A change of venue this year from the Rio Gallegos to the Rio Grande a little further south. I went with a couple of friends Mark and Phil booking through Jim and Bob at Halstead and Bolton and have to say that all the travel arrangements were flawless, ran very smoothly and with no delays. We were looked after royally from the beginning of the week to the end of the stay at Villa Maria on the lower Rio Grande. There is a shop at the Villa with anything you may need from flies to waders if you have forgotten something.
Phil on the home pool which was a five minute walk from the fishing lodge.
The food was good, an endless supply of big juicy steaks, fine wine and beer in copious quantities, the staff were fantastic and friendly, the fishing guides Gaston, Pele and Ben really knew their business. There are two lodges, one you sleep in, have breakfast and evening meal and one on the river during the daylight hours where lunch is served and siesta, all very civilised.
That fish looks just like how I felt after a couple of days of fine living!
You could fish the very productive home pool during siesta time if you felt you had any strength left after the morning session and big lunch, not many did!
Mark into a nice sea trout.
I have to say that the sea trout fishing and tactics that I was used to on the Rio Gallegos did not work that effectively on the Rio Grande, the pools are really quite deep in places and heavy tips were the order of the day to get down to the bigger fish. It took me a couple of days to get tuned in to what was needed and after that thankfully it was fairly plain sailing.
There are a lot of very big fish on the Grande, many were lost that week from our party with some in the high twenties. it was surprising just how small some of the successful flies were during the day and how big the leeches that were used just on dark.
The wading is very comfortable and the pools fairly easy to read, there is plenty of water to go at and if one pool is not working the guides are quick to take people to another. We shared the week with Skyler an American who did very well, Tony from the north east and two south Africans Richard and Richard, all were excellent company with a good humour which makes the week enjoyable.
There were pools that required some long casts and others less than twenty yards or so, all very manageable with the right outfit.
Some of the fish were like hooking the back of a passing car.
Very fresh fish just off the tide.
The biggest fish of the season so far at Villa Maria was taken by Mark at 26.5 lbs, followed by…
24 lbs, the boy done good! (pictured with Gaston the head guide)
The last evening was just something special, I did not want to come home!