In terms of the all around ultimate fly fishing adventure, Tsimane, more than most any other place, has it all. Located in a remote indigenous territory of Bolivia where the Andes meet the upper Amazon, the freestone rivers of the region are both familiar and foreign to the well traveled angler. Each season hundreds of thousands of baitfish migrate up the greater Secure system and with them come thousands of large, aggressively feeding dorado. Here it is common to see packs of fierce dorado herding baitfish into the shallows and mercilessly ripping through them. From a great distance you can see the frothing commotion as the bait leaps into the air in a desperate effort to escape. From a quarter mile away the raining down of eight inch baitfish sounds like a dump truck dropping 20 yards of gravel. Here, anglers wet wade a jade green river and cast six inch flies on wire leaders through an endless array of pristine water types. Their reward; consistent catches of pugnacious, aerial dorado in the 8 - 35 pound class as well as additional jungle species like the fickle pacu and the elusive surubi. With few exceptions, the many anglers we have sent to Tsimane rate the trip among the top three angling experiences in their extensive careers. We couldn’t agree more strongly!
Tsimane is operated by an Argentine outfitter with exclusive rights to the region. They offer two separate programs, the Secure/Agua Negra combination trip and Pluma Lodge. Both trips will begin with an overnight in Santa Cruz followed by a charter flight to a remote jungle airstrip. The hardest part of planning the trip is deciding which of the two options to select as they are both highly desirable and productive. The main lodges for both programs feature cabins made from hand hewn local timber, rooms with private bathrooms and hot showers, satellite telephone and internet as well as fine cuisine. While anglers access the rivers by boat, considerable walking and wading is essential to success. This trip into the heart of the Bolivian jungle is best suited to adventuresome, fit travelers. The rewards include incredible flora and fauna, the opportunity to interact with indigenous people and what we consider to be one of the ultimate fly fishing experiences.
Picking Your Program:
Invariably the first question we are asked is which program is the best. The truth is that both are exceptional options but they differ somewhat from one another. The quality of the fishing, the guides and the overall experience are essentially the same leaving the discussion to variables of terrain, group size, pricing, accommodations and water types. The unique benefits of the Agua Negra program include a small group size of four anglers (making it perfect for private parties), lower cost, and easier wading. This program also offers a bit more fishing from the boat, access to the region’s smallest streams (not to be confused with small fish) and the best opportunity to engage with and experience the adjacent and endearing local communities. Agua Negra also offers a remote upper river camping option which is more primitive but easier to reach than the Pluma out-camp options.
Pluma Lodge caters to eight anglers making it a more social camp and their double occupancy cabins are slightly more spacious and comfortable than the deluxe safari style tents at Agua Negra. Pluma anglers also enjoy an exciting jeep ride into camp complete with mud bogs and stream crossings adding to the overall sense of jungle adventure. Much of Pluma’s water is characterized by rocky freestone terrain making it rather physical and best suited to stable waders. With that said anglers with poor wading skills have options to fish from the boat on multiple beats. Some of Pluma's unique features include a really wide range of water types ranging from pocket water to long pools and runs and arguably the best sight fishing opportunities. The other great feature is the ability to partake in either of the upriver out-camps. Both have large tent platforms and offer adventuresome anglers the opportunity to become fully immersed in a stunningly beautiful deep jungle experience. All out camp overnights are voluntary.