February 2016


Villa Maria Lodge: February 14 – 21, 2016

Similar to last week, we started with rain in the lower stretches and there were serious storms in the Andes headwaters. The rain bumped river levels by about an inch, while the water stayed clear and fishable with small flies. Through the week snowmelt from higher elevations significantly cooled water temperatures down low, affecting the fishing. The fish weren’t as grabby, especially during the early morning hours. By around noon, as the sun warmed the water, the fish started rolling and reacting better to our flies. Wind also played a role this past week, considering we had four days of 40+ mph gusts. Most of our guests were Rio Grande veterans—experienced enough to know that patience prevails through tough conditions. That patience was rewarded whenever the fish gave us a chance. The “Lucky Man Award” went to Mike, who landed three 20+ pounders. His monster 28-pound hen was so far the biggest of the season. It should be noted that Mike is no stranger to Villa Maria’s Wall of Fame. He landed the biggest fish of the season in 2008; a beautiful 27-pound buck. Nicely done, Mike! Depending on light, temperature, and time of the day, we had success with a variety of flies. But if I had to choose winners, small weighted-nymphs and rubber-legs generally outperformed the rest. Leeches and Intruders remained the best options in low-light conditions. Skagit heads with short, heavy sink-tips produced the most strikes. And we’re currently fishing tippets in the lighter 10- to 12-pound range. Largest fish of the week: 28 lbs Fish over 20 lbs: 4 Fish over 15 lbs: 19   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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Kau tapen Lodge: February 6 – 13, 2016

Kau Tapen Lodge

Key Ingredients Free time last summer allowed me to spend sometime in the Southwest of Ireland fishing on what is considered the premier sea trout fishery on the island. This was probably my 15th or 16th time visiting the fishery and in the past I had been pleased with my success ( I am talking Irish standards not Rio Grande standards ). I decided to break with tradition this time around and instead of plodding my own course I hired a ghille, a gentleman who I had know for many years and who had been guiding on the fishery for many more. Leaving any ego or self professed knowledge I thought I had on the bank I approached the day as a learning experience and hoped to gleam as much information from a man who had spent a lifetime on the water. Without going into too much detail a most enjoyable two days was had on the water, landing sea trout on both days and picking up a few valuable tips along the way. One abiding phrases however will stick in my head for many years to come. No less than two minutes into our first mornings fishing my ghillie turns to me in his unique southern draw “ lisen to me here now Matthew, fishing here is like playing soccer in the Premiership but not only that you are playing in the top three of the table”. In hindsight this was a form of physcological grooming, things needed to be done in a certain way in order to acquire the desired result and no matter how many other ways I had caught fish in the past “this was the way it was done in the deep south”. Rio Grande’s sea trout while more plentiful and much bigger can be […]

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Delta Lodge – Fishing Report 2016

After an up-and-down season for dorado and tararira due to flooding in the north, we’re finally seeing some stability and promising fishing. In late January, we hooked the biggest dorado we’ve ever seen in the Delta. Unfortunately, he spit the fly during one of several stratospheric jumps. We guess it was a 16+ pounder. That’s a great dorado anywhere, but especially this close to Buenos Aires. In addition to some great dorado fishing, we had some excellent tararira activity… followed by no activity at all. Big contrasts. High waters in the northern end of the basin pushed plenty of baitfish into this zone. Much more than in previous years. The volume of juvenile pira pita has also been impressive. If they stick around until the end of the season, it’ll be a blast to fish for them on light tackle and with dry flies. At this point, we’re expecting an awesome late season as long as current conditions persist. And it’ll be an even more interesting next season.

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Pirá Lodge – February 2016

February started with the best week of the season so far. Water in the marsh was at a perfect level and dorado are concentrated in island side-channels and deep pools near Camalotes. Floating lines with small dark deceiver-style streamers have been awesomely effective. We’re also having success with mouse patterns on the surface in the marsh. The Corriente River, on the other hand, continues to produce good numbers of sizeable dorado for anglers who like to swing streamers and bang the banks with big flies. During one session, guest Jeff S. landed 7 dorado from 5 to 7 pounds. Jeff is an amazing fly tyer and his custom streamers were the ticket. Michael “Mickey” D. focused on fishing mouse patterns in the Ibera backcountry, and was rewarded for his efforts with an 11-pound rodent-muncher. Guest Jeff B. tangled with a 15-pound dorado in the headwaters of Corriente River. And those are just a few of the MANY highlights. Overall conditions remain great, with a few storms around and just enough cloudy days to give us relief from the hot sun. In addition to fishing, wildlife watching is always great this time of year. Cayman and capybara populations are healthy, we’ve spotted swamp deer, and migratory birds are out in force. Come join us in dorado fishing paradise. We look forward to seeing you soon. Jose Caparros, Head Guide, Pira Lodge

