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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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TdF

I'm leaving for Tierra del Fuego in a couple of days and was wondering if anyone has any info on river conditions, run size, weather patterns, etc.

I keep going back and forth as to whether to bring my 7134-4 & 8139-4 or my 8139-4 & 9145-4 (I have a two rod carrier). I love the 7 but there weren't many times last year when conditions were optimal to break it out. Any thoughts?

This year I'm going to break from the guides' program and swing classics and small tubes. Enough with nymphs on the swing!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 09:49 PM
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Smile Tdf

Go for the 8 and the 9 spey rods. My wife and I have been to TDF 3 times and we never would have used a 7 spey rod. The 14'5" 9wt will be a saviour in more than normal wind and / or high water. My bet is that you will use the 8wt spey for at least 80% of the time. My wife used a Loomis Stinger RR 13' 8/9 ( plus 600 Compact Skagit) and I used a Burkie 9133-5 9wt (plus 630 Compact Skagit) -- both were excellent for TDF. Cheers and Tight Lines, Pete
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 01:43 PM
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Smile Just Back...good time to go...

Dear Rio Grande Anglers, Below is the latest report from Estancia Maria Behety on the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. I apologize for the delay in getting this out to you all, we are experiencing some*technical*difficulties with our email program.


All the best fishing,


Pat*
Estancia Maria Behety*River conditions:* The river level is low and dropping a little every day. Water is perfectly clear. Water temperature between 71F the first two days this week and dropped to 45F the last two days.

Sunday and Monday the temperature went up to 83F, on Friday the temperature dropped to 40F.

Lines: *Skagit lines with 10, 12and 15 of T-14 and T-17. Intermediate and slow sinking tips worked well in some pools as well as skating flies on floating lines; Bombers or Sunray Shadows did the best

Flies: *The best flies were nymphs: tdf prince, EMBs, prince nymph, red tail and other small nymphs. For the last hour of the day big leeches, intruders or tube flies worked well.

Average weight of the fish this week was 8,3 pounds. 16 fish over 15 pounds were landed. Notable catches wasa 20.5 pound fish landed by Jualian Strutt and a 21 pounder landed by Doug Limburn
Our top rod was Dave Parkes with 33 fish landed for the week!

Muchos Saludos,

Federico Molinolo
Head guide Maria Behety Lodge

La Villa Maria Behety*
This week we had three new guests for La Villa, Rudd C., Steve L. and Darwin I. all from the U.S.A. They joined Alf B., Roger Y. and Keith C., who were already at the lodge.

The week started with an unusual heat wave of two days. The temperature reached 26 degrees Celsius and as the week progressed the air temperature decreased to the mild/cool and usual temperatures.
No precipitation took place so the river level dropped on a constant basis, a little every day. The water temperature went from warm 20C to cool 8C on Friday. The fishing was slow the first two days, probably due to the weather, but as conditions improved, so did the fishing.

The tactics were similar to last week. In most pools sinking tips and nymphs were very successful, and occasionally, floating lines with tubes and dries, gave us the joy of seeing sea trout smashing the water surface. Almost all the fish were fresh, only a few were turned.


This week, fourteen fish were over 15 pounds and the average weight was 9.57

Roger Y. not only got the biggest fish this week (a fresh 22lbs), he also was the top rod with 26 fish in the net.

Best Regards,
Federico Zimmermann
Head Guide. La Villa de Maria Behety
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Thanks for the advice and timely info. This will be my second year in a row at La Villa and I'm definitely ready to do battle with those browns again. I'm also looking forward to that mid-week asada and the crazy-good food.

Too bad we couldn't have that asada on the river. Then I could swing my fly through a prime pool while munching on one of those empanadas...

P.S., That 71 degrees has got to be air temp, right? I can't imagine the Rio Grande could reach that high a water temp.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 04:18 PM
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I'm also leaving for La Villa in two weeks. I'm taking my 7134-4 and 8139-3 with both Scandi and Skagit lines (and one Jetstream in case we've got a calm evening). I'll be interested in your report.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 06:33 PM
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Got back recently from two months of some central Patagonia (Chubut) fishing-still kinda sinking in that I was there. Learned a lot, enjoyed asada, and empanadas. Put fishing in wind in a new light and that was not even TDF. Next time will bring a stout 7 wt. or an 8. Ate the calafate berry so I guess I am going back. Have a blast!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 08:52 AM
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Last Feb. when the Rio Grande was low and clear the rig of choice was small fly (except for the magical hour at sunset, when big and black was in order), light line and tip and lighter rod. I would take the 7 wt. I'm leaving for there soon and am also taking a 6wt. Also, don't forget your floating line (long or mid belly or Scandi). Several of the guys I fish with have lots of success with SH 7 wts., but I so much enjoy the process with the 2H, I leave it to them.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 08:50 AM
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Sisyphusmpn, please report!

