, and in the 80s this type of fishing spread through people who are today the fly-fishing icons in Brazil, such as Paulo Cesar Domingues, Nelson Borges, Luis Fernando, Beto Saldanha, Gustavo, the “Cravo”, Marcos Valério, Luska, Gerson Kavamoto, Betinho and Gregório. I may have forgotten few names, but basically if there is one person responsible for spreading Fly Fishing broadly it was Rubinho, and his knowledge came from Paulo César Domingues, who I guess is the first fly angler in Brazil.

The beginnings of Fly Fishing in Brazil were very hard because during the 80s and 90s getting fly-fishing gear was nearly impossible. It was necessary to bring them from other countries. At those times, it was difficult to know if the fly was going to work in Brazil because the only fish we could catch was trout. Fortunately, things got better and today it is possible to catch various species in the country, apart from trout.

Fd: What can you tell us about the fishing over there?

Kido: We can say that Fly Fishing is growing up here in Brazil day by day even with all the difficulties we had at the beginning of its introduction in the Brazilian waters. At first, fishermen were thinking exclusively about trout but it could only be found in the south of Brazil. So we started fishing other species, the classic ones like wolfish, peacock bass, black bass, golden Dourado and also the ones from saltwater like snook and tarpon, babies to giant ones.

In fly fishing everything is more complex. You have to find the fish to catch it and in Brazil there are very few places we can find them. But we are catching great tarpons indeed. In the Amazon, since the fishermen began to bring fly gear to the region, initially by Americans and today by many Brazilians, peacock bass fishing became frantic. There are many foreigners who go there exclusively to find the giants from the Amazon. Above all, fishing peacock bass is very pleasant because the fish is so strong, crude, requires some technique, and it is just a fantastic specie to catch on the fly.

Fd: What about the local fly-fishing community?

Kido: Fly-fishing information in Brazil has spread very fast thanks to the Internet. Today, there are great fly fishing groups in Brazil with local fish and laced techniques to catch Brazilian fish. It is also good to say that we have great information sources like The Fly Fishing Brazil group, websites like FlyFishing, and more recently, the emergence of the Brazilian Association of Fly Fishing. Fly fishing is now included on the fishing licenses at a national level. And people are really starting to understand fly anglers, they are not afraid anymore of the guys with the long rods using feather-shaped flies as bait. The emergence of the association unleashed, with a certain speed, information sources and events within Brazil.

Fd: Where did the idea of your TV show came from?

Kido: The Na Pegada Do Fly show is just a small detail of a much bigger project called Fish TV, which is the first 24-hour fishing channel on TV and the Internet. A pioneering project which is a “big jump” for the Brazilian fisherman and maybe for the fisherman from all over Latin America; with several shows, including one exclusively for fly fishing, which is the one I present, called Na Pegada Do Fly. We're getting to the 5th season, with over 90 episodes recorded in South America and the Bahamas. When the idea of this program first came to me, I did not believe it would work. But nowadays, I see this project growing every day. The audience is enjoying it and we have done a great job. You just have to watch it; it is a fun program, very relaxed and easygoing, like me.

Fd: What is the relationship between your art and fly fishing?

Kido: This is the question I like the most, especially because fly fishing is also an art. From the moment that you have to prepare the equipment to the moment in which you dominate the catch; when you make the bait imitating its natural shape; to catch and release a fish is also a kind of art, so I see art in fly fishing as well. As an illustrator, I started my career drawing fish, so when fly fishing came to my life I already had a great notion about it. It turned out to be a very solid job: bringing the art and the fishing together. I always say that “when I am fishing, I am collecting images in my mind to draw them later. And when I am drawing, I am reminding me of my fishing time”. Basically, this is to me the big relation between art and fishing.

Fd: You have traveled a lot thanks to your job, what is the impact of this in your life?

Kido: Getting to know the world of Fly Fishing thanks to my job has been something very interesting for me. Starting in Argentina, where I experienced an amazing impact, I could see the domain of the guides, their knowledge, the understanding of ecosystems and natural behaviors, particularly trout which is amazing. People over there are very technical and do an extremely good service: welcoming tourists very well, giving advice and so on. I suppose they are as good as all fly guides around the world.

