Trip Overview 

Winston lodge

We can tell you from personal experience that this is one of the most incredible, unique, one-of-a-kind fishing trips in existence. The remote nature of the fishing for golden dorado, pacu, and yatorana in this area, combined with the exotic wildlife, the fascinating native cultures, and the overwhelming beauty of the region make for an incredible angling and travel experience that is without a doubt one of the most interesting and unique in the world of destination fly fishing. Pluma Lodge is set high atop a cliff on the banks of the Pluma river, just above its confluence with the Secure River. From the lodge, anglers have many different beats and rivers that they can fish from this location, including the Pluma, the upper Pluma, the Itirizama, and the Secure Rivers (above and below the confluence). This is a fixed-base lodge with five comfortable guest rooms that each contain double beds and private bathrooms. The main dining area is welcoming and spacious and serves as the gathering space for all meals and cocktails. Given the "off-the-grid" nature of the lodge, you will be hard-pressed to find finer accommodations in such a remote jungle setting along with world-class fly fishing for golden dorado. 

Destination Quick Facts 

Tsimane Lodges - Yellow Dog Flyfishing AdventuresLOCATION:  Santa Cruz Region of Bolivia

SEASON:  April through October

CAPACITY:  Maximum of six (6) anglers per week per location

CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB:  Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (VVI) 

TARGET SPECIES:  Golden Dorado, Yatorana and Pacu

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  Valid passport and a Bolivian Visa (available on arrival)

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO     888-777-5060     INTL 01-1-406-585-8667       info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com

ACCOMMODATIONS

Lodging Details
Even in one of the most remote jungle locations in the world, guests at Tsimane will enjoy each night in comfort and style. The Pluma Lodge experience is based around a main jungle lodge and two smaller headwater out-camp operations. The first out-camp is located on the upper Pluma River and the other is on the upper Itirizama River, one of the main tributaries to the Pluma. With this program, anglers have access to three different rivers: the Pluma River, the Itirizama River, and the Secure River. This broad variety of waters allows groups to fish new (and rested) water every day and rarely, if ever, repeat the same fishing beat over the course of a week. The main Pluma Lodge features four log cabins and sleeps up to eight anglers. Each cabin features two beds, private bathrooms with hot water and full electricity. The main common area offers satellite Wi-Fi and satellite phone service, and the menu focuses on delicious international cuisine paired with great Argentine wines. 

Food and Beverages
Each night guests will enjoy delicious international cuisine, fresh meats and vegetables, and great Argentine wines. Breakfast is cooked to order each morning, and lunches are packed for the day on the water and served streamside each afternoon. All beer, wine and liquor is included in your lodge package. Overall, the food at the lodge is delicious, and the lodge staff will be happy to accommodate any special requests and dietary requirements.

Typical Length of Stay
The standard package for the Tsimane two-lodge program is 8 nights and 6.5 days of fishing. Contact Yellow Dog for specific trip dates and availability.

Non-Angling Activities and Options
Tsimane operates in a remote, fishing-focused destination. It is not the ideal location for non-anglers, and is best-suited to those who are there to fish. That said, the wildlife, birds and butterflies are amazing, and sure to impress even the most hard-core angler.

Internet / Communications
Satellite Wi-Fi is available at Tsimane’s Pluma Lodge location. There is also a satellite phone on site for emergency use.

FISHING

General Information
A destination that has taken the international adventure angling scene by storm, many are calling the Tsimane offerings the ultimate freshwater fly fishing experience for the adventurous angler. Rather than focusing on a new river in an already discovered region or a new section of flats in an already-developed fishing area, Tsimane instead has opened a totally new and different door with regard to a new and untouched exotic location. What Tsimane offers is fly fishing for huge Golden Dorado in small, clear, freestone rivers - something that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. Unusual? One comparative analogy that we like is the image of fishing for baby tarpon on the Three Dollar Bridge section of the Madison River in Montana. Instead of mayflies in the air, however, there are thousands and thousands of huge, colorful butterflies fluttering around the river and crawling along the rocky banks and gravel bars. 
Even though the Dorado in Tsimane's area waters are plentiful, the fishing in these rivers presents a number of challenges (as well as opportunities) for the angler. And although Golden Dorado are voracious, savage hunters, they are not necessarily easy to catch. As with most fishing situations, the element of surprise is an advantage that anglers will want to take full advantage of. These fish are almost always easily put down if spooked, so every pool and run must be carefully approached, well-planned, and well fished. Working closely with your guide will maximize each opportunity. In most situations, Dorado are caught when they are leisurely feeding and unaware of an angler's presence. That said, their "eats" and their attacks can be very swift and sudden, so accurate casts and timing become important variables. Being able to shoot 40 to 60 feet of line, minimize false casts, and deliver a large fly in an accurate and delicate manner is a huge advantage when fishing this area. Like many saltwater situations, a powerful and accurate double-haul certainly helps.

