Big pacu, stacks of dorado - fishing in Bolivia is off the scale.....
We hiked and boated up the Upper Pluma today, and from the off the fish were on big time. Dorado sometimes herd the poor sabalo up and smash into them like jacks do in the sea, and many times today we saw this happening. Get your fly down quickly and the chances are that you will get nailed. These dorado are top of the food chain in the rivers out here in Bolivia. There are also various species of catfish swimming around as well, and some of the guides have nailed some on the fly in the last few weeks. We saw plenty in the river yesterday as we made our long way back to the lodge.
Our guide Alejandro is one of the very best I have ever had the privilege to work with - when I am taking photos like this, it is essential that your guide "gets" what you are trying to do, and Alejandro is incredibly easy to work with - he also knows how to put his clients onto insane fishing. Just like today.
Gordon smashed fish after fish like this from the same pool for a mad hour or so, but we kept on moving up river to look for dorado and perhaps pacu. After hearing so much about these almost mythical fish, I so badly wanted to see one actually hooked and landed.
Everything these guys cay about the pacu is true - they are indeed the freshwater permit. They are not easy to catch, and when hooked they scream off with proper speed, and they are hugely strong. Apparently they feed mainly on fruit and berries, with some small fish thrown in. These rivers out here are loaded with big pacu (this in itself is totally unique), and I guess that in time these awesome fish will become a serious quarry for forward thinking fly guys. Pacu are truly magnificent and I feel incredibly lucky to have seen one nailed on the fly.
We have one more day's fishing and photography left out here. I am so looking forward to seeing my girls in a few days, but it has been so incredible out here that a part of me does not what this trip to ever end. As I was walking down the river late this afternoon, I was thinking about how much something like we did yesterday shared some similarities with fly fishing on say the stunning River Lyn in north Devon. But imagine dorado and pacu to sometimes over 30lbs charging your fly down in a tiny, crystal clear river like that. And then the dorado usually jumps like crazy when it is hooked. The fishing out here in these pristine, near-virgin rivers is without any doubt the best river based fly fishing I have ever seen anywhere on this earth. Granted, there is a huge amount I have not experienced, but I simply can not see how fly fishing can get any better than this. I am completely and utterly blown away by this stuff here in Bolivia. If you can do this kind of thing, then please take my work for it and come out here as soon as you can. The best is never easy or cheap, and I would never be here if it was not my work - I know exactly how lucky I am to be witnessing all this.