Trips & Expeditions

During all his life, Olivier Portrat has always tried to concentrate on "new venues" - he has always avoided to focus too much on destinations & venues that others had already discovered, preferring by far to explore new and unknown waters. Often, Olivier was the very first to fish such places - and when he liked them, he kept coming back again and again, until he had the impression that he has somehow "understood" these new waters.

Fishing Trips within Europe

Fishing Trips & Expeditions in Asia

Fishing Trips & Expeditions Worldwide

                                                    

"Toll am Angeln ist auch der kulinarische Aspekt, der eng mit dem Angeln verwoben ist."

"Angeln lehrt einen, auch im Detail sorgfältig zu sein - die größten Fische finden nämlich immer die Schwachstelle!"

"One great aspect about angling is the fact that once you have been successful, you are still free to release the fish you've caught."

Olivier Portrat (CEO EFTTA)



The biggest Deception of Olivier

                                                              „New" Porcupine 

 

It is the night from October 26 to 27 in 2012. Olivier and some friends are in a great Lodge aside  the magnificient Rio Xingu in Brazil - the "Pousada Rio Xingu". The main targetfish are Peacock Bass & Payaras (Cachorra in Brazil or Vampire Fish in english).

 

Most have already gone to bed, but Olivier loves the Amazon rainforest by night - you can see loads of fascinating animals that you would never see in daytime! Olivier is sitting in company of his french friend Jacques Pierrard right beside the Lodge, at the edge of the rainforest. Both have their headlights and a small net in case some interesting animals show up - if that is the case, they catch them in order to photograph these creatures under good light conditions the next day before releasing them unharmed. These nocturnal "expeditions" usually produce big Tarantulas, Scolopenders, Rhinoceros beetles, turtels, scorpions, snakes and many more curious animals - exciting moments before a well deserved nights sleep. After a successful night, the main hall of the Lodge becomes some kind of a zoo as they stock these animals in the jars and bowls that usually contain drinks or salads ...

 

The good fishing season in the Amazon-Bassin is the dry season. Riverlevels are low, all fish are in the riverbed and therewith of easier access than once the jungle is flooded during the rainseason. The result is, that all leaves lying on the soil are dry. If a big insects walks over them, you can even hear a rustling noise! The bigger the animal, the louder the rustling ... 

 

Jacques and Olivier suddenly hear a rustling noise well over average. Something rather big is heading in their direction, at least much bigger than the usual animals they encounter in nighttime. And it definitely is heading towards them. It is difficult to be recognized in the dark, but once the noise tells them that it is only a few meters away, they both switch on their headlights. The lightbeams reveal an animal full of  spines! To both of them it is clear: it is the first porcupine they see in the Amazon! The next curious thing is that this animal does not show the smallest sign of fear! Apparently, these animals never get attacked, not even by a big Jaguar - thanks to their spiny outfit, evolution never needed to teach them any kind of fear ...

 

Looking like a great model for the next days photo-session, Jacques and Olivier decide to catch and to integrate it - for just one night - in their "zoo". That does not look easy, as the size of their nets is quite limited - they are good for a Tarantula of 100 grams, but not for a mammal of 5 kilo! Olivier gets behind this strange and weird looking animal and manages to gently steer it with some tiny claps on its rear part on the erase of the Lodge and then inside the main hall. In there are toilets. Jacques opens the door and Olivier guides the strange animal inside the toilet. Once inside, they close the door and their new "model" is trapped! 

 

Quite happy about themselves, Jacques and Olivier suddenly hear water being turned on and off inside the toilet. They take a quick look through the only tiny window - and they see their animal sitting on the sink and turning the water on and off with its strong and spineless tail! What a strange sight!

 

While enjoying the last beer of the evening, they notice that this creature is really weird looking. The face and nose is not like the ones of the porcupines they know, the feet ressemble rather the claws of a sloth, the tail is definitely made for grabbing & holding. Strange ... 

 

Early on the next day, they put their exotic creature in a big cooling box, take it to the river, where they release it on an old dead tree that has already been washed by the current of many years, but now lying dry on the bank. Even now, in daytime and after the short transport in the cooling box, their creature does not show the slightest sign of fear! As it can be seen on the photos, this animal has absolutely no intention to escape, it acts like the best model of the world! Strange ...

 

Once the photos made and some spines preserved, Jacques and Olivier move back to business - the Peacock Bass and Payaras are waiting, while the porcupine slowly disappears in the rainforest ...

 

About two years later Olivier receives an e-mail from an Austrian friend, Fritz Kohaut. Olivier frequently sends some photos of exotic animals that he has encountered on his trips to Fritz, as Fritz is very interested in rare and unconvential animals. In his mail is a link to the website of "National Geographic". One click later Olivier discovers a sensation: a new mammal of around 5 kilo has been discovered in the Amazon! Not another deep-sea fish species or a 2 mm insect, no a 5 kilo mammal living on land! A quick look on the photos leaves Olivier breathless - the creature shown looks like a twin of the "weird" porcupine of the Rio Xingu! The photos show this creature high up in the canopy, it has not even been caught, but this was enough to identify it as a new species!

 

The scientists baptized this "new" creature "Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine" (Coendou baturitensis).

 

What a deception for Olivier! If he had recognized this creature to be an unknown species, it could bear his name. Olivier never was after that, but this is mainly due to the fact that he is informed enough to know how unlikely such a happening is! To Jacques & Olivier it was simply impossible and completely unimaginable that a 5 kilo terrestrial mammal could still be unknown to science! 

 

The small scientist inside Olivier was devastated. Who knows, this is probably the last unknown major terrestrial mammal that needed to be discovered! Even if Olivier had 100 more lives ahead, this would never happen again ...