If you told me a year ago I was headed to the Bolivian jungle in summer of 2013 I’d have told you you’re crazy. Its not like I didn’t want to go, in fact the opposite, I’ve been dying to go. Bolivia is quite possibly the greatest fly fishing in the world. Not just the best golden dorado fishing in the world but those who have fly fished the world claim Bolivia is the BEST FLY FISHING IN THE WORLD!
The hold back for me has been that Tsimane Lodge is expensive and they don’t offer the standard hosting program where the host goes free, an angle I’ve used for many years to see the world. Tsimane Lodge is virtually off limits to a fishing bum like me.
About this time last year I received a Facebook advertisement from Tsimane Lodge. Normally I toss them. I get too jealous of the photos of anglers posing with magnificent dorado and pacu. But on this particular day I opened it. It turned out the anglers were some of my old customer/friends from my fly shop days, Tom Hansen and Skip Brittenham, neither whom I’d seen or talked with in a couple years.
The pictures and fish Tom and Skip were holding were stunning. Somehow I wasn’t jealous but rather happy to see it was them and not some dudes I didn’t know. I shot them each an email simply to say hi and tell them how fantastic it was to see them holding giant dorado in Bolivia. That’s all it was – I seized an opportunity to say hi.
A week later I received an email from Tom telling me about the pics and the trip and how great Bolivia was. At the end of his email was an invite for 2013. It was an honor to be in invited, but I politely emailed him back telling him how I’d love to join but price was out of my league. His response dropped me – Tom and Skip were offering to treat me!
After a long day and night of travel, this morning we find ourselves in Santa Cruz Bolivia. We’re relaxing at the Los Tajibos Hotel for the day. There’s also another old friend here, Dale Kinsella. Dale too is customer became friend. Dale and I once fished together in New Zealand. In fact, Dale and I were on one of the scariest backcountry helicopter rides that managed not to crash (at least a two beer story). There are also two other of their friends whom I met last night on the flight down. They are Eric and Tom – great guys. We have a fun group. We fly into the jungle early tomorrow morning and then the adventure begins!