It didn’t seem like a year since our last visit to EMB, and we were greeted as we landed to at Rio Grande to a tremendous storm with huge winds and very heavy rain. I think we landed about four times before safely coming to rest. We were met by Federico our head guide and he said the river was very low and very clear and full of sea trout. He also commented that this was the first rain they had seen since November.
Both of these fish were hooked simultaneously on the last cast of the evening.
There is no fishing for us on Saturday so the afternoon and evening was used to get rods, reels and equipment ready before our evening meal, then a few large whiskies before a night of sleep dreaming hopefully about what was to come. My number one choice set up for fishing the Rio Grande is a Lxi 13ft 9in 7/8 wt rod coupled with a Quadra 7/9 HD reel, add to that a full multi tip spey line and Egor fluorocarbon tippet and the combination is complete.
Our first day was one of experimentation, we were fishing two great pools but with the usual tactics and flies not seemingly working, it was a day of working out how to catch these wonderful creatures. My first fish was taken at 11am and despite working hard for the rest of the session and the evening session only one more fish was taken as darkness fell. You can fish a big black fly with confidence in the last fifteen minutes and this time sometimes saves a blank session, It is a great pity that we are not allowed continue fishing into the night in Tierra del Fuego because as with our UK sea trout they lose all there inhibitions in the darkness and smash your flies with a vengeance. (TDF law states there will be NO fishing in the hours of darkness).
A 15lb fish leaves the water just after being hooked.
The following day I felt I had worked out how to tempt them and got four nice fish averaging just over 11lbs each. I fished a long leader about four metres long with an intermediate tip and size 8 and 10 flies with legs but cut back very short. The usual tactic of casting 45 degrees downstream and fishing a good drift didn’t work. I found that I needed to continually mend the line and keep it in the narrow channel hovering the fly right in front of their noses, this really annoyed them and the strikes were tremendous. As with all migratory fish they turned on and off and the following morning, fishing one of the middle pools using the above tactics had a great session as the fish turned on, landing six fish, losing a few and getting more pulls before the action again stopped. The same tactics worked well all week, having a few sessions like the one above. I also got a few fish casting upstream and fishing the nymphs dead drift downstream through the channel, This produced my biggest fish on the last evening at well over 20lbs, the take was savage and this fish spent more time out of the water than in it.
At over 20lbs it was my best fish of the week MAGIC !!!!!!!
Our week was all too soon over, unusually, like last year the clear, low water conditions made fishing difficult but not impossible and very rewarding. Our party of 12 rods caught 160 sea trout averaging over 10 lbs, the best sea trout fishing in the world.
Dave Parkes UK Power team