You wouldn't think we came because the fishing was just ''good''. Among all of us in the Tsimane and Untamed Angling team have been lucky to fish in many of the best fishing places in the world, from the rocky crystal clear waters of Island, to the impossible flats from Seychelles; from the Intriguing Russian Tundra to the Desolate Tierra del Fuego and so on. Of all these wonderful places, none of them moves and represents so much for all of us. Probably because this is something that has never been shown to the world before. We deeply believe that this is the ultimate fly-fishing experience.
This is not a new river in Alaska or in the Amazon, a new destination in Patagonia or another flat lost somewhere in the Indic ocean, this opens a door (one of the last ones yet to be opened) in fly fishing: Fly fishing in the jungle for huge dorados in small clear water freestone rivers.
It’s something like fishing an animal as aggressive as a GT, as cyclothymic as an Atlantic salmon and as acrobatics as a jumping tarpon, but inside a trout stream environment like the Madison.
It may seem pretentious or exaggerated expression, but when you experience these amazing dorados of the Bolivian Amazon, you'll see that this is an extremely well targeted thinking.
Besides the dorado (the king of those jungle rivers), add other so sportive species, as pirapitingas (our jungle freshwater permit) and yatoranas. Together they make a trio very difficult to match in warm freshwater worldwide.
This page has a section called species, which should read, to become aware of the fascinating world that these fish pose.
Fishing in these rivers, regardless the huge amount of fish, represents several challenges for the Angler since even the Tsimane fishes are voracious, they are not easy. They can be spooky and every pool and run must be planned together with your guides. Most of the times dorados are very fast in their movements, and flies should be placed not only with accuracy but also on right time. Angler who are able to shoot 60 feet of line in a couple false casts represents a big advantage.
A powerful and long double haul would help on dealing with this. Flies used are quite big in general and most anglers might not be used to these flies and might find difficult to be accurate and to get distance fast with them, so we encourage our guests to practice in order to get familiar with their equipment.
It's important to fish light equipped. Carrying in your shirt's pockets, a streamers wallet with a few flies, a spool of mono and another of wire. Pliers on your waist and nothing else. Letting the rest of the gear in the boat, which will always be close in case you need it.
Someone said that Dorados are like Big Brown Trout with Latin blood, that's not a missed statement at all. Well, also these rivers structures are the typical of a freestone river, same runs same pools and a trophy trout fisherman used to fish streamers will feel comfortable and will be able to read the water.
Setting the hook: Dorado, Yatorana and Pirapitinga have really bony heads and a lower rod position followed by a strong strip-strike and a lot of pressure into the fish is required to set the hook properly. It might take time and loosing some fish specially for trout and salmon anglers. Experienced tarpon anglers take advantage on this matter.
WADINGEven when we had to design special boats for these rivers, 99% of the fishing is done wading or fishing from the bank. The river structures vary in every section of the river. From sandy and small gravel beaches to sharp volcanic rocks passing through all kind of freestones and boulders. Wading is not difficult or risky but there is however a lot of it. For a more enjoyable experience we recommend our guests to at least do some walking/running the weeks prior to come.
As for the safety, we strongly recommend our guests to wade behind their guides and to keep their eyes open. Stingrays are rare, but present in these waters and an unfortunate misstep can mean have extremely painful consequences. To have protection form there stingray guards will be provided when necessary (you can bring yours if you want to) that together with a strong wading boot represent a fair protection. However is very important to avoid these encounters and for this led on our guide's experience and eyes.
The equipment required for wading is: fast drying pants or shorts over lightweight base lawyer pants (as Patagonia Capilene 1) , strongly supported felt sole wading boots, gravel and stingray guards and a wading stick if needed. We recommend bringing lightweight Gore-Tex waders during June-August months, just in case.
Please don’t bring rubber sole boots, they don’t work on the thin algae film over rock beds.
CATCH AND RELEASE
As Untamed Angling regulation, all fish caught in our destinations should be released without exceptions and to avoid unnecessary handling of the fish barbless hooks are required.
Handling these fish require precaution, not only to avoid hurting them but also to prevent injuries to anglers. All of these fish have very strong jaws and sharp teeth and they are aware of this. This means that if they have the chance they will take it. Sometimes, when extracting the hooks you can hear their teeth crushing against the steel of the pliers.
