Estancia María Behety Lodge, 2 Reports, Feb 22-Mar 7, 2020

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Estancia María Behety Lodge
February 22-29, 2020

Week 8 is over. Fishing was good but quite hard. Water temperature dropped a few degrees since last week and the wind blew very hard three days in a row.
85 fish landed, 14 of them were over 15 pounds.
John Kiessling was top rod with 19 fish in the net.

Water Conditions
Water color and visibility: Very clear water.
Water temperature: 5° C and 9° C

Weather Conditions
Wind speed ranges through the week: It was windy this week. 0 to 90 kmh. Mostly from west. Air temperature ranges through the week: 5°C to 15°C

Fishing Conditions
Flies that are working the best: : Flies of the week were EMB and sunray shadow. Small size nymphs like TDF prince, prince nymph, red tail. Also yuk bugs and wooly buggers. Big flies for the last 30 minutes in the evening: Intruders, tube flies and articulated leeches. Floating tip or intermediate and sunray shadow worked very good. Only big flies for the last hour and with dirty water conditions. Fly lines (tips, heads, lengths, densities, etc) that are producing the best: We used everything between floating and 15 feet of T-20. Length and strength of tippet and leaders: 4 to 15 feet. Fluorcarbon 12 to 18 pounds. For low water conditions and for some of the upriver pools I recommend scandi heads and short polyleaders or versileader.

Fish catch statistics
Number of anglers for the week: 8
Total number of fish landed for the week: 85
Weight of the biggest fish landed for the week: 19
Number of fish landed over 15 pounds: 14

 

Estancia María Behety Lodge
February 29 – March 7, 2020

Week 9 came to an end. Fishing was tough but good. Even with difficult river conditions we managed to catch 105 fish for the week. 19 over 15 pounds and 2 over 20 pounds.
Top Rod was our very good friend Kevin Bitmead with 15 fish on the net.
Irvin Pike landed the fish of the week: 23.5 pounds.

Water Conditions
Water color and visibility: Very clear water.
Water temperature: 5° C and 12° C

Weather Conditions
Wind speed ranges through the week: It was windy this week. 0 to 60 km/h. West mostly but rotated to north for two days Air temperature ranges through the week: 7°C to 21°C

Fishing Conditions
Flies that are working the best: : Flies of the week were EMB and sunray shadow. Small size nymphs like TDF prince, prince nymph, red tail. Also yuk bugs and wooly buggers. Big flies for the last 30 minutes in the evening: Intruders, tube flies and articulated leeches. Floating tip or intermediate and sunray shadow worked very good. Only big flies for the last hour and with dirty water conditions. Fly lines (tips, heads, lengths, densities, etc) that are producing the best: We used everything between floating and 15 feet of T-20. Length and strength of tippet and leaders: 4 to 15 feet. Fluorcarbon 12 to 18 pounds. For low water conditions and for some of the upriver pools I recommend scandi heads and short polyleaders or versileader.

Fish catch statistics
Number of anglers for the week: 11
Total number of fish landed for the week: 105
Weight of the biggest fish landed for the week: 23.5
Number of fish landed over 15 pounds: 18

La Villa Lodge, 2 Reports, Feb 22-29 & Feb 29-Mar 7, 2020

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La Villa Lodge Fishing Report
Feb 22-29 and Feb 29-Mar 7, 2020
Weeks 9 & 10

La Villa de EMB Lodge
February 22 – 29, 2020

Great group, very fun week, fishing got better, the river have a great level, and is clearing.
Sinking lines were the best, We used big flies all week.
The wind blew very hard for 3 days
Striping sun ray shadows with sinking lines were the best.77 fish were landed,  23 fish over 15 pounds,  1 fish over 20 pounds , Average weight 10,5 pounds.
Michael graham was top rod of the week with 21 fish landed and the largest fish at 25 pounds!

Water Conditions
Water color and visibility: clearing up all week.
Water temperature: 8 c to 12 c.
Water level: high all week.

Weather Conditions
Wind speed ranges through the week:the wind blows northwest ,it was strong all week.
Air temperature ranges through the week: 5 c to 18 c .
Weather observations (sun, rain, fog, etc.):really strong winds.

