• Report Week 7: February 15-21, 2020

    It’s amazing how time flies as we have already passed the mid-point of our 2020 season. Another great week was in the books, and we were looking forward to welcoming some old friends, like Kjell and Dave, who have been a part of our family for quite a few years now, and spending quality time on and off the river with them is always precious. Hubert and his son Jean-Hubert were also returners who we had the pleasure to welcome here for many, many years already and were happy to see again this year. But, it was great to welcome new members for their first time, like Charles and Brian from Canada, Pierre from France (who had fished our old sister Lodge “Toon Ken” years before), and Bud from Colorado. Neither Bud nor Brian had ever cast spey rods before, would later show us just how easy it can be to learn! A great group that promised great fun ahead on and off the water.

    While stable conditions blessed our fishing during the previous week, this week showed more severe fluctuations in weather and water once again. As our new guests arrived, the combination of strong winds and previous rain in the mountains started to stain the visibility in of the water. This created a tough day to get acquainted with a new technique like spey casting, as our conditions demanded heavier flies and sink tips. But, the crew managed surprisingly well, and the first good fish were being landed. Dave, for instance, had an amazing start into his week with a chunky 16 lb and another cracking 17 lb fish right off the bat in his first pool. Brian and Charles took the pressure off with a few nice fish out of the gate, as well! This hot-start was only topped by Bud’s fantastic 21-pound fish during his first evening session – his first day ever spey casting with such a stunning result.

    From day one, both water level and clarity were inconsistent, changing every day, making it quite hard for us to find the right approach. On top of that, very cold nights forced the water temperatures down to 8 °C during the first hours of the day. However, on some days, the temperatures rose all the way to 16 °C during the heat of the day.

    Most hook-ups were seen on rather heavy tips, and small leeches,  intruders, and heavier rubber leg patterns fished very slowly. Not only was it difficult to find the right approach, but these rapid changes affected the fish’s activity and seemed to put the fishing down for some periods of time. Nonetheless, if you were in the right pool at the right time, things looked much different and you could encounter some amazing fishing. Just like Jean-Hubert and Hubert, who landed six fish up to 16 lbs in just one pool on the second evening, or Pierre, who hooked 9 fish just on Tuesday, landing some very nice double-digit fish up to 16 lbs.

    Jumping and porpoising fish indicated lots of fish movement in our system. These running fish mixed up most pools and once a pool settled, the hook-ups followed. The first few days were mostly affected by small pushes of water during Tuesday night, however, the water came up another 20 cm (8 inches), and the visibility dropped down to only 30 cm with lots of debris being carried down river. Both the Río Menéndez and the Río Grande were high and colored. The low visibility made it much tougher to get the fly close to the fish, even with a big tube fly in front of your leech and a long T-17 tip. Shallow pools with good holding structure produced good results, considering the conditions. Those pools were our saving grace and balanced out the tough fishing in some others. If one was able to get the fly close enough to the fish, one would hook them. Like Dave, who was able to land three great fish in the morning session in one of our shallower runs, and so were Charles and Brian in the evening, both landing a proper mid-teen fish during their evening, as the water had just started to clear again.

    With less debris being washed down and a slowly dropping and clearing river on Thursday, the visibility was enough to confidently fish most pools again, still using very big flies and heavy tips. Most beats produced good fishing and everybody was able to hook fish that day. That trend continued, although the river was dropping only at a very slow pace, it was starting to look very “fishy” again on the last day.

    I was especially impressed by the amount of 8-12 lbs fish that were landed this week. The high water seemed to have pushed in loads of these mid-sized fish, who used the higher water to run upstream rapidly. They are amazing sport, and “happy takers” in these conditions. These fresh runners stay higher in the water column, are more active and easier to access with the fly. Even though it was bit tougher to reach the bigger fish, some amazing mid-high teen fish were landed along the week.

    The conditions certainly were not easy – especially for our spey casting beginners, who mastered the fishing in this high water incredibly well. But fishing aside, it seemed like this group in particular was as familiar as could be, getting along so well and having great fun around the bar and dining table. Whether it was politics, fishing stories, or jokes being told – hearing loud laughter from the lodge was guaranteed and spending time at the bar was always great fun. Lots of wine, beer, and Pisco Sour went across the bar this week and time certainly passed way too fast. I am much looking forward to repeating it with these great people next year again!

    Thanks to everyone for an eventful and fun week!

     

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

  • Report Week 6: February 9-14, 2020

    What a week! My hands are still shaking, and I am still trying to catch my breath. Such an eventful, fun, successful, and overall amazing week that none of us wanted to end.

    A full house with some good friends returning to visit us: Vini and Luke, who we got to know last year and immediately were adopted into the Kau Tapen family. Jim and Roger both of whom have been coming here for a number of years and every season we cannot wait to welcome them back. Graeme, who had been here a few years ago and was as prepared as could be – mentally and physically.

    We also had the pleasure of welcoming some new faces: Piggy and David, two good fishing friends who have fished this river before but never here at Kau Tapen with us, both are amazing fun, on and off the river, and were such a great addition to the group. Last but not least we have Charly, his brother Russel, and son Nick, along with their good friend Jorge, all of whom started the week as sea trout and spey casting rookies.

    The previous week’s fishing had been a bit difficult with variable weather and water conditions. Our fingers were crossed, and we were hoping for more consistent conditions this week. And so it was – the river settled, cleared up even more and dropped at a very, very slow pace. The consistent water conditions enabled the fish to settle in their pools and as soon as that happened, they became more active and miraculously “switched on” again.

    Slightly warmer water (14-16 °C), thanks to warmer days and mild nights caused the fish to be more surface oriented. All of these factors combined, made for some of the most amazing fishing we’ve had so far this season. Despite seemingly tricky conditions during the first three days (only a little wind from a strange north-easterly direction and bright skies), the fish were very active. During the very first session, Jorge and Russel, who were “just” practicing how to spey-cast, were able to land 6 amazing fish on light sinking tips and small flies. During their evening they kept going, hooking into 9 more fish (!) and Russel was able to end the day on a stunning 17 lb fish. Most fish were chrome bright and in outstanding condition, fresh from the ocean and full of strength. Roger and Graeme also experienced a good start to the week, both managing to land a 16 lb fish, amongst some very nice specimens.

    While we could not have asked for a better first day, the fishing gods were kind and gave us an even better second day. Almost every pool was working and literally every one of our anglers was able to land multiple fish! Just over 60 fish – an astonishing number that the group managed to hook in just that day, most of the fish in outstanding condition. Piggy alone managed to land 8 fish that day, including two 16 pounders and two 14 lb fish.

    Graeme brought an astonishing 9 fish to the net! Jim also took care of business quickly and landed a perfectly chromed-up, 19 lb fish within his first 10 casts of the day. The quality of the fishing during these days was simply outstanding – most of them fresh, incredibly strong and full of stamina!

    While we were taking it all in and enjoying the ride, we were expecting that the fishing would slow down again at some point, but we were blessed with one more day. Tuesday especially produced some larger fish than the previous days, such as David’s outstanding 16 lb fish, Nick’s 17 pounder, Piggy’s amazing 18 lb fish, another stunning 18 pounder for Charly, and Russel’s fantastic 19 lbs. And Graeme – Well Graeme simply did not stop and kept riding his wave, landing 12 fish that day, including a perfect, kyped-up 19 lb male and hooking into even more!

    While we got the catching part out of the way during these first three days, the rest was just easy riding. The atmosphere around the lunch and dinner table was great – relaxed, fun, happy, and a bit tired from such eventful days. Long nights with maybe the odd drink too many and hilarious stories that will stick in our heads for a long time to come. It all added to the fun and made this week as special as it was. We could not have asked for more – but the week was only half over. And, while the fishing eventually did slow down a bit, the bar had been set very high and to be quite frank, the fishing remained pretty dang good for these last three days, at least judging from a “normal” standpoint.

    Although this week was dominated by amazing fishing and lots of activity, it was also the week of the lost battles. Just like the four monstrous fish that Vini and Luke hooked into but unfortunately were not able to bring to the net after some spectacular fights. As painful as it is, those are the fish that fuel the need to come back more than the ones landed, and they surely make for some great stories.

