March 2015


Kau Tapen Lodge: March 7 – 13, 2015

7th Mar – 13th Mar. By James Topham   My boyhood hero was Robert F. Scott, the famous Antarctic explorer from the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole. Those of you familiar with the story will recall Captain Oats, who stricken frostbite and realizing he was slowing down the group said, “I’m going outside, I might be gone some time”… and was never seen again. This scene flashed through my mind when early on in the week we had a morning session with 100km/h winds and gusts strong enough to knock a full-grown flyfisher off his feet. At our first pool I parked the car into the wind, so the doors wouldn’t rip off their hinges. We sat for a few moments marveling at what the river had become. It was completely white-capped, with sheets of spray whirling and rolling downstream. It looked more like a waterfall that had been turned horizontally than the usually sedate Rio Grande.   The car rocked and bucked. The rods needed a leader change. And I said to my wide-eyed guests, “I’m going outside, I might be gone some time”. I tried to replicate the brave Captain Oats and make a hero’s exit, but embarrassingly the doors wouldn’t open, the wind kept them firmly shut. It took some ungraceful grunting and shoving until I finally made it outside and was promptly blown out of sight. My 120-pound frame isn’t built for such conditions. One might say I’m gravitationally challenged. It was thrilling though, and we laughed over the absurdity of flyfishing in gale-force winds. It wasn’t a complete bust either. Peter Rippen managed to catch a beautifully fresh 11-pound hen, while casting on his knees so he wouldn’t get blown over. Thankfully, it quieted down for the evening sessions, and normal fishing resumed. The river […]

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Villa Maria Lodge: March 14-19, 2015

Another wet week has come and gone on the Rio Grande! We started with standard conditions, but by the middle of the week it poured hard in the Andes. River levels climbed by about 6 inches and it was unfishable for a day due to poor water clarity and 100km/h winds. The good news is the murky water didn’t linger long. And higher water prompted fish to move upstream—fast—while some new, ocean-fresh sea-runs entered our constantly changing pools. Similar to last week, we fished short and heavy sinking-tips with small flies. After the river spiked, we adjusted by using long, heavy tips and bigger and brighter flies. Intruders and leeches were the top producers. Of course, fishing those heavy tips and flies in combination required a powerful line—so Skagits remained the best option. Largest fish of the week: 22 pounds. Fish over 20 lbs: 5 Fish over 15 lbs: 14 Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager For more Fishing Report click HERE

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Kau Tapen Lodge: Feb 25- Mar 2, 2015

  So ends another fun fishing session at Kau Tapen Lodge, but by all accounts it was not your average week. Mark Taylor from Mavungana, Norway, brought his friends from all the way up there, to all the way down here. I’d been looking forward to this week as I know the crew well from guiding in Norway, and I knew that it was going to be, well, fun as hell. The crew didn’t disappoint, and it didn’t take them long to christen the lodges new hot tub in a spectacular show of partial male nudity. But I’m sure you folks don’t want to hear too much about male bonding sojourns, so let’s cut to the chase and talk about some fishing! The river is still running low, and cold and clear. As with the last few weeks this has meant great opportunities for some technical fishing. Small heavy nymphs, slow-sinking/intermediate tips, and good presentations made all the difference. After sunset, small Sunrays were fished with confidence and often produced three or four fish in the dying minutes of the day. The final tally of the week was 135 fish landed, and another 25 lost after a short fight. The largest fish was Kristoffe Vasdal’s beautiful 21-pound buck. It was sad to see the group leave this morning, my only consolation being I’ll see most of the guys again, when salmon season starts this summer. Hope to see you on the water, —James Topham and the Kau Tapen Guide Team  

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Villa Maria Lodge: February 21 – 26, 2015