Fishing Conditions
Flies that are working the best:big flies (intruders, leeches, big tube flies). Big flies for the last hour: big tube flies, leeches, intruders. Fly lines (tips, heads, lengths, densities, etc) that are producing the best: Skagit heads with different lengths of T-17,14, 11. Intermiadate skagit and sinking skagit were the best lines, with different tips. Length and strength of tippet and leaders: 5 to 7  feet. 15 to 20 pounds.
Lower and middle part of the river is the best, but there are a lot of fish in the upper part.

Fish catch statistics
Number of anglers for the week: 6.
Total number of fish landed for the week: 77.
Weight of the biggest fish landed for the week: 25 pounds.
Number of fish landed over 15 pounds: 23.
Number of fish landed over 20 pounds:1.
Average size: 10.5.
Notable catches: Great 25 pounds male in the last session, Friday afternoon.

 

La Villa de EMB Lodge
February 29 – March 7, 2020

The first two days were good, the wind blew from the east for two days and fishing got difficult, and get good again for the last 2 days. Sinking lines were the best, with small flies. Salmon flies size 10, 12 were very good with sinking and intermediate lines.
Red Francis was the best fly of the week.80 fish were landed,  11 fish over 15 pounds,  3 fish over 20 pounds , Average weight 10,5 pounds.
Michael graham was top rod of the week with 20 fish landed.
Tim Keane got the biggest fish 22  pounds.

Water Conditions
Water color and visibility: clear water.
Water temperature: 9 c to 14 c.
Water level: high all week.

Weather Conditions
Wind: the wind blows northwest ,it wasn’t strong all week.
Air temperature ranges through the week: 5 c to 18 c .
Weather observations (sun, rain, fog, etc.):wind blew from east 2 days.

Fishing Conditions
Flies that are working the best: emb, green machine,tubes flies ( monkey, sunray shadows, red Francis), salmon flies. Big flies for the last hour: big tube flies, leeches, intruders, big tube flies. Fly lines (tips, heads, lengths, densities, etc) that are producing the best: Skagit heads with different lengths of T-17,14.  Clear intermediate was very good, with salmon flies and tube flies. Length and strength of tippet and leaders: 9 to 14  feet. 15 to 20 pounds. Lower and middle part of the river is the best, but there are a lot of fish in the upper part .we start getting more colored fish.

Fish catch statistics
Number of anglers for the week: 6.
Total number of fish landed for the week: 80.
Weight of the biggest fish landed for the week:22 pounds.
Number of fish landed over 15 pounds: 11.
Number of fish landed over 20 pounds:3.
Average size: 8.5.
Notable catches: nice book fish with floating line on top.

Kau Tapen Lodge Fishing Reports, Feb 1-15, 2020

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Kau Tapen Lodge Fishing Reports
Feb 1-8 and Feb 8-15, 2020
Weeks 5 & 6

Kau Tapen
February 1-8, 2020

A strange, but very eventful week comes to its end. As we began our fifth week of the season, we were all expecting very consistent weather and water conditions. Especially with the amount of fish now already in the system, these weeks are usually very predictable and consistent. While the river was in absolutely great shape as we headed into the week, constantly changing water level, wind direction, light condition, and barometric pressure, ultimately affected the activity of the fish and made the fishing quite challenging on some days, however. Luckily, we were welcoming a fairly intimate group of “only” six this week, including some experienced Río Grande anglers such as Gerald and Irwin. Dave, another of our anglers this week, was a keen spey caster who could efficiently cover the water from the first day on. But even our new friends Michael, Jarod, and Tom, all picking up the spey rod for the first time, had a good understanding of what the fly is supposed to do in the water, listened carefully to their guide’s advice, and picked up the methods we use here very quickly.

As we started the fishing week, the river was just starting to drop and clear after it had come up on Thursday night. Heavier tips and more visible, water-pushing flies were the trick of the trade. However, it was merely a push of water that would drop back to almost zero within just a day. A severe thunderstorm with hail, heavy rain, and lightning bolts crashed down onto the pampa as it passed us on Monday afternoon. It only took these few hours of downpouring rain to push the water level back up about 10 inches (25 cm) overnight, leaving us with only a few inches of visibility in the water the next morning. Being just a “push” of water, the level would drop down quickly, but the rain that precipitated in the mountains kept the water fluctuating. All these very rapid changes in water level and barometric pressure, in combination with some very hot and sunny days that pushed the water temperature up to over 18 degrees, noticeably affecting the activity of the fish, making it really hard to move any of them throughout long periods of some sessions.

