Kau Tapen Lodge 2022 Fishing Reports
By: Max Kantor – Kau Tapen Guide 2021/22
To book your week in 2023 just Email or Call 434-249-1783
(Photos at the bottom of page!)
Kau Tapan Lodge – Week 9
Jan 26-Mar 4, 2022
All of us here at Kau Tapen watched the weather with great anticipation this week, as rain was on the horizon. This coupled with the pushes of fresh fish we had been experiencing had us excited to receive a new group of guests from the USA, UK, France, Switzerland, and Germany. It was truly an international week with a great mix of personalities from all around the world!
The water was still very low to begin the week and tactics to match were necessary from the guides. Our e water in the upper river fished very well and Russel’s pool was filled from top to bottom with fish. Having the sole access to this water helps us immensely and produced quite a few fish including some true trophies. George and Willy landed 4 fish here the first morning, including 2 fish of 14 pounds. That evening, it was on fire once again, and Michelle and Jim had a session to remember for the rest of their lives. Jim landed 4 fish ranging from 10 to 17 pounds and Michelle found herself hooked to one of Rio Grande’s beasts. After a few jumps and a lengthy run, she kept her cool and a 28lb 93x 58cm male was landed! Many of the big fish wake up and become more active to the fly this time of year and this was a spectacular catch for all involved.
Not to be outdone, the very next day Jim found himself hooked into a monster of his own, weighing in at 23 pounds with measurements of 90 x 53cm. Fish continued to roll in and catch sheets filled up quickly recording the days fish hooked, landed, and lost. Many ones to two sea winter sea-trout also began to arrive and although they are not the biggest fish in the river, they bring a welcome tug as one works down the pools. That evening Marina landed a 15 pound fish of note among others described above.
Regarding the conditions, Monday and Tuesday were both rainy and the clouds could be seen on the horizon over the Andes as well. While the rain locally may raise the river slightly, snow up in the mountains means that water is coming, even if this is delayed for a few days. The fish seem to get more active as they anticipate this and some spectacular sessions were had mid-week. Phillipe and Phillipe returned Wednesday morning from both the Grande and Menendez with 10 fish landed between the pair and managed to net another 5 that evening. When the fishing becomes fast and furious it is best to take advantage of it and they certainly did, landing a week’s catch for one rod in just a day!
On the final day, news came from the upper river that the water had become murky and was rising rapidly. This had not yet caught up to the downstream beats in the morning, but that evening session the rise started to become evident everywhere on both the Grande and Menendez. For over two months now we have been waiting for this and although it briefly slows down the fishing, it could not be better for our fish for the rest of the season. Altogether, it was a great week with good numbers of fish hooked and some spectacular catches mixed in. A bit of rest during the pandemic seems to have done the river well and we could not be more excited to share this special place with all of you.
Kau Tapan Lodge – Week 10
Mar 4-11, 2022
Rain had finally arrived here in Tierra del Fuego and an eager group of guides and guests from the USA, UK, and France were excited to see what the river had in store for all. While the last session of the previous week had dirty water, the question waiting to be answered was if it had cleared enough. All left with high hopes for the warmup session and the answer came quickly, a double hookup for Richard and Simon within their first three casts!
During the first full day, promising results poured in from both the Grande and Menendez. Simon and Tom hooked seven fish between them for the morning and a further seven in the evening session, the largest being a beautiful fresh fish of 15 pounds. Some of our less “famous” or well-known pools truly came into shape and we were able to find fish where they had not been previously hooked this season. It seemed that if one covered the water correctly, aggressive takes were the result. Howard landed a 19 pounder and a few others doing exactly this from a pool that we had not been fishing in the low water.
The next day produced what has probably been the best action of the season thus far. Between our anglers, 47 sea trout were hooked, including some behemoth specimens. The catch report sheet filled up quickly and there were a few highlights to mention. Howard’s first cast fish of 14 pounds set the day in terms of action and Michael’s fin perfect 17 pounder was a sight to behold. In the same beat, he hooked and lost a much larger fish as well that ran straight into one of the river’s many grass clumps after taking a few hundred yards of line straight into the backing. In the evening, Rupert landed what would be the fish of the week, a 26 pound male of 94x55cm. This fish stayed down and dirty, jumping only once although he could not get his entire body out of the water. This is the time of year when the larger males become more aggressive to the fly and the influx of bright fish during the rise has certainly stirred them up a bit.
Tuesday provided more of the same action, which was even hindered in the morning by strong upstream winds. Some guests headed to the Menendez with single-hand rods, while others braved the Grande in a few protected pools. Micheal had a brilliant session in the evening, hooking quite a few fish and landing three up to 14 pounds. Howard and Rupert tore up the Menendez as well landing fish of 16 and 18 pounds respectively.
What also occurred the previous day was more rain, both here and in the headwaters. It started in the morning and did not stop until late at night, turning into a torrential downpour at times. We anticipated a rise, but it oftentimes takes a bit for the high and dirty water to reach us. The morning fished quite well again, but during the evening session news came from the upmost beats that the river was coming up rapidly with lots of debris as well. Those in the lower beats hooked fish, including a 17 pounder for Tom among many others.
When we awoke the next morning after the rise to check the lower river, it was indeed extremely high and dirty. The Menendez and Grande were almost unrecognizable. We had been hoping for water for months and here it was, all within the span of a few days. All parties went to check the river for both sessions, but there were no fish to be had for the day.