The group that our friend Jim C. put together has been coming to Villa Maria Lodge for a few seasons already, so it was great to see them again and easier to adapt the fishing techniques and tackle to the conditions. As said, the river was low this week, while the wind remained strong and temperatures dropped all the way to 3 degrees C. in the evenings. A variety of flies were used depending on light conditions, river temperature, and the time of the day. And like last week, small weighted nymphs and green machines performed a little better than others. Leeches, on the other hand, remain the almighty option in lower-light conditions. Skagits with short but heavy sinking tips were the best line options, and we’re still finishing 10- to 12-pound leaders/tippet. This group enjoyed using ultralight switch rods, so it was lots of fun dealing with the monsters they hooked and landed! The “Moment of the Week” was when Mike and Mark had a double hook-up that ended with the simultaneous release of 26- and 24-pound hens! But those were not the only big fish. Our group of six fishermen each landed at least one fish over 20 pounds, with Dave McC getting his 10 minutes before he left for home! Largest fish of the week: 26 lbs Fish over 20 lbs: 9 Fish over 15 lbs: 31 Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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Villa Maria Lodge: March 7 – 12, 2015

Finally the rain has arrived! The week started with the usual low-water conditions we’ve seen through Jan. and Feb., but by midweek it poured. In the headwaters it rained hard and the river swelled a couple of inches, got murky, and sent a pile of debris drifting toward the ocean. The mainstem eventually came up another 4 to 6 inches before clearing, while the spike sent fish moving upstream—fast. Our wind situation was also notable… for its nuclear qualities. One day, in particular, we got pummeled with 80-mph (120-km/h) gusts. The wise thing to do was to avoid it until evening time, when it dropped and we ventured out to catch fish. Even with all this weather madness, fishing has been excellent and the river continues to deliver formidable sea trout. The usual setups of short, heavy sinking-tips with small flies produced early on. But we changed to longer tips and bigger, starkly silhouetted flies when the water clarity diminished. Of course, we stuck with Skagit heads because they’re best for throwing those long, heavy tips and leech-style flies. We had three first timers at the lodge and they did great. Tony landed 22- and 23-pound fish. Dave had a 21 and 23 pounder. And John caught a cracking 25-pound hen! Congratulations guys, well done. Largest fish of the week: 25 lbs. Fish over 20 lbs: 6 Fish over 15 lbs: 25 Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager  

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Kau Tapen Lodge – February 21 – 27, 2015

As you know, there’s always something to be learned when flyfishing. So I’m wary when someone calls himself an absolute “expert”—unless that person is veteran KT guide Max Mamaev. He comes pretty close. This week, we all learned a few important things: the first being the positives that come from practicing new techniques before venturing as far as Tierra del Fuego. Our group of intrepid anglers from Nebraska did exactly that. None had cast a Spey rod before, so they went out and sought instruction, bought casting DVDs, and tested what they’d learned on their local river. What a massive difference that made! We gave them a few tweaks and adjustments, and they were casting well—and catching fish—from the get-go. The fishing this week was marked by a continuation of technical, low water conditions. Although we did see a brief spike and slight water discoloration toward week’s end. Overall, sea trout numbers were decent and all 9 rods caught fish above 15 pounds… the largest being a 22 pounder. Finally, we gave Gianni a special prize for his faithful patronage at Kau Tapen. This was his 22nd week! And he earned himself a Sage One rod tube. (We’ll give him the rod on the next 22nd week anniversary!) Hope to see you on the water soon, —Kau Tapen Guide Team  

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Kau Tapen Lodge – February 2015

So ends another week at Kau Tapen, but by all accounts it was not you’re average week. Mark Taylor from Mavungana Norway brought his Norwegian friends from all the way up there, to all the way down here. I’d been looking forward to this week as I know the crew well from guiding in Norway and I knew that it was going to be , well, fun as hell. The Crew didn’t disappoint, and it didn’t take them very long to christen the lodges new hot tub in a spectacular show of partial male nudity. But I’m sure you folks don’t want to hear too much about male bonding sojourns, so lets cut to the chase and talk about some fishing… The river is still running pretty low, but running cold and clear. As with the last few weeks this meant an opportunity for some great technical fishing. Small heavy nymphs, and slow sink/ intermediate leaders and good presentations made all the difference. After sunset small Sunrays were fished confidence and often produced three or four fish in the dying minutes of the day. The final tally of the week was 135 fish landed, and another 25 lost after a short fight. The largest fish was a beautiful 21lb Cock landed by Kristoffe Vasdal. It was sad to see the group leave this morning, my only consolation being I’ll see most of the guys in for the Salmon season this summer. Hope to see you on the water, James Topham and the Kau Tapen Guide Team

