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Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia
Tsimane, Bolivia

Details

  • Fresh Water
  • Season

    April - October
  • 2017 rates - Agua Negra $5380 plus $570 Indian Association fee, Pluma Lodge is $7600 US per person, plus $670 Indian Association fee.
  • Number of guests

    Pluma Lodge takes 8 anglers and Agua Negra camp takes 4 anglers.
  • Species:
    • Golden Dorado
    • Pacu
    • Yatorana
    • Sabalo

Tsimane, Bolivia

Bolivia >> Tierra del Fuego >> Santa Cruz
Fishing and Species
Based out of the comforts of the main Pluma Lodge and the two headwater out-camps, anglers have access to three different rivers, each different and unique: the Pluma River, Itirizama River, and the lower Secure River. This broad variety of waters and pools allow groups to fish fresh water every day, and rarely, if ever, repeat the same fishing beat. The water types very from deep pools to rugged terraced pocket water. In order to keep the Pluma River as untouchable and virgin as it is possible, motors are restricted – except for a small sector where the Pluma joins the Secure River – and all fishing is done either by wading or poling in the new aluminum skiffs or dugout canoes. The Pluma River is a moderately-sized crystal clear freestone river, with an incredibly rich and beautiful topography. It is easier to wade due to its wide banks, mostly composed of round smooth gravel and rock. Further upstream, it does get steeper and more rugged. This river is home to all four of them main species targeted in Tsimane: Dorado, pirapitinga, yatorana and surubí. Omnivorous species such as yatoranas and pirapitingas are more and more frequent in the high sectors, the super-aggressive, carnivorous dorados are the kings of the lower section. The high section is upstream from the confluence of the Pluma and Itirizama Rivers. It is reminiscent of many familiar trout freestone rivers, as it is full of boulders, shallow runs and riffles, and well-defined deep pools, all characterized by gin-clear water. Here the fishing is done almost entirely on foot, walking and wading upstream. A Chiman canoe is used to carry additional gear and coolers and is very useful to row/pole back down to the Lodge at the end of the day. This part of the river is home to large number of resident dorado. These powerful fish are seen holding in most of the pools and pocket water, and are caught by sight casting using surface flies such as Titanic Slider, Poppers, Divers or using mice imitations (an exclusive bite for Salminus). The further upstream one goes, the more pirapitingas and bigger yatoranas are seen. The type of water here gives anglers better chance to get a Grand Slam or Super Gland Slam, landing all of the primary Tsimane species. The lower Pluma of river extends from the confluence with the Itirizama River to its mouth in the Secure River. The structure of this sector is similar to the upper sector, but the water volume is 50 or 60% higher making for wider, deeper pools in general, and more powerful runs. With more water to work in, the fish have more room to fight and aerial acrobatics are commonplace events whenever a large dorado is hooked. The jungle is less dense, and the shorelines can at times be marshy. Fishing is carried out on canoes (without engines) running downstream. Anglers come back to the Lodge traveling by land on 4x4 vehicles through a jungle path. This section has a wide variety of water types, steep dropoffs, long runs, sand-covered flats, islands with braided channels, and deep pools. Dorado are the undisputed kings in this section of river; however, very large pirapitingas can be caught fishing the deep pools, which are natural food traps. These fish are often seen slurping nuts and fruit from the river’s surface. There are basically four types of fishing strategies when hunting dorado: 1. Prospect for fish in runs (sight casting and blind casting) 2. Precise casts to ambush points such as logs or submerged trees 3. Sight cast into feeding frenzies in the pools where dorado hunt the sable . 4. Sight cast in pocket water behind rocks or in shallow pools, runs and flats. The biggest pools, which are near the confluence with the Secure River, have low sandy areas where one can sight cast to cruising and feeding dorado, similar to bonefishing on the shallow saltwater flats. The largest dorado landed at Tsimane came from this section of river, a 38 pound beast landed (and released) in Ramiro’s pool. The Itirizama is considered by many anglers “the jewel in the crown” of the Tsimane programs. It is similar in size and volume to the high sector of the Pluma River, but it has a steeper gradient and more rugged terrain, giving it a very different look and feel. The Itirizama runs from west to east through rugged canyons, making it a typical mountain stream with many runs, rapids, waterfalls and large boulders. Cascading boulder gardens give way to deep pools flanked by exposed canyon walls. This is the most physically intense section of river to hike, wade and fish, but the rewards of incredibly scenic beauty – and some of the largest dorado anywhere – makes it worth the extra effort. These sections are only recommended for anglers in very good physical condition. The water is the coldest and the clearest in all of Tsimane, so the fishing is more technical, and often more rewarding. Anglers are less likely to catch large number of dorado, but they are very likely to catch the best dorado of their trip here. It is a true trophy fishery. In fact, some of them are really huge but tricking them in the small clear water can at times be extremely demanding. Fish are often caught drifting smaller flies to individual fish in the deep pools, or stripping streamers in the faster pocket water and runs. Sometimes using big dry flies can even attract these sometimes selective fish. To see a 20 pound dorado and take a surface pattern as gently as a trout eating a mayfly is a truly amazing moment. In some of the far upstream pools, we also find large numbers of big pirapitingas, which can be caught using fruits imitations, streamers and big dry flies. The Agua Negra River is an important tributary of the Secure River and it is the newest addition to the Tsimane fishery. This river, which has its own lodge for 4 rods, and a new headwaters out-camp. It has approximately half of Secure’s water volume and it is divided into the high and low Agua Negra. The Lower Agua Negra has features similar to a flood plain river (low gradient) but its water is clear and runs slow. The river meanders through river valley with numerous sandy beaches, deep runs and cover to hold strong populations of dorado and yatoranas. The latter can be tempted using lightweight fly rods, dry flies and/or small streamers. The lower Agua Negra is the perfect spot to sight-cast to dorado during feeding frenzy activity - an adrenaline infused angling moment never forgotten. The high section of the Agua Negra River is one of Tsimane’s special places, due to its excellent number of dorado and pirapitingas. Moreover, the largest number of surubí atigrado (South American striped catfish) are found in this river. This is an ideal place for those anglers that want to trick these powerful catfish using flies. Due to the fact that fish move in schools, doubles hook ups are frequent. Fishing is done by walking upstream and sight fishing in low waters and prospecting for fish in runs and deep pools. To be successful on these waters you must use a floating line, long leader and delicate presentation.
Pluma and Agua Negra Lodges

