February 2016


Kau tapen Lodge: January 23 – 30, 2016

Guides Excel at Kau Tapen   I have always said “the education you get from doing a full seasons guiding on any fishery is invaluable”, day in day out studying, watching, analysing a myriad of different factors which affect your ultimate target – catching a fish. Your mind is constantly busy weighing up each and every factor. Doing this on your own, you develop an approach to your guiding which you believe will deliver the best results, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong, with experience the odds usually turn in your favour. Guiding with a team of guides the horizon to your approach broadens significantly. This year at Kau Tapen we have been afforded an unbelievable wealth of experience and the guide cabin has become an incredible melting pot of ideas. Our youngest member Santiago at the tender age of twenty one has already guided here for five seasons, the Russian pair of Max M. and Andrei F. are your “Wallace and Gromit” of fishing and since crossing paths on a bus journey to a fishing spot many years ago they have been bouncing ideas off each other ever since. Our head guide Gaston wanted to grasp the intricacies of the trout in Patagonia so much that he decided to live in the region for over thirteen years. While Diego and I come from a slightly darker side, where poaching provided a solid foundation of knowledge. Week number three at Kau Tapen saw this culmination of experience come to full fruition, each guide was playing their trump cards on the river with deadly results. Walking leeches into the top of some of the pools, fishing size 16 droppers, fishing certain pools backwards ( moving up the pool after each cast rather than down). While all the […]

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Villa María Lodge: January 17 – 24, 2016

  We just finished the third week of the season at Villa Maria lodge and it was fantastic! The weather has improved dramatically from previous weeks with milder temperatures and gentle winds and this combination helped us to get the very best from the river. The river is now low and clear so you need the be extremely careful how you fish each pool. The correct choice of lines, long leaders and extremely careful wading and casting are a must. However the Swiss anglers we hosted this week have been fishing the Rio Grande for over 10 years so they understood the scenario and did a fantastic job. It also helped that we had a run of big fresh fish. This year the fish are particularly fat and gorgeous looking! Slow sinking lines or intermediate lines with 10ft+ leaders were lethal in slow flowing pools. For the deeper or faster pools the use of heavier sinking tips were the best option but still long leaders were useful in those set ups. Nymphs, both weighted and unweighted were the most successful patterns, especially those that were not very shiny. Some of them, fished just below the surface and without any stripping or motion were responsible for some outstanding takes, very similar to a regular or resident trout.   Largest fish of the week, 22 lbs. Fish over 15 lbs: 21   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager  

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Pira Lodge- January 2016

Since I arrived at Pira Lodge after Christmas, the guides and I have been busy scouting the region in order to find the very best fishing we can find for our guests. Compared to past years, the water is on the high side, but not so high as to be of a concern. We started scouting along the channels of the marsh, looking for productive areas, and we found dorado in some classic places such as Surubi and Escondido. Once we had those classic areas in our pocket, we branched out to find more fish. And, we found more fish in an area not too far from the confluence of the Corrientes River, where the whole marsh and the river join in a delta. We scouted the lower part of the marsh-and the results were good, not big dorado–most of them around 7 lbs, but we were able to easily catch them on floating lines with small deceivers which is always fun.  We also looked for fish in the clear water marshes where you find small channels with a gentle current. In areas like this, casting with floating # 6 or #7 on the structure we again we found nice dorado. So good for us so far.. because we are finding the kind of fishing we really like—active water–where you can land your fly and expect the attack of a golden dorado. The fish we caught in the clear water marshes were around 9 lbs. We have also seen some really nice fish in the range 10-20 pounds and Jumped a few already on the Marsh. The weather in the marsh now is hot, typical for January. Also we have had a few storms arrive, not much rain to rise the level of the marsh but enough to cool things down […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: January 16 – 23, 2016

Fishing con Chicas Anglers the world over have heard again and again the conundrum as to why female anglers catch bigger fish, many hypothesis have been developed ( mainly by the dominant practitioners of the sport – Men), pheromones, shorter casts, delicate presentation, luck etc etc. Having witnessed this weeks fishing I would propose a much simpler answer “Chicas are just better to fish”!!!! Week number two at Kau Tapen saw the arrival of twelve guests, nothing unusual there, of the twelve however four were female anglers and when I say anglers I mean anglers, not some poor olde doll dragged here with tall tales of glorious weather and light winds, and an Antarctic cruise thrown in as a sweetner. These girls were the real deal, avid anglers, here by choice, ready to take on what ever the Rio Grande had to offer. Female anglers are common the world over and we regularly have mixed couples fishing together, be it husband and wife, father and daughter etc etc. Quite often it is the female of the couple who ends the week with more fish, in the past I would have given this very little taught and put it down to the luck of the draw. However, as the statisticians would say, having a greater sample population of four female anglers the results are closer to the mean. By the weeks end on Friday it was blatantly obvious which of the sexes are better to fish. Not only had the chicas out fished their male fishing partners they had out fished the entire male contingent of eight anglers. This had my luck of the draw theory in shreds and I began to analyze the scenario deeper. Guiding as opposed to fishing gives you a unique opportunity to “fish through someone else’s […]

