Nov 5th, 2015
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!
Want to know more:? Read Ken Morrish’s recent article, Vist the our Tsimane Page, view more photos, email us, or see the expert interview below.
Where is the lodge?
The lodges are located on tributaries of the Amazon that lie approximately two hours (by charter flight) north of Santa Cruz Bolivia.
How do I get there?
There are a few options but almost all guests fly to Santa Cruz through Miami on American Airlines. You have two overnights at hotels in Santa Cruz (one coming, one going) as part of your package.
Why should I go?
This is one of the most interesting all around fly fishing adventure travel trips available. Incredible flora and fauna, the opportunity to interact with indigenous people, clear freestone rivers reminiscent of the American West, and ferocious dorado that range from five pounds to over 3olbs.
When should I go?
The best part of the season is from the end of May through September.
What fish will I catch?
The prime species is the golden dorado but you will also have opportunities for pacu, and potentially other jungle species.
How do they fish?
The majority of the fishing is done while wading the small and mid-sized freestone rivers although some sections of the river are fished from the boat.
How many fish will I catch?
This is not considered a high catch rate trip. Anglers should be expect an average between four and six quality fish per day.
Where do we stay?
Tsimane has two operations. Pluma Lodge and the Secure/Agua Negra Camps. Both have beautiful fixed lodges made from hand hewn local timber. At Pluma guests stay in double occupancy cabins made from the same local lumber complete with attached bathrooms and hot showers. At the Secure / Agua Negra operation guests stay in luxury safari style tents built on large decks. Both operations have open bars and wonderful meals prepared by Argentine chefs.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is no cell service but they do have wi-fi.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
They have flies for sale but do not have additional equipment for guests.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
We prefer a fast action 8wt with a Rio outbound line for turning over the large flies.
What are the physical demands?
As most of the fishing is on foot so you do a fair bit of walking. Most of the wading is in knee deep or less water and currents are not particularly strong but the rocks are large. However the jungle is often very warm and there is a lot of walking over boulders so a bit of pre-trip conditioning is advised.
Dangers and annoyances:
Even though this trip is run by professionals who take great pride in delivering a safe trip, traveling to the jungle in the middle of Bolivia is not with out it’s risks. The weather is hot and often muggy, there are small plane rides, biting insects, and sudden storm’s can make the travel to and from the lodges difficult and muddy-up the rivers.