Villa Maria Lodge – Week 9: Feb 23rd to Mar 2nd, 2024

The ninth week has unfolded in Villa Maria, marking the graceful entrance of autumn with changing weather patterns. While substantial rainfall and strong gusts were absent, both elements subtly made their presence known. Brief showers and variable winds from diverse directions became the norm during the past week.

The river maintained continuity from the preceding week, experiencing subtle pulses of water causing slight fluctuations in the river level on a near-daily basis. Consequently, we periodically adjusted our equipment, opting for slightly stronger rods ranging between 13 and 14 feet. This adjustment allowed for longer casts with denser sink tips and flies with a more pronounced silhouette when the water exhibited slight turbidity. Conversely, we reverted to lighter tips, longer leaders, and smaller flies when the water clarified, receded, and the sun emerged from behind the clouds.

Much like the river, our fishing experiences had their ups and downs, moments requiring extreme patience and concentration, contrasting with instances of fervent battles, acrobatic leaps, photographs, and omnipresent joy. One such joyous moment starred Neil, who, on his inaugural day casting into the Rio Grande, managed to quadruple his personal sea trout record, elevating it from 5 to 19 pounds! Well done, mate!

Just as we adapted our equipment, we also diversified the flies used based on the time of day and water clarity, capturing fish on patterns as large as an Intruder to diminutive micro-streamers. It was a matter of experimentation, guided by the ever-changing conditions.

These fishing methods are likely to be revisited in the upcoming week, as the forecast hints at additional rainfall and the first cool nights of summer, though not quite frosty. Until next time, tight lines and best wishes!

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