There was a small window on the morning of the final day with clean enough water to make an effort to fish. This lasted about two hours before the river continued to rise further. Willy landed what would be our last fish of the week, a fresh 10 pounder, and his excitement was palpable. As fishing guides and fly fishermen, we are subject to the will of nature and in the case of a rise like this, we hope it brings in more fresh sea trout and provides them with a healthy amount of water for the remainder of the season. We are also thankful that we got to enjoy what has been some of the most productive days of the season earlier this week. As for now, the water has started to drop and the next group is awaited to arrive. Hopefully, it clears a bit more to provide some solid action for all!
Kau Tapan Lodge – Week 11
Mar 11-18, 2022
We began the week with tough conditions composed of heavy rain, high wind, and dirty water. Still, our group from the USA and Germany persevered and kept the spirit high. Our rise from the end of last week was substantial and the water was just beginning to drop on our first full day. Even through this, Tom came back successful, landing 2 fish for the morning, including a 15 pounder. This proved that with a bit of dedication, the fish could still find the fly.
The next day we awoke to a different river. While still high and dirty, clarity had improved enough to be fishable and the group wasted no time in getting some great catches on the board. Cliff and Joseph hooked 10 fish in the morning including a few great ones of 16 and 17lbs. Stephan landed his biggest sea trout ever of 12 lbs, quite the reason to celebrate! Tom put a 19 lbs fish in the net for the morning as well and it was smiles all around.
That evening some truly spectacular catches came to fruition. First Cliff landed a beast of 23lbs after a solid battle. On its first jump, Joe reeled up to watch and his remark of “that’s gotta be 20…” was spot on. Coleman landed 2 great fish of 13 and 18lbs, Paul had 2 of 13 and 14lbs and Charlie had a 14lbs fresh fish as well. The fish of the evening and the week, however, went to Tom with a magnificent 26lbs male of 95x 55cm. This one topped the 25lbs a few years ago that he landed with guide Gaston in Menendez. The two make quite the big fish duo!
The following day the river continued to drop and the action continued. Enrico hooked 8 fish in the morning up to 15lbs and it was his day, as he landed a 20lber in the evening session. This was his biggest Rio Grande fish ever and a true trophy. The size and quality of the fish we are seeing this year has been impeccable, as it seems that a couple of seasons of rest had done the river well. We are all excited to see what else it has in store for us this season and in the future!
Sadly, that evening we were met with heavy rain both here and in the mountains. That mixed with the previous day’s snowmelt caused the river to rise once again, this time to a season-high mark. The water became un-fishable both in the Grande and Menendez fairly quickly, although Edward and Tom each landed fish of 12lbs before it became too dirty. The final two days of the week were difficult, filled with casting lessons and enjoying the many amenities the lodge has to offer. Menendez did clear enough by the last afternoon to land a few fish, bringing an end to a challenging but rewarding week.
We did lose a few days to weather, but in the interim got to see the Rio Grande at its best. With three fish at or over the 20lbs mark and many other trophies, it’s safe to say all are wishing to return to the magic that Kau Tapen offers. Over the last day, the water has once again begun to drop and we are expecting the same excellent fishing following a big rise that was described before. The fish have had a rest and soon when they can find the fly, happy anglers and guides should have their hands full.
Kau Tapan Lodge – Week 12
Mar 18-25, 2022
Following the significant rise last week, an international group from the USA, UK, Italy, Germany, and France arrived to perfect conditions with dropping and clearing water. A mix of veteran Kau Tapen sea trout anglers and those new to the fishery were eager to see what the river had in store and it did not disappoint! It was clear that we arrived at a very different river from the past week on our first morning and the catch rates sky-rocketed. Slightly off-color water that is still dropping is a perfect mix for anadromous fish and the day’s reports truly showed this. Lionel hooked 7 fish to 15 pounds his first morning, which was the standout for the first day, but there were some great catches all around.
Many of the fish we saw were immaculately fresh, no doubt late runners waiting for a good push of water to bring them into the Rio Grande system. Robert landed two of these his second morning of 16 and 12lbs. The smaller of which still had rosy translucent fins from being in the ocean just days if not hours prior. He finished the day with a 15lber in the same fashion. Many one to three sea winter fish were seen and caught as well and while not the monsters the Rio Grande is famous for, they are a sign of a healthy and thriving fishery. These trout grow about three pounds per year in the ocean, which is quite quickly based on abundant food and no commercial pressure.
Day by day, catch sheets for the fishing report were full or close to it, exhibiting the Rio Grande at its very best. Yet, it was not just the Grande that was fishing well. While we had some great sessions prior in Menendez, this week it truly shined producing not only numbers but some of the largest fish of the week as well. Virgil landed his personal best sea trout here of 18lbs and Robert landed the fish of the week at just under 21lbs among others! This is the biggest Menendez fish of the season so far, but there are still a few weeks left to top it. These fish are just too much fun on a single hand or light switch rod and when you hook one of the giants, the fight is spectacular.
The river started the week dropping from its highest level recorded this season and ended around with a drop of around 20cm. It cleared up significantly from a dark tea color to almost completely clear and is continuing to drop. Although the water is quite cold, especially in the mornings, this is all great for presenting a fly and both the Grande and Menendez look to be in great shape for the weeks ahead. It is without a doubt fair to say that this was the most prolific week of the season so far, made possible by hard work from the guide team and a fantastic international group of guests! The season has just a few short weeks left and we are relishing in every second of it. Hopefully, the great fishing will continue and happy anglers can hold a few more magnificent sea-trout.
To book your week in 2023 just Email or Call 434-249-1783