January 2016


Villa María Lodge: January 17 – 24, 2016

  We just finished the third week of the season at Villa Maria lodge and it was fantastic! The weather has improved dramatically from previous weeks with milder temperatures and gentle winds and this combination helped us to get the very best from the river. The river is now low and clear so you need the be extremely careful how you fish each pool. The correct choice of lines, long leaders and extremely careful wading and casting are a must. However the Swiss anglers we hosted this week have been fishing the Rio Grande for over 10 years so they understood the scenario and did a fantastic job. It also helped that we had a run of big fresh fish. This year the fish are particularly fat and gorgeous looking! Slow sinking lines or intermediate lines with 10ft+ leaders were lethal in slow flowing pools. For the deeper or faster pools the use of heavier sinking tips were the best option but still long leaders were useful in those set ups. Nymphs, both weighted and unweighted were the most successful patterns, especially those that were not very shiny. Some of them, fished just below the surface and without any stripping or motion were responsible for some outstanding takes, very similar to a regular or resident trout.   Largest fish of the week, 22 lbs. Fish over 15 lbs: 21   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager  

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Villa María Lodge: January 3 – 10, 2016

Welcome to Villa María Lodge 2016!! We opened our season with normal conditions for January, which means dry and windy. The water level is lower than last year at the same time and surely on the low side for the time of the season. But the river looks good and without many  structural changes following the winter scour. The wind was a major player this week and almost every day we had gusts reaching 90 km/h. This made fishing some spots impossible and turned the river murky, so we lost almost all our underwater visibility. An stamina & patience game for all of us…. The good news is that the fish are running. Several double figure fish were caught, all super silver, super fresh, and with unbelievable power and explosive fights. Fish are moving quickly upstream and an empty pool in the morning could be filled with rolling and taking fish during the afternoon. As stated above, because water clarity was compromised most of the days, the most successful set up included good skaggit lines, heavy sink tips of 3-4 mts long and bigger than usual flies. Patterns like leeches, scandinavian tubes and intruders were the ones that saw most of the action. The upcoming week’s forecast is for a break in the wind intensity, so we will have to adapt as conditions change.   Largest fish of the week, 18 lbs. Fish over 15 lbs: 4 Alejandro Martello  

Read More

Rio Grande: River of Many Dreams

Text & Photos: Paul Smith A lifetime of fishing stories squeezed into one windy week. I am obsessed with seatrout. Many nights I dream about rotund and silver trout, still with clinging sea lice, and fresh from the cold waters of the North Atlantic. Furiously, at least in dreamscape, they attack my fur offerings, tied meticulously both on steel and plastic tube. I’ll try anything to capture my prize, modern or traditional, not at all troubled by wild wanderings that distance the Butcher and Pennell. Nor is fidelity with my homewaters a virtue I pursue. I’ll travel and cast anything if it bequeaths me the opportunity to battle chromed flesh, pitting flimsy cane or graphite against salty untamed ferocity. Read the whole article Rio Grande: River of Many Dreams by Paul Smith Posted in Chasing Silver Fly Fishing Magazine Issue 2/2015

Read More

Friends in far places

A lifetime of fishing stories squeezed into one windy week. There is no airline flight too long, trail too rough, or paddle tough enough, to separate us from even a chance at that big fish rush. And the Rio Grande, considered the premier sea run brown trout river on Planet Earth, is the place to be for enormous trout. It is proper, I think, that our paths crossed here in Tierra del Fuego, the most southerly inhabited region of the world. A wild windswept place, where hardcore folks swing long rods in howling gales, determined to catch a fish bigger than the last. It is what we are about. Read the whole article Friends in far places  by Paul Smith   Posted in Atlantic Salmon Journal Summer 2015  

Read More

Studies about the Rio Grande

By Bio. Miguel Casalinuovo. Tech. Carlos Luizón began studying salmonids in the Rio Grande system in 2006. He described the basic biology of trout in his thesis with the help of Dr. Miguel Pascual, of GESA. Around the same time, the University of Montana, in conjunction with Dr. Jack Stanford, conducted the first environmental analysis of the fishery. These researchers and the data they collected have helped shape current fish management strategies on the Rio Grande. Since 2009, the Río Grande’s Sea Run Brown Trout (ST) fishery explotation model has been the subject of review. The goal is to maintain the quality and health of the fishery and to build a scientific-based program for future fisheries management. The current use is based on ST mortality control via catch and release regulations and restricted rod capacity in the Argentine section of the river. Tierra del Fuego residents and non resident anglers have a limited number of rods in the system, and the regulations ban catch-and-kill practices from December to the end of season (April). Furthermore, the Government together with the private operators of fishing lodges and other resource users are working to establish regulations that conserve and/or improve the resource. These studies are essential to establishing fisheries optimization programs—some sponsored jointly by private businesses and local government agencies. In December 2010, a workshop was held in Rio Grade City as part of the review process to establish the best practices in the river. It included all stakeholders and primary river users. The meetings encouraged discussion on the development and benefits of an integrated management plan for recreational fishing in the Rio Grande by the Study Group on Anadromous Salmonids (GESA, CENPAT-CONICET) at the request of the Province. A platform was developed to analyze fishery management options, to simulate the evolution of the fishery at […]

Read More

Review: A Method for Big Fish, Big Rivers

Searching for chrome with Sage Fly Rods’ new two-handed series Finally, after five days, hundreds of river crossings, and thousands of miles in the rental car we had arrived. British Columbia’s mighty Skeena River flexed its muscle across rolling gravel bars and myriad channels upstream and down, and as we spilled out of the jetboat on to a long run with infinite potential the excitement was electric. This is wild steelhead country, and it would prove to be ideal testing grounds for one of the newest members of Sage’s growing spey rod family: the Method 7126-4. Like its popular lime-green predecessor, the TCX, the Magma-red Method is a fast-action two-hander equipped to catapult line—chunky Skagit heads and heavy tips—long distances. Constructed with company’s proven Konnetic technology, the Method generates high line speeds thanks to an aggressive butt-to-tip taper that, according to the company, “optimizes loading energy and flawlessly transfers it through the forward cast.” First impressions with rod in hand, on the Skeena near the town of Terrace, reiterated the idea that this stick is built to conquer. Lightweight and powerful out of the gate, we equipped the Method with RIO’s low-stretch, 550-grain Skagit Max head and a GripShooter running line, which picks up easily for longer shooting distances. Throwing an array of standard Skagit casts the lines matched the Method well, comfortably covering a range of distances with a mix of T-11 heads and flies of various sizes. For those who prefer a deeper bend through the stroke, the 7126 is capable of running heavier heads, with an ideal Skagit grain-weight window of approximately 525 to 575, depending on your casting style and preferences. For big water and large fish, the Method, like other rods engineered by Sage designer Jerry Siem, tracked arrow-straight, threw tight loops, and delivered flies on target at […]

Read More