Villa Maria Lodge rests on the historic grounds of the José Mendendez Estancia property with access to both banks of the river. Big rods and big pools are the norm. A lot of anglers tell us they love Villa Maria because it is "tough", but the lodge doesn't sacrifice creature comforts to focus on big-fish fishing. Tough maybe but not too tough.
Since 1994 Villa Maria has offered small private groups exciting fly fishing on some of the most productive pools in the lower river. Villa Maria is a double handed fly fishermen's dream, enjoying the first crack of the whip at newly arrived sea trout.
PEAK WEEK FISHING RIO GRANDE VILLA MARIA WITH DAVE GROVE
9 MARCH 2011 - 11 NIGHTS
9 March - Fly to Buenos Aires arriving the following morning.
10 March - On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Claridge Hotel where you will stay for 1 night in a single room on bed and American breakfast.
11 March - You will be collected from the Hotel and transferred to the Domestic Airport in time for your Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Rio Grande AR2848 departing 09.50, arriving Rio Grande 13.20.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to the lodge.
You will be staying at Villa Maria for 7 nights with 6 days fishing on full board including wine and soft drinks.
12 - 17 March - Fishing the Rio Grande. You will return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta and then back out for the second session till dark. Sometimes lunch is taken on the river and you will fish the whole day.
18 March - You will be transferred back to Rio Grande airport in time for your flight to Buenos Aires. AR2849 departing 14.00 arriving Buenos Aires 17.12
On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Claridge Hotel in a single room with private bathroom for one night on bed and American Breakfast.
19 March - You will be transferred to the International Airport for your return flight home.
PRICE PER PERSON £4900.00
PRICE INCLUDES: Transfers, internal flights, accommodation, bed and breakfast in Buenos Aires and full board on Rio Grande - 6 days full days fishing
NOT INCLUDED: Return International flights, meals other than breakfast in Buenos Aires, fishing licence, items of a personal nature, gratuities
The lodge is located on the banks of the Rio Grande, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
The success of the fishery on the Rio Grande is a modern-day fisherman's Cinderella story. In just a decade, through access control and the diligent promotion of catch and release, average catch results have risen remarkably from less than a fish a day in the early '80's, to multiple fish per day, per person.
In the modern era, starting with the opening of Kau Tapen Lodge in the early '80s, the Rio Grande became the most productive sea-run trout fishery in the world. However, trout numbers fluctuate with conditions at sea, tides, water levels, and a host of other natural factors.
The Rio Grande flows from East to West, from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean, through 70 km of Argentine territory.
The landscape of Tierra del Fuego is reminiscent of Wyoming or the Scottish flow country. It is a sparsely populated wilderness.
Large sheep farming estancias share this land with herds of wild llama-like guanacos, red foxes, and condors.
The lodge is situated in one of Patagonia's biggest and oldest working estancias. It has four spacious, perfectly furnished bedrooms featuring a cozy dining and living area, as well as a bar, well stocked with local spirits that will welcome you after every fishing session.
The lodge has a tackle shop with a good selection of Sage rods, good quality reels, flies, lines, and clothing equipment especially selected to suit the needs of your trip.
In addition, guests have the full use of the lodge's fly tying table and equipment. The lodge has 4 wading rooms.
A brand new cabin will be your home for lunch and a nice siesta before the afternoon session.
Our staff, composed of our host, chef, maids and professional guides will assist you during the week in all your needs.
The house will accommodate only 6 anglers per week and is available on a limited basis, due to high demand by repeat parties.
Although most of their lives are spent in the ocean, the sea run brown seem to retain more of the eccentricities of resident browns than, for instance, steelhead do of resident rainbows. Moody fish, they must be shown flies the way they want to see them at the precise time, that they're ready to take.
The Rio Grande isn't a big river. Thus, it's compatible with a wide range of techniques, critical since a large sea trout may demand that a fly be fed to it on the bottom one hour but rise to the Portland Hitch the next.
Water levels can change from week to week and the water generally drops as the season progresses. Vary your presentation markedly in each pool fished until you find the right formula of fly, line, drift or swing, and retrieve.
Pay close attention to the advice of your guide, whose primary aim is to recommend the methods that will help you hook and bring your fish to the net.
Generally, the Rio Grande's sea trout seem to lie near cut banks during the middle of the day, though in low water they will also lie in the faster necks of pools.
Naturally, they move up primarily during early morning, evening and nighttime hours.
Generally, "tails in the morning and heads at night" is a good rule. Also look for fish distributed throughout pools on calm, overcast days.
Therefore, try to begin each fly drift or swing as close to a cut bank as possible, whether the presentation is upstream and across, straight across, or downstream and across.
On sunny days, one theory holds that sea trout will take best if they don't have the sun in their eyes, although this theory, like others, is often affected by the number of fish in a particular pool and the number of "takers."
Catch & Release
Villa Maria promotes a strict catch and release policy, which has over the years helped the increase in numbers of returning fish. The mortality rate of released fish is almost non-existent, and these fish do not die after spawning.
Catch and release hugely increases the chances of that fish returning to the river.
We ask that all fishermen de-barb all flies. Not only do barbless hooks penetrate more readily, allowing for more successful hook-ups, but they are also more easily removed, should a cast go errant.
Guides are equipped with large nets featuring in-built scales. They are trained to land your fish, weigh it and measure it, and release it undamaged.
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Tel: 020 8742 1556