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 colouration 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 the 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 favourite 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 fishing and he got his reward landing four fish, 10,13, 17 & 18 lbs, respectively while fishing in far less than ideal 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.