April 2016


Villa María Lodge: March 20 – 27, 2016

Season Essentials

We have just  finished one of the most challenging weeks on the Rio Grande this season. The problem wasn’t fish—we have the fish! But the weather  divided the week in half–cold and windy and very mild, windless, and warm the second half. In fact we had a couple of the warmest days of the year with temperatures up to 26 degree Celsius! Generally, it was cool early in the mornings and very warm during the day. This also altered the water temp that was moving like a roller-coaster. And,at the same time, the water was starting to warm up, it’s level was dropping fast. I.e: last monday at 8am the air temperature was 5C and the water 6/8C but around 2pm the air was 25C and the water 14/16C. All these fast changes and the complete lack of wind and blue sky made the fish very unpredictable, shy, and prone to very short periods of activity. Good casts, better presentations, slow swings, and good dose of patience were the ticket to succeed with Rio Grande’s sea trout. We had a group lead by women this week, something not very usual to see in a fishing lodge at this latitude. So we were not short on laughters and good conversation. And for first timers in this river, they did a wonderful job! Every rod in the group got at least one fish over 17lbs! In these conditions, there was not a special set up to use and we were forced to change lines, tips and flies constantly. The tips varied from 3 to 12ft and from intermediate to T14, depending on temp, pool depth and fish activity. Smaller than usual nymphs and bright streamers of different colors were the first choice of guides and fishermen. Thanks a lot to Sam, Demetre, […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 20 – 25, 2016

Unseasonably warm weather this week was a pleasant surprise, keeping the water temperature high and the fish in a relatively good humour. Many weeks particularly at this time of year have been destroyed by cold and dirty water.  The conditions lead to the opening day of the week starting with a bang with just eight anglers hooking forty fish of which twenty nine were landed. Father and son team of Roberto and Fransisco from Argentina had differing fortunes on both sessions, Fransisco saw all the action in the morning landing a total of three fish while it was his father Roberto who account for a total of five in the evening. Argentine guest Christian came equiped with a single handed set up but strong winds early in the week saw his guide suggest the use of a double hander, the speed at which he grasped the technique was astounding, experienced anglers find the single spey difficult to master at times but Christian was at the stage of fine tuning after just twenty minutes. His new found talent ensured he landed fish after fish. His fishing partner Ed from the States joined us for his second season in a row, having only taken up fly fishing in recent years this guy has become a complete addict making multiple trips each year to destinations such as Kamchatka, Alaska and here. Although he failed to beat his personal best of 22 pounds from last season a not to shabby 18 pounder with Andrei has no doubt ensure his name will feature on the team sheet next season. Fishing partners for many years Arnold and Steve from the States were here for their first time. The pair were a complete pleasure to guide, relaxed anglers of considerable talent their expectations were set at just […]

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Alto Paraná Fishing Report – March 2016

This season has been an interesting ride, considering we had one of the highest water years on the Parana I’ve ever seen: from a booming beginning of January, to almost normal levels in mid-February, to higher than ever the first week of March. Despite the conditions, the fishing was surprisingly good. Not easy, but rewarding. We had weeks during which clients had many hookups. We also had slower weeks when some species were off, and others saved the day. Those hero fish often came in the form of BIG pira pita. We consistently found strong, healthy fish in good numbers. Most of them were taken on mouse patterns, and the eats were dynamite. Pacu, on the other hand, were elusive. High water gave them a lot of room to hide. But fishing improved markedly when water levels temporarily dropped last month. Dorado remain the kings of the Parana. From feeding frenzy situations to long drifts along holding spots where they wait to ambush prey, we found success with a selection of large and small streamers—even mouse patterns. We want to thank all of our guests who worked so hard while keeping spirits up through some difficult conditions. We hope to see you again soon on this amazing part of the Paraná River. The Best, Fabian Anastasio Fishing Manager at Alto Paraná Lodge  

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Reciprocity Suspended

Emerson once said that common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes. That seems a particularly fitting sentiment today, as we announce the suspension of reciprocity fees for U.S. passport holders visiting Argentina for stays of 90 days or less. Here is the official press release from the Argentine Embassy in the United States: “In order to strengthen the relationship between Argentina and the United States of America, the Argentine Government has resolved to suspend the collection of the reciprocity fee from U.S. passport holders who visit our country for less than 90 days, for tourist or business purposes.” The reciprocity law required visitors to pay $160 to enter Argentina. Thankfully, this fee has now been waived. We’d love to have you come and shoot/fish with us soon, and it just got a little cheaper, and a little easier—and that’s a good thing!  