The Pluma River is a moderately-sized, clear freestone river with an incredibly pristine and beautiful topography. It is more open than many of the other rivers in the area and is easier to wade due to its wide banks, mostly composed of smooth gravel and rock. In order to keep the Pluma River as virgin as possible, motors are restricted, with the exception of a small stretch where the Pluma joins the Secure River. All fishing on the Pluma is done either by wading or poling in aluminum skiffs or dugout canoes. The Itirizama is considered by many anglers to be the “jewel in the crown” of the Tsimane programs. It is similar in size and volume to the upper section 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, creating the characteristics of a typical mountain stream with fast runs, rapids, waterfalls and large boulders. 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 in the area make it worth the extra effort. Size prevails over numbers, and this is a true trophy fishery.

Boats and Equipment 
The inaccessible, remote nature of these rivers makes it virtually impossible to utilize traditional put-in and take-out points with boats, so standard watercraft such as jet boats, john boats and drift boats are simply not an option. In order to move around and fish upstream waters, Tsimane has designed their boats based on the simple and proven designs of the area canoes favored by the natives. Outfitted with small outboard engines, these wooden, canoe-style, 28’ boats are comfortable and extremely practical for fishing the local waters. Typically, two boatmen will pole the craft up and downriver, utilizing a small motor for running in deeper sections. There are two seats in the canoes for guests and plenty of room for gear and equipment. Although some fishing can be done from the boats in slower, deeper waters, most fishing is done while wading in the river or fishing from the banks and gravel bars. It is recommended that anglers bring all of their own equipment to the lodge, including back-up rods and fly lines, and felt-soled wading boots outfitted with carbide-tipped studs. Flies are usually available for sale at both lodges.

TRAVEL DETAILS

How To Get There
Guests will fly to the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz (VVI) on an international flight. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, guests will be met by a member of the Tsimane team at the airport and transferred to a 5-Star hotel for their first night in country. There, guests will settle into their room and enjoy the amenities of one of the best hotels in Bolivia. The Tsimane team member will further explain the details of the trip, and the following morning guests will take a charter flight to the Oromono Community jungle airstrip – a flight of approximately 1.5 hours. Upon arrival at the lodge’s jungle airstrip, anglers will be met by the guides, taken upriver to the lodge, shown around, and will then be able to fish the home pool that first afternoon. 

Arrival and Departure Details / Times
The typical week at the lodge is a Saturday to Saturday. You will want to arrive into Santa Cruz (VVI) the day or evening before, where you will overnight in the city, and depart for the lodge the following morning.

Documents Required
Passports valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Bolivia are required to enter and depart Bolivia. U.S. Citizens planning to enter Bolivia as tourists must also have an entry visa. Bolivian tourist visas can be applied for ahead of time by mail or in person at Bolivian consulates in the U.S.  You can also secure your visa upon arrival in Santa Cruz at the airport. The cost of the tourist visa is $105.00 U.S. dollars if secured before arrival into Bolivia, or $135.00 per person if you want to wait and simply purchase an entry visa upon arrival in Bolivia. Lastly, a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate will be required for entry into Bolivia. 

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

RATES

Package Rates
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, and quoted in U.S. dollars.  Please contact Yellow Dog for current availability.

