Hand number #7,#8 or #9 are the most recommended rods. #8 is standard for Tsimane but a #9 may be necessary in certain occasions, especially in the lower Sécure River, where it´s frequent to catch large Dorados in very strong currents. It is also advised to carry a #6 or #7 rod to attempt at dry-fishing Yatoranas in small streams and nearby tributaries. It is best to carry two fully assembled rods on the boat, one with a streamer for Dorados and the other with a popper in case a hunt takes place. Another valid option is to carry one with a streamer and the other with a fruit imitation or shorter streamer to lure the Pacu. The prestigious company Winston designed a line of rods (Boron III Plus Jungle) specially made for the jungle, in numbers #8 and #9. This is probably the best option for fishing in Tsimane. Fast action rods are the ones required here. In general terms, salt water rods fulfill most conditions
Just as for rods, those reels designed for salt water are the best alternative. Both very resistant and smooth brakes, and large harbor rods are key to the reel you need in Tsimane. A Dorado or a large Pacu can make you quickly reach backing; therefore you will need a high quality reel to accomplish the capture. The weight of the reel is also important given that you will be casting repeatedly all through the day — bring a light, well-balanced one along with your rod if possible.
Most of the fishing is done near the surface. Thus, weight forward floating lines for tropical waters are the most recommended. It is very important for the lines to exceed the rod for at least one number. A number #8 rod should be charged with a #9 line, due to the size of the flies we must cast and in order to avoid that you get too tired during casting or that casting itself becomes an unpleasant experience. On the other hand, in hunting situations or when a Pacu passes us by in shallow waters we need a line able to cast a heavy fly in one attempt. Floating lines with heavy shooting heads such as Scientific Anglers Jungle Titan are the most adequate. In other situations you can also use an intermediate clear tip line or even a sinking line, therefore it is convenient to carry at least one of each type. The lodge has a fully equipped fly shop where you will be able to purchase the additional lines you might need.
LEADERS - KNOTS:
It is necessary to carry at least one 40lb fluorocarbon wheel plus a couple of 20lb and 30lb additional. Although most of the time you will be fishing with a 40lb leader, you might need to use lighter gear in the clearest waters or when seeking smaller species like Yatorana. We normally use 6 to feet long leaders (including steel wire). This allows a good presentation with large flies without frightening the fish away. Our guides can help you assemble your leader for every fishing scenario. The leader must end with a steel wire tippet or or a wire of 40lb and 40cm of length, suitable for knotting. The color of the wire must be camo, since fish can easily spot it and get frightened. Brands like American Fishing Wire, Tiger or Rio are the most recommended.
3 basic knots are necessary to fish in Tsimane: a perfection loop between the line and the leader, an albright between the leader and the wire or steel wire, and a perfection loop between the wire and the fly. Our guides will either make these knots for you or teach you how to tie them yourself.
Fast-drying long sleeves shirts and pans and lightweight waterproof jackets are required to cover your body from seriously wet weather; Also waterproof backpacks and bags like Patagonia ones, are strongly recommended. Caps, hats, and sun masks complete the basic gear you will need at Tsimane. In addition, even when we use Yeti coolers along the fishing day, we suggest some YETI bottles, or Tumblers to keep your beverages always cold.
We mainly use imitations of fish, large insects, fruits, as well as popper, sliders and divers. Black-colored streamers or deceivers with red, yellow, orange, green or violet tails are the most frequently chosen. The par excellence pattern is the Andino Deceiver (created by Carlos Ingrasia from Argentina), black-colored with different combinations of tails, 4 to 8 inches long, with 3/0 or 4/0 barbless hooks. The strength of the fish in Tsimane requires high-quality salt-water hooks. The Andino Deceiver is similar to other deceivers except for its muddler head and chain or bronze eyes depending on how deep it´s intended to work. However, other fish imitations have also proven to be truly efficient, like Puglisi streamers in medium and large sizes, Lefty Deceivers, Sabalo Snake from Umpqua, among others. Flies with excess flashabou are not recommended. Foam poppers, Titanic Sliders, mice, Dahlberg Divers, and Pole Dancers are excellent options to lure the Dorado on surface. Flies like Chernobyl Ant and other large imitations of ground insects are great for Pacus and Yatoranas.
The lodge offers a great selection of lines, leaders, wires, flies and even rods and reels to purchase if needed. You can also find shirts, caps, stickers, thermal bottles and other items with the trademark of Tsimane, as well as interesting local crafts.