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 12 – 19, 2016

For me one of the major attractions to fishing for sea trout on the Rio Grande has always been the ability of the river and its fish to put the angler to the ultimate test. If you do not have “your shit together” as a former guide used to say, you will experience frustration, the feeling of inadequacy can burn through your arms as each cast fails to land in its desired location. Its not all doom and gloom however as each session passes your ability improves and you slowly begin to conquer your demons. Your confidence rises once things start fitting into place and that burning sensation turns to pure elation once your line goes tight and you feel thoses first couple of head shakes. I feel a greater appreciation and sense of achievement is  obtained by doing some hard yards at the start of the week rather than nailing fish from the get go. The Rio Grande certainly made our guests appreciate their fish this week as gusts of 80 kmph were experienced on the opening session. The river was transformed into a sea of white horses and for the first session of the season all guides returned for siesta empty handed. A significant abatement in the wind for the evening session allowed us to restore some parity on the scoresheets. Italian angler and Kau Tapen regular Andrea managed to land three fish, the biggest of which was 13 pounds, while his fishing partner David landed the fish of his dreams a beautiful 19 pound female. On the same evening Bernard here for his second week had a 19 pounder with the current big fish specialist Diego. Monday morning saw the wind causing more havoc, blowing from a North easterly direction which makes many of our pools extremely […]

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Pirá Lodge Fishing Report – March 2016

The rainy season is almost over, water in the marsh is dropping, and fishing conditions are as good as they get. Over the past week, we’ve had success on the Corriente River swinging large streamers on a deep (300-grain) line. Floating lines have also done well, blind-casting to the banks with 2/0 streamers in black/purple, black/red, and straight black with a little flash and a muddler-style head. Mouse patterns have also been moving fish off the banks. Fishing in the marsh, on the other hand, has also given us some nice surprises. One of them was Michael’s 13-pounder that measured 89 centimeters and put up a great fight. Rick’s 9-pounder was also memorable. It appeared alongside a school of dorado close to the boat. With some fast thinking he dropped his streamer in front of the pack, stripped fast and hard, and watched as it was instantly annihilated. That kind of visual is hard to beat. The fish of the week, however, went to Cole who connected with his 19.5 pounder in a sidechannel trickle. The dorado jumped the fly in about 5 feet of water, and after an incredible battle Cole and his guide, Fergus, were able to tail it for the camera. Congrats, guys! Looking ahead, the forecast remains promising with coolish mornings and evenings and ideal river temps for tempting more big dorado.

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Villa María Lodge: March 6 – 13, 2016

We just finished another “tempestuous weather” week! The wind and large temperature variations across the days made this week quite particularly challenging in that aspect. Winds up to 60mph and near freezing temperatures overnight were the main challenges to defeat. But with patience and between wine talks, jokes, and hard work we enjoyed great success. Similar to the last couple of weeks, we had a few hours of rain that bumped up the water level a couple of centimeters. Even when it still looks like too little to make a difference, that event stirs things up. There was no a pattern of behavior of fish preferring one fly over another. In one pool someone was catching on green machines and in the next one below, on collie dog tubes. Even leeches were good on some cold mornings and when the fish were not moving to anything else. Of course Leeches remain the almighty option in lower light conditions. Regarding lines, skaggit lines with short sink tips were the best options, as usual. Floating and intermediates lines saw a lot of action this week with great success when fished teamed with a Sunray shadow style tube.  

