Species
Golden Dorado
Destination Type
Lodge
Fishing Style
Jungle, Sightfishing, Wading
Season
June - October
Fishing Days
6
Rate
$$$$
Why We Go
  • Fish for dorado in freestone jungle rivers
  • Wade challenging, scenic rivers in a pristine, jungle setting
  • Employ a wide variety of fishing methods on four diverse rivers
  • Enjoy comfortable cabin accommodations and a spacious main lodge
  • Experience fine Argentine cuisine and wine pairings
  • Explore the clear, upper reaches of the Pluma or Itirizama Rivers with an optional overnight at a simple out-camp
Overview

Pluma Lodge is Tsimane’s most deluxe and diverse offering. Pluma caters to eight anglers per week, all of whom enjoy tasteful, double-occupancy cabins with private baths, ample storage, and ceiling fans. Much of Pluma’s water is characterized by beautiful, rocky, freestone terrain, making it rather physical and best suited to stable waders. Anglers with lesser wading skills will have the option to fish from the boat on multiple beats. Pluma is unique for its wide variety of water types ranging from pocket water to long pools and has incredible sight fishing opportunities. Pluma fishes two remote tributaries (the upper Pluma and Itirizama), multiple beats of the main Pluma, and two beats on the larger main stem Secure, making for a highly varied program.

Fishing Program

Anglers staying at Pluma Lodge have access to four separate river systems and more than 60-kilometers of incredible fly fishing water. Each day pairs of angers will head out with a skilled Argentine guide and two native boatmen. Anglers fishing the main Pluma, the Upper Pluma and the Itirizama will depart the lodge by dugout while anglers headed to the lower Secure will drive 45 minutes through the jungle where they will meet their boatman. The lower Secure tends to be colored, making classic steelhead style blind fishing the norm. There are incredible numbers of bait fish and the Secure can deliver some of the highest catch rates in all of Tsimane. The other systems fished out of Pluma lend themselves to both blind fishing and sight-casting with the fishing getting more visual the further upstream one travels.

While dugouts are used often at Pluma, anglers will spend most of their time hiking and wading. Due to the overall distances that need to be covered on foot, and the hot weather, this trip is best suited for reasonably fit anglers who are comfortable with multiple stream crossings and rocky terrain.

Accommodations

Pluma Lodge overlooks the Pluma River and has four comfortable double occupancy hardwood cabins with ensuite bathrooms, each complete with hot water and a shower. Cocktail hour and meals are taken in the main lodge, a overlooking the river. A large porch extends from the main lodge connecting the cabins. The lodge is also equipped with generator power with battery back-up and wireless internet service. The kitchen will be headed by an Argentina chef who serves a variety of local and Argentine meals paired with an Argentine wine selection.

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart Home.

Day 2: Arrive Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In Bolivia guests will be met by a member of the Tsimane team and transferred to their hotel.

Day 3: Charter flight to the Oromomo Village before transferring to Pluma Lodge. At the lodge guests will be met by their guides and shown to their rooms.

Days 4 - 9: Six days of guided fishing at Pluma Lodge.

Day 10: In the morning, guest will pack up and transfer to the Oromomo Village where they will meet their charter flight back to Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz guests will be met by a member of the Tsimane staff who will take guests to their hotel (included in package).

Day 11: Depart for Home.

Rates & Details

2024 Rate: Per person based on single occupancy and shared guiding

9 night/6 day package: $7,600 plus $670 native fees

Included: Accommodations and meals at Pluma Lodge, arrival night and departure night lodging in Santa Cruz, guided fishing, charter flights, native fees

Not Included: Airfare, fishing tackle and flies, guide gratuities, departure taxes

Species: Golden dorado, Amazon pacu

Season: June – October

Capacity: 8 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? It is best if guests are in relatively good shape as most of the fishing at Pluma Lodge is in a walk and wade fashion. The wading is fairly challenging but anglers with limited mobility can focus on beat where boat fishing is possible.

Where is the lodge? Pluma Lodge is in a National Park and Indigenous Territory in central Bolivia. The lodge is near the confluence of the Pluma and Itirizama Rivers.

How do I get there? To get to Pluma Lodge guests need to fly to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia (VVI). In Santa Cruz guests will be met at the airport by a lodge representative and transferred to a local hotel (included in package). The next day guests will be met at the hotel and transferred to the civil airport where they will take a two-hour charter flight to the Oromomo village. After arriving at the Oromomo village, guests will then boat upstream to Pluma Lodge. At the lodge guests will settle in and get ready for their upcoming fishing days.

When should I go? Pluma Lodge is open during the Bolivian dry season from June through October.

How will I fish? Most of the fishing at Pluma Lodge is wet wading and fishing from the banks. Guests will sometimes fish out of dugout canoes. Nearly all fishing is done with streamers and large flies.

Is there wade fishing? Yes. Nearly all the fishing at Pluma Lodge is wade fishing.

Where will I fish? At Pluma Lodge anglers have access to three unique rivers: the Pluma River, Itirizama River, and the lower section of the Sécure River. This broad variety of rivers allows guests to fish fresh water every day, and rarely, if ever, repeat the same fishing beat.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? There are fishable pools just 300 meters from the lodge but depending on where the guest is fishing that day it can take as little as 10 minutes or up to one hour to reach the fishing beat for the day.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? The main event at Pluma Lodge is golden dorado, but it is possible to catch pacu, yatorana and various jungle catfish as well.

