River Diary

Northern Patagonia Lodge – 2020 season end report

We recently finished up another wonderful season here at Northern Patagonia Lodge. Although cut a little bit shorter than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was certainly full of memorable moments and catches.  The season started with good water levels that provided some great streamer fishing throughout November, especially in the smaller tributaries and rivers. During December, January and February the weather was very dry, so dry fly fishing was the main focus, and it was very good. Hefty browns were caught and left some memorable takes in our minds to reflect on as we wait for the next season to start. Our rainbow trout once again proved to be very willing to play with us this season and added to the “numbers” as per usual. Parts of February and March came with really hot weather, making fishing a little more challenging. But our guides put in work and made it happen for our clients, nymph fishing started to become the go-to option in the afternoons of the warmest days.  The biggest browns landed were in the range of 23-24 inches, leaving us with a taste for more since the best part of the season for large fish was canceled as a result of the pandemic. Most of our rivers fished well through all the season, the Chimehuin, Malleo, Collón Cura, Aluminé, all fished will and the little creeks proved very productive early on in the season. The only exception was the Limay, which was surprisingly slow all the season, especially because the big migratory fish were not in the river. We hope they are coming in now, while we are all in our homes and are enjoying a peaceful migration and spawning season, so we can enjoy more large fish in the coming years! We want to say […]

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Suindá Lodge – 2020 Season End Report

We just wrapped up our second season of operation here at Suindá Lodge, and what a season it turned out to be! We made countless wonderful memories with guests, on and off the water, both in terms of catch numbers and the size of the Dorado we landed. Throughout the season, the Paraná River was lower than normal with just a few rainy days here and there. This made it a fun challenge for our guides as they explored new areas to find where the big fish were holding during the low-water. Loggy structure held plenty of fish, but perhaps the most exciting days were to be had on the sand bar flats. We encountered many feeding frenzies with clients, which made for exceptional and exciting fishing scenarios. We found Dorado blitzing on Sabalo in groups of 4-8 fish, but some of the frenzies were started by one maverick Dorado looking to take on the sabalo by themselves. Accuracy, quick reactions, and patience were the keys to success. The rocky structure fished well during some of the weeks, with some truly large and memorable fish landed, but mainly it came down to fishing those areas at the right time of day and during the right water conditions.   On the other hand, the Pira Pita and Pacu fishing was slower than usual. We had an unusually dry early season which hurt the fruit crop that those fish look forward to every season. With less fruit on the surface, those 2 species sat deeper in the water column, so it was difficult to find these fish close to the surface in order to sight cast to them.  Our largest fish of the 2019-2020 season was landed by Harrison Beckwith, and his big girl weighed in at 35-pounds of pure Paraná River Gold.  […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge – 2020 Season End Report

A few weeks earlier than expected, we have finished up this year’s season for obvious reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become the center of everyone’s lives and has put a hold on international travel in a heartbeat. While this came on unexpectedly for all of us, we are glad that our guests are safe at home, and our staff and international guides were able to return to their families without major complications. As sad as we are to prematurely end this season, we’re happy and thankful for the special 10 weeks that could not have been more enjoyable.  This season’s conditions could not have been any more different from last year’s, especially where water levels are concerned. 2020’s summer was dictated by much higher water levels and variable weather for the most part. Almost every week, the river changed – it was much higher at its lowest point this year than it ever was in most weeks of last season. During these changing conditions, we discovered that it did affect the fishing quite a bit – The contrast between good and tough fishing was more apparent, and anglers had to use their windows of opportunity when conditions aligned and gave them a chance. Despite that, the catch results at the end of each week were very consistent. The shifting conditions and the fact that these fish could turn on and off like a switch made some weeks seem a bit more random, making it harder for us guides to find the right approach and forced us to experiment more with our tactics than in previous years. While I personally believe that these high-water seasons are exactly what this river needs once in a while, it did affect the fishing and the course of the season noticeably. As the river […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge Week 10: March 6 – 13, 2020