Luckily, the Río Menéndez was once again a saving grace, as it was less severely affected by the changes occurring in the main river. Still slightly off-color and with comfortable flow, the conditions looked great, and Irwin managed to land three nice fish in his very first session, including a cracking 18 lb, kyped-up male. Just two days later, this little river again blessed us with incredible fishing, while the main river remained tough. In just Tuesday evening’s session, Jarod and Tom were able to hook into an unbelievable number of 15 sea trout, all on small nymphs and single-handed rods. While unfortunately some very big ones were lost, both were able to land multiple beautiful double-digit fish. Dave also put a good ending to a tough day, landing a 16 lb fish just before the last light faded. Content and happy, he left it as the last cast of the day.

The fishing was patchy and unpredictable. Short periods in which the fish became active gave us windows of opportunities, and one had to get a bit lucky to be in the right pool at the right time. Michael was able to intercept a phenomenal, fresh 13 pounder amongst some other good fish. But within this randomness, consistency was key to take the chances given to one. Gerald remained consistent, putting the fly into the right spot on every cast, even if they were not rewarded. But, his consistency eventually paid off. A fresh 17 lb stunner on the second to last day, and then landed another cracking 17 lb male on the next morning, only to be outdone by an unbelievable 24 lb fish he was able to bring to the net at the start of his last evening session. Gerald stopped fishing after that fish, happily leaving it as last cast of the trip. Just as Irwin kicked off his week, he ended it on a high note, landing a great 14 pounder during his last morning session, and two more nice fish during the evening – he also stopped after the second one, and both Gerald and Irwin peacefully called it a trip and headed back to the lodge before the sun went down. Our universe was back in order, conditions seemed to have settled, the fish seemed more active, and the fishing was once more predictable.

Looking at the plain numbers of this week, it ended up being much more prolific than expected. As random and patchy as it was, some anglers intercepted good numbers of fish, while others had to experience dry periods in between. But despite all of its highs and lows on the fishing side of things, there is so much more to a week down here than “just” catching fish. Getting to meet new crazy people from completely different parts of the world that share the same passion, sharing precious time on the river with old friends, feeling the unparalleled freedom that only the wide-open skies of Tierra del Fuego can give you, and letting it all sink in over a good glass of Malbec. Even if the fishing is challenging and unpredictable on some days, it is very hard to let that get in your way of having an amazing experience in this very special corner of the world!

Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

 

Kau Tapen Lodge
February 8-15, 2020  

What a week! My hands are still shaking, and I am still trying to catch my breath. Such an eventful, fun, successful, and overall amazing week that none of us wanted to end.

A full house with some good friends returning to visit us: Vini and Luke, who we got to know last year and immediately were adopted into the Kau Tapen family. Jim and Roger both of whom have been coming here for a number of years and every season we cannot wait to welcome them back. Graeme, who had been here a few years ago and was as prepared as could be – mentally and physically.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming some new faces: Piggy and David, two good fishing friends who have fished this river before but never here at Kau Tapen with us, both are amazing fun, on and off the river, and were such a great addition to the group. Last but not least we have Charly, his brother Russel, and son Nick, along with their good friend Jorge, all of whom started the week as sea trout and spey casting rookies.

The previous week’s fishing had been a bit difficult with variable weather and water conditions. Our fingers were crossed, and we were hoping for more consistent conditions this week. And so it was – the river settled, cleared up even more and dropped at a very, very slow pace. The consistent water conditions enabled the fish to settle in their pools and as soon as that happened, they became more active and miraculously “switched on” again.

Slightly warmer water (14-16 °C), thanks to warmer days and mild nights caused the fish to be more surface oriented. All of these factors combined, made for some of the most amazing fishing we’ve had so far this season. Despite seemingly tricky conditions during the first three days (only a little wind from a strange north-easterly direction and bright skies), the fish were very active. During the very first session, Jorge and Russel, who were “just” practicing how to spey-cast, were able to land 6 amazing fish on light sinking tips and small flies. During their evening they kept going, hooking into 9 more fish (!) and Russel was able to end the day on a stunning 17 lb fish. Most fish were chrome bright and in outstanding condition, fresh from the ocean and full of strength. Roger and Graeme also experienced a good start to the week, both managing to land a 16 lb fish, amongst some very nice specimens.