Tsimane Lodge in Bolivia has some of the coolest fishing in the world. It happens to be for Golden Dorado, not necessarily on the top of everyone’s list of species to dream about or catch. Bolivia may not even be on the top of your list either, especially the jungles of Bolivia. However, anglers that like to chase fish that eat other fish should consider this trip, with fishing action that will give you nightmares and the aesthetics of the Bolivian wilderness jungle that are unique in all the world. Your excitement of almost landing a 20 lb Dorado turns to panic when a 25 lb fish tries to eat the fly from its mouth and its face in the process! The species, how you fish for them and where you fish for them are all a ten out of ten.

The guides are all part of the Untamed Angling team from Argentina. They are very knowledgeable about the river and the fishing, and are great casters and fly tyers. Over 90% of the fishing is done by wading in the river or from the bank. Boats are used primarily for transportation, running outboards on the flat water between pools. The water has the look of a smaller coastal steelhead river or some mountain streams. Even though reading this water comes pretty natural for most anglers, remember, “You’re not in Kansas any more.”

The logistics are surprisingly easy and well thought out for a destination this remote. You can fly direct into Santa Cruz, Bolivia from the US or through La Paz. The first and last night of the trip are in a five star hotel in Santa Cruz, which is part of the package.

There are two different fishing programs, the Pluma Lodge and the Auga Negra Camp, each fishing different water. At Pluma Lodge there are 4 guest cabins, made out of local sustainable hardwood. Two anglers share a cabin with two beds and a private bath. While not a luxury lodge, it is very comfortable, particularly considering where you are. There is electricity provided by a generator along with satellite wifi.. The food is outstanding and a pleasant surprise. The hospitality is the same as in Argentina: generous and warm. The Bolivian people are very gracious. Your safety and well being is of primary importance to the staff. This is a trip for reasonably fit and healthy anglers.

The Agua Negra Camp is They will feature new wood skiffs powered by modern outboards and featuring two comfortable casting platforms and poling platforms for enhanced spotting of fish. These new boats will allow anglers to fish more and better water when in compared to the simpler dugout canoes. We will keep the dugout canoes for the Upper Secure and Upper Agua Negra sectors as they continue to perform best. We will keep 2 skiffs on the Secure and 2 skiffs at Agua Negra to fish the middle Secure River sector as well as move between lodges in the middle of the week.