If last year’s low and clear opening-week water levels were surprising, this year’s high water has been even more shocking. It’s been several years since we’ve seen early season conditions like this, which have made for some interesting fishing.
High water gives sea-run browns more room to spread out and to move quickly upstream. And that, combined with off-color flows coming in from tributaries such as the Rio Menendez, has been the biggest challenge.
But being anglers, we appreciate the problem-solving elements that changing conditions present. We try different spots. We fish different depths. And we vary the speed of our presentations in order to get it right. So far we’ve found most of our success in shallower riffles, with a medium to slow water speed.
Variable, gusty winds and the roiling water demanded the kind of horsepower that only two-handed rods can provide. We also fished an array of lines, from full floaters to heavy sinking tips, in order to find the best setups for each spot. Even though some fish were caught using nymphs, large streamers produced the most consistent results. Leeches, Intruders, and classic tubes, especially if they were tied in black, all had their moments.
Fish are moving fast upstream, and an empty pool in the morning could be full in the afternoon. By the end of the week, the showers stopped and the river dropped fast and steady. Dry days in the upcoming forecast will bring a completely new fishing scenario. Game on!
Largest fish of the week: 15 lbs.
Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager