After more than 500 years of contact with European settlers, the Tsimane people have persisted with their indigenous heritage. They are still nomads, hunters and fisherman living near the banks of the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. To this day, their mythology surrounding the golden dorado remains. The Tsimane consider freshwater dorado a powerful and sacred hunting partner.

The dorado chase sabolo, a main dorado baitfish, into the shallow water near the banks of the rivers. There, Tsimane tribal hunters can easily spot and catch the sabolo, a longtime important food source, using bows and arrows. The Tsimane Lodge is an original joint venture between a private company and indigenous tribes in the world of sport fishing.

It’s easy to see why so many people live in search of gold.
One of the most important goals of Tsimane is the protection of the indigenous culture. The project provides the natives a better quality of life and empowers their traditions. They participate actively in the operation by working in different areas, but the most important is guiding. This practice recreates their ancient skills as hunters and fisherman.

The Tsimane natives actively participate in the operation as fishing guides, sharing their history and ancestral knowledge of the region with anglers. For many, it’s the progressive tool for protecting and advocating for the survival of their culture in a time of social, political and geographic convergence.

The Tsimane lodges are located in a National Park and inside an Indigenous Territory named TIPNIS, within the regions of Beni and Cochabamba.

As part of theVilicabamba – Amboro Conservation Corridor, it sits in the Sub-Andean strip of the tropical Andes between Peru and Bolivia. Here the climate is humid, with a mountain range in the west giving way to large floodplains to the east. Of the vast drainage in this valley, the Pluma, upper Pluma, Itirizama and the Secure rivers are most accessible to anglers who visit Tsimane Lodge. A special place, it holds tradition and indigenous culture in the highest regard.

A Brazilian anthropologist once said that whenever modern culture touches an indigenous person, something inside them dies…
Old school wood hooper.
Children of the jungle.
The Pluma Lodge is situated on Bolivia’s Pluma River, just above its confluence with the Secure River.
The gold devil just loves top water.
Golden dorados often prefer dark fly patterns that produce good silhouettes in the tannin-colored water of many Bolivian jungle rivers.
With rough terrain, challenging wading and technical sight fishing to large dorado, this represents the ultimate jungle adventure in one the most pristine and beautiful places imaginable.
Low water on the Pluma River.
Jumping gold.
The golden dorado is native to warm freshwater habitats, and they’re usually between 3 and 10 kg. This one is a true king of the river.
Edward Colston Mitchell and myself with a huge arapaima. These are one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.
Despite its action on the fly, the golden dorado isn’t related to any species of salmon or the saltwater fish also named dorado.
Large terrestrials, articulated mice patterns, synthetic streamers ,the Andino deceiver and others are among the best flies to attract golden dorado.
“For those about to rock, we salute you.”
You will be one among many living things in the jungle, where survival of the fittest happens before your eyes.
You can buy the best sunglasses in the world, but without shades this boy will see things in the water that will make you doubt your abilities as a fisherman.
Mother Nature sure knows how to paint.
Camping on the banks of the Pluma River.

“One of the most important goals of Tsimane is the protection of the indigenous culture.”

Contributed By

Rafael Costa

Rafael Costa was born in Brazil and raised in the jungle. He moved to the jungle as an infant with his father, an agronomist engineer, who was chasing the dream of getting rich with rubber trees. He says while the rubber fortune never came to fruition, he did have the chance to grow up swimming in rivers full of fish and in an untouched natural world. Rafael is a jungle guide and photographer. With his photos he hopes to share some of his adventures.

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