Another great week of great fishing in tough conditions, complete with ups and downs, strange weather, bright fish, and lots of laughs along the riverbanks comes to an end! We were welcoming a full house of good friends and a few new faces that we soon embraced into the Kau Tapen family. Sandy and Andy, who were starting their second week with us became an important part of our lodge life and it was such a pleasure to have them around. Dick (Richard) and Maurice, who we got to know here last year and who were such lovely chaps to spend time with, never too serious, always good for a laugh, and great fishermen to boot. Michael, joined us for his second week here and is always a wonderful person to have around the lodge. Roddy, who was here last two years ago, brought Kamal and Malcom along for their first time, who we quickly embraced into the family. And last but not least, Richard and his son Richard Jr., who mostly fished for steelhead and salmon before, but were looking to add a new favorite fish to their list.  Heading into the week, the water and weather conditions were very similar to last week’s. Fairly warm days caused the remaining snow in the mountains to melt, pushing the water level up in small increments. These small fluctuations of water level (~2 inches up and down), on top of the temperature changes, never allowed the river to settle and the fish seemed to be put down by these instabilities. Hence, the fish were fairly inactive during the first couple of days and the start of the week revealed itself as a seemingly tough one. Nonetheless, good numbers of smaller 4-9 lbs fish were around and some of them were playing […]

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Villa Maria Week 10: March 6 – 12, 2020

Our last week of the season has just wrapped up. This week’s weather remained warm and dry throughout this week with some mild upstream wind during the first couple of days which always makes casting a little uncomfortable and makes properly placing a fly, a bit more challenging. After those first few days, the wind returned to the usual bearing and all went back to normal.  Jean-Daniel and Ema had a cracking morning when we visited the famous Herradura pool (Horse Shoe). After checking the conditions and agreeing upon our tactics, we split along the pool. Jean jumped in the top of the pool and within a few minutes, he was into a beautiful 16 lb hen. He kept it up for the full session, hooking 6 fish and landing 4 of them, all within the 10-to-18 lb range. In the meantime, Ema has focused on the lower part of the pool where she hooked 3 fresh fish as well! Richard and Patrick joined us for their first visit to our lodge. During their first few sessions, they were getting used to the techniques and learning the tricks that come with any visit to a new piece of water. After a couple of days, and lots of effort, patience, and struggle, Richard connected – landing back-to-back 20-pound sea trout followed by another stunning 19-pounder.  Peter and George were back again this week and were constantly reminiscing about the phenomenal fishing they experienced during their last visit on the high bank at Primera Vez pool. I cautioned them about how different the conditions were from their last visit during which the river was flooded. As I was trying to keep expectations low, Peter proved me wrong, as he did 3 years ago, landing a 21, and a 16 pound fish on […]

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Suindá Lodge – February 2020

February has come to a close here on the banks of the Paraná, leaving behind some incredible memories and stories for all of our staff, and clients. Some incredible and large Golden Dorado graced our lines and nets this month. Nearly all of our favorite types of structures to fish were holding dorado, and the sandbars, rock gardens, and submerged deadfall were all productive.  During the past month, we’ve only had a few days of storms and heavy rains and the river has been running quite low. Which really made fishing the sandbars very interesting and presented an awesome challenge for all of our guests. Sight casting to cruising fish and the occasional feeding frenzy has created some of the most memorable moments and catches in February. The pacu have also been more active than they were in January, but our lack of rain this month has affected how much fruit the trees are dropping, which means we’ve had to get creative, and have landed a solid number of those hungry omnivores.  Our largest dorado of the month weighed in at 35 pounds on the scale, and several other trophies were landed in the 22-30 pound range!  Fabian Anastasio – Suinda Lodge Fishing Manager

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Villa Maria Lodge Week 9: Feb 28 – March 5, 2020

We started our 9th week of the season with pleasant weather, clear river conditions and winds coming out of the North and NE depending on the day. In some pool, the winds made things a little tougher than usual.  But that didn’t matter to Ian & Stuart who, in their first session, landed 7 fish including a 21, 18 and 15-pound fish! A fantastic welcome for our Aussie friends who were joining us for the first time. Not to be outdone by their previous day’s performance, Ian landed a beautiful 19 lb hen the next day and Stuart followed him during the last session with another beautiful buck trout just shy of the 20 lb mark.  Paddy, not wanting to lag behind, landed 7 fish in one insane session and hooked more than he could remember. Kudos Paddy!  Bruce & Earl, who also were visiting us for the first time, did a great job learning the ropes around here and ended the week landing some beautiful fish in the high-teens.  Our tackle for the week proved to be the same as the weeks before, and a wide arrange of line-and-tip combinations were used. But, I can say that heavy sink tips were the most successful choice. In the flies department, several different patterns were utilized from tube flies to small Green Machines. Seemingly mirroring the season’s off-and-on pattern of fish activity, there was not a clear winning fly pattern, and we were forced to try several combinations until we found something that the fish liked and took with conviction.  Thankfully, the weather forecasts were not accurate and the heavy rains that were expected for the last few days of the week didn’t show up, and we expect to have similar, favorable fishing conditions for the upcoming week. Alejandro Martello. Villa […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge Week 9: Feb 29- March 6, 2020

