Expedition

BOLIVIA EXPEDITION – 8 DAYS/6.5 FISHING

Have you ever dreamed of joining a MOTIV FISHING adventure?  Well your opportunity has finally arrived! Fall 2017, for the first time ever, we are looking for individuals to join our fly fishing exploratories deep within Bolivia’s Yungas Region to pioneer new waters and document the most explosive Golden Dorado fish fights ever captured on camera.  The never-ending pursuit to explore and discover new fisheries around the world is the juice that keeps our drive alive at MOTIV FISHING.  Join us as we venture into one of the most isolated reaches of the Bolivian Jungle to sight fish 20lb+ Golden Dorado on the fly in the headwaters of crystal clear rivers that have never seen the likes of another fisherman.  This fishing adventure is unlike any other that has been offered for these magnificent fish. 

ADVENTURE OVERLOAD

Discovering a new world-class fishery is a rarity in this day and age.  Having the opportunity to join the discovery team that finds that new world-class fishery is even a greater rarity.  That being said, it’s very important that we’re up front with the details outlining this adventure.  If you’re after the traditional luxury fly fishing lodge experience, then you should stop reading further into this opportunity.  This trip is definitely not for everyone.  In order to be a candidate for this exploratory expedition, you need to be physically and mentally prepared for the host of uncertainties that come with stepping into the unknown.  This is a full-fledge fly fishing expedition into the upper reaches of one of the most isolated rivers in all of Bolivia.  95% of this river is uncharted water.  What we do know is that there’s an extremely high probability this September that a new world-class fishery will be pioneered in Bolivia as a result of this trip.

JOURNEY TO THE HEADWATERS

Accessing the upper reaches of this remote river system won’t be easy and will require us to network with the indigenous Tsimane communities of the area to gather the necessary manpower, boats and resources in order to do so.   Everyday the expedition will push further and further upriver toward the headwaters.  Wooden dugout canoes will be used to transport our equipment and supplies upriver to a new basecamp location each day.  The jungle has a lot of tricky ground and there are always things to look out for in this wild landscape.  A lot of the fishing will require anglers to hike and wade upriver through adverse geography and climate conditions.  There will be plenty of challenges on this adventure, but that’s always a given when you’re conducting an exploratory trip into new waters.  What we can tell you is that the further the expedition moves upriver, the more insane the fishing will become.  This fishing trip won’t be for everyone, but the lucky few that do come along on this expedition will experience the fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Fishing

THE RIVER

An exploratory trip into the lower reaches of this system was conducted last fall for the first time ever.  Only the first 2 miles of the river were explored and the results were simply mind-blowing!  Every pool and every riffle was loaded with schools of Golden Dorado.  Huge Golden Dorado!  Many of which were in the 20-30lb classes.  Also Surubi or striped catfish were spotted everywhere on the shallow flats hunting schools of baitfish in wolf packs.  The most amazing attribute of this river is that even after any heavy rains the bedrock foundation of the river bottom keeps the system in tact and clear.  Because of heavy sediment deposits, most all other Golden Dorado fisheries in the region (even the well known ones) will puke chocolate mud for several days after heavy rains before they clear up.  Not having to worry about unpredictable weather patterns blowing out the river is what makes this constant clear-flowing river truly unique, and ‘possibly’ one of the greatest sight fishing experiences for Golden Dorado in all of Bolivia.  That will be determined this September… rest assured!

GOLDEN DORADO

Considered the guardians of the river by the indigenous Tsimane people, the Golden Dorado are the apex predator within Bolivia’s river systems.  The Golden Dorado possess a bright golden coloration, accented by rows of tiny small back dots running along their powerful streamlined bodies.  Their massive heads and matching jaws are equipped with rows of razor sharp pointy teeth. Golden Dorado can reach upwards of 100cm in length and weigh as much as 45lbs (20.5kgs), making it the worst nightmare of pretty much every single sabalo and small to medium fish or animal that happens to be in the water at the wrong place and time.  This fish is a force to be reckoned with, and is the single most important species in this river system.  They attack flies with tremendous power and ferocity and break water thrashing violently several times in efforts to break off.

ITINERARY

ARRIVE BOLIVIA

  • Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) Airport Meet: Hotel staff will be at VVI waiting for you.
  • Transfer to Hotel Buganvillas Suites and Spa – Check-In: Rest for an early morning departure to camps. (This one night included in your package)

DAY 1

  • Early Breakfast at hotel.
  • Transfer to our local airport, catch flight to the jungle airstrip. Estimated flight time: 2:35 hours
  • Transfer to expedition fly camp: Upon reaching the jungle airstrip, begin travel to our first expedition fly camp via dugout boat.
  • Fishing-on-the-go: Fish woody structure and runs as boats make way upriver, experience lowland river fishing scenarios.
  • Our crew sets up the expedition fly camp. Anglers fish surrounding area until dark, return to fly camp for dinner and rest.

DAY 2

  • Early Breakfast.
  • Continue upriver, fishing on every opportunity, taking turns respectively.
  • Shore lunch.
  • Continue fishing our way up to camp, and upon arrival split into two teams to fish surrounding areas.
  • Arrive at camp for dinner and rest.

DAY 3

  • Early Breakfast
  • Begin expedition to headwaters . Fish our way upriver.
  • Shore Lunch.
  • Continue fishing our way upriver to the expedition campsite.
  • Arrive at expedition campsite, and set up our fly camp while anglers fish the surrounding area in two teams. Return to camp for dinner and rest.

DAY 4

  • Early Breakfast.
  • Split group into two teams and fish surrounding area.
  • Shore Lunch.
  • Each team continues fishing through the day.
  • Return to expedition camp for dinner and rest

DAY 5

  • Early Breakfast.
  • Split into teams again and fishing surrounding area.
  • Shore lunch.
  • Continue fishing through the day.
  • Return back to expedition camp for dinner and rest.

DAY 6

  • Early Breakfast.
  • Regroup and fish our way back downriver.
  • Packed lunch on the go.
  • Continue fishing our way down to camp.
  • Arrive at camp for dinner and rest.

DAY 7

  • Early Breakfast. Finish packing items.
  • Split in two teams and fish around camp.
  • Return to camp for Lunch.
  • Fish downriver towards fly camp.
  • Arrive at fly camp site, set up fly camp while fishing around camp until dark.
  • Return to fly camp for dinner and rest.

DAY 8

  •  Early Breakfast.
  • Transfer downriver straight to jungle airstrip.
  • Snack en route to airstrip.
  • Arrive at jungle airstrip, and catch flight back to Santa Cruz.
  • Transfer from domestic airport to hotel. Last night at Buganvillas Hotel.(single occupancy available upon request-not included)

If you have a departure this evening: We will arrange an airport transfer for you to Viru Viru (VVI) International Airport.

DAY 9

  • Breakfast at Buganvillas Hotel.
  • We have pre-arranged for hotel staff to transfer you to Viru Viru International Airport (VVI).

Additional Stay: If your flight requires you to book extra nights, please request in advance at your own cost (not included in the package)

Expedition Camp

  • Solar Batteries: Only solar batteries will be available at the Expedition Camps, and they will provide us with a lighted camp, and also available to charge electronics (limited use to conserve energy).
  • Domed Tents: At the expedition camps we will use extra-large rectangular domed tents. Each guest will enjoy the comfort of their own where campsites allow. Sometimes campsite conditions are limited in space, so we pair up two people per tent, but still are comfortable and each angler has more than enough living space to organize their belongings.
  • Sleeping Accommodations: We will provide extra large cots and a tent light. Each tent will have enough walking space and storage where you will be able to easily and efficiently accommodate your personal belongings. Guests must bring their own sleeping bag and pillow.
  • Washrooms: Our expedition camps will have out-house styled bathrooms with actual toilet seats built inside a small tent enclosure, and are maintained to keep clean facilities for your use. Toilets are set up to be used in classic “out-house” fashion, pouring sand/ash into the pit after each use.
  • Showers: The showers will be built using solar heating bags in a shower house set up. Plastic tarp will be used to give guests the proper privacy at any time of day, and also to protect from insects. Each guest will have to bring their own toiletries.
  • Dining Area: A large no-see-um meshed screen house is used for the dining and social area. Guests will be able to enjoy each meal and relax without insects, and still get to enjoy a cool breeze through the mesh. The screened area is large enough to be comfortable for all guests and still allow some moving space. There will be lights set up inside and outside to provide proper lighting. Also, a cooler with cold drinks, beer, bottled water and liquor will be arranged every day. 

Travel Requirements

  • Passport: Minimum 6 months validity
  • Insurance: Anglers are responsible for their own insurance and will be a required item to begin the adventure with us. Proof of travelers insurance must be provided in advance.  We recommend Global Rescue www.globalrescue.com
  • Plane Tickets: We will be happy to give you tips on finding affordable air fares for Bolivia. Feel free to reach us anytime.
  • Visa: Tourists applying for their visa upon arrival to Bolivia must pay $160 USD cash to immigration authorities. In addition to the $160 fee, the applicant must present a visa application form with a 2×2 inch color photograph, a passport with a validity of not less than 6 months. You will need a copy of a current Checkings, Savings or Credit Card Statement as proof of economic solvency. Please visit the Embassy of Bolivia web site at www.boliviala.org for details on how to apply or contact the nearest Bolivian Embassy or Consulate.
  • Vaccination Card: Please include yellow fever vaccination
  • Invitation Letter: Copy of itinerary, or hotel reservation and/or itinerary
  • $160 USD: You will need $160 USD cash in order to pay your Visa fee (if you choose to get it upon arrival)

Packing list

  • Documentation: Passport, plane tickets, visa [or visa application with valid passport photos (2), vaccination card (with yellow fever vaccination), invitation letter (or hotel reservation and/or itinerary), proof of funds (Copy of current bank statement, personal checks, and cash), and $160 Visa fee.]
  • Rods: 2-3 rods of your choosing (4 piece). 7-10 weight rods are the recommended sizes for the different species and conditions. A 9’ 9wt. being the most practical all around rod. 10wt are for the upper-most sector of the river, where shallow pockets among lots of boulders and structure force you to use a rod with more backbone, especially with those 30+lbers! For purposes of keeping the weight down we take our rods out of individual metal tubes and put into one lightweight rod case. If you don’t currently own a fly rod, reel or line system for Golden Dorado, or if you’d like to be outfitted with the ultimate Golden Dorado set up, then contact us for an exclusive deal on Loop fly rods and reels for this trip.
  • Reels: 2-3 large arbor quality reels with a good drag system and at least 100 yards of 30 pound backing
  • Floating Lines: One floating line and one sink-tip.  Most fishing is done with freshwater or saltwater floating lines and lines with built in intermediate tips with heavy heads able to turn over big bushy flies.  We recommend bringing one spare floating/sink-tip and sinking line.
  • Sinking Lines (optional): One intermediate tip line and one 300-grain line
  • Leader/Tippet: 9 ft. leaders with 20-60 pound tippet and wire are the norm. Bring along spools of 25, 30, 40, and 60 pound mono as well as 2 spools each of 30, 40 and 60 pound coated wire tippet. With these diameters we typically fashion our own simple leaders. Titanium leaders are also a very good choice. 
  • Wire: Four spools of coated wire – (2) 30lb, (2) 40lb, 60lb optional
  • Flies: Approximately 4-6 dozen flies.  In general, this trip favors large dark 4-8 inch patterns. As water conditions will vary you need to be prepared with everything from big heavy and black to light weight and multi colored.  Often times a fly will only last for one or two fish.
  • Pliers: One good pair long nose pliers
  • Clippers: One line clipper. Hardware store wire cutters are the best and work well for wire.
  • Knife: One medium size knife.
  • Boots/shoes: One pair of quick dry closed toed shoes for camp, and for Fly Fishing/wading- one pair of felt-sole wading boots with good ankle protection.
  • Waders: Although this is a tropical climate and lightweight waders are mostly unnecessary it is not a bad idea to have them. Alternatively you can bring a pair of expedition weight long underwear for warmth.
  • Socks: Four pairs of wading socks. You need to take care of your feet! You should keep your feet as dry as possible when not fishing and to bring antifungal foot powder/cream. Also bring good amount of cotton socks to wear and keep your feet dry when not fishing.
  • Shirts: 3-4 long sleeve quick-dry shirts.
  • Pants: 3 pairs of quick dry pants with zip off legs.
  • Hats: Two hats.
  • Rain Jacket: One lightweight rain jacket
  • Warm Layer: Although this is a tropical climate we recommend bringing one fleece or lightweight down jacket as well as a pair of fleece pants or sweat pants. Also one long sleeve thermal layer just in case.
  • Camp Shoes: One pair of lightweight shoes for around camp.
  • Gloves: One pair UV protection fly-fishing gloves/stripping gloves.
  • Buff: Two “Buff” facial sun/insect protectors.
  • Sunglasses: Two pairs of polarized sunglasses. It is great to have a lens cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth as well.
  • Sun Screen: One full bottle 50SPF +.
  • Lip balm: Two tubes of 50SPF+ lip balm.
  • Repellent: One or two bottles of at least 80% deet repellant.
  • Backpack: One waterproof backpack.
  • Tape (For Fly Fishing): One roll of athletic tape (Coban) -used for taping fingers. Alternative is stripping guards or gloves.
  • Camera: Don’t forget extra batteries, chargers and waterproof case/bag.
  • Headlamp and Flashlight: One small LED headlamp and flashlight with batteries.
  • Baggies and/or Waterproof Bag: Six medium sized Ziploc baggies for storing cigarettes, phone, lighter, lens cloth, etc. and waterproof bag for camera, etc.
  • Toiletries Kit: Toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, Advil, band aids, Bactroban (prescription anti-bacterial ointment), Benadryl, Goldbond powder, seasickness pills (for charter flight), and anti-fungal ointment.
  • Liquid Band-Aid: Paint on super glue for finger cuts
  • Miscellaneous: Candy and treats for native kids, Tape Measure, notepad/pen, Travel dictionary and/or translator (English-Spanish), any personal medications you use, Credit cards, personal checks, cash for tipping and personal expenses.