Roving club member Mike Siegman and I just got back from a week’s fishing for Golden Dorado in Bolivia at the Tsimane Pluma Lodge. Traveling involves flying down to Santa Cruz, where you are met by a Tsimane representative, overnighting in a very nice hotel and then taking an early morning light aircraft flight two hours over the jungle to get to the Tsimane village. From there its a 90min boat ride up the Secure and then Pluma rivers to the lodge. The lodge is very nice considering its remote location and that everything to build and run the lodge had to be flown in and then boated up river. Food was excellent all round. The fishing is run on a beat system, with a maximum of 8 anglers per week rotating through the 4 regular beats in pairs, with alternate options depending upon weather and flows for those willing to put in a bit of a walk. The Secure river sections are generally wider, deeper and slower moving with sandy banks and off colored water, but they hold the bigger run of fish, particularly at the confluence of the Secure and Pluma rivers. The lower Pluma is shallower and clearer than the secure but still a broad river. The upper Pluma is clear and features lots of pocket water in the rapids and long deep pools and glides. The Iritizama is crystal clear and has some amazing pocket water and deep pool fishing and is the classic image of fishing in this area. Fishing the Secure and lower Pluma uses dugout canoe boats with motors to transfer between fishing areas and most of the fishing is done by wading with some fishing from the boat too. The upper Pluma and Iritizama are classic hike and fish waters. There are three main species targeted – dorado, pacu and yatorana.
The dorado and pacu fishing is done with 9wt gear and generally floating lines and big flies. Yatorana can be targeted with smaller gear but are less wide spread. There can be a lot of blind casting involved if the rivers are colored but by far the best experience is walking the upper Pluma and Iritizama and sight casting to dorado holding in pocket water or patrolling pools or pacu the deeper pools. its not easy fishing – the dorado may be predators but they will drift off and refuse to feed if the first cast is not in the right place. Same with the pacu who seem to only eat if the fly is landed on their nose. The real icing on the cake comes when you walk up on a dorado feeding frenzy where schools of large dorado are busting the sabalo bait fish in the shallows and can be attacking them in inches of water with the backs showing. Chucking a popper into the exploding water was some seriously good fun!
There are also some big catfish in the rivers that occasionally hit flies. The fishing varied a lot and some days we got skunked, other days we did well landing 20 fish between us in day. I hooked and lost my grande dorado, Mike being the lucky b$#%^#d he is landed two over 25lbs in the week. I got a nice pacu that was mad enough to eat a fly meant for GT and both of us caught yatorana. The pacu are by far the hardest fighters of the three. All the guides were great – with each pair of anglers being assigned one english speaking guide (all Argentinian) each day and two local native boatmen. The bugs are generally not a big problem except for the sand flies and the wildlife is amazing – macaws everywhere, lots of butterflies, you can hear howler monkeys calling and find jaguar and caiman tracks on the river banks. Our trip back was eventful as we made it out of the jungle moments before some serious rain hit and flooded the grass runway. Unfortunately our bags were not so lucky and are still on the way back to the US at the moment! All around amazing trip and if anyone wants further details feel free to reach out.
Cheers Matt (832 444 4206)
As you can see our trout fry are growing fast! We have confirmed the release date as May 11th on the Guad in Sattler. If any club members would like to join us please let me know! Matt 832 444 4206
Lots of happy and healthy brown trout fry in the club tanks! We are just over a month from release and all is going well. Do any club members want to help with the release on the Guad this year? If so please contact me for details. Matt – 832 444 4206.
Sorry it has taken a while for an update on the club trout tanks – unfortunately we had a rough time this year with hatching the eggs and lost a lot compared with previous years. This years eggs are brown trout, as opposed to rainbows in all previous years, and came from a new hatchery so its been a steep learning curve this time round. However all 14 tanks are still going and we still have 100’s of baby brown trout growing on and seemingly now healthy and feeding well!
The 2019 TFF sponsored trout in the classroom project kicked off last week with the arrival of a fresh set of eggs from TU for our schools. Thanks to the continued contribution from TFF we are now up to 14 tanks running in Houston high school science classrooms from Klein Collins to Deer Park. The eggs are delivered and hatched in January and we release the fingerling trout into the trophy trout section of the Guadalupe before school finishes in mid-May. This year we have changed things up a little and instead of our usual rainbow trout eggs we are hatching brown trout, as part of a general change in stocking policy for the Guad that many of you may have seen if you fished the river this year and last. It will be interesting to see how the browns turn out when compared to our success with rearing young rainbows in previous years.
As usual I will try and post regular updates and if anyone has any questions or wants to help out then please feel free to contact me directly.
Matt Blyth (832 444 4206)
The trout in the classroom project conducted the fish release for all the TFF sponsored tanks on the horseshoe section of the Guadalupe on April 28th. Over all the schools released over 1200 trout around the 2-3in long mark. We had several teachers, students and parents in attendance. This marks the end of another successful program and one that has grown from one tank in one school to now 14 tanks spread across Houston from Deer Park to Klein Collins. We will start again in early January of 2019!
As you can see the club trout tanks continue to do well. We have lined up a release date for the fish in the Guadalupe on April 28th. This was the only date that I could coordinate between 7 different high schools where most could attend – however we may end up having more than one release if needed. If any club members are able to attend the release then please let me know!
Back in February I spent a week in New Zealand and split my time between both salt and freshwater. Whilst everyone is familiar with the trout in NZ, not many people know that there is also a fantastic shallow water flats fishery there. We were in a place called Golden Bay, which sits at the top end of the South Island. Each summer as the water warms, huge stingrays cruise the flats (think car hood sized, not the little texas ones). Following the sting rays come yellow tailed kingfish looking to eat what ever the rays stir up. Normally a deepwater species, kingfish are a member of the jack family and fight just like the rest of them. All fishing is on foot and in water from knee to chest deep. The sting rays can be seen from far away as they are jet black and then its just a question of running through the water to get close enough to cast at one to see if there are kings following. They will hit streamers and top water and fight like demons! The weather was a mixed bag and really affected the trout fishing – will post the trout pics when I get them. Enjoy! Fishing was organized through the excellent aussieflyfisher.com
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As you can see our baby trout continue to do well and are now looking like miniature rainbows, complete with par marks and white tipped fins. We had a few loses over spring break but the majority came through without issue. Hard to believe we are already getting close to release time and are targeting the end of April or early May as potential dates. If any club members would like to attend the release (on the Guad) then please contact me directly and let me know!
A quick video update – once again we had close to a 100% hatch rate from the eggs (there are always a few who don’t make it far at this stage) and so far all 13 tanks have healthy young trout, now feeding and ready for release from the eggs traps into the tank it’s self. Wont be long now before they color up and develop par marks!