Villa María Lodge – Week 5: January 27th to February 3rd, 2023

By Alejandro Martello - Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

Holding to the theme of this season, the weather has proven to be a large factor in fishing during this season, and last week was no exception. Out of all the weather factors, the sun influences our fishing the most during fishing hours. 

Why is that, you ask? As I’ve mentioned in previous reports, the water levels have held steady at a lower level this year both at Villa Maria Lodge and in the rest of the river. Therefore, the water temperatures vary rapidly when we have clear days without a cloud in the sky. 

How much does it vary? Well, during the week we started morning fishing with water temperatures of 7C degrees, and by mid-afternoon, it was already around 17-18 C. Of course, this didn’t happen every day, but it was very noteworthy when it did. 

This week we had mostly cloudy days with good ambient temperatures, and thanks to those conditions, we’re happy to say that the fishing was very good. This week, we had a diverse group of anglers, some with more than 20 combined weeks fishing at Villa Maria, like Bruno and Gerald who visits us every year from Switzerland and Austria, and some new to our beats, like Ed and Irwin who came from the USA and Canada. 

Having little experience is not a hindrance if you listen carefully to the suggestions of the guides. Ed managed to reel in 8 fish over 13 lbs and battled many more throughout the week. Another angler worth talking about is Maurice who visited us a decade ago and managed to catch 6 fish over 15 pounds with the largest reaching 21 pounds, on his return trip.  We rounded out the week with a stunning average of 11.3 lbs/fish. Well, done guys! 

As the conditions of the river remain unchanged, the equipment we use remains similar to that used in the previous week. Rods ranged between 11 and 13 feet in length, floating lines and short sinking tips – between 5 and 10 feet – for low to medium sinking speed, were the tips of choice. 

The selection of flies to be used did not vary much either since the traditional ones continue to give us great satisfaction. The most important thing is to correctly choose its size and speed of sinking for the conditions of the moment. The general rule for the week was to keep choosing small flies for the hours of greatest light and we were slightly increasing the size when the sun began to disappear on the horizon. For next week, we expect light rains, so we will see how they influence the river and, obviously, the fishing. 

Fish over 15 lbs: 25

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