Tsimane Lodge, Bolivia Bolivia

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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.


Location:
Tsimane Lodge is located in the Amazonian headwaters of Bolivia, 1.5 hours northwest of Santa Cruz by small plane. 

Secure/Agua Negra Combo Trip:
This is a remarkable and diverse fishing trip where anglers will fish out of two newly constructed jungle safari camps during the course of their week. Both camps have handsome hardwood main lodge buildings where meals are served and at both camps anglers have their own deluxe single accommodation safari tent. Each week four anglers will begin at the Agua Negra Camp and a separate charter flight of four anglers will head into the Secure Camp. On the morning of the third fishing day, all anglers will pack their gear into motorized boats and fish their way to the other lodge for the remainder of their trip. Both lodges offer a primitive overnight out-camp option that can take two anglers. The Secure is a beautiful mid-sized system with significant bedrock structure. It is a very productive system that has countless water types. The Agua Negra is much smaller and offers not only big dorado but the region’s most forgiving terrain as well as the greatest diversity of species including large pacu, pira pita and the elusive striped catfish known as surubi. This combination trip is as good as it gets and a natural for parties of four keen on seeing a wide range of what the region has to offer.

Fishing Program:
Anglers participating in the Secure/Agua Negra program will fish two main river systems as well as optional tributaries accessing more than 35 km of pristine water out of two base camps.  On Saturday morning eight anglers will depart San Jose by charter flight with four flying into Secure Camp and four flying into Agua Negra Camp. Secure anglers will fish two anglers per motorized dugout with an Argentine fly fishing guide as well as one or two native boatmen. They will fish beats both up and downstream of the lodge. Agua Negra anglers will also fish two anglers per Argentine guide. On days when they fish the main Secure by motorized dugout they will also be accompanied by a native boatman. On the days that they 4x4 up the primitive jungle road that parallels the Agua Negra they will often just be with an Argentine guide.  After driving into the area of their specific beat they will leave the vehicle for the day and hike through the jungle until reaching the river. The rest of the day will be spent walk and wade fishing.  In addition to the main-stem Agua Negra guests can also fish the smaller Chimoro Creek that has a strong population of yatorana and smaller dorado that respond well to natural drifted dry flies on 4-5 wt outfits.

All Tsimane anglers will spend a portion of their time blind casting and a portion of their time sight casting. Although boats are used to motor up through the longer pools most of the travel and angling is done while wading the freestone terrain. Due to the overall distances that need to be covered and the hot weather, this trip is best suited for reasonably fit anglers who are comfortable with multiple stream crossings and semi-rocky terrain.

Accommodations and Meals:
The Secure/Agua Negra program has two newly built main lodges. Both locations have been carved out of the jungle and built using a combination of site-milled hardwood and material shipped up the river. The lodges are in spectacular settings and are best described as both rustic and elegant. Each has a main lodge where anglers enjoy meals and cocktails and each camp offers guests spacious single occupancy safari style tent with a comfortable beds, full linens and private bathrooms with showers. The lodges are also equipped with generator power with battery back-up, on demand hot water, and wireless internet service. Both lodges have chefs from Argentina who serve a variety of local and Argentine meals prepared with a wonderful flair.

Secure/Agua Negra Lodge Sample Itinerary:
Day 1: Depart Home.
Day 2: Arrive Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In Bolivia you will be met by a member of the Tsimane team and transferred to your hotel.
Day 3: Charter flight to Tsimane’s Tsimane’s Secure Lodge landing strip.  At landing strip you will be met by your guides who will trasfer you to Seceure Lodge or Agua Negra Lodge.  At the lodge you will be shown to your Tents and get ready for the next week of fishing.
Days 4 - 9: 6 days of guided fishing at Secure Lodge and Agua Negra Camp. Mid-week you will transfer between locations.Day 10: In the morning, guest will pack up and transfer to air strip where you will meet your charter flight back to Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz you will be met by a member of the Tsimane staff who will take you to your hotel (included in package).
Day 11: Depart for Home.


