Villa Maria Lodge: End of Season Report 2024

The 2024 fishing season at Villa Maria Lodge started strong with the Rio Grande at an excellent level. Despite being lower than expected for this time of year, it provided thrilling fishing and comfortable wading. Typically, the first weeks of the season bring erratic fishing with fish just beginning to gather in swift-moving groups. Locating these groups often feels like a game of hide and seek, requiring extensive movement along the beats. However, we were pleasantly surprised when the fishing exceeded expectations in both quantity and the average size of catches right from the first week. This favorable trend continued for the next two months of the season.

Throughout the first half of the season, the Rio Grande remained at a good level. By mid-February, a drop in the water level was noticeable, with slower pools and shorter fishing spots due to the gentle current. Yet, the pools remained abundant with fish! It was simply a matter of adjusting techniques, fishing lighter, and choosing the best times of the day to target the prime pools.

By late February/early March, heavy rains changed the river, its levels, and the fishing experience. Despite a few days of having to fish in the smaller, cleaner waters of our sister lodge, Kautapen, the river remained fishable, and the catches kept coming. We transitioned from switch rods, light lines, and small flies to proper 2-handed rods, heavy tips, sinking lines, and vibrant, large streamers.

Summarizing the 2024 fishing season at Villa Maria Lodge, we can put it in two numbers: the largest catch was 27 lbs, and the average weight of catches was 11.8 lbs. A truly remarkable season!

The weather was on our side too, making it a mild season for a region known for its extreme climate. We had wind, but nothing exceeding 100 km/h, and only a handful of days where it reached 90 km/h. Although it sounds intense, we’ve seen winds of up to 130 km/h in previous years.

Join us in 2025 for another season of extraordinary fishing adventures at Villa Maria Lodge!

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