Villa María Lodge – Week 9: February 24th to March 3rd, 2023

By Alejandro Martello - Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

Autumn has officially arrived! Throughout the week, the rainfall became more intense, and we began to see the first sudden changes in the river level. Turbidity also increased notably due to the increase in the level of all the tributaries of the Rio Grande system that were extremely low. With these autumn rains, they began to slowly recover their normal level, contributing sediments to the flow of the Rio Grande. 

But this lack of clarity did not negatively affect fishing. There was only a half session during the week when we decided it was better to return to the lodge and enjoy a few drinks than to continue throwing large and heavy flies when the river brought suspended material (such as feathers, algae, grass, and sticks) in excess. 

The time has come to use slightly heavier lines, although not always, and not in every pool. Floating bellies continue to fish perfectly. What did have to be adjusted were the sinking tips that are already longer and have a higher sinking speed. The 10-foot tips gave way to the 12-foot tips, and the T11s were replaced with T14s. These aren’t huge changes, but they were necessary to fool the sea trout we were looking for. 

Although this slight increase in level did not mean the river overflowed, and the water level was very good and even fishable with one-handed rods. That’s what Eric did one morning when the wind allowed it, and he achieved excellent catches, the largest being a beautiful 19-pound male. The whole group did great, and all managed to land at least one fish of 15 lbs or bigger. Well done, guys! 

As can be imagined from the conditions, larger flies than usual were used. The little nymphs stayed in the boxes and gave way to streamers of different sizes and colors. There was no marked preference on the part of the fish; rather, various colors, silhouettes, and sizes worked well. The forecast shows us a little more rain for next week, so we will wait for higher flows and are looking forward to the condition changes as we await our next group of anglers.

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