You must be ending your TDF week today. Hope you had much success. I'm headed there last week of Feb. Can you post a brief report soon, such as river condition, rig of choice, successful fly patterns, etc. Many thanks.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfox View Post
You must be ending your TDF week today. Hope you had much success. I'm headed there last week of Feb. Can you post a brief report soon, such as river condition, rig of choice, successful fly patterns, etc. Many thanks.
Slyfox,

Last week was not one for the ages on the Rio Grande. While the river was not as low as last year, it was murky most of the week and the fish few and far between for our group. Also, the fish we did catch were much smaller than last year. E.g., last year, according to my log book, I had 47 fish for the week, 13 of which were 15 lbs. or more. This year I had 17 fish and only two reached the 15 lb. mark. Ten of the fish were less than 10 lbs. These results were shared, more or less, by the others in our group.

A couple of the anglers at Maria Behety had a better week, but the consensus was that fish were less active, smaller and unwilling to bite during the legendary 'magic hour' at sunset. Angling experience and skill did not appear to be a critical variable ( one of the high rods was both a newbie to the river and to spey angling). Hypotheses abounded as to the reasons for this scarcity. One senior guide felt that the bigger fish were staying in the salt and hadn't started to return in large numbers. Another possibility was the wild swings in barometric pressure with the extremely variable weather we experienced. While there are signs that more substantive research on the behavior of these sea trout is beginning to appear, the truth seems to be that there is still much to learn about these fish and their life cycles and habits.

While I don't want to appear critical as I think the guides there are generally experienced and knowledgeable, there did seem to be a reluctance to change tactics when the bite was off. E.g., our guides were insistent that we needed to be throwing 12-15' of T-14 at all times. However, when I changed to a lighter tip (5/5 T-11 intermediate MOW) I did seem to get a bit more action. Coincidence? Very possibly given the small sample size, but I would encourage anglers to experiment a bit more, even if the guides aren't suggesting same.

In the end, this is angling for anadromous fish and it's never going to be easy or predictable. If it were some of the excitement would be lost. Do I wish there'd been a bit more action? Sure, who wouldn't given the distances traveled. But I still had a great time and have, more than ever, an appreciation for the incredible 2012 season, which any of the longtime guides on the river will tell you was the best since 2001.

Probably the only thing that is certain is that your week will be different than the one I experienced. How and in what direction remains to be seen. You will however enjoy your trip. Of that I am certain.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:24 AM
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Thanks for the thorough, thoughtful report. I have fished the Rio Grande from Despedida since before there was a lodge, and every year has been different. The pools, the river conditions and the weather all change from year to year and sometimes day to day. It is always a challenge, but worth the effort. I'm excited to be going back. This year I'm staying over after my week to fish the Menendez. We'll see how that works out.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 06:24 PM
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returned yesterday from Rio Grande, fishing last week from Despedida Lodge. Overall excellent fishing but I have only fished there a couple of times in last ten years. Everyone caught at least one fish in excess of twenty pounds with accurately measured and weighed fish. i had two in excess of 22. water very clear and low unless roiled by high winds. we averaged 25 fish per angler i think` some higher some lower. fish are incredibly thick and deep in girth.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:19 PM
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Also, just returned from TdF (La Villa de Maria Behety). A pretty extraordinary week. We were only 5 anglers in the lodge as one had a medical emergency a couple of days before and didn't make it. We 5 caught 152 fish for the week. Here's their report for the week.
And yes, I'm the Bill K. and my largest was 25 lbs.


Estancia Maria Behety

River conditions and weather: The first two days of the week were very windy. We also had some showers. The water is very clear and the river is dropping 2 or 3 inches every week. Water temperature was between 41F and 55F.

Lines: Skagit lines with T-11, T-14 and T-17 from 5to 15. Intermediate and slow sinking tips were also used. Scandi lines were used for skating bombers and tube flies and worked well.

