Villa Maria Lodge 2020 Fishing Reports
Jan 17-24 & Jan 24-31, 2020
Weeks 3 & 4
January 17-24, 2020
This week we excitedly welcomed back our friend Axel and former veteran guide Ale Bianchetti.
When we approached the river during our warm up session, we realized the river was still affected by the previous week’s rain. The river was high and slightly off-color but fortunately, it appeared to be dropping quickly so we were optimistic for the week to come.
During the next two days, we experienced a strong down-river wind, which helped to push a lot of water out of the system and bring the river to a very “fishy” level. Many fish have moved into the river system, but with the unstable weather and river conditions, getting fish to move on a fly proved difficult. Our anglers stayed motivated and continued fishing through difficult conditions. When the proper conditions aligned, and our guests flies were in the water there were some beautiful fish landed.
By the tail end of the week, the new moon we were looking forward to had brought in a fresh run of fish. Who began to settle into their pools up and down our beats. Even the odd pools we rarely fished in the past seemed to be loaded. Needless to say the week ended on a high note.
Axel and Ale were using different sink lines and the new game changer lines matched with “T-tips” of different density to slow down our drifts and get down to the fish in the high water we experienced early in the week. When the river dropped, we were able to properly fish the river with lighter sinking heads and lines as we normally do. The top flies for the week were the classics: leeches during high water and the evening, and green machines and rubber legs when the river cleared.
Highlights from the week included Ale Bianchetti’s picture-perfect chrome 20 pounder he landed on the second to last evening, that must have been in the river for no more than a few hours. Axel’s banner last two sessions featured 7 fish between 15-19 lbs.
Congrats guys! We’re already looking forward to seeing you next year.
Alejandro Martello – Villa Maria Lodge Head Guide
January 24-31, 2020
This week we welcomed back Gerald, Marc, Gina, Bruno, Jonathan and our new friend Hans.
The week started off with a bang. With the river at a near-perfect level, fresh fish in the system and some veteran anglers staying with us we had the “perfect storm”.
It seemed like every session anglers were coming back with sore arms, grins from cheek-to-cheek and fish stories that will be told for years. Throughout the week, the wind picked up and dropped the water level. The fish seemed to be on the move running upriver and the average fish size decreased to healthy fresh 5-12 lb specimens. Every pool we arrived to seemed to have a few taking fish which made the week fly by. On the final day, the wind picked up to near-impossible speeds for fishing, clocking in at around 60-90 kph. The lack of visibility and cold river temperatures seemed to drive the fish to the bottom with lockjaw. Due to this erratic behavior, we experienced lots of short strikes with the occasional successful hook-up.
The week was filled with good company, lots of quality size fish, and as always delicious food and beyond comfortable living conditions.
The week seemed to have too many highlights to mention but let’s give it a try. During the first couple of days, Marc, Gina, Gerald, and Jonathan all landed fresh, chromed-up 20-21 lb sea trout. On the third evening, Bruno landed a beautiful 22 lb hen on one of his last casts. Gerald, shortly after losing two “monsters,” got redemption on a marvelous 24 lb buck from an unsuspecting hole using a Leech in slightly off-color, but very fishable, water clarity.
The top flies for the week were leeches, heavy rubber leg stones and, when the water clarity allowed, the infamous Green-Machine. We were mostly using floating bellies matched with different densities T-tips, based on the flies, pool structure and wind/water conditions. A 12 ft rod was the most useful length as an all-around tip.
Even with the “slow” last day and a half of fishing, the final tapas night was filled with fun camaraderie and a plethora of fishing stories from the week.
Alejandro Martello. Villa Maria Lodge Head Guide