Tsimane Secure Lodge is close to where the Amazon merges with the Andean hardwood forests. Located above the river, Secure Lodge overlooks an amazing home pool where anglers can get their first taste of casting to Golden Dorado in Bolivia. This is a perfect location- separating the upper river from the lower river by formidable rapids, both of which will be fished during your stay. Pluma Lodge’s floor plan is very similar to that of Secure with three guest bungalows and a main dining building. Pluma Lodge is situated on a high bank overlooking a 200-yard pool where one can sit on the porch after a full fishing day, sip a cocktail and watch Dorado dine on schools of bait fish. The two primary fisheries for Pluma actually converge just upstream of the massive home pool, making this a perfectly placed lodge. Anglers can expect four overnights here with three full days of fishing the three water systems near the camp.
Three spacious two-bedroom bungalows built with all guest accommodations and common areas fronting the river, each is elevated on stilts and surrounded by hardwood decking. They feature comfortable twin beds with insect netting, reading tables, a desk, walk-in closet with plenty of space, a bathroom with ample counter space and a private water closet and shower room. The rooms have vaulted ceilings and an “open air” feeling by way of the screened windows with heavy canvas drop-shades that surround 3 of 4 walls. Hot water is available for showers in the afternoon after fishing, although due to the tropical climate you may welcome a cool shower which is available day and evening. In the main lodge facility, you will enjoy made-to-order breakfast and dinner and spend time reviewing your angling adventures of the day in the comfortable sitting area and bar. The outside deck overlooks the river and will welcome you for appetizers or an after-dinner cigar and/or cocktail while you watch the mist fall upon the jungle. The lodges offer complimentary Internet service via satellite as well as radio/satellite phone for a fee. Guests can take their laptop or borrow a lodge computer to check e-mail Check with your provider to see if you can use your smart- phone for email.
Golden Dorado fishing is something special, and doing so in a remote freestone stream where few people have ever set foot makes it even more unique. While fishing for Dorado at both Tsimane Lodges is similar considering tackle and fighting method, the nature of the water is quite different. Fishing at Secure Lodge varys greatly depending on whether you fish upriver or downriver. Downstream from the lodge, the river widens and has long, slow shallows interrupted by classic riffles, braids and the occasional deep pool. Anglers can expect a longer boat ride morning and evening with a full day of wade fishing the productive waters where the river takes a drop. Large dorado often sit in a low spot in what looks to be a shallow riffle waiting for an unsuspecting meal, or your fly, to pass over. Casts behind rock formations can elicit strikes that can literally jerk a rod from the hand of an inattentive angler. Surprisingly, double-digit size Dorado may take a fly as delicately as a rainbow but that is where the similarity ends and the war begins. This region of Bolivia is generally a walking fishery as anglers walk the banks searching for Dorado and other species. There are a few areas where float fishing can be done. Upstream the river enters a series of high canyon ravines interrupted by plunge pools, riffles and glides. Anglers will see the difference in water characteristics and hiding places for Dorado. You will fish your way gradually upstream and take an occasional short skiff ride to the next productive area. Due to the lay of the land, the river narrows here and stealth becomes even more important. Anglers will fish from a skiff, walk along gravel bars and beaches, and work narrow canyons. In addition to large Dorado, this stretch of river also supports Pacu. The upper section holds tributaries that the guides explore for you. Since these prey species are migratory, the tributaries can be “feast or famine” as the fish move in or out. An outcamp was built upstream at the mouth of Yahanna Creek – If weather permits, two anglers will cycle in and out of this camp.. It is a scaled down version of the main lodge and provides guests with comfortable accommodations overnight.
The “Pluma fishery” at Tsimane Lodge is made up of three distinct bodies of water. At the head of the pool on which the lodge is located two medium sized freestone tributaries merge to form the larger Pluma River. You will note upon fishing here, after Secure Lodge, that more walking is required to cover the seemingly endless water. Next you’ll note that great effort results in rewards including each turn in the river revealing a new pool opportunity for a personal best. The main river downstream of Pluma Lodge can be reached by skiff or the lodge’s ATV’s. Pools and runs are largermaking it is necessary to move by vehicle or vessel from one to another. Big water = big fish! Anglers should not only target the Dorado but try for giant catfish that patrol this section. Rrecently some anglers watched as a fish estimated at 150 pounds was brought to shore and photographed. That was not even a “big one” per the local Indians. Upstream tributaries can require some strenuous hiking at times. Depending on water levels and how far recent schools of Sabalo have moved upstream, the ever hungry and opportunistic Dorado will move with them. Dugout canoes are often used initially for the trip upstream until the water becomes too boulder strewn and twisted. The guides and anglers will hike according to their ability from that point. Great fishing can easily be had within view of the lodge, however hikes can also be rewarding with ample fish and that special feeling adventuring through an area not trod by many. Some stream beds and banks are rocky they are physically demanding, and require longer hikes, over large boulders and deeper wading. However, there are areas that are easier while still offering great fishing. Some anglers find a wading staff helpful.
Take an international flight to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, via Miami, Florida. American Airlines flies this route. Fishing guides, the lodge host and the entire village will turn out for your arrival at the grass landing strip in the Chimán village. Your luggage will be loaded on to the custom-made riverboats for the 15-minute run to Secure Lodge.
** Mid-week, anglers will move from Secure Lodge to Pluma Lodge a 20-minute charter flight to the Oromomo Indian Community air strip plus a one-hour (approximately) jungle 4 seat ATVs ride from the runway to Pluma.
At week’s end, the flight back to Santa Cruz is approximatly 1 1/2 hours.
One of the most pristine jungle regions in the world offers birders a variety of species to add to their life list. Entomologists specializing in butterflies may have a treat in-store. This region is known for its prolific migratory butterfly population. Visits to the local native Indian villages are interesting and educational. Authentic items, such as bows and arrows, can be purchased and can easily be packed in Santa Cruz for your return flight home.