Villa María Lodge – Week 1: December 30th to January 4th, 2024

Finally, the wait is over! Villa María Lodge has kicked off its 2024 season. We have found the river in optimal fishing conditions, with a good water level (perhaps a little low for the beginning of the season), clear water, and temperatures ranging between 8 to 12 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is considered optimal for seeking the highly prized Sea Run Brown Trouts of the Rio Grande. In terms of fishing, we’ve observed that the run has started, and small groups of fish are moving quickly between pools. This indicates that a group of fish that just arrived from the sea in a pool during the morning may no longer be there in the afternoon. Therefore, we must move and cover as much water as possible. Jim and Duane visited us for the first time and made their Rio Grande debut impressively, achieving numerous catches with weights reaching up to 17 lbs! As the river is in good shape, we utilized our go-to setups for equipment. This means two-handed rods ranging from 12’6″ to 13’6″ with an 8wt, paired with floating Skagit lines and sink tips ranging from 10 to 12 ft in length and made of T10 to T14. The length and sinking speed of the tips depend on the pool, its speed, and depth. The fish showed a preference for streamers, particularly articulated leeches in various colors, but other patterns like Woolly Buggers, rubber legs, and the green machine were also effective. Looking ahead to the weather forecast for next week, it predicts some rain and quite a bit of wind—nothing surprising in these latitudes. However, this should encourage more fish to enter from the sea and begin spreading across the river.

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