While we could not have asked for a better first day, the fishing gods were kind and gave us an even better second day. Almost every pool was working and literally every one of our anglers was able to land multiple fish! Just over 60 fish – an astonishing number that the group managed to hook in just that day, most of the fish in outstanding condition. Piggy alone managed to land 8 fish that day, including two 16 pounders and two 14 lb fish.

Graeme brought an astonishing 9 fish to the net! Jim also took care of business quickly and landed a perfectly chromed-up, 19 lb fish within his first 10 casts of the day. The quality of the fishing during these days was simply outstanding – most of them fresh, incredibly strong and full of stamina!

While we were taking it all in and enjoying the ride, we were expecting that the fishing would slow down again at some point, but we were blessed with one more day. Tuesday especially produced some larger fish than the previous days, such as David’s outstanding 16 lb fish, Nick’s 17 pounder, Piggy’s amazing 18 lb fish, another stunning 18 pounder for Charly, and Russel’s fantastic 19 lbs. And Graeme – Well Graeme simply did not stop and kept riding his wave, landing 12 fish that day, including a perfect, kyped-up 19 lb male and hooking into even more!

While we got the catching part out of the way during these first three days, the rest was just easy riding. The atmosphere around the lunch and dinner table was great – relaxed, fun, happy, and a bit tired from such eventful days. Long nights with maybe the odd drink too many and hilarious stories that will stick in our heads for a long time to come. It all added to the fun and made this week as special as it was. We could not have asked for more – but the week was only half over. And, while the fishing eventually did slow down a bit, the bar had been set very high and to be quite frank, the fishing remained pretty dang good for these last three days, at least judging from a “normal” standpoint.

Although this week was dominated by amazing fishing and lots of activity, it was also the week of the lost battles. Just like the four monstrous fish that Vini and Luke hooked into but unfortunately were not able to bring to the net after some spectacular fights. As painful as it is, those are the fish that fuel the need to come back more than the ones landed, and they surely make for some great stories.

During these last days, still great numbers of fish were hooked and landed, and Graeme finally managed to achieve the well-known “20/20”: Landing 20 fish during the week with one over 20 lbs, with the exception that did it twice! He landed over 40 fish and two stunning fish of 20 lbs, something that only very rarely occurs on our beats. As well prepared as he was, Graeme surely came, saw, and conquered – incredibly well done and congratulations from all of us here at Kau Tapen!

I feel like I could keep writing countless more lines after a week like this one, but I will let the attached images do the talking and leave the rest to your imagination. Not only am I incredibly happy with the fishing results of the week, I simply had an amazing time on and off the river and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with every single group member, sharing unique moments and making new friends. This has been a very special week and I am sure I am speaking on behalf of the entire Kau Tapen team.

Here’s hoping we get to repeat the week next year!

Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

Villa Maria Lodge

Villa Maria Lodge, Jan 31-Feb 14, 2020 Reports

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Villa Maria Lodge 2020 Fishing Reports
Jan 31-Feb 7 & Feb 7-14,  2020
Weeks 5-6

Villa Maria Lodge
January 31-February 7, 2020  

For our fifth week of the season, we welcomed back Bruno, Mike, Michael, and Sandee. During our warm-up session, as we expected, the river rose from the heavy rain up in the headwaters that hit the region in the previous week. Even with the rising river, we were very optimistic about the week to come because of the steady weather that was forecasted.

As predicted the first day started with a bang with several nice fish coming to hand from all of our beats. The river was slightly off-color and it seemed that with the right setups, flies, and persistence the fish were more than willing to take a fly. Throughout the week we had a consistent stream of algae floating down the river but with a fresh run of fish in the system, there were still some great fish caught.

 

 

 

In the middle of the week, we had warm calm days that allowed us to try new methods which included some topwater flies. This resulted in some incredibly exciting action. A few of the week’s highlights included Michael’s first two sessions during which he landed 9 beautiful fish who were all in double-digit territory. He also had an amazing 18-pounder, who rose from the depths to take a skating Bomber.

Longtime fishing friends Bruno and Michael enjoyed each other’s company, swiss chocolates, and a beautiful 20 lb male. Sandee had consistent action all week and wrapped it up with a great chrome 18 lb from our upper beat. Although he struck out trying to get a fish on a Bomber like Michael, he was lucky enough to hook a couple and rise several other fish when the conditions were right to try them.

