Wonderful Region

Rio Grande | Argentinien

Through the

Vom Rio Grande-Fieber gepackt bin ich also wieder unterwegs nach Südamerika. Einziger Wermutstropfen ist die lange Anreise. Aber: Aus Erfahrung wird man klug – und ich nehme dieses Mal einen Lufthansa-Direktflug von Frankfurt nach Buenos Aires. Eine wesentliche Erleichterung!

Außerdem konnte ich Georg Marberger davon überzeugen, die Reise mit mir zu machen. Wir sind uns natürlich beim Fischen begegnet: Ich habe eine Jahreskarte an seiner Strecke an der Ötztaler Ache, eine super Flußstrecke mit starkem Bachforellen- und Regenbogen-Besatz.Wir treffen uns am 25. Jänner in Buenos Aires, Georg kommt mit Air France nach Argentinien. Den Nachmittag verbringen wir mit einem Stadtbummel, nach dem wir uns abends natürlich zur Begrüßung ein delikates argentinisches Steak mit ein paar Gläsern gutem Malbec gönnen. Am nächsten Tag fliegen wir weiter nach Rio Grande. Am Flughafen werden wir von den Guides erwartetet und zur Maria Behety Lodge gebracht.

Rio Grande | Argentinien
27. Januar - 01. Februar 2013

Our Accommodation

The Arrival

Bad news: Fishing in the days leading up to our arrival, despite good water levels, has been quite challenging. An unusual heatwave with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees had rapidly warmed the water, which wasn't favorable for the Sea Runs. They weren't particularly motivated to attack the flies.

The water is almost clear, and the water level is slightly higher than the previous year. At first glance, the conditions don't seem bad. What we primarily need is a consistent water temperature.

At the lodge, we meet our fellow anglers for the week. Besides Georg and me, the group is predominantly made up of Americans, two Irish, and two English anglers.

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    Lodge Impressions
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    Great Catch
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    Having a break
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    Great landscape
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    Wonderful Accommodation
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    Tierra del Fuego
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    What a view
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    Cozy Times

Good Times

January 27, 2013

Sunday morning! Finally, after the long journey, it's time. At 7:30 AM, we head out with guide Andrew to Pool 25 Theresa, where there's quite a bit of action already; fish are rolling everywhere. The wind is estimated to be about 70 km/h, not exactly comfortable.

It takes an hour, and then I catch the first one, not particularly large at 6 pounds, but still something. Shortly after, I lose one. Georg also loses a better fish just before landing.

In the evening, we head upstream to Pool 5 Gringa and Pool 6 Record. The upper pools are shared by the EMB Lodge and the Kau Tapen Lodge.

I don't have good memories of the upstream pools from last year. The river is quite narrow there, about 30 meters, so I decide to fish with a single-handed rod. The right decision: I catch five sea trouts, and Georg manages to land one. However, the fish, ranging from 5 to 7 pounds, are on the smaller side for the Rio Grande.

January 28, 2013

In the morning, we're greeted by Miguel, a new guide who's in his first year at the Behety Lodge but has gained experience at other lodges on the Rio Grande.

In the morning, we're assigned to Pools 11 Nirvana and 12 Barda. Nirvana has a reputation as a great pool, but luck isn't on our side today. We see no activity and get no bites. It seems like the fish have left the pool and moved further upstream.

In the evening, we fish Pool 15 Castor and Pecera. Georg catches a small sea run, but I have a "Potato Day" – in other words, a score of zero.

January 29, 2013

Today, we're fishing with Gabi at Place 22, Pool Andrew. I have fond memories of Andrew: last year, I landed an incredible 11 fish here in one morning, including a 26.5-pound sea run. I love this pool and remember the top spots.

And it's just as expected! The bites come like they did a year ago, even though the water level is higher.

The wind is strong and blowing sideways to the casting direction. It takes a bit, but I find a solution to cast accurately: I have to cut through the wind to reach the drop-off edge on the opposite bank with an overhead cast at a strong angle towards the water.

Then it's one after the other! I catch five sea runs, with the largest weighing up to 17 pounds, and lose three more during the fight.

Georg, who has less experience with the two-handed rod, struggles with the conditions and falls short. He can't reach the good spots on the opposite side, so he can't hook anything.

