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 11: March 10th to 17th, 2023
By Alejandro Martello - Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager
The conditions of last week were very similar to what happened in the previous week. The river was already high and colored due to the rain, snowfall, and thaws in the headwaters of the system when we started fishing.
Throughout the week, the water level slowly dropped and cleared. However, in the middle of the week, we received another pulse of dirty water coming from the tributaries that enter the Rio Grande on the south bank and again the river began to rise and become cloudy. We had a couple of days of challenging fishing because of the level and clarity of the water we had to deal with against a strong west wind.
Again, the large rods were the most used since they are more capable of handling longer tips and larger (weighted) flies than a shorter two-handed or switch rod. Most guests used 14 ft rods, but a couple of anglers even scaled up to 15 ft rods. I don’t think it is strictly necessary as the longer rods become very difficult to hold in high winds, they are heavy, and the river is not that big. For lines we kept using different set ups that included slow sinking bellies (to get deep fast and keep the fly there as long as possible), and long sinking tips of fast sinking speeds (T14 to T18).
For fly selection, we needed a lot of volume and a lot of color. Patterns like intruders saw constant action throughout the week. Depending on the day, we fished them alone or accompanied by a tube fly in front to get an even larger silhouette. On the days when the water was clear, we went back to using traditional patterns, like the articulated leech and rubber-legged flies, but always paired with fast sinking lines.
Conditions were tough overall, but the fishermen gave it their all. Each guest made the catch they were hoping for and went home with big smiles on their faces, promising a return trip!