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Futaleufu Fishing Report – January 2016

Currently as of Sunday 01/24/2016, the Futa River is running exceptionally high which has introduced some new challenges while fishing for aggressive browns and rainbow trout. With the higher water levels wading is limited and the majority of fishing is done by boat. Naturally water clarity is down, however, this is a plus considering the visibility usually ranges between 8 and 12 feet at lower levels. While targeting brown trout it is imperative to have a setup that includes sink tip or full sink line in order to present large streamers at an appropriate depth. A 6 weight rod with 200 gr. line is sufficient but a 7 weight with 250 gr. or even 300 gr. is preferred. Streamer color patterns vary however, dark olive, brown, and black are most effective especially during sunny days which are plentiful here. Fishing for browns is most productive during lower light conditions in the early morning or the evening but this past week several large fish have been caught during midday using sink tip line swinging large streamers in deep runs and under cut banks. Rainbow trout fishing has remained constant despite the high water. The locations have changed slightly however patterns and techniques remain the same. We regularly sight fish rainbows in eddies and slow moving water with small dry flies during the evening or late morning hours. Adams, Royal Wulff, Blue Wing Olive, and large Stimulators are the flies of choice during the hours of the hatch. Throughout the day as the temperature rises large terrestrials, such as Fat Alberts’ and Chernobyl Ants’, become effective for both rainbows and browns alike. We regularly use nymphs as droppers off of large terrestrials. Several favorites are the Prince nymph, Flashback Pheasant Tail, and the standard Copper John all between sizes 12 and 18. […]

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Villa María Lodge: January 10 – 17, 2016

For our second week of the season, the weather returned to “normal” and the 60mph gales from the week before faded to more manageable 20 to 40mph winds. The river conditions improved dramatically.  River levels remain low and the water is very clear, which means we’ve had to carefully consider our approach to each pool before jumping in. Across the week we were forced to change from heavy sinking lines to intermediate tips at times—even in the same pool—due to some very bright and quite days.  The fish are starting to run in good numbers and signs of the great migration are evident in the lower pools. In those sections we’re seeing steady streams of mint sea-runs moving in. And the average size has been good: several explosive double-digit fish were caught this week.  Last week we used ultra-fast sinking tips and big streamers. This week we used mostly light lines, including intermediates rigged with unweighted flies like the always-deadly prince nymph and small rubberlegs patterns. Of course, streamers and leech patterns are still a must when the sun starts to set.   Largest fish of the week: 18 pounds Fish over 15 pounds: 9   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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Kau tapen Lodge: January 9 – 16, 2016

Opening Week “Welcome home!” were the first words house manager Carolina said to me upon arrival. Alejandro Hemmingson’s bear hug followed, a warm welcome that had me feeling like I’d never left. The blues skies overhead were also a nice change from the storms and rain that the North Atlantic had been dumping on Ireland for eight week straight prior to my departure. And with that, it was great to be back among good friends on the banks of the Rio Grande after a year sabbatical hunting big brown trout in New Zealand. Caro and her team had pre-season preparations well underway by the time I arrived and the lodge was in tip-top shape. Meanwhile, on the river, no stone was left unfished as the guide team got themselves reacquainted with the river. On Jan. 9, we welcomed the Ackman group, accompanied by fly-fishing aficionado Oliver White. The group included many familiar faces, as well as three complete fly-fishing virgins. The enthusiasm of the novices was evident from the get-go. Within an hour of arriving at the lodge we had them suited, booted, and knee-deep in the Rio Grande. Some of the more experienced guests also took the opportunity to take a refresher course with the double-hander rigs. Max Mamaev was not long in planting the seed of knowledge in some of his students. And Nick Botta, under Max’s careful tutelage, was into a fish literally minutes after picking up a two-handed rod for the first time. The good news was that the fish were in, and the trend of hooking and catching them continued through the week with large numbers of sea-runs moving into our waters. By far the most successful fly was the yellow rubberlegs. Old favorites such as the Sun Ray Shadow, Green Machine, and bunny leeches […]

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Villa María Lodge: January 3 – 10, 2016

Welcome to Villa María Lodge 2016!! We opened our season with normal conditions for January, which means dry and windy. The water level is lower than last year at the same time and surely on the low side for the time of the season. But the river looks good and without many  structural changes following the winter scour. The wind was a major player this week and almost every day we had gusts reaching 90 km/h. This made fishing some spots impossible and turned the river murky, so we lost almost all our underwater visibility. An stamina & patience game for all of us…. The good news is that the fish are running. Several double figure fish were caught, all super silver, super fresh, and with unbelievable power and explosive fights. Fish are moving quickly upstream and an empty pool in the morning could be filled with rolling and taking fish during the afternoon. As stated above, because water clarity was compromised most of the days, the most successful set up included good skaggit lines, heavy sink tips of 3-4 mts long and bigger than usual flies. Patterns like leeches, scandinavian tubes and intruders were the ones that saw most of the action. The upcoming week’s forecast is for a break in the wind intensity, so we will have to adapt as conditions change.   Largest fish of the week, 18 lbs. Fish over 15 lbs: 4 Alejandro Martello  

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