Fishing Reports

Week 1: January 5 – 12, 2019

The first week of the 2019 season is in the books – and not only are we happy to have made some new friends along this week, but the overall results have us all excited what the rest of the season might bring. When we welcomed our guest, we saw a very mixed first group with some old and some new faces. Timo from Sweden and Iver from Norway; Daved and John from NZ; Mike from Canada; and Ed, Delbert, Tom, Tyler and his dad Tahsin out of the US. After a quick warm up session and an early “Tapas Night”, where the lodge staff, all guides and our new guest had a chance to get to know each other, everyone was happy to get some rest for the week ahead. Compared to the previous week (Guide’s Week: Link), the level of the river dropped a few inches, but temperatures stayed stable between 10 and 14 °C! Although the river was clear and looked great, conditions were far from easy. Changing wind, that surprised us with gusts from all imaginable directions made fishing quite tough in some pools. And due to some pretty cold nights, the fish were most active during late morning and early evening hours, while the fishing after sundown did not deliver the desired results. Usually, the first day of each week starts a bit slower, as everyone has to acclimate to the new environment and fishing techniques. Not for Mike though, he kickstarted his week with a “bang”, landing a great 18 lbs and a couple of 16 lbs fish amongst others on Day 1. Also Daved could kick his week off with a proper 15 pounder. While Timo and Iver were catching good numbers of fish in the mid teens on a very consistent basis throughout the entire week, Mike just did not want to […]

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Guide’s week: Dec 29, 2018 -Jan 5, 2019

Guide’s week: the very, very first week of the season, even before the first group of clients arrive. For us, this is a very important week. Not only because we are beyond excited to be back on the river again, but to give our new guides the chance to thoroughly get to know the water. During the winter, high water and ice can change the river bed dramatically and many times you will see pools that have changed a lot compared to previous seasons. Hence, for all of us, it is paramount to walk the banks and check on the pools. Gravel shifts gets washed away and new spots could appear, while old ones might vanish. Upon our arrival, the river was in great shape! It had cleared up to a very pleasing visibility and the water level was just about perfect. While the weather here never became too warm (between 10 and 16 °C during daytime), snow melt up in the mountains didn’t cause the water level or temperature (always between 10 and 14 °C) to fluctuate too much, it thankfully stayed very constant throughout the entire week. Overall, the river conditions are looking very promising for the first group of clients to arrive! As for the fish: It seemed like the very first run of fish had been a solid one, as we saw quite a lot of (already colored) fish in the upper part. However, more silver fresh fish are showing in the lower Kau Tapen waters and news from the lower river sound very promising for the next days and weeks. Guide’s week is not only important for us to get to know the river again and check on all the beats, it is a very important team building phase for all guides and staff here. Personally, I believe we have a great […]

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Pira Lodge River Diary: March 15- 31, 2018

The second half of March began with late-summer storms that brought rain and cooler temperatures to the Marsh. The water clarity in some channels turned peaty. As the storms subsided and the water began to drop, the fishing for big dorado turned on. During this timeframe we hooked two grande fish in the Corriente River; an 18-pounder one morning, followed by a 17-pounder later that evening. A couple days later, at Hilton Channel in the Marsh, Preston from U.S. found another 18-pounder! From that point on, fishing on the Corriente became challenging. However, good fishing in the side-channels of the Marsh held steady. We also explored some water that been untouched for years. Historically, this zone has held large populations of willing dorado. It didn’t disappoint. These fish crushed our surface flies, mostly mouse patterns and poppers. Toward month’s end, we welcomed an international group of anglers. These awesome friends included Padi from Ireland, Yesuke Saraya and his crew from Japan, Stephan from France, Enrique from Argentina, and Ron M. and Brett N. from the U.S.  Finally, Earl and Chad from HATCH MAGAZINE visited us. They had a tough start, but they ultimately prevailed and caught some great fish, which should make for a fun article on dorado fishing in the Marsh. Now with the onset of fall, we’re seeing flocks of ducks nesting in the area, as well as various types of Ibis joined by other species of migrating birds. The wildlife in the Marsh is well protected, and most of the capybara, caiman and Marsh deer are not afraid of people. As for the fishing, it’s been a month to remember. Dorado numbers remain high. And there are enough big ones around to keep things very exciting.   José Caparrós Fly Fishing Manager Pira Lodge.