    During these last days, still great numbers of fish were hooked and landed, and Graeme finally managed to achieve the well-known “20/20”: Landing 20 fish during the week with one over 20 lbs, with the exception that did it twice! He landed over 40 fish and two stunning fish of 20 lbs, something that only very rarely occurs on our beats. As well prepared as he was, Graeme surely came, saw, and conquered – incredibly well done and congratulations from all of us here at Kau Tapen!

    I feel like I could keep writing countless more lines after a week like this one, but I will let the attached images do the talking and leave the rest to your imagination. Not only am I incredibly happy with the fishing results of the week, I simply had an amazing time on and off the river and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with every single group member, sharing unique moments and making new friends. This has been a very special week and I am sure I am speaking on behalf of the entire Kau Tapen team.
    Here’s hoping we get to repeat the week next year!

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

     

  • Report Week 5: February 1-8, 2020

    A strange, but very eventful week comes to its end. As we began our fifth week of the season, we were all expecting very consistent weather and water conditions. Especially with the amount of fish now already in the system, these weeks are usually very predictable and consistent. While the river was in absolutely great shape as we headed into the week, constantly changing water level, wind direction, light condition, and barometric pressure, ultimately affected the activity of the fish and made the fishing quite challenging on some days, however. Luckily, we were welcoming a fairly intimate group of “only” six this week, including some experienced Río Grande anglers such as Gerald and Irwin. Dave, another of our anglers this week, was a keen spey caster who could efficiently cover the water from the first day on. But even our new friends Michael, Jarod, and Tom, all picking up the spey rod for the first time, had a good understanding of what the fly is supposed to do in the water, listened carefully to their guide’s advice, and picked up the methods we use here very quickly.

    As we started the fishing week, the river was just starting to drop and clear after it had come up on Thursday night. Heavier tips and more visible, water-pushing flies were the trick of the trade. However, it was merely a push of water that would drop back to almost zero within just a day. A severe thunderstorm with hail, heavy rain, and lightning bolts crashed down onto the pampa as it passed us on Monday afternoon. It only took these few hours of downpouring rain to push the water level back up about 10 inches (25 cm) overnight, leaving us with only a few inches of visibility in the water the next morning. Being just a “push” of water, the level would drop down quickly, but the rain that precipitated in the mountains kept the water fluctuating. All these very rapid changes in water level and barometric pressure, in combination with some very hot and sunny days that pushed the water temperature up to over 18 degrees, noticeably affecting the activity of the fish, making it really hard to move any of them throughout long periods of some sessions.

    Luckily, the Río Menéndez was once again a saving grace, as it was less severely affected by the changes occurring in the main river. Still slightly off-color and with comfortable flow, the conditions looked great, and Irwin managed to land three nice fish in his very first session, including a cracking 18 lb, kyped-up male. Just two days later, this little river again blessed us with incredible fishing, while the main river remained tough. In just Tuesday evening’s session, Jarod and Tom were able to hook into an unbelievable number of 15 sea trout, all on small nymphs and single-handed rods. While unfortunately some very big ones were lost, both were able to land multiple beautiful double-digit fish. Dave also put a good ending to a tough day, landing a 16 lb fish just before the last light faded. Content and happy, he left it as the last cast of the day.

    The fishing was patchy and unpredictable. Short periods in which the fish became active gave us windows of opportunities, and one had to get a bit lucky to be in the right pool at the right time. Michael was able to intercept a phenomenal, fresh 13 pounder amongst some other good fish. But within this randomness, consistency was key to take the chances given to one. Gerald remained consistent, putting the fly into the right spot on every cast, even if they were not rewarded. But, his consistency eventually paid off. A fresh 17 lb stunner on the second to last day, and then landed another cracking 17 lb male on the next morning, only to be outdone by an unbelievable 24 lb fish he was able to bring to the net at the start of his last evening session. Gerald stopped fishing after that fish, happily leaving it as last cast of the trip. Just as Irwin kicked off his week, he ended it on a high note, landing a great 14 pounder during his last morning session, and two more nice fish during the evening – he also stopped after the second one, and both Gerald and Irwin peacefully called it a trip and headed back to the lodge before the sun went down. Our universe was back in order, conditions seemed to have settled, the fish seemed more active, and the fishing was once more predictable.

