Autumn on the Rio Grande has arrived. The temperature has dropped, there has been snow in Andes, and the tributaries are full from the recent rain. Despite coloured water and colder temperatures, the Rio Grande has continued to fish well throughout all the main lodges on the river. This is a testament to the fact that this river can recover quickly after heavy rain and coloured water.
Estancia Maria Behety Week 10
We started the week on Sunday with the most significant rain of the season, 7 mm in 8 hours. Not surprisingly, this meant the river was coloured and high soon after. Along with the rise in water, the temperature was also far colder than usual for this time of the season, with a good dump of snow in the Andes. In addition to this there were numerous electric storms and hail. Undoubtedly not ideal conditions for fishing for the start of the week, but it soon improved, as did the fishing. It is often the case when conditions are consistently changing that the fish go down. However, all the rods had some excellent catches, especially towards the latter part of the week.
Flies and tactics
Due to the coloured water, bigger flies where the order of the day. Leeches, intruders, bushy tubes.
Due to the conditions skagit lines with heavier tips proved to be the most successful tactic. Multi density skagit heads (game changer, 3 D, FIST) were also very useful this week. Set of tips from 3 ips sink rate up to T20.
Water color and visibility: Coloured, visibility 30 inches
Water temperature: 5º C to 8ºC
Air temperatures: 1º to 11ºC
Wind speed ranges from 15 to 80 km/h
Rain during the week: 14 mm
Total catch 119
Fish over 15lb 31
Largest fish 26lb
Estancia Maria Behety Hosted Week – US$7,500
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Contact Olly Thompson or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.
Kau Tapen February 25 – 4 March
Conditions on the Rio Grande were low and clear for the first two days of the week. The first morning was the best air and wind temperature for the week. Wind speeds increased from the North, and this then changed to the West with gusts well over 100 kph. Air temperatures started on the colder side and became very cold mid-week, below 0 C (32 F) at times.
On Monday, there was a rise in the Menendez that started to bring down some debris, but in the very lowest section. A few fish were caught by adjusting to the rising dirty water, and similar results in the drastically different Grande. The two rivers, however, would stay the same for long, as we found a blown-out Grande when we woke on Tuesday morning. Visibility was less than 10cm (4-5 inches).
Wednesday, on the upper section of the Grande, the river began to clear to knee-deep visibility, and dirty water tactics were needed to hook fish. We were surprised to see a reasonably productive morning after the previous blowout, but that shows how quickly the river can recover from near un-fishable conditions. The river started to drop for the next two days, but the water temperature remained cold. We measured it around 5 C in the morning (41 F), and it rose to around 9 C (48 F) throughout the day.
On the final day, Menendez began to clear along with the Grande, and we enjoyed the most productive day of the week on both rivers. For one last drastic change to the conditions, the uppermost beats of the Grande got a massive influx of water in the last hours of the last session. With a stick to gauge height placed on the bank, the river moved up over 8 inches (20 cm) and over five meters of the bank in the last few hours.
We had it all this week- cold, wind, low water, rising water, and dirty water. Yet, a hard-working group of anglers and our guide team made some memorable catches possible. First, the week’s fish was for Anne, who landed the best 21lb male sea trout after an excellent battle. Jake also landed a 20lb fish on the final day, and several fish were pushing the 15lb mark for Ian, Bill, and Janet.
Villa Maria February 24 – 3 March
Autumn has officially arrived. The rainfall was steady throughout the week, and we began to see the first sudden changes in the river level. It also became increasingly coloured due to the rise of the tributaries of the Rio Grande that were extremely low. Sediment ran into the Rio Grande, but this lack of clarity did not negatively affect fishing. There was only a half session during the week when the session was cut short due to conditions. This was less so due to the water clarity and more to do with the fly constantly catching material floating down the river.
The time has come to use heavier lines and tips. Although, this is only sometimes and only in some pools. Floating bellies continue to fish perfectly. What had to be adjusted were the sinking tips. The 10-foot tips we used before has given way to the 12-foot tips, and the T11s were replaced with T14s. These aren’t massive changes but are proving necessary.
The increase in level did not mean the river was too high, and the water level was excellent for fishing with one-handed rods. Eric did this one morning with great success when the wind dropped. The largest fish he landed was a beautiful 19lb male. The group all landed at least one fish of 15 lbs or more.
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If you would like more information then please do not hesitate to contact Olly Thompson or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.