Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America, sharing borders with Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Argentina. Its geography varies from the Andes Mountains peaks west to the Eastern lowlands situated in the Amazon Basin and rainforest. It’s world-famous for its Salt Flat, Quinoa, Llama’s and Coca plants, and its unbelievable fishing opportunities, especially fly fishing for the famous giant Golden Dorado.
Fishing in Bolivia for the hard fighting golden beasts is a breathtaking and exhilarating experience, as you can engage in authentic adventure travel. The wild and remote landscapes vary, with gin-clear Amazon tributaries cutting their way through dense jungle and pristine mountain settings. To the lower rivers that are brownish in colour with sediment that has been washed down through the jungle.
The three main rivers systems most popular for fly fishing in Bolivia are the Agua Negra, Secure and the Pluma River. These rivers see the most extensive run of migratory Golden Dorado and both have exceptional reputations, each year producing multiple fish to over 20lb. The Golden Dorado is a species that features in many fly anglers bucket list, and without a doubt, Bolivia offers the fly fisherman the best chance of catching one.
Below we have listed the best destinations for you to choose from.
Tsimane Pluma Lodge, overlooking the Pluma River, is considered the most deluxe and diverse of the Tsimane lodges. Strategically located in the middle of the Pluma River below the confluence of two world-class systems, the upper Pluma and the Itirizama, makes this one of the best destinations to fly fish for Golden Dorado.
Secure Lodge is the perfect destination for fly anglers looking for the jungle experience, with access to lots of water, giving all anglers many opportunities for fly fishing with heavy and light fly rods. The rivers contain an abundant number of Golden Dorado and provides an experience you'll remember forever.
Tsimane Agua Negra Camp is designed for just 4 anglers who will fish two main river systems, the Secure and the Agua Negra. Each season hundreds of thousands of baitfish migrate up the greater Secure system, and with them come thousands of large, aggressively feeding Dorado, all of which love taking anglers flies.
If you have ever wished to go and experience some of the best Golden Dorado fishing on this planet? These hosted trips are for just 6 people each week, so perfect for single anglers. This is one of the most pristine environments in the world. Combine the stunning wildlife and amazing fishing. This will be a holiday you talk about for a very long time.
For 2023 we're excited to introduce to you a brand new helicopter fishing trip, allowing adventurous travelling rods the opportunity to fish some of the most remote, untouched waters in Bolivia and the whole of the South American continent for the hard-fighting Golden Dorado. If you're looking for a first-class, fly fishing adventure, then this is perfect for you.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 95%
"I fished at Pluma Lodge last year and enjoyed it so much that I re-booked for this year and once again I wasn't let down, it was fantastic. Last year the fishing was a little slow because of the weather, but this time around it was fantastic. My previous Golden Dorado PB was just over 10lb, but I smashed it this year with a cracking fish a few ounces over 18lb. My guide (apologies I can't remember his name) was absolutely first class and an expert in his field! Thanks to everyone involved in making my trip so memorable."
"This was my second time in Bolivia and my second time at Secure Lodge. I visited back in 2019, but I wasn't blessed with great weather or river conditions and the fishing was hard, so I felt like the destination owed me one! This time around fortunately the fishing gods were on my side and it was brilliant. I landed loads of fish every day with many over double figures. I need to have a look at the website and choose my next fishing adventure!"
"Hi just to say we love your site, we are from the USA and last year we had the pleasure in fishing and staying at Tsimane's Agua Negra Camp. The fishing on both rivers was first class, fishing the Secure which tends to be more coloured was good fun for lots of action and sheer numbers of fish, we landed 83 for our week. Personally I enjoyed fishing the smaller Agua Negra River, as there was more sight fishing to be done. Keep ups the good work Mark"
Fly fishing in Bolivia, specifically for Golden Dorado, offers a unique experience. These fish are incredibly aggressive, have voracious appetites and are incredibly acrobatic; however, regardless of these traits, the fishing is as exciting as it is challenging. Whether you are fishing a long run or a deep pool, concocting a plan with your fishing guide and delivering a relatively precise cast will maximise your catch rate. Fishing is a mixture of sight casting to cruising fish or into the middle of the most exciting feeding frenzy you will have ever seen in your life. On other rivers or lower sections, the rivers can turn brown with sediment, which provides the Golden Dorado with the advantage of cover. The fishing in these areas casting blind but to structure of log jams and snags is exhilarating as freshwater fly fishing can get.
Without a doubt, Tsimane (Chimané) is the best Bolivian fly fishing destination on the planet. Tsimane is located deep in the Bolivian jungle and is a truly wild, untamed environment. Jaguars prowl amongst the undergrowth, Caiman basks on the side of the riverbank, and the sound of thousands of birds and animals fill the air. The indigenous people add to the surreal, but stunningly beautiful deep-jungle experience. Several main rivers and tributaries in these areas make up an unbelievable watershed and fishing environment. There is the famous Pluma River, Itirizama River, Secure River and the Agua Negra.
The months between May to October are best for the Golden Dorado. These coincide with the Bolivian dry season and the migration of hundreds of thousands of baitfish up all the rivers, followed by aggressively feeding Golden Dorado not too far behind them.
Yes, we run annual Hosted Golden Dorado trips to Secure camp. They run at the very best time of the year, a time when South America’s most impressive migration of freshwater Sabalos and Golden Dorado occurs. Ensuring we are at the river for the best time to encounter as many opportunities as possible to catch these fish of a lifetime.
Although the leading species angler travel to Bolivia from all over the world is Golden Dorado, there are many other exciting species to target. Peacock Bass, Pacus, Yatoranas and the stunning Surubi love to attack anglers flies.
If you’re fishing for the Golden Dorado, despite the challenges mentioned above, you can fish fairly light, and you don’t need a mountain of tackle – a floating line, a few leaders and a box full of flies is suffice. The fish ranged between 8lb to 35lb with an average of around 15lb, so an eight to nine weight rod is perfect. In the hot weather, regular freshwater lines will become soft and difficult to handle, so a quality saltwater line warm-weather line will be more suitable. For most situations a 7ft leader of 20lb – 30lb mono is fine, attach to this a large baitfish imitation fly on a substantial size 2/0 or 4/0 hook and you should be ready to go!
The fishing in Bolivia can be relatively physically demanding, mainly due to the environment and terrain you’re fishing in. The weather is hot and a typical day can see lots of time spent in and out of a dugout, hiking over rocky terrain and wading through multiple streams. It’s best suited to reasonably fit anglers, but at the same time, our English speaking guides would be able to tailor your day to your needs and what suited you best.