Pluma Lodge:
After landing at the Oromomo native airstrip, eight anglers will head up the Secure river by boat and then seven miles overland by rugged jungle road to the incredible Pluma Lodge. Pluma Lodge overlooks the Pluma river and has four handsome double occupancy hardwood cabins as well as a handsome main lodge building where meals and cocktails are served. Additionally Pluma is very strategically located beneath the confluence of two world class systems, the Upper Pluma and the Itirizama. Downstream of the lodge there are miles of clear water on the main stem Pluma. Beneath that anglers can access more than 30 km of the larger main stem Secure by motorized boat. These lower beats are the biggest water in the Tsimane program and reminiscent in some ways of classic steelhead fishing. For hearty anglers Pluma offers one or three night trips to primitive out-camps on both the Upper Pluma and Itrizama. These camps represent the ultimate jungle adventure and offer unparalleled sight fishing for large dorado and pacu. Any and all of the many beats available through Pluma can offer the best fishing imaginable.

Fishing Program:
Anglers staying at Pluma Lodge have access to four separate river systems and more than 60 km of incredible fly water. The operation caters to eight anglers per week. Each day pairs of angers will head out with a skilled Argentine guide and a native assistant. Anglers fishing the main Pluma, the Upper Pluma and the Itirizama will depart the lodge by dugout while anglers headed to the lower Secure will drive 45 minutes through the jungle via four-person ATV where they will meet their boatman. The lower Secure tends to be colored, making classic steelhead style blind fishing the norm. It has incredible numbers of baitfish and can deliver some of the highest catch rates in all of Tsimane.  The other systems fished out of Pluma lend themselves to both blind fishing and sight casting with the fishing getting more visual the further upstream one travels. Anglers interested in fishing the uppermost reaches of the Pluma or Itrizama will need to spend either one or three nights camping out with very few amenities.  These trips are the most physically demanding of all the options with lots of hiking, boulder hopping and river crossings. Food and shelter will be very simple but for the right anglers it is an incredible experience with some of the most pristine wilderness fishing imaginable. While dugouts are used often at Pluma, anglers will spend lots of their time out of the boat fishing and walking. Due to the overall distances that need to be covered and the hot weather, this trip is best suited for reasonably fit anglers who are comfortable with multiple stream crossings and rocky terrain.

Accommodations and Meals:
Pluma Lodge has been carved out of the jungle and built using a combination of site-milled hardwood and materials shipped up the river. The lodge overlooks the river and has a huge porch that connects to all of the cabins. The handsome main lodge is complemented by four hardwood double occupancy guest cabins all with private bathrooms and showers. The lodge is also equipped with generator power with battery back-up, on demand hot water, and wireless internet service. The kitchen will be headed by an Argentina chef who will serve a variety of local and Argentine meals prepared with a wonderful flair.

Pluma Lodge Sample Itinerary:
Day 1: Depart Home.
Day 2: Arrive Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In Bolivia you will be met by a member of the Tsimane team and transferred to your hotel. 
Day 3: Charter flight to Tsimane’s Pluma Lodge. At the lodge you will be met by your guides, shown to your rooms and get ready for the next week of fishing.
Days 4 - 9: 6 days of guided fishing at Pluma Lodge 
Day 10: In the morning, guest will pack up and transfer to the Oromomo Indian Community where you will meet your charter flight back to Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz you will be met by a member of the Tsimane staff who will take you to your hotel (included in package).
Day 11: Depart for Home.


Brian,fellow anglers and adventurers,having just returned as the first group into the new and soon to be famous Tsimane lodge deep in the Bolivian jungle,it is fair to say all my expectations were surpassed (which very seldom happens). Even as the first group into Tsimane dealing with some few finishing touches the entire experience was one that prompted me to rebook for next year within four days of returning home. Even after the first three days of six fishing days was stuffed with a freak rainstorm, the second three days more than made up for it. In the three remaining days I hooked 49, landed 30, several over 20#s lost a couple over 30#s and eyed with envey a couple big boys over 40#s.Recorded the lodges first grand slam and bonded with a world class guide staff headed by owner/partner and head guide Mr. Golden Dorado aka Noel Pollak. A jungle experience to stimulate many different senses and offer spendid ambience and a cultural look at some wonderful Bolivian Indians.My suggestion for those who appreciate this kind of unique fishing adventure, act quickly, this will become a very popular destination. Can't wait till next season. Cheers, LR



 

 

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