We just finished our last week of the season at Villa Maria Lodge!
It feels great when you meet old friends again and spend a full week fishing with them !!
We received a group of Villa Maria veterans, from Switzerland, the heart of Europe. To some of them, like Hugo, whom i met about 15 years ago in the old & beautiful Toon Ken Lodge.
The weather improved dramatically from previous weeks with milder temperatures and gentle winds and this combination helped to get the best from the river.
The river remains very low and clear so when you put all this together, you need to be extremely careful how you fish each pool.
But cigars, songs, music, and single malt from Islay helped to deal with the conditions and to wait patiently till the best moments of the day to catch a trophy fish.
We focused our efforts in the early morning and late evening as in those moments the water temperature was lower and the fish more aggressive towards flies.
In the morning small nymphs, and leeches in the evening, were the most successful options.
Thomas, on his second visit to VM landed a fantastic 24lb cock fish, topping up his biggest 23 lbs fish from his past -and first- visit! Joerg, his fishing partner, not to be outdone-landed a chubby 23lbs hen from Primera Vez but not before working really hard for 4 long days when the trophy fish were elusive to his flies.
Lighter lines than usual were better options than long tungsten tips. So clear intermediate tips or short sinking ones were heavily used.
Several small flies worked fine, but leeches and legless nymphs were the best options coming out of the fly boxes while the green machine was the best player coming from the bench. Witness of this was Tommy when in a very quiet and sunny morning, from the very flat & calm tail of Largo was able to pull out a fantastic 20lbs male fish that jumped no less than 6 times with a little green machine fished just under the surface.
The day after we were finished, the weather was changing heavily and we had 3 days of heavy rain. So far not sure how it will affect the different headwaters, but surely the lower stretch of the river will see some serious changes in the levels of the water. Something really welcome after a very dry season!
Largest fish of the week, 24 lbs.
Fish over 20 lbs: 3