Tsimane - Pluma Lodge

Fly Fishing for Golden Dorado

Pluma Standard Program:  Available from late May through June 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 July through October for eight anglers.
Seven nights split between Pluma Lodge and Secure Lodge, and six days of heli-fishing, five to 20-minute daily flights to pristine areas. Click here for more information on Tsimane Heli-Fishing.

The Pluma River

Angler Fly Fishing in Crystal-Clear Stream

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

Guide in Canoe and Anglers Walking Upstream

The Pluma Higher Sector lies upstream from the confluence of the Pluma and the Itirisama Rivers. With its gin-clear water, boulders, shallow runs, riffles, and well-defined pools, the river often reminds anglers of freestone trout rivers. 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 carry extra gear and coolers and is useful to row/pole back down to Pluma Lodge at the end of the fishing 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

Golden Dorado in 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.

Itirisama River

Fly Anglers and Barefoot Guide Studying a Stream

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

Angler with Huge Pluma Golden Dorado

Pluma Lodge Fishing Facts:

Season:  The Standard Lodge-Based Program season runs from late May through June. 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 and coolers and is very useful to row or pole back down 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 $670.00 Native Community Fee, which helps support the conservancy program and local community. The fee is payable in cash upon arrival at the Lodge.

Pluma River Pacu

Angler Kneeling in River Holding Large Pacu

Standard Lodge-Based Program
Sample Fishing Day:

Available from late May through June.
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 Lit Up at Night

Pluma Lodge is a comfortable jungle lodge built from sustainable wood cut from the nearby jungle. The Lodge has eight bedrooms. 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 is onsite.

Queen Size Beds

Queen Bed with Mosquito Netting and Native Wooden Paneling

Dining Room Area

Wood-Paneled Dining Area

Meals and Beverages:

Appetizers Served on White Plates with Wine

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.

Getting to Pluma Lodge:

Day 0:  You’ll arrive at the Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. A representative will greet you and transfer you from the airport to the Los Tajibos Hotel. First and last night in a double-occupancy hotel room is included in the package.
Day 1:  You’ll have breakfast at the hotel. Tsimane’s local host will pick up your group around 9:30 a.m. and take you to the local airport. You’ll take a 90-minute charter flight to the Oromomo Indian Community. (For the charter flight, there is a baggage weight limit of 55 pounds or 25 kg.) The guides will transfer the group by boat upriver to Pluma Lodge, about an 80-minute transfer.
Day 8:  After breakfast, the group will be transferred to the Indigenous village airstrip for the charter flight back to Santa Cruz. You'll be met by a member of the Tsimane staff and driven to a five-star hotel for the last night of the trip. A double occupancy room and breakfast are included in the package. In the morning, a Lodge representative will drive you to the airport for your flight home.

2023 and 2024 USD Rates

Our advice is free.
We never charge more than the Lodges we represent.

9-nights and 6-days guided fishing
(7-nights at the Lodge and 2 hotel nights in Santa Cruz.)
(NCF = Native Communities Fee)
Standard Program:
Late May through June
One angler per room two per guide:
$7,600.00 + $670.00 NCF = $8,270.00 per person
One angler per room and guide:
$12,540.00 + $670.00 NCF = $13,210.00 per person

Heli-Fishing Program:
July through October
One angler per room and two per guide:
$16,000.00 + $670.00 NCF = $17,250.00 per person
Click here for Heli-Fishing Program.

Non-Angler Companion:
(No Helicopter flights are included.)
$5,000.00 + $670.00 NCF = $5,670.00 per person

The Package Includes:

• Airport reception in Santa Cruz
• Two nights (first and last night) at Los Tajibos Hotel
• Ground transfers in Santa Cruz
• All domestic charter flights inside Bolivia
• 6-days guided fishing
• 7-nights at the Lodge
• All meals at the Lodge
• All beverages at the Lodge, soft drinks, beer, wine, and spirits
• Laundry service
• Wi-Fi service

Packages Do Not Include:

• International airfare to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and return
• Bolivian visa, approx. $160.00
• Native Community Tax and National Park Fee—payable in cash in Bolivia
• Meals and beverages in Santa Cruz
• Massages, $35.00 for 30-minutes
• Gratuities to guides and staff
• $25.00 departure tax
• Fishing tackle and flies
• Excess baggage charges
• Transportation not included in the itinerary
• Optional side trips
• Satellite calls are $5.00 per minute.
• Items or accommodations not explicitly listed
• Global Rescue
• Travel insurance
• Anything not mentioned under inclusions
• As of 2020, Fishing with Larry adds a 2.5% convenience fee to all credit card transactions.

Request an Information Packet.  

Fishing Travel Experts

Guy Schoenborn

1-800-205-3474 ext. 1

MT Office:  406-322-5709

Email:  guy@fishingwithlarry.com

Brad Staples

1-800-205-3474 ext. 3

Cell (503) 250-0558

Email:  brad@fishingwithlarry.com