RIO GRANDE

-  Travel summary and photos from December 2013 - January 2014  -

PERIOD 1

December 28, 2013 - January 4  2014

After a leisurely trip to Buenos Aires which was topped off with a fantastic dinner at one of the city's best eateries, the standard was already set for this trip. Warm summer evening that invited to a light shirt, sunglasses and sun cream was for everyone a big and pleasant change from the cold north. Everyone was amazed at the wonderful Argentinian steak that fully met their expectations along with exquisite wine from the areas around Buenos Aires city. A memory for life that was carefully immortalized through modern telephones and film cameras.

The following day we left Buenos Aires for the Rio Grande. A flight of just over 3 hours and which gave us the opportunity to snooze and dream about the largest sea trout in the world.

Lower water levels compared to normal and clear water were the challenge on the first day. The guides recommended floating line and rubber leg nymphs as well as Sunray Shadow fishing in the surface. This gave us 4 great fish relatively quickly and we were well underway. Kent from Sweden who threw his first throws in Rio Grande this day got off to a great start and landed his first shiny Rio Grande trout of just over 14 pounds already on his second throw. Absolutely amazing really but at the same time this is exactly what is possible in the world's best sea trout river. Robert from Molde in Norway was also out early with solid fish and really got to measure forces with these beautiful fish.

DAY 2

 

The first fishing session on day 2 was a real fishing experience that will never be forgotten. Great fish landed, many bites, too many fish lost and some beautiful fish caught on dry fly, Green Machine, striping in the surface. Absolutely magical. This day also Ola from Molde and Johan from Gaavle in Sweden got their first Rio Grande fish and which will surely be remembered and dreamed of for a long time. Johan's fish, a great male fish of 10 pounds, was a super strong and vigorous fish that fought for a long time and showed what a fantastic condition these fish have. Ola came down to a small and intimate pond that invited nymph fishing in the traditional way. Only after a few throws was the first fish hooked and the fight could start. 10 minutes later was an absolutely beautiful shiny fish in the net. However, it did not stop here for Ola who later in the same hole landed two more fish on the same fly and fishing technique, completely raw.

DAY 2

 

Day 3 opened with rain and heavy clouds. The fishing was still very good and great fishermen and even more fighters came on the assembly line. During the evening it was clear again and a lot of fish appeared on the surface during the last hour of fishing. We landed 16 fish that day and most on dry fly striping the surface. Green Machine from 2instincts again proved to be a winner in combination with floating line and lightweight two-handed rod. It gets better was not the review tune after this wonderful fishing session.

New Year's Eve in Tierra Del Fuogo was spent with the Menendes family in their main house on the farm. An absolutely wonderful experience that we will never forget. Nice people, lovely food, local wine and beer and relaxed atmosphere made this a unique experience and we would like to thank the family again for their invitation and hospitality.

After a slightly later breakfast on New Year's Day, we were again ready to make the very first throws in the river for 2014. The sun was shining and the birds were singing their New Year's songs on the way to the river. It only took a few casts before the first fish was landed, it was Kent who got the honor of this year's first Rio Grande trout and it was caught on a floating line and a Sunray striping in the surface. We must admit that we sent some thoughts home this day and thought of everyone who certainly struggled with cleaning up after New Year's Eve while experiencing the world's best fishing lodge. The contrasts are great and we feel privileged. Not only because we have landed 35 fish so far, but we have the opportunity to experience this part of the world with a fly rod in hand far away from snow and slush on a first New Year's day.

The days that followed provided many great moments to take with you. Robert caught more and more fine fish and also became the one who landed the biggest fish of the week. Kent was the one who landed the most fish during the week and it was only one fishing session that did not pay off for him. It is a strong achievement. Johan started calmly and increased his catches throughout the week and also got great catches. Ola fished evenly throughout the week and with a little better luck on all his bites, there could have been significantly more fish on him than the 23 fish he landed.

In summary, the week was a great experience for everyone involved. Would like to thank the guides for a very well done job and the same to the staff. The weather was somewhat colder than normal, as was the low water level, and this also affected the catches somewhat. 87 fish distributed among 4.01 fishermen is very acceptable when one considers that all 4 in the group were in Rio Grande for the first time. Many thanks to everyone who participated and made this such a memorable week.

PERIOD 2

January 4th  - 11 January  2014

After a brilliant first week in Rio Grande, there were high expectations for those who arrived at the lodge for our week number 2 from January 4th to January 11th. Both Magnus and Hans Olav are familiar with the conditions as they have fished the Rio Grande before. For Sven and Ulrika, however, it was their first meeting with Rio Grande. Johan was ready for his second week and expressed great joy that he chose two consecutive weeks for this trip. For the undersigned, this week will be number 29 in Argentina so I consider myself experienced to help, fish and guide down here.