    Looking at the plain numbers of this week, it ended up being much more prolific than expected. As random and patchy as it was, some anglers intercepted good numbers of fish, while others had to experience dry periods in between. But despite all of its highs and lows on the fishing side of things, there is so much more to a week down here than “just” catching fish. Getting to meet new crazy people from completely different parts of the world that share the same passion, sharing precious time on the river with old friends, feeling the unparalleled freedom that only the wide-open skies of Tierra del Fuego can give you, and letting it all sink in over a good glass of Malbec. Even if the fishing is challenging and unpredictable on some days, it is very hard to let that get in your way of having an amazing experience in this very special corner of the world!

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

  • Report Week 4: January 25-31, 2020

    Here we go again! Another amazing week was upon us and we could not be more excited. Promising water conditions together with a full group of very capable anglers, most of them here for their very first time: Brian and Kevin (UK), Keith and Laurence (UK), Claude (CAN) and Jon (USA), Teresa and Martin (ARG), as well as Marina Gibson and her mother Joanna (UK), together with Stephan (GER) who came by to take photos along the week. While only Martin, Teresa, and Stephan had been here in recent years, all group members had experience with 2-hand rods in one way or another.

    What a great group, we had lots of interesting and bright conversations during the first “tapas night” that would promise a week full of fun ahead, no matter what the fishing might bring.

    The water conditions looked great. Although the river had been dropping constantly during the previous week, it still had a comfortable water level that allowed us to swing every pool from top to bottom. The pools were filling up with fresh fish day-by-day and when conditions aligned, some exceptional fishing would await us. While some days were blessed with those perfect conditions, on some others the fishing was troubled by harsh winds with gusts up to 100 km/h out of all kinds of directions, making it hard to even stand on some occasions.

    The very first session started rather slow for most. Strong winds did not make it easy to find a rhythm and get the casting sorted at first. However, that did not keep Kevin from getting a head-start, landing four beautiful fish in his first session, including a cracking 17 lbs chromer. But it wasn’t long until everyone else caught on in the evening and by the end of the day, everyone had already hooked fish. Jon and Claude, for instance, had a special double-up in the evening with two beautiful 16 lb fish. What an amazing start into the week.

    It wasn’t until the next day, that the fishing really picked up. Monday was one of those moody days with a constant cloud-cover and a slight drizzle. There was only a little wind, but it was just enough to make casting a bit more forgiving. You simply could not design a day that felt “fishier” – and the fish seemed to agree. Close to 50 fish were hooked on that single day and some groups came back from their session reporting to have hooked into a dozen fish. Joanna doubled up with her daughter Marina, two stunning fish of 18 and 10 lbs respectively. Keith managed to bring in another immaculate 18 lbs fish, while Kevin would land a great fresh 16 pounder amongst four other fish. Jon experienced the Río Menéndez from its possibly best side, connecting to fish in virtually every pool, including another muscle-packed 16 lbs fish on his light single-hander. Stephan topped this day off with two (!) amazing 19 lb fish in their evening session. That day was special for everyone, fisherman and guides alike. Although an above-average percentage of fish was lost during battles, it surely was a day to remember and once again proof of how strongly weather and water conditions, with all their various factors, can affect the activity of those incredible fish.

    From then on it was just easy riding for most. Everyone had already landed some good fish after only two days, which takes the pressure away, makes you fish more relaxed, and quite frankly allows you to enjoy the ride experience even more.

    While Monday would remain the most prolific day of the week, we could not at all complain about the following days either. On some days the wind would make it incredibly tough to put the line where you wanted, and simply standing or walking demanded a lot of energy. But that’s part of this wonderful place and everyone should experience the unleashed force of Mother Nature down here at least once – it is a humbling experience and makes you realize you are “only” a very small part of nature and never in control. I personally love it!

    During the next few days, great fish in the high-teens (weight) were landed every day, including a cracking 18 lbs for Teresa out of the Menéndez, another 18 lbs for Brian, and two beautiful 16 lbs for Laurence and Marina. The very last day, however – Friday’s morning session – left us all with an open jaw. Brian managed to hook, fight, and land an unbelievable fish of 26 lbs, that would be the biggest of the season so far and possibly hard to beat in the weeks to come. Hooking a fish like this is one thing, landing it a completely different game, especially in a little, stump-filled river such-as the Río Menéndez. Yes, that is correct, this incredibly fish was caught in our favorite tributary and is yet another testament to how lucky we are to be able to fish this amazing piece of water. Brian worked hard, grinding every day, hooking plenty of fish but also losing many. This fish was well deserved and especially hard- won! Well done, sir and congratulations to a fish of a lifetime

    In the end, we could not have asked for a better week. While the fishing was great – and we can all agree that this is a great factor – it was simply incredibly fun to spend time with each angler out in the water. Around the bar and dinner table friendships were formed and fostered, along the river-banks emotions shared and memories made. I cannot wait to meet and hopefully fish with these great people again soon.

