Tsimane - Pluma Lodge
Fly Fishing for Golden Dorado
Pluma Standard Program: Available from late May through October for six anglers per week.
You’ll have access to the upper and lower sectors of the Pluma River, the lower sector of the Secure River, and the Itirisama River. Two anglers per boat and guide.
Heli-Fishing Program: Available from July through October, with five to 20-minute daily flights to pristine areas.
Heli-Hybrid Program: Limited to 12 anglers. Three days daily Heli-Fishing and three days regular Lodge-based program.
Heli-Full Week Program: Limited to eight anglers. Seven nights at Pluma Lodge Lodge and six days of heli-fishing.
Click here for Tsimane Heli-Fishing.
The Pluma River
The Pluma River is a crystal-clear freestone river that runs from south to north, parallel to the Mosetenes Mountain Range. The river has an incredibly rich topography and is wider and more open than some of Tsimane’s other rivers. The Pluma’s wide banks, mainly composed of round, smooth gravel and rock, make for easier wading. Further upstream, the river gets steeper with rugged terrain.
Upper Pluma River - Higher Sector
The Pluma Higher Sector lies upstream from the confluence of the Pluma and the Itirisama Rivers. The river often reminds anglers of freestone trout rivers with gin-clear water, boulders, shallow runs, riffles, and well-defined pools. The Upper sector is home to many resident golden dorado, holding in many pools and pocket water. You'll wade fish your way upstream. Fishing is almost entirely on foot. A Chiman canoe is used to return extra gear and coolers back to Pluma Lodge at the end of the day.
Pluma Species: The Pluma is home to all four of Tsimane’s main species—golden dorado, pacu, yatorana, and catfish (surubi).
Lower Pluma River
The Lower Pluma section extends from the confluence with the Itirisama River to its mouth in the Secure River. The structure is similar to the Upper section, but the Lower is 50 to 60 percent higher in volume, making for wider, deeper pools and more powerful runs. With more water, the fish have more room to fight and explode into aerial acrobatics. The jungle is less dense, and the shorelines are marshy at times. Steep drop-offs, long runs, sand-covered flats, islands with braided channels, and deep pools. The deep pools are natural food traps, and king dorado and large pacu are found here. 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 Itirisama is regarded by many as Tsimane's crown jewel. The river is similar in size and volume to the high sector of the Pluma River. The Itirisama has a steeper gradient and more rugged terrain. The Itirisama runs from west to east through rugged canyons. Deep pools flanked by canyon walls make this the most physically intense section of river to wade and fish, but the scenic rewards and large dorado make it worth the effort.
The Itirisama is Tsimane's coldest and clearest river, making fishing more technical. You are less likely to catch large numbers of dorado, but you are more likely to catch your best dorado of the week. This sector has the lowest population of resident dorado but the highest average size. Some are huge, but tricking them in the small clear water is difficult. In some of the far upstream pools, you'll find large numbers of big pacu, which can be caught using fruit imitations, streamers, and big dry flies.
Pluma River Golden Dorado
Pluma Lodge Fishing Facts:
Pluma Seasons: The Standard Lodge-Based Program season runs from late May through October. The Heli-Fishing program runs from July through October. The Lodge season targets clear water conditions giving anglers stunning sight-fishing opportunities.
Guides: For every two anglers, there is one English-speaking professional fly-fishing guide and two native boatmen.
Methods: Fly fishing only. Fishing is done almost entirely on foot, walking, and wading upstream.
Boats: A Chiman canoe is used to transport gear back to the Lodge at the end of the day.
Equipment: No equipment is provided. Flies are $10.00 each at the small fly shop onsite; you will need about two dozen for the week. A comprehensive tackle-and-gear list is included in our confirmation.
Licenses: Fishing licenses are not required.
Native Community Fee: Tsimane packages require a Native Community Fee, which helps support the conservancy program and local community. ($670.00 for Lodge-Based programs and $1,250.00 for Heli-Programs.) The fee is payable in cash upon arrival at the Lodge.
Pluma River Pacu
Standard Lodge-Based Program
Sample Fishing Day:
Available from late May through October.
7:00 a.m. - You’ll have breakfast at the Lodge.
8:00 a.m. - You’ll head out with your guide to fish.
Midday, you’ll enjoy lunch on the riverbank.
4:00 to 5:00 p.m. - You’ll return to the Lodge for dinner.
There is the possibility of fishing the upper Pluma and Itirisama Rivers. When fishing the upper Pluma and Itirisama Rivers, all the fishing is done by walking and wading upstream. Long hikes are necessary to reach the upper sections of the rivers to access better fishing areas.
For the Heli-Fishing Program, you'll take five to 20-minute flights each day to pristine headwater areas, returning to the Lodge at about 5:00 p.m.
Click here for Heli-Fishing Program.
Pluma River Lodge
Pluma Lodge is a comfortable jungle lodge built from sustainable wood cut from the nearby jungle. The Lodge has a great room area for dining and gathering, a massage room, free Wi-Fi, free laundry service, and a small fly shop onsite.
The Lodge now has 14 wooden cabins for up to 14 anglers. Each angler gets his own room and private bathroom.
Dining Room Area
Meals and Beverages:
Meals: International cuisine paired with great wines.
Alcohol: An open bar with spirits, liquors, and special drinks is included in the package.
Communications: Free Wi-Fi is available. Satellite phone service is $5.00 per minute.