Tsimane may be the most exciting, new destination we have ever seen. Located in a remote, indigenous territory of Bolivia where the Andes meet the upper Amazon, the rivers of the region are both familiar and foreign. Technically jungle freestones, these rivers are similar to the smaller winter steelhead systems of the Pacific Northwest or the hearty trout systems on the west side of New Zealand’s South Island, but the fierce migratory golden dorado that inhabit these rivers mandate more tarpon-like techniques. In Bolivia, anglers wading wet with eight weight rods cast five inch flies on wire leaders through endless water types with consistent catches of pugnacious, aerial dorado in the 8 – 35 pound class. Without exception, all of the anglers we sent to Tsimane in 2009 rate the trip among the top three angling experiences in their extensive careers.
Tsimane is owned and operated by Untamed Angling with exclusive rights to the region. The split week program incorporates three days at two separate luxury base camps as well as the option to overnight at remote out-camps. The main lodges feature cabins made from hand hewn local timber, private bathrooms with 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 world class fly fishing. Due to the well deserved “buzz,” spaces are extremely limited.
Tsimane Lodge is located in the Amazonian headwaters of Bolivia, 1.5 hours northwest of Santa Cruz by small plane.
Tsimane’s general manager and co-owner is Noel Pollak, former manager of Argentina’s premier golden dorado operation Pira Lodge. Anglers at Tsimane will fly fish three main river systems and a number of tributaries accessing more than 80km of pristine water out of two base camps. Anglers will fly fish three days at Asunta Lodge then fly to Pluma Lodge for an additional three days. The operation caters to six anglers per trip. At the beginning of the trip each group will be split into three teams that will fly fish together for the majority of the trip (see itinerary for details). Each day pairs of angers will fly fish in different directions with a skilled Argentine guide and a native assistant. Given the rivers’ structure and clarity anglers will spend a portion of time blind casting and a portion of their time sight fishing the rivers’ runs and tails moving up stream via dug out and aluminum canoes equipped with two seats, two guide platforms, and a small motor. 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 rocky terrain.
Accommodations and Meals:
Tsimane is actually a two lodge program and the newly built lodges, Asunta and Pluma, have been carved out of the jungle using a combination of site milled hardwood and plank material shipped up the river. The lodges are in spectacular settings and are best described as being rustically elegant. Each has a main lodge and three ample cabins that are joined by decks overlooking the rivers. All cabins have 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 young, energetic chefs from Argentina who serve a variety of local and Argentine meals prepared with a wonderful flair.
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. There you will settle into your room then go to a welcome dinner where a member of the team will further explain the details of the trip (included in package).
Day 3: Charter flight to Tsimane’s Asunta Lodge. At the lodge you will be met by your guides, shown to your tents and then get set up to fish the home pool.
Days 4 – 6: 3 days of guided fishing at Asunta.
Day 7: In the morning the charter plane will arrive to transfer you to Tsimane’s Pluma Lodge. To get to the lodge, the plane will land on the Oromomo Indian Communities air strip. Then guides will transfer you 2 – 4 hours up river to the lodge. Depending on timing it may be possible to fish around the Pluma Lodge home pool this evening. Overnight at the Pluma Lodge.
Days 8 – 10: Each day teams fish one of three beats in the Pluma area and overnight at the Pluma Lodge.
Day 11: 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 12: 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