After a welcome meeting with wine and delicious food, everyone was ready to take their first throws on January 4th. The weather was fine with sun and clear weather as well as nice temperature of about 12 degrees in the air and 10 degrees in the river. It took Ulrika only a few casts before she landed her first Rio Grande trout. A silvery and hard fighting fish that got Ulrika's pulse to new heights and the joy was great when it was netted by our experienced guide Diego. Diego has been guiding in the Rio Grande for over 13 years and is a very experienced fisherman, fly caster and guide. The same can be said about our other guides Federico and Gabriel. Many thanks to you all for very good guiding and information throughout the week. We congratulate Ulrika with personal records that came on the assembly line and considering that this was her first fly fishing trip, we are impressed with both casting technique and catches. Everything is possible in the Rio Grande. You do not have to be an experienced fly fisherman to have great moments in this wonderful river. Note this to all of you who are considering a trip to the Rio Grande.

Sven started fishing carefully and felt the somewhat unusual conditions. But what a week this was going to be for Sven. Already on day two he was up and running and the catches and experiences increased day by day. I well remember the scream of Sven when a monster trout escaped him and Sven was left with a slack line and an empty feeling. It was annoying for the fish that turned out to be a very large fish. But this is how it is down here, there are tough roofs against the biggest fish. The consolation is that Sven landed 25 great fish throughout the week and we must believe that the tendons after the last night are not the last trip to Sven to the world's best sea trout river.

Magnus and Hans Olav fished evenly throughout the week and landed many great fish. Hans Olav topped it all with the river's biggest fish since the opening, a fantastic fish of 23 pounds that both fisherman, guide and photographer had to run far behind. However, it ended well and it is only to congratulate Hans Olav with a new personal record, very well done. Magnus landed one fish after another of the larger fish that get their place in the exclusive 15 pound plus book located in the lodge. Very strong performance Magnus.

 

 

Last cast. This expression became a recurring theme for Johan. More and more fish were caught on the last cast before the evening was over. The guide usually comes down and signals 5 more throws before we have to return to the lodge at about 2300 every night. Then the darkness has subsided and the fish is very active if it is not too cold. Fortunately it was not for us and as I said many fish were landed the last cast and Johan was probably the one who succeeded most of all with this. Pure magic was the playful expression that became a regular around the dinner table on this trip. We can thank our eminent guide Diego for letting Johan learn a completely new fly cast that made it possible to fish and cast on the "wrong side". this will probably be used by more and more people in the future. We have filmed it all and hope it is part of our next film from Rio Grande.

When we read statistics, our ponds are the ones that have delivered the most salmon this week. It is nice for us and confirms what we have meant for a long time, namely that this area is varied and holds well with fish regardless of water level.  

Johan had an extra good experience on this trip. As one of the few visitors, he had the honor of landing a silvery King Salmon of just over 17 pounds. It is a rare item and there was both joy and a little disappointment when it came online. The joy was great because it was Johan's first King. A bit disappointing because everyone imagined a really big Rio Grande trout during the long and tough fight. We congratulate Johan with a new personal record on King   

Fly / line combinations that worked best on this trip:

Green Machine on floating line and ledcore sink tip was a very good combination. Sunray Shadow plastic tube on float line also gave good catches. Small nymphs, weighted, with rubber leg / rubber legs on floating line and ledcore tips were also very good. In the deeper pools, the sinker line was also used successfully in combination with the nymphs.

Master 12.4 and Fish Finder 11.6 were both rods that produced a lot of fish and are very useful in these wind conditions in the Rio Grande. Our new Motivius rods of 12.6 f and 9.6 f, respectively, were a struggle to use as these are especially good in demanding conditions. Magnus landed most of the fish with this rod and the one-handed rod also gave the undersigned great fighter. Just a pity that our guide, Diego, did not have to swim in the river when he did not believe in Godbiten. He was going to go for a swim in the river if Godbiten gave fish. The undersigned took that challenge and actually got fish on the first cast with Godbiten. Just such a damn pity that the fish struggled and that it was not landed for Diego was already about to take off his waders for a swim. Later in the week, Godbiten delivered several nice fish and it is self-written in the fly box next year as well. Maybe also with rubber leg.

All in all, a wonderfully enjoyable trip that we will remember for a long time and certainly forever. Will send a special thank you to our eminent house keeper Heather and her team. They all did a fantastic job and as I said in the thank you speech last night, this is one of the world's absolute best fishing lodges, no doubt about it. 2instincts is proud to be the first and only Scandinavian company to have access to this beautiful lodge for years to come. It is so that the best is always reserved and so it is for La Villa lodge.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the trip and made this such a great experience. Hope we meet next season also in La Villa lodge.

The Rio Grande trip was also the last test station for 2instincts new tube hook. We have developed a new and better profile which we believe makes it even better to hook more fish. During the trip, both fishermen, guides and 2instincts team members were very happy with the new double hook and it is very nice. The hook that we have developed over the last 2.5 years is now being put into production and is expected to be ready for delivery for the Scandinavian market this summer. Under news we must also mention our new HSP series which consists of 2 rods.   12.6 f and 9.6 f for salmon and sea trout fishing. The rods were used a lot during the trip and were another confirmation for us that they are at a very high level and master the toughest conditions. These are ready for delivery shortly.

To those of you who have not yet experienced the Rio Grande: Do it NOW, one does not know what the future holds.

Fly fishing greetings

Helge Vetås