Despite the low water, some excellent catches have been recorded on the Rio Grande over the past week, with good numbers of fish in the high teens and twenties landed. A brief rise due to rain in the mountains midweek has helped the good numbers of size already in the river spread further upstream into Kau Tapen waters, who have seen their fishing steadily improve.
Something to note for anyone able to make a last-minute trip is that one rod on 4-11 March is available due to a recent dropout. This is a wonderful opportunity to fish at one of the best lodges in a rarely available prime week.
La Villa (Estancia Maria Behety) Week 5
Another week with an excellent group has just ended. All of the rods were repeat guests although some had not been for a few years, so it was lovely to see them again.
In the middle of the week, the river rose and coloured a little but not enough to negatively impact the fishing as it soon cleared and dropped the following day. The lower and middle of the river is full of fish, especially below the Menéndez River. Above this, in the upper part of the river it is low but there are still fish.
The fishing was steady throughout the week, and on some sessions, the fishing was excellent. One rod landed six fish one afternoon which was the best session by a single angler in the week. The top rod for the week was Chris, with an impressive 22 fish, while David produced the largest fish. A stunning fresh fish of 23 lbs. It was the kind of sea trout that encourages rods to return to this great river each season. With excellent numbers of fish in the lower part of the river we are looking forward to the weeks ahead and we expect that despite the low water fishing will remain steady.
Flies and tactics
Various sizes of sunray shadows, small salmon flies, nymphs: red tail, emb nymph, prince nymph, pheasant tail nymph, green machine, for the last hour intruder, leech, sunray shadow.
Most fish were caught using sinking lines, long leaders and dead drifting small nymphs (size 10 to 14). When this didn’t work, we caught good numbers of fish on intermediate and floating lines, especially when using green machines.
Water color and visibility: Clear
Water temperature: 7º C to 14ºC
Air temperatures: 6º to 22ºC
Wind speed ranges from 10 to 77 km/h
Rain during the week: 6 mm
Total catch for 6 rods 78
Fish over 15lb 25
Fish over 20lb 5
Largest fish 23lb
La Villa (Estancia Maria Behety) 2023 Prime Availability
4 – 11 March, 1 rod Cost: US$9,500
Contact Olly Thompson or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.
Kau Tapen February 4 – 11
This week we welcomed guests from the USA, the UK, and Austria. Heavy rain in the mountains and on the Rio Grande during the first day caused an immediate bump that we looked to with anticipation. Along with the rise, we got a taste of the upper end of what the wind can do in Tierra del Fuego for the first session. Gusts surpassed 115 kph, and the wind blew steady at around 100 kph. This is right on the edge of what is considered fishable, and for those willing to brave the challenging conditions, guides chose pools where this wind could be considered favourable or, in this case, fishable. One effect of heavy wind is it often leads to dirty water, stirring up the mud and clay banks, but with slight adjustments to sink tips and flies- all anglers were in the game. That afternoon the wind dropped slightly, and catches improved for all.
The following day, after the water had cleared, the rise was noticeable throughout our pools, as the water had come up a couple of inches or about 6 cm. However, the gauge for the headwaters showed a sharp drop once again. We just received a short burst of water to rejuvenate the Grande system, and time on the water would tell if it was enough to improve the fishing.
After the sharp rise and drop before conditions had stabilized, it seemed as if there was no clear winning pattern for success. On multiple occasions, guides returned with accounts of numbers such as “four fish per session using four different flies at varying depths.” With hard work from the guide team, we were able to search out likely taking fish and systematically work throughout our beats.
The overall size of the fish this week increased, with an average weight above 10 pounds. Once again, well over 100 were hooked, and while a few were lost, the catch per rod was as good as we have seen all season. We saw good numbers of fish landed in the upper teens, including a 17-pounder for Brian, an 18-pounder for George, an 18-pounder for Gerald, and back-to-back 18 and 19-pounders for Tony. There were many in the mid-teens land as well.
Following the rise, the river has again dropped to its previous level. It was great to get a push of water into the Grande and Menendez to reinvigorate our waters. While it was not significant enough to last through the week, any influx of water is much appreciated. However, as conditions stabilized with the low water, the fishing improved in the last days of the week, aided by cold overnight temperatures. We are still waiting for a significant rise that could happen at any point in the next few weeks. There is rain in the mountains and headwaters, but any changes to the water level are to be determined.
For prime 2023 Rio Grande Availability click HERE.
If you would like more information then please do not hesitate to contact Olly Thompson or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.