Oh my, what an eventful week down here in Tierra del Fuego! This week featured ups-and-downs, good fishing and some tough sessions, and lots of hard work. Overall the week was highly rewarding, with delicious food, amazing sunsets, and new friendships forged on the banks of the Rio Grande. We welcomed a wonderful group of anglers this week: Andy and Sandy, who we already had the pleasure to host here last year and were much looking forward to having here for two weeks. Jeannie and Ray, a lovely couple enjoying their first ever spey casting experience, but were keen to learn and appreciative of instruction from our guides. Steffan, who had fished this river many times over the last 15 years, brought René, Tim, and Colin for their very first visit. Our good friend Jim, who’d already been with us the last week. And last but not least James, who has fished all over the world, but came here for a completely new and different experience. All quite lovely people, and a great bunch of characters to spend time with on the water. After last week’s great results, we were all looking forward to another cracking week – the river was in good shape and our anglers were keen to put in the work! The week started off with good conditions. However, fresh snow in the mountains, followed by warm weather during the days caused daily, sometimes hourly fluctuations in water level. The water stayed clear for the most part, but those small pushes washed down some debris and did affect the activity of the fish. Once stable, the fish settled down and were eager to play. Unlike last week when the winds howled day and night, this week was much more mellow and blessed us with calm evenings nearly […]

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Pirá Lodge – February 2020 Fishing Report

February came to a close with some truly spectacular fishing throughout the Ibera Marsh. Plenty of large and healthy Golden Dorado were landed and more are entering the system. This month the weather conditions were on our side, making each and every session on the water memorable and action-packed! We welcomed a wonderful group of anglers from Seattle, who all got into to a strong number of dorados, but it took them a few tries to master the strong strip-set needed to hook an aggressive dorado. But by the end of the week, everyone figured the game out and were bringing fish to the skiffs with ease. For most of the group, this was their first time chasing Golden Dorado on the fly.  While sight fishing in the shallows, Hunter B. managed to hook a powerful 12-pound dorado on his EP streamer. Hunter got a little anxious during the battle, and flexed his rod a bit too much, resulting in a broken rod, and a beautiful fish! Another memorable fish from this past month was for the organizer of our Seattle group, Ben, who fooled a 10-pound dorado while slowly skating a mouse fly in the braided section of the marsh just above the headwaters of the Corriente River.  Rounding out the end of the month, we welcomed filmmakers Ben P. and Brian H. who joined Santi Seeber for a week of exploratory fishing in the unexplored depths of the Marsh. They dragged boats deeper than we have gone before, and their efforts were rewarded with Dorado who have never encountered a fly, and happily slurped down countless mouse flies. Santi capped of this excursion landing a strong 16 lb fish skating a mouse and the whole encounter was captured on video! Aside from the fishing, the wonderful aesthetics of […]

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Villa Maria Lodge Week 8: Feb 21-27, 2020

Week eight at Villa Maria Lodge is in the books with another group of old and new friends.  Continuing the usual patterns of the 2020 season, this week started with tough conditions due to higher flows coming down from the upstream reaches of the Rio Grande. Our anglers stayed motivated and kept at it, and we still landed good fish in the 15-18 lb range. Tough conditions became a “theme” of the week. When the water level stabilized, the wind started to blow at its strongest. Similar to last week, we had some of those “typical” Rio Grande days where the wind blew at 90 km/h (60mph). It might sound unrealistic, but usually in these conditions the worst is not the casting, but the water clarity due to debris and coarse sediment that is stirred up by the waves. After losing a handful of quality size fish, Jamie finally hit the sweet spot in an afternoon session during which he landed 4 very nice fish, capping his day off  with a fresh 16 lb buck. Ian and James, a father and son pair, were enjoying each other’s company on the river. Both enjoying a solid week with a good amount of mid-teen fish. James’ highlight of the week was landing a beautiful 20 lb male and a couple of healthy 18 pounders. Congrats James! Ashwin, a first time Rio Grande visitor, got tuned into the fishing during the week. Unfortunately he had numerous heartbreaking losses of big fish, but still kept his morale high and did a fantastic job landing several fish and vastly improving his technique.  Dimitry had a consistent week and came back for our last tapas night with pictures of a beautiful, fresh 18-pound female from his last session of the trip. Dictated by the conditions during […]

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