Flies: The best flies were nymphs: Tdf prince, EMB, Prince Nymph, Red Tail and some other nymphs. Green machines, TDF taxi, Small and medium size wooly buggers; olive, brown and black, with and without rubber legs and Yuk Bugs. For the last hour of the day big leeches, intruders or tube flies worked best.

On Friday, Steve Brown and Dean Smith had a great morning session. They landed 17 fish! Dean landed 10, a 25 pounder fresh male and 4 fish between 15 and 20 pounds. Steve landed 7 fish, 2 over 15 pounds and a 20 pounder.

The average weight of sea-trout landed was 8 pounds, and 22 fish over 15 pounds and 7 over 20 pounds were landed.

Our top rod was Steve Brown with 22 fish landed!
A 22.5 pounder was landed by Steve Wise
A 25 pounder and a 20.5 ponder were landed by Dean Smith.
A 22 pounder was landed by Bob Roden
A 23 pounder was landed by Justin Miller
A 22 pounder and a 20 pounder were landed by Steve Brown

Ciao,

Federico Molinolo
Head guide Maria Behety Lodge



La Villa Maria Behety

Another stunning week for La Villa de Maria Behety - another week of records!

This time we had the visit of Steve W. from Scotland, Bob M., Bill K. and John D. from the USA and Jean Marc F. from France. Sadly, Fred M. had to cancel at last minute. Fortunately, he's better right now. On behalf of the Staff and Guides of La Villa, we hope he gets well soon and to see him next year.

The weather was cooler this week. The temperatures ranged between 16 and 4 Celsius. The water temperature was rather cold, compared to the last few weeks. We had the lowest mark for the season so far: 4 Celsius, but the last 3 days the water got in the range between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius. Certainly much better for the fishing!

The water level is still dropping, although we had some light rains. The water is as clear as you can get on the Rio Grande.

Let's talk about the fishing now. The best of the best! We got even more fish than last week, and what is remarkable is that it was achieved by only 5 anglers. The best for the 2013 season so far.

The average weight of sea-trout landed was 9. 98 lbs.
Loads of big fish, 41 over 15lbs, and 13 were over 20lbs. In fact, every single fisherman got a fish of at least 21 pounds this week!

We also got the biggest sea trout of the season, it was proudly landed by Bob M., and it weighted 27lbs. His biggest ever!

Steve W. was again the top rod with 41 fish landed. It was his best week in 11 years fishing here. A very special mention must be made to Bob M. and Bill K. with 38 and 37 fish respectively. Theses 3 guys were on fire! Bill K. had a fish every session, so he joins Philip D. to the no blank session club this year. Congratulations!

A new record was set at La Villa de Maria Behety, Diego Motter that guided on the Grande for 15 years, had his best session ever. Bill and Bob landed 31 fish on Wednesday morning. It was impressive that 27 of those fish were 10 pounds plus, a really good excuse for a champagne toast at lunch time!

The fishing techniques were similar to last week, the key was to present the flies deep in the pools. Fifteen feet of T14 and T17 worked excellent.

We had the chance of fishing on top the warmer days, and raise some big fish!

Nymphs, such as Aurelia Prince, TDF Prince, EMB Rubber-legs, and small tubes worked well during the day. In the evenings the classic leaches and Sunray Shadows did the trick.

A great week that will be difficult to forget, thank you all.
Best Regards,

Federico Zimmermann
Head Guide. La Villa de Maria Behety
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sisyphusmpn View Post
Slyfox,


While I don't want to appear critical as I think the guides there are generally experienced and knowledgeable, there did seem to be a reluctance to change tactics when the bite was off. E.g., our guides were insistent that we needed to be throwing 12-15' of T-14 at all times. However, when I changed to a lighter tip (5/5 T-11 intermediate MOW) I did seem to get a bit more action. Coincidence? Very possibly given the small sample size, but I would encourage anglers to experiment a bit more, even if the guides aren't suggesting same.
this is true of guides worldwide, and more true in the third world. they have a bread and butter tactic that earns them some money. It has worked before, so it must work every time right? the best guides I have known, worked with, and hired, have been able to just what you say, adapt to difficult conditions. I think on a trip of this magnitude, it is fine to be critical of the guides. It is their job to put you on fish after all, and you payed a lot for that.


but also, how many fisherman do you know that change methods often? there aren't many of us out there.
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