The rods and lines we prefer to use are classics here at Villa Maria Lodge. Two-handed rods from 12’-13’6” were the most comfortable options to fish. Switch or single-handed rods were better suited when fishing on the surface.

As you can tell from the report above, we were fishing the entire water column this week, from the surface to as deep as we could, dependent on the pool and the conditions, so sink tips of various lengths and weight were used, but we can say that T14 was the best all round.
The river is dropping and clearing up as I type, so we expect a good week for the upcoming group at Villa Maria Lodge!

Alejandro Martello. Villa Maria Head Guide

Villa Maria Lodge
February 7-14,  2020  

This week we finally had the blessing of stable river conditions, something that the previous weeks were lacking. For the first time this season, we didn’t have any shift in water coloration or river depth. What was challenging, however, were the winds. This week, they seemed to blow from any imaginable direction, making the fishing a bit tough at moments. We had to be very careful in planning the fishing sessions as there were pools that needed to be fished during the right moments in the day to avoid the windiest conditions.

This resulted in a couple of challenging days to start out the week but we were still getting big fish to the fly. Nigel started his week with two very nice and fresh fish of 17 and 19 lbs in the first session.

By the third day, the fishing really picked up and all our returning guests started to get into a groove, all landing fish on various beats around our section of the river. The day was capped-off by Gilbert’s stunning 22-pounder that, of course, required a proper celebration with his favorite Hardy brandy and fantastic Neuhaus Belgian chocolate. Kelly also found his fish of the week, landed after a hard-fought battle on both sides, his fish tipping the scale at an amazing 23 lbs. Aline, Kelly’s fishing partner, followed up the 23 lber with a beautiful 17 lb chromer only minutes after Kelly’s fish was released. David and Joe had a few tough days on the water but landed some solid fish up to 17 lbs and lost a handful of heartbreakers, hopefully, we will see them again next season to get revenge on some of those monsters.

The last evening the weather was tough and most of our guests decided to return to the lodge early to pack and get ready for our traditional Tapas Night, but Gilbert decided to continue fighting and he got his reward landing four fish, 10,13, 17 & 18 lbs, respectively while fishing in far less than ideal fishing conditions.

In the tackle department, there were no surprises and the usual skagit+heavy sink tips were the top choices. As far as flies were concerned, the selection was our usual: green machines, leeches, and different sized rubber legged flies being the most productive.

Alejandro Martello. Villa Maria Lodge Head Guide.

 

María Behety Lodge Fishing Report, Feb 15-22, 2020

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María Behety Lodge Fishing Report
February 15-22, 2020    

Week seven came to an end. The fishing was very good, especially the first three days of the week. On Tuesday a heavy rain in the upper part of the river and in some of its tributaries caused a rise in the level of the river by Wednesday. Water got dirty and cold.
147 fish landed, 25 were over 15 pounds and 3 over 20 pounds.
David Bowden was our top rod with 22 fish on the net.
Ian Eckersley landed the biggest fish of the week and od the season: 26 pounds

Water Conditions
Water color and visibility: Very clear water until Tuesday evening. On Wednesday river came up about 5 inches and got dirty.  Water temperature: 6° C and 12° C

Weather Conditions
Wind speed ranges through the week: It was windy this week. 0 to 70 kmh. Mostly from west. Air temperature ranges through the week: 3°C to 22°C

Fishing Conditions
Flies that are working the best: : Flies of the week were EMB, sunray shadow and green machine. Small size nymphs like TDF prince, prince nymph, red tail. Also yuk bugs and wooly buggers. Big flies for the last 30 minutes in the evening: Intruders, tube flies and articulated leeches.
Green machine and sunray shadow worked well on floating and intermediate tips first 3 days.  Only big flies for the last hour and with dirty water conditions.
Fly lines (tips, heads, lengths, densities, etc) that are producing the best: We used everything between floating and 15 feet of T-20.
Length and strength of tippet and leaders: 4 to 15 feet. Fluorcarbon 12 to 18 pounds.
For low water conditions and for some of the upriver pools I recommend scandi heads and short polyleaders or versileader.

Fish catch statistics
Number of anglers for the week: 12
Total number of fish landed for the week: 147
Weight of the biggest fish landed for the week: 26
Number of fish landed over 15 pounds: 25
Notable catches:
Ian Eckersley landed a 26 pounder.
Rich Rubin landed a 21 pounder and a 20,5 pounder.