How many fish will I catch? Guests can expect to catch a few dorado per day and can expect to catch one or two dorado over the 12-pound mark per week. Fish in the 20-pound class are also present.

Will I see other anglers? No. Guests will not see other anglers while fishing.

What are the guides like? The guides are patient, safe and experienced. They all speak very good fishing English and are some of the most experienced guides in Bolivia.

What are the physical demands? The trip is not physically demanding but a fair amount of walking and wet wading is required, making it best suited for active anglers.

Are there any special skills required? Not really, but anglers that are strong waders and can hike a few miles per day are going to have more success.

Does the lodge provide equipment? Guests should bring their own equipment. The lodge has loaner equipment if something breaks or gets lost, but anglers should have their own.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? We recommend a fast-action 9-weight with a dedicated jungle line and a leader made from heavy mono and wire.

What are the top flies? The typical dorado fly in Bolivia is the Andino deceiver, but other bait fish patterns can be successful. Flies like the Tarpon Snake, Lefty’s Deceiver, Intruders, and Puglisi streamers have all worked great. It is recommended that flies do not have a lot of flash.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? There are lots of options for fishing at Pluma Lodge so if one river is blown out the guides can go higher in the system to find clear water. If the rains blow the whole system out guests will have to wait out the weather at the lodge.

What is a typical day like?

6:00AM - Coffee is hot 7:00AM – Breakfast 8:00AM - Head to fishing grounds 12:00PM to 1:00PM - Anglers will have a picnic style lunch on the river. 1:00PM - After lunch, fishing will resume until late afternoon when the guides will deliver anglers back to the lodge around 6pm. 6:30PM - Cocktails and appetizers are served 8:00PM – Dinner is served

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? Pluma Lodge is laid back, welcoming and luxurious but not pretentious.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Yes. There is always a lodge manager on site.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Hearty and filling meals are served in the main lodge building. The chef and the cuisine are Argentinian, and the food is presented with amazing flair especially for being in such a remote place. Argentinian wines are served with each meal.

What is the alcohol policy? Beer and wine are included in the package. If guests would like hard alcohol, they are encouraged to bring it with them in their luggage.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The Tsimane Pluma Lodge experience is based on one very comfortable jungle lodge, built entirely from sustainable wood cut from the nearby jungle. There is also the option to do headwater out-camps for one night to the upper Pluma River and one on the upper Itirizama River. The main Pluma Lodge features four log cabins and sleeps up to eight anglers. Each cabin has spring box beds, private bathrooms with hot water and electric light.

Is there internet and/or cell service? Yes. Satellite internet Wi-Fi and satellite phone service is available for a fee.

Are there other activities? Guests can interact with the indigenous people, eco tour and bird watch, but this is first and foremost a fishing lodge.

Are there any other expenses? Guests will need to pay a Native Fee to enter the Indigenous Territory and pay for any additional nights of hotel in Santa Cruz.

Do I need a visa? No. US citizens are not required to have a visa for tourism travel to Bolivia. Guests will be required to show a printed round trip airline ticket, hotel reservation, or invitation letter. Citizens of other countries should check with their local consulate before traveling.

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? A Yellow Fever vaccination or waiver is required to enter the native areas. We strongly recommend visiting your doctor or county health department before departing for Bolivia. They should be able to help you with health care matters and securing your Yellow Fever Vaccination and Certification.

This part of the Bolivian jungle is surprisingly friendly. There are some no-see-ums, and some mosquitoes are in this area. This is however a wilderness area and we recommend guests not to go deep into the Jungle, pass through dense vegetation, over down logs or through fallen leaves.

All the buildings are constantly fumigated, and all beds have mosquito nets covering them. We strongly recommend wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants during your fishing week. The best way to protect yourself from insects is by wearing insect repellent and reapplying at least 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and night). We suggest treating your clothes in Permethrin prior to traveling.

Anglers who wet wade in the jungle must take special care of their feet. While blistering and abrasion of wet skin is an issue, fungus is as well. To prevent getting foot fungus we recommend the following:

  • Use neoprene socks
  • Wash these socks out each evening
  • Apply a heavy layer of moisturizing lotion to your feet before fishing each day (Arm and Hammer Foot Therapy is a good one)
  • Use foot powder or Gold Bond at the end of each day
  • Carry anti-fungal ointment

Eastern Bolivia is considered a Denge Fever influenced area. This illness is dangerous in the low land areas and during the rainy season from December to April. Even though this is not the camp’s fishing area or season, there have been many cases in the city of Santa Cruz. To avoid this illness, we recommend guests always wear long sleeve shirts and pants and use insect repellent while in the city.

Eastern Bolivia is also considered a Leishmaniasis influenced area. The disease is carried by infected sand flies and can cause open sores in addition to other health complications. Please note not all sand flies are carriers. Presently there is not a preventive inoculation or medications such as what we see with Yellow Fever or Malaria and no early detection method available. That said, like many worldwide health issues, the best method of addressing this issue is to wear the recommended clothing and repellent at least 3 times a day.

We recommend that guests always consult with the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites for general travel information and guidelines.

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