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Villa María Lodge – Week 1: December 31st to January 7th, 2022

Welcome to Villa María Lodge 2022 season! We are totally delighted to be back in the river after this well-known pandemic that halted the world for so long and made us skip the 2021 season.

In our opening week we did welcome a mixed group of fishermen. Stephan, Alex and Anton were in their second tour at Villa Maria and Joerg, Gusti, Kasey and MC were visiting us for the first time.

We are starting with normal conditions for January here, that means dry and windy. The water level is fine and all the pools fish well with nice swings and good speed but definitely in the low side for the time of the season. But the river looks in a good shape and without many notorious structural changes.

The wind and air temperature were major players this week. Almost every day we had gusts reaching 70 km/h, making fishing some spots very difficult and demanding. But adjusting the tackle, technique and choosing the fishing spots according to the conditions everybody was able to enjoy the fishing and catch some gorgeous fish!

All the newcomers achieved great success and all of them caught fish in the 15-25+lbs range!! Kasey and MC deserve and special mention as in their first fishing experience at Rio Grande, each of them landed a couple of fish over 20lbs and Kasey landing a fantastic 28lbs cock fish. Kudos guys!

Aside of those personal records, several double figured fish were caught, all super silver, super fresh and with unbelievable power and explosive fights. Water clarity was excellent aside a couple of extra windy day when it was compromised due to sediments being stirred up from shallow banks. A brief but powerful rain in the headwaters rose the river’s level 4 inches overnight but, surprisingly, the water remained clear.  

Having all these factors into account, the most successful set up included good skaggit lines, medium to heavy sink tips (10-12ft usually) and long leaders. No big surprises with the flies used, but we fished flies bigger than usual mainly because the water was below 10C most of the days. So leeches were the usual choices but by the end of the week more usual “low water flies” started to kick in living the leeches just for low light moments.

We are very enthusiastic for the upcoming season with this fantastic opening week we just had.

Largest fish of the week, 28 lbs.

Fish over 15 lbs: 13

For current updates from the river, be sure to follow our social media accounts (@kautapenlodge and @nervous_waters)

 

By Alejandro Martello – Villa María Lodge Fishing Manager

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