This past week we had a mixed group of first timers and Villa Maria Lodge regulars from Iceland and England. In between jokes about the Cold War and Euro Cup football, we experienced some challenging but ultimately high-quality fishing.
River flows remained unstable as upstream tributaries continued to raise water levels and alter clarity in the Rio Grande. That combined with colder temperatures forced us to adjust our techniques to find fish in the deeper, slower moving sections of most runs. And although the river was higher it wasn’t unmanageable.
We fished Skagit heads with long, heavy sink-tips carrying large flies for their sizeable silhouettes. And we found some spectacular fish. Rookie of the Week honors went to Angus W., who overcame a tough few days by rallying back with three fish in the 20-pound range!
I also have to shout-out “The Toby”—a heavily modified Sunray Shadow-style tube fly that Oddur’s good friend tied exclusively for this trip. The fly not only produced a beautiful 21-pound buck, but also made a fantastic come back from the trashcan. After some recycling the “Zombie Toby” kept catching fish after fish till it perished once and for all during a fight with another Rio Grande monster.
Largest fish of the week: 24 lbs.
Fish over 20 lbs: 6
Fish over 15 lbs: 27
Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager