Farlows Travel Manager Roddy Hall travelled to Kau Tapen Lodge on the Rio Grande in Argentina with a group of clients slightly later in the season than previously, but still found this dream fishing destination as reliable and luxurious as ever.
Early to mid-March is a lovely time to be fishing Tierra del Fuego’s Rio Grande and you can begin to sense the transition from summer to autumn with the frosty mornings and cold evenings. Sea trout are typically most active early in the morning and as the light fades towards dusk, however, lower night-time temperatures at this time of the season meant that fish activity was pleasantly spread throughout the warmer times of the day. March on the Rio Grande has a reputation for being less windy than January and February, making for generally calmer conditions, although competent casters won’t have a problem at any time of the season.
In addition to our group there were also some Americans and Argentinians staying at the lodge and, as always, with so many passionate fly fishermen under one roof at the world’s finest sea trout river, the atmosphere was fantastic. The guiding team are among the best in the world, comprising a mixture of older, more experienced veterans together with passionate younger guides who do whatever it takes to put you on the fish. They’re all great company out on the river and the experience wouldn’t be the same without them.
The river was running low and had been for most of the 2018 season, despite this large numbers of fish had been running the system and prospects were good. Low water conditions call for small flies, such as rubber-legged bugs and Green Machines in sizes 8, 10 and 12, delivered with accurate, tidy casts. Kau Tapen rewards fishers who read the water, carefully consider cast placement, cover the river effectively and thoughtfully work the fly. When all these aspects of your fishing are in tune, swinging a fly through some of Kau Tapen’s famous pools is an incredibly engaging experience.
Roddy and his fishing partner landed over fifty sea trout between them, recording fish weighing in the mid-teens every day. Two fish weighing over 20lb were landed during the week with most fish in the 5 to 10lb range. The sea trout were well spread throughout the system and a midweek rise in the water level brought a run of extremely fresh fish in the 5lb class into the river, seemingly stirring up some of the older and larger resident fish to come onto the take. Double-figure catches were recorded on numerous days and the sheer quality and condition of the fish was astounding.
In short, Kau Tapen is as good, if not better than it has ever been. The fishing is sensational and the standard of food and drink is faultless. It’s always a pleasure to spend time in Argentina and a stop-off in Buenos Aires never ceases to be a wonderful experience. Argentina offers so many possibilities to the travelling fly fisher and one of our clients elected to stay on in the country for another week, travelling north to the Iberá Marshlands to fly fish for golden dorado at Pirá Lodge.
Regardless of when you choose to visit the lodge, you can expect flawless service, supreme comfort and perhaps even the sea trout of a lifetime. It’s simply impossible to leave the river without counting down the days until you can return as Kau Tapen remains one of the most stunning fishing trips the world has to offer.