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March is here, and with that we are suddenly half-way through the 2024 season at Las Buitreras. Days are getting a little shorter and we slowly feel that autumn is around the corner. The river is in very good shape, and was sitting at a level of around -15 cm at the start of the week, with a lot of fresh fish in the river. As a matter of fact, we barely saw any coloured fish at all this week.  Thanks to heavy rains in the mountains we were lucky to see an almost 15 cm rise of the water level during the week, with the river still maintaining its gin clear color. This rise encouraged the fish that were stacked in the pools throughout the river to start moving which usually leads to some very interesting fishing.

This week we had guests from the USA, Lithuania, Italy and UK with us. Half of them were completely new to this fishery. After our usual briefing we spent some time making sure everyone was equipped with the right tackle and flies to make the most of their first day on the Gallegos river.

For those reading these reports, it’s probably no surprise that the tackle we used didn’t really change in comparison to most weeks during this season. With clear and low water, we tried to present the fly as delicate as possible. The wind was a bit tricky from time to time, coming from the East which means upstream for most zones here. Having said this, all clients were up for the challenge and did very well, and we also experienced what we refer to as good wind, blowing downstream and offering very good casting conditions.

A perfect example of someone managing the upstream wind conditions was Zach! He was here the first time and had just started his Spey casting career. His improvement throughout the week was very impressive, and on day 3 he cashed in for his efforts when he landed the biggest fish of the week, a 20 lbs fish in the rarely fished pool Tool Booth. He was almost ready to call it a session when his guide encouraged him to do a few more casts. That “last cast” resulted in a 13 lbs sea trout, his first ever sea trout! After releasing the fish they both decided to give it another 5 casts and boom, fish on! This time you could immediately see that there was a serious sea-run brown on the other end of his line. Jumping clean out of the water several times and giving him one hell of a fight. A couple of great runs, jumps and headshakes later both he was able to land this beautiful fish and release it safely. Both fish were landed on the good old Girdle Bug in size 6. Well done amigo!

Zach and his fishing partner Linas kept on catching fish the whole week, ending their week with a superb session in Zone 1 where they landed 6 fish between them, equally shared (3 for each). Secret ingredient was to have enough Empanadas in their lunchbox, that’s what they say. We will check on that!

Our good friends John and Andrea were back for 2 weeks at Las Buitreras. Theyhave  traveled and fished together for more than 30 years and we are glad to have them around here at the lodge. Both did quite well with one particular highlight mid-week when they had a double hookup in Old Bridge and actually landed both fish in one net! Something truly special and a great memory to share between them.

Our group from the UK was completely new to this fishery and did well, keeping in mind the less than ideal wind conditions on some days. Everyone landed a sea trout by the end of the week and a few of the group were able to hold a proper fish in their hands, such as Greg with a 12 lbs and 13 lbs fish, and Mark with his 13 lbs sea trout on Day 1 that he caught in Cogedero. Stuart and Tim embarked on an exciting adventure, facing the challenge of the 25-30 min walk up to “Orilla Ripio”, during a remarkably calm night. Motivated by tales of numerous fish seen in the area, Stuart rigged his rod with a “needle tube snake fly,” a traditional Welsh sea trout pattern. On one of his first casts the fly landed very softly on the surface, and as soon as the started stripping it his line went tight. After a nice fight in almost complete darkness he landed a magnificent 13 lbs hen fish.

Then there was Michael and Andreas, father and son from Austria who stayed with us two years ago and decided to come back for a second visit. Michael lost two big fish during the week, both came off not far away from the net. He took it very well, having fished nearly everywhere during his 72 year fishing career. A true inspiration to us all. Andreas had a beautiful moment in pool “75” on the first day when he landed a strong 13 lbs sea trout. When this pool is “on” you better make sure your gear is in order as this is one of our major big fish holding pools here at Las Buitreras.

Thank you all for a wonderful week and a great start to the month of March. We look forward to seeing you again. While we start preparations for the next group to arrive shortly, Michael, Andreas, Zach, and Linas, are off to Estancia Glencross to test their luck with the browns and sea run’s further up in the system. 

Stay tuned for Week report 11.

Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 20 lbs by Zach from USA
Average size: 8,5 lbs