By MATT HARRIS Itati, a humble farming village on Argentina’s remote northern border seems an unlikely spot to find a spectac..
Villa María Lodge – Week 10: March 6th to 13th, 2022
The 10th week of 2022 season started with higher and colored water. It was not a surprise as we were expecting some changes due to the rain, we had the prior week all along the Rio Grande valley and its headwaters. The bump in the level was quite substantial but we have to remember that the river was really low so it remained crossable (with care and knowing where to try) and it wasn’t out of bounds. The visibility was seriously compromised for a day or two, especially the last day of the fishing week when it started to carry an important number of debris, feathers, grass, and algae.
We received a group of Villa Maria old-timers, from Switzerland, the heart of Europe. With some of them, like Hugo, Uli and Thomas we met like 15 years ago in the old & beautiful Toon Ken Lodge. It’s great to sip a fine Islay’s single malt while remembering good stories for old fishing adventures together. Mike and Duff integrated the rest of the party and they added their share of fun!
According to the conditions we had to change and adapt the fishing setups. Single-handed rods and floating lines were put to a side and the big boys came into play. Big rods between 13 & 14 feet were the best option to deliver heavier lines and a big arrange of flies. Skagit lines (both in floating and sinking versions) were matched with long (12 to 15ft) and heavy sink tips to present the flies as deep as possible in a faster and murkier river.
The flies used were changing along the week. Started with big colorful and big silhouette streamers but along the week the water dropped and cleared to the point that we caught fish on green machines. But by the end of the week, the river colored again and we had to return to the big streamers.
The week ended with the river with a substantial color in it but still in a good shape and speed in most of the pools. We will wait for the next week which looks promising but always keep an eye on the forecast as rain is still present in it. Autumn is here and the chance of a big cock fish is present in every cast!
By Alejandro Martello – Villa María Lodge Fishing Manager