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Kau Tapen River Diary: March 10-24, 2018

As we are closing in towards the end of the season, the fishing can get a bit less predictable. I personally love fishing the late weeks of the season for different reasons. For me it is the most photogenic time of the year, incredible sunrises and even more stunning sunsets, apocalyptic skies with cloud formations, that you will hardly see anywhere else, and the low sun that gives everything the drama it deserves – simply incredible and a good reason itself to come down here during that time of the year. But these cool looking clouds can be a silver lining: They oftentimes bring rain, mostly local showers. And while we were dearly hoping for more water, it is always a fine line between not getting enough rain and getting blown out. Although we felt like the river needed some water, a complete blow out will cost the anglers a few days of fishing. When welcoming our new group two weeks ago, the water was still pretty low and clear, as we had seen it before. However, we had a great group to tackle these conditions with: Pete and Tom from the UK, who were keen Iceland fishermen but had never come down to TDF; Tony and Billy form the States, who fished all over the world but never for sea-run browns like this; Roberto and his son Fransisco, who had come here already six times and knew the river pretty well already; Michael from the UK, who had fished the Rio Grande many times and brought his friend Ross for his first time; and finally Roddy from England and Paddy from Ireland, both very keen fly fishermen and who had fished this place before – Roddy in previous years and Paddy the week before down below in Villa Maria’s […]

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Villa Maria River Diary: March 2 – 16, 2018

During the first week of March we welcomed six new anglers to the Rio Grande. Familiar with the river’s famous sea-run brown trout, these seasoned fishermen hoped to add their names to the legendary stories by catching a few. Kelly, from the U.K., bought his old friend, Johnny, who’s a ghillie on a Scottish salmon river. Kelly started his week by hooking a beautiful 19-pounder on his third cast. And Johnny was especially happy after landing his largest sea-run brown to date. He told us he was impressed with the diversity of small, medium and large fish we found throughout the system—an indicator of an exceptionally healthy fishery. They were joined by two South Africans, Dave and Richard, who had 20-pounders on their minds from the get-go. They knew that they could potentially be covering a monster fish with each cast, and that anticipation kept them constantly in the hunt. Dave managed to land a beautiful fish that topped the scale at 20.5 pounds early in the week. Richard, on the other hand, had to wait a little longer. After catching a couple pushing 19 pounds, his perseverance was eventually rewarded when a 20-pounder hammered his fly under darkening skies during the last session of the trip. Paddy from Ireland and Harvey from the U.S. completed the group of first-timers. They provided great energy around the lodge, and they fished every day with smiles on their faces. Harvey landed a stunning fish that weighed 17 pounds, one he’ll remember for sure. Paddy also got his share of nice fish. The lucky Irishman even got to fish a second week, as he headed upstream to Kau Tapen after his time with us. The following week began with a cold night and a brisk morning for our new group of anglers. However, Jean-Daniel from France, who’s fished with […]

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Pira Lodge River Diary: March 1- 15, 2018

March is prime-time in the Marsh, and this year it began with warm weather and optimal water conditions. We couldn’t wait to get out and to re-explore some of our newly scouted areas. One of these spots holds an incredible number of dorado. When we got there… let’s just say that it didn’t disappoint. Small streamers, as well as top-water flies such as mouse and popper patterns, produced nonstop action, including a few doubles. The “Hilton” channel, near the headwaters of the marsh, also fished well in recent weeks. Stephan U. from France, for instance, found a 15-pounder there that couldn’t resist his surface pattern. And that was only the start of some unreal fishing for Stephan, who went on to catch fish ranging from 12 pounds to a nearly backing-emptying 18-pounder during his stay. Clark S. from Wyoming has become a Pira regular in recent years, and his youthful crew of six anglers brought some great energy to the lodge. They also found some spectacular fish using mouse patterns and experimenting with other new flies. Additionally, we had some great fishing with Jean Loui and Gerard from France, Alex from England, and Matt from the U.S. A few storms passed through around the middle of the month. And water levels throughout the system came up a little. The rain also brought a fresh push of sabalo (baitfish), which will inevitably put the dorado on the feed. The wildlife in the Marsh has been nothing short of awesome lately. The other night we took a moonlight cruise with the Butler party to see what we could find. It got a little exciting when a 10-pound dorado jumped right into the Hell’s Bay skiff. After returning the fish to the water, we saw a handful of marsh deer, and, when we […]

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Kau Tapen River Diary: February 24 – March 10, 2018

The past two weeks have been a blast! And it’s nice to be able to say that in spite of the tough fishing conditions that we’ve had due to still ongoing low water levels. As the river had been dropping, our leaders were getting longer, our tips lighter and our flies increasingly smaller. Although last week did finally bring some rain, the water stayed nearly unaffected and the river remained low. On the bright sight, we had just the right groups to tackle these tough conditions, not only with skillful angling, but with the right attitude, an open mind towards the experience, and most importantly with lot of humor. Janet, Bill with their son Frost, who we had the pleasure to host for many years already always bring a lot of laughs and a great mood over from Cali. Along with them their good friend Rodney, who picked up spey casting incredibly quickly and was covering the water already from day one! For us it’s always lovely to welcome the same bunch of people every year – to revive old memories over a good glass of wine and to make new ones on and off the river bank. It makes us all feel like a big family and we do appreciate that a lot. I for my part learned to cherish this place even more, seeing guests like Bill and Janet, who have been here so many years, yet still finding joy and excitement in every detail of the adventure, whether it’s the wildlife around the lodge, the washed-out stones on the gravel banks or the crazy colors in the sky during the evening hours. David and Rich, who had met on a fishing trip years back and have been travelling together ever since, where just a bliss to spend time with, listening carefully to every tip and […]

