BOLIVIA’S GOLDEN DORADO ON THE RIO CASARE
A crystal clear river surrounded by pristine jungle, the Rio Casare is truly an adventure fly fishing destination. The freestone river flows from the high Andes through a remote indigenous territory to form a drainage that eventually makes its way to the Amazon River. This territory looks much like it did thousands of years ago. With its majestic main stem and the various virgin creeks and streams teeming with aggressive exotic species, the Rio Casare is a true fly angler’s paradise.
Bolivia is one of the world’s last fly fishing frontiers, and we are offering a series of hosted trips to this unspoiled area to catch massive golden dorado (Salminus maxillosus) as well as exotics like yatorana (same genus as Costa Rica’s machaca), tabarana (Salminus hilarii), pacu (Piaractus brachypomus), surubi (Pseudoplatystoma sp.), and more. The river runs low and clear, navigable only by small reinforced dugout canoe and fly fishing involving moderate wading. Wildlife like tapir, jaguar, and neotropical birds abound, and the lush forest framing the river will deliver a symphony of animal sounds as you sight cast at various exotic species.
But why the Rio Casare? This river has been left nearly untouched due to its remoteness. Besides world class fly fishing this trip involves interaction with the local indigenous community to experience a part of their culture, customs, and connection with the surrounding forest.
Access to the river has also been kept much lower then other similar rivers in Bolivia (less then 100 anglers per season), ensuring both the conservation of the incredible wilderness one encounters but also to the extremely high quality fly fishing. Base camp is also moved from time-to-time to different parts of the river, which provides anglers the opportunity to explore pristine new waters and cast at fish unaccustomed to flies.
The region has been developed exclusively together with the Tsimane indigenous communities inhabiting areas adjacent to the river. The goal is to ensure that catch-andrelease fly fishing expeditions not only helps provide a sustainable source of livelihood to these communities but also provides a means to preserve their unique language, culture, and skills.
Besides being accompanied by a Release Fly Travel host and a guide from our local partner, we team up with local Tsimane guides for a truly authentic adventure. These native people have generations of jungle knowledge and a keen eye for spotting fish. The Tsimane guides and other staff are very hard working and are always looking out for the anglers’ safety. Their good humor is shown in their laughter and constant smiles. Although they may seem small, they are incredibly tough and strong, and have no problem poling and portaging anglers upriver. Watching them interact with their jungle environment is an experience all it’s own. Throughout your journey, you will see them utilize parts from many different jungle plants for various applied uses. Observing them closely and fishing side-by-side is a cross cultural learning experience that will stay with you forever.
This is a true angling adventure of the lifetime, and we invite you to join our hosted trips to the remote Rio Casare.
FOOD & LODGING
Lodging will take place in comfortable large riverside mobile camps (1 angler per large tent with meshed awning) plus 2 nights in a Santa Cruz 5-star hotel (first and last). Fly camps (portable) will be in large light tents (2 anglers per tent), meshed-in showers and toilets, all under large tarps to remain dry even in the worst of rains. Even in the middle of the jungle, at the semi-permanent camp we’ll ensure some basic creature comforts in a sustainable way. Solar powered 110/220 VAC outlets and USB ports will be provided to charge various electronics. Each tent is also provided with a small fan to circulate air. We will have illumination, speakers for music, and ice machines. The camps also have solar powered warm water showers (or choose to bath in the pristine river) as well as clean toilets completely protected in meshed enclosures.
The local indigenous community will be very involved in this trip, they will provide our help as porters, indigenous guides, setting up camp, etc. They will also provide their knowledge of the jungle to secure treats such as jungle fruits, wild honey, and other wild edibles. Meals will be prepared by a cook using fresh local ingredients such as fish, yucca, and plantain, as well as national favorites like churrasco beef and sausages made from Bolivian beef and pork.
By Air – The tour’s official departure point is Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Anglers will arrive to Viru Viru International Airport (VVI), where we will transfer to the local domestic airport. From there, we catch a small charter (2.5 hours) to a remote airstrip where the real adventure begins.
USA – If you are a U.S. citizen seeking to enter Bolivia as a tourist, you must have an entry visa. You can apply for a Bolivian tourist visa by mail or in person at Bolivian consulates in the U.S., as well as at Bolivian ports of entry, such as at Bolivia’s international airports and at land border crossings. Bolivian tourist visas are valid for five years from the date of issuance and allow the bearer to enter the country three times in a year for a cumulative stay of not more than ninety days. The tourist visa costs $160.00. You can pay the $160.00 fee in cash, by deposit to the Bolivian Consulate’s bank account, or by money order. In addition to the $160.00 visa fee, you must present a visa application form with a 4cm x 4cm color photograph, a passport with a validity of not less than 6 months, evidence of a hotel reservation or a letter of invitation in Spanish, proof of economic solvency (credit card, cash, or a current bank statement), and an International Vaccination Certificate for yellow fever.
OTHER – Tourist visas are required for most origins. Please contact us to inquire.
Yellow fever is the only required vaccine for this part of Bolivia. The region is extremely safe and the group will have access to a complete medical kit in case of any bumps, scrapes or bruises while chasing large dorado. Some basic medicine will also be available for headaches, stomach aches, etc. Please bring all your special and/or preferred medications. We REQUIRE travel insurance for each angler on this trip. Local E-vac units are notified of our location daily in case of any medical emergencies.
WHAT TO BRING
- 8/9/10 weight setups plus backup rods, fly line, tippet material, wire leaders, etc.
- Streamers, deceivers, poppers (complete fly recommendation will be supplied for all available species)
- Light wading shoes – preferably felt as studded spooks fish
- Headlight and small flashlight
- Bug repellent
- A complete trip preparation package with all pertinent information will be provided upon booking.
SEASON – JUNE THROUGH NOVEMBER
- Groups of 4-6 anglers
- Riverside semi-permanent camps & fly camps
- 8 day trip, 6.5 days fishing