FLY FISHING GEARRods: 7, 8 or 9 weight line single hand rods are the most recommended.
The 8 weight is the Tsimane standard, but we might feel necessary a more powerful rod in certain situations as the huge dorados of mid/lower Secure beats.
We also recommend bring a light 6 weight rod to focus fishing with big dry flies for yatoranas or in small creeks.
The ideal is to have two rods rigged with different lines or flies at the boat.
One 8/9 weight rigged with a good dorado streamer and other one with a Pirapitinaga fly. An extra backup rod will be necessary. Powerful rods with a strong butt section are a must.
Winston SX rods excel in Tsimane waters. The new Boron III SX rods series performs perfectly for jungle dorado and pacues, loading fast with less false casting and less effort casting big flies with pinpoint precision. This makes a difference in the jungle.
Reels: As with rods, reels that have been designed for saltwater fly-fishing are the most adequate. The strong and fast runs of big Dorados and the relentless Pirapitingas will get anglers to the backing very often and strong smooth drag is a must. Bring a trusted Reel that you feel comfortable with. Weight is important also since you will be casting a lot. 30 pounds backing is required.
Fly Lines: Most of the fishing is done close to the surface. Weight Forward Floating lines for tropical waters. Lines such as: general Saltwater Taper, Redfish Taper, Cortland Tropic Plus, or comparable warm water lines work great. Excellent results are achieved with the clear intermediate tip lines.
Do not bring conventional cold water floating lines, as the hot weather makes the lines "soft and gummy".
Also bring a fast sinking tip shooting taper for some specific spots, for this we recommend a 200 or 250 grain sinking tips (15ft sinking tip).
Leaders: Spools of Fluorocarbon should include 40, 30, 20 pounds breaking strengths.
Due the rock bed and other aggressive fish presence, we prefer the fluorocarbon material.
When fishing in off color waters or with sinking tip lines, dorados won’t require sophisticated leaders, but when fishing under normal clear water conditions with floating lines, everything change. We need to tie some specific leaders according the specie, the local condition and the size of fly we are using.
As standard, we use 6-9 foot leaders with thick butt section and 20-30 pounds tippet breaking strength. This allows good presentation for big flies without spook fish.
Our guides can assist you on tie the leaders according the each fishing situation.
Wire: All the fish we catch in Tsimane, are heavily armed with sharp teeth and wire tippet is a rule. Spools of 25 to 40 pounds American Fishing Wire, Rio or Tiger Titanium are fine choices. Please make sure bringing wire tippets in grey or camo colors, Our guides will assist you to tie these leaders. Pre-tied Leaders (for barracuda or pike) are not recommendable.
Flies: Fishing is mostly done using baitfish imitations. Full black, and combinations of black and red, purple, orange and yellow are very effective. Good action and volume flies in lengths from 4 to 8 inches in barbless hooks 2/0 to 4/0. High quality hooks are required. As for patterns the most typical fly used is the Andino Deceiver. Just like a Regular Deceivers but with chain/brass eyes and a muddler or craft fur head. However other baitfish imitations have proved to be very successful, among them Puglisi Streamers in medium to very big sizes, Lefty's Deceiver or Umpqua's Tarpon's Snake can be acceptable options. We don’t recommend bring flies with too many flash material.
Our Blog (www.untamedangling.com/blog) shows all field proven successful patterns for Tsimane waters. Foam poppers, Titanic’s sliders, big mouse imitations, pole dancer, divers are very good choices to hit dorado on surface. Flies like Chernobyl´s Ant or big terrestrials and bugs imitations are excellent for pirapitingas and yatoranas.. We have the best selection of flies for Tsimane available for sale at the lodge.
- Two pairs of Polaroid glasses (in case you forgot).
- Long needle nose pliers
- Hook Sharpener
- Extra tippet and wire.
- Strip Fingers or Fishing Glove
- Folding wading staff
- Hats/Caps and Buff protection
- Tape measure to record big fish
- Waterproof Camera, film and batteries
- Insect repellent and "anti-itch" cream
- Small torch/flashlight/head lamp for streamside and camp.