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Villa Maria River Diary: February 16 – March 1, 2018

We’ve welcomed some old friends and made some new ones at Villa Maria during the past couple weeks, with a global mix of guests from Denmark, Iceland, the U.K., and the U.S. Rafn, Jonni and Magnus from Iceland showed us how keen they were to get on the water by wasting no time to dive into a warm-up session. Their excitement convinced the rest of the group to temporarily retire their Gin and Tonics and immediately hit the river shortly after arriving at the Estancia. The season has started to swing into autumn in Tierra del Fuego. Indicators of the shift taking place include birds gathering in big groups on the banks of the river, with the ducks on the pond, the ibis, the geese and tero (Southern Lapwing) all getting ready to fly north for winter. The arrival of flamingos seemed to be a good omen. They swooped in one by one, and there are now about eight birds wading the small spring-fed lake that we drive past to get to the river each morning. As the days become shorter, the nights have become cooler—thus the morning fishing has become slower. Our afternoon and evening sessions have been substantially better for us. This turn of events allowed our Icelandic friends to watch the European Champions League football in the River House before heading out to fish the best hours of the day. The past two weeks have been windy, to say the least; with speeds cranking up to 90km/h, churning up river sediment and making fishing conditions tricky. While some guests chose to skip the blustery morning sessions, King Louis, from the U.K., wasn’t one of them. This brave soul also sipped his lunchtime G&T while sporting his cap that read, “Single Spey, Double Gin”. In addition to wind, […]

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Kau Tapen River Diary: February 10 -24, 2018

Kau Tapen is all about the good times. The fishing is just the cherry on top, at least this is what we want it to be. The world’s largest sea trout is just the perfect excuse to escape everyday’s working life and dive into a world of great company with like-minded people, fine cuisine and a lot of laughs. Switch off your brains and enjoy the untamed charm of Tierra del Fuego. The past two weeks were again an example of that special charm. Guests from all over the globe traveled down here not only to catch large sea-runs, but to experience a completely different world from the one back home. Fishing during the past two weeks had been a bit inconsistent – outstanding on some days, while the fish were shut down on others due to rapidly changing weather conditions. As the water was dropping constantly over the past weeks, all of us had desperately hoped for rain to push more fresh fish into the system and get some new movement in the pools… And half way into the past week there came the rain. Along with it some bone-crushing gusts of wind and more rain in the mountains, that turned the water from gin clear to murky with only a foot of visibility within one session. A tough day to be out fishing, but our house manager, Guy, kept the mood up, bringing hot wine down to the river. Up to that point fishing had felt a bit weird, as all of us found it hard to see a clear pattern. Although the catch numbers looked great on the paper, the fishing was inconsistent and felt tough. But a lot of smaller fish were pushing in and stirred up the pools, providing for more consistent fishing as the […]

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Pira Lodge Fishing Diary: February 15 -28, 2018

We kicked off the second half of February with some storm activity. Not enough to blow the system out, but water levels came up slightly, making for some great fishing in the Marsh. Water clarity remained good in the side-channels, where we found big numbers of smaller 2- to 3-pound dorado. These fearless runts are some of the most fun, mostly because they consistently hammer mouse patterns and poppers. Guest John S. got his birthday wish when he struck pay-dirt with a 12-pound resident dorado. The fish was stuffed inside a channel so tight it could barely fit a skiff. The small-quarters fight got serious when the dorado turned upstream, swam under the belly of the boat, then wedged its head into some gnarly weeds. I managed to pull it out and we landed the fish close the motor of the Hell’s Bay. Al M. and his buddy Dan had another memorable narrow-channel encounter when they doubled with 9- and 7-pounders. Great battle. A couple of our new clients came with their non-angling spouses, who had no problem staying entertained, enjoying wildlife tours and exploring our local trials on horseback. We also had the pleasure/honor of welcoming back the legendary Wayne H., who’s been visiting the lodge since day one. In short, the marsh remains in great fishing shape, with near-perfect water levels and clarity. It’s such an amazing place. But don’t just take my word for it. You need to come and see it for yourself—now, when the fishing’s hot!   José Caparrós   Fishing Manager Pira Lodge.

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