I also went to the Bahamas where I met incredible fly-fishing guides. They were prepared to find and catch the fish so easily. Fly Fishing is a very big universe and Brazil has a lot to develop still. If we are going to compare a conventional fishing operation of bait casting with a Fly Fishing one in the Paraná River, Argentina, that is a golden Dourado on the fly one, they are all very different things… It is a five-star service, focused on demanding fishermen, not the ones that want to capture the biggest fish, but the ones who want to appreciate the moment as it is supposed to be.

Fly fishing leads you to meet from the simplest guys to the most educated ones as engineers, doctors, scientists, who practice it and seek operations abroad with competent guides who can put them in fishing situations they dream of. It's like going to Costa Rica to fish giant tarpon in the open sea. The guide knows everything. It's amazing, everything works great out there, of course the costs are different, but when fishing operations are focused on the fly angler, they have more quality. When a guy leaves his house to practice fly fishing, he wants to have a good service and I could see this in South America, not only in Brazil but also in Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina and Uruguay. So, there are plenty of high end destinations around here, very close to our Brazil.

Fd: We've been fishing for sea-trout together in Tierra Del Fuego, Patagonia. Can you remember that last day in the Río Grande River?

Kido: That is right dude; we were together in a super meeting, an event for fly fishermen which was something beautiful to see. The first time I went there I was invited by Fish TV. That time I was invited to go there even earlier so I could check out all the festival from its very start. I attended lectures, dinners and could meet all the fun and nice people that were there as well. The fly-fishing universe has to be like this: fun and happy. We’re there to enjoy the moment. It was an intense journey because I was working, I had to record and I hadn’t have any nice catches, only small fish and they were not worthy of the world-known Río Grande. In the last day, when we met, the river gave me a great gift. In the first year I had captured a sea-run brown trout of about 9 kg. But in the second year, in the very last minute, I caught another giant of 10 kg which according to the organizers of the event was one of the biggest of all. I was very proud and happy and because of the Na Pegada Do Fly show, I could take that moment to the audience: a meeting between a simple and humble fisherman like me with that giant strong monster, which is a Río Grande sea-run brown trout. I caught that fish with a 9-weight single-hand rod. It was a great fight: an amazing and fantastic gift.

Fd: What is your take about conservation and the future of our waters?

Kido: First of all, I would say that a fly angler is more ethical, more politically correct. In fly fishing there is more concern about the fish and the ecosystem. I think fly fishermen are more polite and use a less harmful way to catch the fish. The hooks are generally smaller and thinner which makes the challenge even bigger and in return brings more benefits to the animal. The physical damage to the fish is much lower than catching the fish with three hooks, for example. In addition, there are plenty of initiatives in the fly fishing business willing to protect some places around the world; ecosystems, fishing spots, and these make us realize that fly fishing “walks with the environment”. Fly fishing is growing very fast everywhere in the planet, extending to saltwater and thus spreading the “purest” way of fishing, hurting fish much less. Ir preserves environments and fish species that tomorrow will be the joy of many children who today see fly fishing as the next step in their fishing history.

Fd: What are your next trips and projects?

Kido: Talking about the future, next plans, next steps and places to go is very difficult for a guy like me who lives from art and doesn’t care much for what is gonna happen tomorrow. But dealing with fishing, I can say that everything follows a kind of plan mainly because I work for a TV channel. So the planning is intense. Today, the show has more than 90 episodes already recorded, four full seasons; and we are starting the fifth one. The Fish TV channel is three years old and in all those years I already fished in so many places in America, from Chile to the Bahamas. This reflects how amazing the fly fishing world is. Maybe in this fifth season I can pay more attention to the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Argentina again, meet old friends, maybe go back to Bahamas… Everything is possible.

In addition to these TV projects, my designer side also promises great things, like a brand founded by myself, which involves the fishing world. We are also working on books and other bolder steps, which make us believe that there is still much to do in this world.

I leave you now with a big hug, thank you! I wish God always protect you all, because that is the real “catch”.