In the evening, we go to Place 26 Pool Largo, where the river is slower. However, the fish are rolling on the opposite bank. It doesn't look good for me, but Georg catches a sea run. That's it for the evening.

Enjoy Fishing


Last Days in Rio Grande

January 30, 2013

Today, we're fishing with Headguide Federico – it can only be a good day, right? The wind is extreme and getting stronger. We're battling winds up to 70 km/h, and the local weather forecast predicts a storm.

Nevertheless, I get a great bite and an extremely strong fight with long runs – which seems suspicious to me. I land a 14-pound sea run, hooked at the side, and Georg catches one too. Sometimes you're unlucky and only hook smaller fish.

At lunchtime, there's a big barbecue at Estancia Maria Behety with the guests from La Villa Lodge. The food is fantastic: a big appetizer buffet, lamb, pork, beef, and chicken from the grill – excellent! Everyone else talks about good catches in the morning while we return with disappointing results. So, we're hoping for the evening session. Hope lives on, but unfortunately, the prospects are not great: We don't have a particularly popular pool for the evening.

Our trump card is Headguide Federico. He changes the plan on the spot and takes us to the excellent Place 31, Pool Horseshoe. I remember my great successes at this spot and am sure I'll hook something at Horseshoe.

This place is extremely challenging to fish: the bottom is very muddy and slippery, and there's a 90-degree drop-off at the edge. The water depth is three to five meters, and the current pushes strongly against the edge. It all reminds me of last year. I get my small streamer to depth, and I manage to hook two fish, losing one during the fight. The difficult conditions don't favor Georg, and Horseshoe denies him a bite.

Then we move to Place 32, Pool Banquero. Federico shows Georg the spot and how to fish it. Meanwhile, I switch things up and change to a lighter shooting head. On the second cast, I hook a 14-pound sea run with extreme bite marks from a sea lion. After sunset, when it's already dark, the sensation occurs: Georg and I have a double hookup! What a way to end this adventurous day.

January 31, 2013

Guide Patrick welcomes us today with the news that we'll have a storm, and the wind will be howling around us. And he's right about that. At Place 20 Pool Cabbezoni and Bocca, Quieto, things get really intense with wind speeds of up to 80 km/h and gusts of 100 km/h! However, the wind plays into our hands, and our casting distances are enormous. Along with the strong wind, it also gets colder. I only get one bite, but neither of us lands a fish. Our colleagues in the lodge have the same luck: except for Doug, no one catches a fish.

In the afternoon, the wind picks up even more. Some in the group doubt whether we should go out at all. But the fighting spirit prevails; no one wants to leave the poor morning results as they are. So, in the afternoon, we all head out again.

At Place 18, nothing happens at first. Georg calls it quits early, but I stay and catch a 6-pound sea run. So, it's not a "Potato Day" for me, as they say here.

February 1, 2013

With Genaro, the sunny boy, we head to the promising Place 30 Pool Moneta, which has been producing a lot of fish all week. Right at the beginning, Georg hooks a fantastic fish. I stop fishing and start filming him, hoping he can land this beautiful fish. Unfortunately, he loses it shortly before landing, and shortly after that, another one.

And then, it's non-stop action for me! I've found the perfect spot: I catch fish weighing 7, 11, 14, 13, and 16 pounds in a row and lose two more.

The evening session is at Place 16. I hook a sea run, and another very good one gets away.

Georg continues to be plagued by bad luck. Thirty meters from me, he's really struggling with a superb fish that jumps completely out of the water three or four times, sometimes less than five meters in front of him. We see the fish up close – it's a sea run weighing over 20 pounds. Unfortunately, Georg loses the feisty fish; during one jump, it shakes off the hook. What a shame – it would have undoubtedly been the biggest fish of the week!


First-class fishing – that's what this week was on the Rio Grande; a truly fantastic experience. The strong wind is just part of the Rio Grande, but otherwise, we were lucky with the weather: there was hardly any rain, and it wasn't as cold as in 2012. Although Georg had a bit of bad luck, he developed admirable determination. In the spring, he plans to take a two-handed casting course to better prepare for his return to the Rio Grande. He still has unfinished business.

It was a really good time, especially with the colleagues in our group. Rio Grande – I'll be back in 2014!


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