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Villa María Lodge: Jan. 31 – Feb. 7, 2016

  This last week we hosted a great group of Austrian and German anglers. There was a mix of first timers, second timers, and long-time repeaters at Villa Maria Lodge. And, luckily, the fishing was in tune with all the fun. We had, so far, the most productive week of the season. The weather was a bit crazy at the start—crazy good—with pleasantly warm days and light winds. But then we had a full day of heavy rain that led to a subtle spike in river levels. Fish typically don’t like to take flies when the river is rising. Fortunately, the water clarity remained good and after a couple of fishing sessions the fish started committing to the fly again. After the rain, we had three straight days of unusual heat, where thermometer readings climbed all the way to 26-degrees C! Again the fishing turned tricky, but stabilized in the mornings and late evenings when the sun was off the water. We experimented with a variety of flies without a clear overall winner. We skated dries, fished nymphs high in the water column, we dredged some pool with tiny flies, and we also used more traditional streamers. Everything seemed to work when fished properly. As always, good presentation is key. Green machines worked well on picky fish. Of course leeches were a must in the darker moments.   Largest fish of the week: 23.5 lbs. Fish over 20 lbs: 5 Fish over 15 lbs: 32   Alejandro Martello, Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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Alto Paraná Fishing Report – January 2016

The Parana River was much higher than usual to start the season due to heavy rains in Brazil and northeastern Argentina. But lately it’s been dropping into form and conditions are improving. Migrating schools of dorado have been pushing baitfish upstream, moving quickly along the banks and attacking wayward sabalo. We’ve had success tracking their movements and targeting the feeding frenzies throughout the day. Pira pita fishing has been fantastic on mouse patterns, Chernobyl ants, and other large dry-fly imitations. Fish size is better than it’s ever been. Pacu fishing has been more difficult, on the other hand. But as river flows stabilize we expect the action to escalate, especially when the fruit starts falling more frequently providing more opportunity for pacu to feed on top. In addition to the above-mentioned species, we’ve already landed four chafalotes this season—an amazing (and rare) freshwater predator to catch on the fly!   Best, Fabian Anastasio Alto Parana Fishing Manager  

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Fishing Report for the Futaleufú River – February 2016

The river has dropped significantly the past week and is running just above average height. With the drop in water level water clarity has returned to normal which requires the use of finer tippets during the late morning and early evening dry fly sessions. We regularly use 4x during lower light hours and 5x when required with full sun. Currently purple, pink, or red bodied Parachute Adams, Comparaduns and smaller Rams Head patterns are exceptionally effective on groups of picky rainbows. With the summer season in full swing the midday sun keeps fish deep during peak hours, it is imperative to have heavy sink tip line when fishing streamers for brown trout. As usual, morning and late afternoon/evening sessions are the most productive times for fishing in regards to both brown and rainbow trout. We regularly break after lunch in order to retire from the heat for an hour or two and begin again around 4 in the afternoon until about 7 in the evening when we return for a cocktail and appetizers before fishing the evening hatch from 8:30-10:00. I look forward to making your visit here at Futa as productive as possible!   -Head Guide Sam Zogran

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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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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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Bonefishing Report – May 2015

Bair’s Lodge – Bonefishing Report May 2015. By Doug and Sue Vigue South Andros weather during May was outstanding overall. Light winds and bright sunny days. The guests enjoyed the conditions and caught many fish. As the month progressed, the warm temperatures in the afternoon had a tendency to get a bit too warm and the bonefish moved off the flats into deeper water. Anglers and guides both reported seeing and hooking many large bonefish over 10 lbs but few of these were actually brought to the net. Ah, maybe that is why these fish are so big! As the water has warmed up, tarpon and permit have also been spotted more frequently. A couple of anglers hooked up to tarpon but after a few jumps the tarpon through the hook. Overall it was an outstanding fishing season. Fishing was great all season long. Personally I can’t say that a particular month was better than the others. Every month large fish were caught and all the anglers caught plenty of fish all season long. Tight Lines Doug and Sue Vigue Bair’s Lodge managers

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