7 nights / 6 fishing days = $7,600.00 per person (double occupancy)

What's Included

  • In-country air transfers between the Santa Cruz Airport and the lodge locations
  • Ground transfers in Santa Cruz
  • Lodging in a double occupancy room in Santa Cruz for one night at arrival and one night at departure date in 5-star hotel
  • All meals while at the Pluma Lodge and the Itirizama out-camp
  • Argentine wines, soft drinks and all alcoholic beverages while at the lodge / in camp
  • All guided fishing (two anglers per boat)
  • Laundry services at the lodge / in camp
  • Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • All relevant taxes and GST’s

What's Not Included

  • International flights to Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  • Meals and bar tab while overnighting in Santa Cruz
  • Bolivian Visa fees and departure taxes
  • Equipment, flies and terminal tackle
  • Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
  • $670.00 Indian Community Tax (To be paid in cash, direct upon arrival to the Indian Community)
OTHER INFO

Health and Medical Information
All visitors to Bolivia should have all standard shots as well as Yellow Fever Vaccination up-to-date and current. You will want to travel with your vaccination card that proves this. We also ask that you notify us if you have any special medical conditions that the lodge needs to be aware of. Please remember to bring all your personal medications with you and be sure that they are well-labeled in their original bottles. Eastern Bolivia is considered a Malarial, Leishmaniasis and Dengue Fever endemic area. The risk for infection is most prevalent in the low land areas during the rainy season, from December to April. Although this is neither the camp’s location nor their standard fishing season, cases have been reported in nearby Santa Cruz city. Precautions to be taken against these diseases include wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants at all times, as well as using insect repellent while staying in the city. Be sure to cover up and take precautions at all times! On a final note, this is a trip that is best-suited for anglers that are in good shape and able to walk, wade and move.

Trip Insurance
Guests should be aware that even though Bolivia is a safe country, you will be in very remote areas for the duration of your trip. Guests are required to be in good health and sound medical condition prior to and during their trip. The Tsimane operation must be made aware of every guest's personal, special, medical or dietary requirements prior to and throughout the trip. Guests are also required to purchase BOTH general trip insurance and Global Rescue coverage for all Tsimane trips booked through Yellow Dog.

Client Feedback and Testimonials

"We’ve seen cougars on our bird hunts, wolves in Alaska, countless bears, rattlesnakes, etc, etc., but nothing we’ve experienced compared to seeing a large male jaguar peering at us from across the river.  A pretty small river at that!  I had cast to a cruising pacu, who swam up to my floating fly, “beaked it”, and swam away.  The guide and I were discussing our next move when my wife said “Oh my god, there’s a Jaguar!”  Sure enough, right across the river, the big fellow was crouched under some overhanging trees,  and lingered for some time just checking us out. I open with this because it most clearly illustrates our view of our Tsimane experience. If you never cast a fly, the trip would be incredible just for the jungle experience. I had a tapir swim the river about 15 feet in front of me. I stopped fishing and just watched him for 15-20 minutes, up close and personal. Parrots, parakeets and toucans were constant companions on the rivers. Butterflies? Every shape, size, and color - awesome!  And bugs?  Maybe we were lucky, but other than being stung by a bee, I don’t think we were assaulted by any insects the all week. We found the local indians very shy, but they opened up if you took the time to engage them and could speak a little Spanish.  But we did, in fact, go to fish, and it was everything Jim and Ian had said it would be. Big fish. Big MEAN fish. Big mean ACROBATIC fish. We caught ‘em sight fishing, caught ‘em casting to structure, caught ‘em in pocket water, caught ‘em in pools, caught ‘em subsurface, and caught ‘em with poppers. There are a lot of fish in those rivers!  The guides were very accommodating and hard working, willing to give as much (or as little) help as needed to catch fish. Accommodations and food ranged from adequate to luxurious. Everything was first class when you remember where you are. Not easy to set up a tent camp deep in the jungle. Last but not least, we went to Bolivia totally prepared thanks to the good intel provided by Yellow Dog.  Thanks so much for all the help!  Our top 3 recommendations for people going on this trip would be:
 
1.) Get in shape! Day after day making long hikes in wading boots, boulder hopping, lots of casting, fighting big fish, all in constant heat and humidity. It will wear you out!
 
2.) Practice throwing and casting with BIG flies. Yes, you can catch a lot of fish with chip shots. But you will catch lots more if you can chunk that thing a bit further with accuracy.
 
3.) Take time out from fishing to enjoy the jungle. Few people will ever have the opportunity to experience the jungle as you can on this trip. 
 
Thanks again Yellow Dog!
 
- Bruce L.
   Fairfield, CA