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Pirá Lodge – February 2015

Posted on March 9, 2015 by Nervous Waters Pirá Lodge – Fishing Report   Fishing Report (Feb 1- 20, 2015) – by José Antonio Caparros During the last two weeks of February, water has retreated and the marsh is shaping up nicely. While moving from one fishing spot to the next, wildlife abounds—everything from capybara to caiman and birds of various species. We’re also finding fish, of course, with good numbers concentrated in the headwaters of the Corrientes River and up and down the “Escondido” channel. One client, Ariel Kane, recently landed a 15-pound dorado, and we’re seeing several in this hard-fighting size-class in those zones. Idyllic water conditions have also allowed us to experiment with different angling techniques. We’re finding success, for instance, with mouse patterns on floating lines in the side-channels. In addition, we’ve had fun “swinging” 300-grain sinking lines across the river, similar to sea-trout and salmon fishing. Totals for this period included 60 dorado, with 7 weighing between 12 and 15 pounds—which has made for some very happy guests and guides! —Jose Caparros, fly-fishing manager, Pira Lodge For more Fishing Report click HERE

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Chime Lodge: This January the fishing was excellent

Posted on March 7, 2015 by Nervous Waters Chime Lodge Fishing Report – January 2015   This January the fishing was excellent. Rivers are low due to a mild winter, and for now we’re fishing with floating lines and light rods. In the early mornings and evening hours we used mostly mayfly immitations to imitate summer great hatches. We also used small caddis hatches. The results included rainbow and brown trout between 17 “and 20” inches., as well. However at times, we were surprised by brown trout of 22” or 24” inches. At midday, we used attractor flies such as PMXs, Fat Alberts, Chernobyls, and Hoppers. The upper Chimehuin River is gin clear and continues to produce small trout (between 10 and 14 inches) and some rainbows up to 17 inches and browns about 20 to 22 inches. The middle Chimehuin, downstream from the town of Junin is full of brown trout. The lower Chimehuin River holds a mix of everything and has been fishing great Collon Cura River: The best fishing is with minnow flies. We caught rainbow and brown trout in the 16” to 22” range. Malleo River: Best for expert anglers. We went with Andrei (a guest from Estonia) and he caught one big brown trout around 26 inches! Very difficult to catch! Alumine River: Water is currently very low. We used nymphs and dry-droppers. The catch included rainbows of around in the 15” to 19” range. In general the weather was great, very hot days. Likewise, the best fishing is early in the morning and late in the evening. For more Fishing Report click HERE

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Villa Maria Lodge: February 28- March 5, 2015

A great group of long-time Villa Maria Lodge guests, hosted by Jim Curry, joined us for another week of technical fishing on the Rio Grande. The water is as clear as I’ve ever seen it, and choosing the appropriate lines, sinking tips, flies and, very often, tippet diameter all make for careful considerations. Winds have remained strong, but dropping air temperatures have made for pleasant evenings. Depending on light, temperature, and time of the day, Green Machines and small weighted Prince Nymphs have been the best flies during daylight. Intruder type streamers, on the other hand, continue to catch some big fish in the last casts of the day. Even in these low-water conditions, skagit lines remain the most versatile option for delivering heavy tips into strong winds—with effortless accuracy. They can be a little “splashy” in still conditions but the advantages outweigh the shortcomings. Session of the Week went to Richard W., who landed a 19-pounder and two 20-pound sea trout in the same afternoon! Phil W. also did an impressive job landing 25- and 23-pound fish on separate occasions. Overall, we had a ton of fun and went through some red wine this week. Hope to see you guys again next year! Largest fish of the week: 25 pounds Fish over 20 pounds: 5 Fish over 15 pounds: 25 Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager  

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