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 5 – 12, 2016

Adjectives Reading people, specifically anglers is a talent all guides acquire after just a short time guiding, as my ghille back in South Kerry would say “ is not needed but paying close attention to the adjectives they use usually gives the game awayhe week, however  you can tell by the way they walk down to the boat whether they are any good to fish or not”, of course this refers directly to talent which ultimately affects the anglers success during the week, however success does not have to determine how much an individual angler enjoys their week. This is where reading your guests goes to the next level, a degree in phycology is not needed but paying close attention to the adjectives they use usually gives the game away. “I need to catch a fish this evening”, as opposed to “I would like to catch a fish”. Kau Tapen guide Diego, with his limited English (a good deal better than my Spanish) uses what I feel the perfect adjectives when it comes to fishing, his catch phrase has become ¨maybe I have the opportunity and possibility to catch a fish in this place¨, for all anglers, no matter where they are fishing this is a super approach to take. Needing to catch a fish is like buying a lotto ticket in order to pay your next mortgage instalment, you will be over the moon if it comes through but there is an even bigger chance you will be disappointed with the end result. Timo from Sweden was our most anticipated guest of the season, somewhat of a father Christmas to the guide team he had in his possession a large order of Danielsson reels which we had ordered, needless to say we were like children around a Christmas tree […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: February 27 – March 5, 2016

  Dream Guests Its no secret that you enjoy guiding some guests more than others, nationality is irrelavant as difficult guests can come from any corner of the planet. It is always astounding to get the distinct impression from your guests that you are actually trying to hinder their chances of catching a fish when in fact you are doing your upmost to do the opposite. Thankfully such guests are few and far between and the group we welcomed to Kau Tapen this week were all polar opposites to those just described, in fact for both guides and house staff these folks could only be described as dream guests. Both relaxing and pleasant to be around, our time on the river this week seemed to fly by and no sooner had we finished assembling rods than it felt like we were having our final tapas night of the week. A slight rise in water levels ( 4 – 5cm) just as the guests arrived lifted not only the river but also the sea trouts spirits and quite alot of movement was observed during the low light conditions of early morning and dusk ( the sea trouts preferred time to travel upstream). The family group of Janet and Bill accompanied by their sons Jake and Frost started their first week of two on the Rio Grande, here with us in Kau Tapen, they have travelled down river this week to see what the Villa Maria waters have to offer. For Frost and Jake it was their second season down here with the double handers and the improvement in their ability was tenfold, so much in fact that they almost got a compliment  from fly casting supremo Max Mameav “ Almost”. Although it may kill their father Bill to admit it these […]

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Villa María Lodge: February 21 – 28, 2016

Looks like rain is the big absent this summer on the Rio Grande. The river remains very low and clear, but it’s still delivering the best sea-run brown trout fishing on the planet! Light rain last week bumped water levels by less than an inch. That doesn’t sound like much, but the fish feel the difference and react accordingly—charging upstream or changing positions in the pools. The group of return anglers we had knew the drill and how to properly adapt to the ever-so-slight changes. Faced with low water, relatively strong winds, and cool temperatures—dropping all the way to 3-degrees C at night—they found success. The “Best New Entrance Award” goes to Ingve, our Icelandic pal who during his first Rio Grande tour hooked and landed a superb 24-pound buck! But that wasn’t the only big fish of the week; everyone in the group landed at least one fish over 20 pounds, with Neil scoring his at week’s end—right before the buzzer! Again, we dabbled with a variety of flies for best results across changing light, temperature, and time-of-day conditions. Summertime staples like small nymphs and green machines performed somewhat better than others. And leeches remain the almighty option in low-light conditions. Regarding lines: Skagit heads with short sink-tips have been the go-to option. Although, floating and intermediates lines saw a lot of action this week—and success. The group also enjoyed using ultra-light switch rods, so it was fun dealing with some monsters that the river kicked their way. Largest fish of the week: 24 lbs. Fish over 20 lbs: 7 Fish over 15 lbs: 28   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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