The Best Flies for Bolivian Golden Dorado
Tsimane is located in the Bolivian National park, where the Amazon rainforest meets the Andes mountains, creating one of the wildest and most remote fishing destinations on earth. I have dreamt about visiting Bolivia for couple of years, not just because golden dorado are considered one of the most aggressive fish but also to experience this wonderful environment. Here gin clear waters run through stunning rainforest, surrounded by countless species of animals and the last of the local indigenous people from the Indian Territory. Thanks to Untamed Angling I was fortunate enough to visit one of their lodges in the heart of Bolivia; Secure lodge.
Eventually, after many months of waiting D-Day came and the adventure of a lifetime could start. With my friend Florian, we travelled for almost 20 hours, from Europe to Santa Cruz, the capital of Bolivia. The following morning we jumped into little Cessna and after 2 hours flight with unforgettable views over the Bolivian Amazon we landed on Asunta airstrip, located just a few minutes by dugout canoe from Secure Lodge (on Securé river).
We spent the first few days on the lower part of the river and the rest of the week at an outside camp, further upstream. Without doubt, these three days spent out in the jungle were the best fishing days of my life. The further we ventured upstream the wilder our surroundings became.
In one way, all you hear is an eerie silence but then, in a split second, you are bombarded with lots of loud noises coming from everywhere. The nature around you is constantly moving, jaguar tracks are following your steps along the river bank, hundreds of butterflies are dancing around your head and macaws are flying high over the majestic jungle canopy. The lower and upper parts of the river differed not only due to the wildness, but also the fishing and flies we used were different.
Fulling Mill’s Andino Deceivers have become a popular fly for golden dorado fishing in Bolivia. The most common colours being black mixed with purple, red, chartreuse, and yellow. For lower sections of Secure river, where the water is murky and the current is slower, the Andino Deceiver 2/0 in black/chartreuse with dumbbell eyes to help the fly to sink is the best option by far. Compared to that the upper part of the river was totally different. The river has a structure with lots of rocks and little streams. Before you cast – you spot the fish, that is the main reason why lighter flies work better here. You can’t risk spooking fish by splashing heavy flies on the surface, you have to make accurate casts in between rocks and avoid getting snagged on roots. Flies such as the Half & Half Baitfish Chartreuse 1/0, Magnetic Minnow and the Black Deceiver 4/0 were very useful for the upper part. Very little beats seeing these toothy critters smashing poppers skating on the surface. If you can cast and work with poppers confidently, just give it a try and experience the feeding frenzy!
During our stay, we caught a couple of nice golden dorado around 20lb, countless small fish between 2-8lb, which were a great addition to the whole experience and for sure some Pacu, which are called as freshwater permit, one of the strongest fighters in Bolivian river system. This fantastic trip was made even more amazing for me with the catch of a lifetime, a huge golden dorado which I’d actually already lost on the first day of outside camping, caught on the same spot landed the last day, when we were moving back to the Secure lodge after 3 days in the jungle. It really was a miracle finish!
PICTURES BY FLORIAN KAISER
Check out another great piece on Golden Dorado by FFN.