    Thank you all for an outstanding week!

    Paulo Hoffman. Kau Tapen Lodge Fishing Guide.

     

  • Report Week 3 : January 18 – 24 , 2020

    Another fantastic week comes to an end! We were happy to welcome another great bunch of anglers in our realm giant sea trout, good wine, endless skies, and hearty cuisine, to battle the elements at the end of the world and chase dreams in the troubled waters of the Río Grande.

    Cheryll and Peter, our old friends who have been coming here for over a decade; Jim and Robert, who we had the pleasure to already get to know here last year and truly embraced into our family. JR and Spain, two friends and very keen fishermen for their first time down here in Tierra del Fuego; and finally, Juanjo’s friend Eduardo from Argentina. An intimate group of “only” seven guests that gave us all a bit more space to roam freely around our beats, to rest some pools in between, and of course get to know everyone a bit better and refresh old friendships.

    The water conditions were not easy, for the first time this season, the water dropped rapidly – approx. 4 inches along the week – and stayed crystal clear. Although we had reached a normal water level now (+/- 0cm), if the wind dropped, one had wade really carefully and cast as quietly as possible. Luckily, the fish that had entered the river with the big tide early last week and were filling up our beats now and you could feel that more fish were around. Even though the river conditions were not easy, for the first time this season we were getting the feeling of consistency. The fishing was far less patchy than in previous weeks, and the usual “hotspots” would start to produce more takes.

    Due to some rather warm days and then chilly nights in between, the water temperature fluctuated between 10 and 16 °C. With these temperatures, the metabolism of the fish is working fast, and if aligned with the right weather conditions, they will be very active. Some of the fights that these fish were putting on (even the smaller ones) were unbelievable – acrobatic, strong and fast – and the overall quality of the fishing, outstanding. We even saw the backing a few times this week, which (considering the size of most pools here) is rather unusual. Cheryll hooked into an 8 lbs fish during one evening that made her Tibor reel scream like a banshee on a set drag and went straight into backing in one run.

    The amount of 8-15 lbs fresh running fish that we saw, hooked, or caught leaves us very hopeful and they are amazing sport to hook into! More and more big fish were hooked and seen as well. The first day already showed us that, with Spain and JR landing two incredible fish in their first session on Río Menéndez, a 15 lbs and a stunning 17 lbs fish. Spain kept going with another great 17,5 lbs in the evening and also Cheryll got a head start into the week with a cracking 16,5 lbs fish amongst some others. Most of these high-teen fish were very fresh and fought like freight trains. While Sunday produced good-sized fish, Monday produced numbers – only six anglers hooked into a stunning number of 31 fish (!!) and everyone was able to land at least a couple that day. Cheryll managed to land an incredible 19 lbs fish, Robert was able to bring in a few double-digit fish, amongst them a cracking 15 pounder, and Eduardo was able to finish his evening with two amazing fish – a 14 lbs and a 16lbs. While Cheryll was in charge of the numbers this week, it seemed like Eduardo was picking out the big fish, just like the 19 lbs he landed on Tuesday morning, and then topped by an outstanding 20 lbs on Thursday night. This great specimen would remain the biggest of the week!

    Spain and JR were taking care of consistency – they would come back from almost every session with at least one mid-teen fish, and just like they kick-started their trip on the Río Menéndez, they finished it off on two beautiful 16 lbs fish during their last evening session.

    Just as we saw many great fish make it to the next, it was also a week of lost battles. Such as the fish that Jim hooked on Thursday, that – after some deep and heavy headshakes – took off downstream, went into backing, and finally snapped the line. While landing a fish is what we aim for, losing a giant is what makes great stories and fuel the urge to come back!

    These fish were incredible this week – not easy to hook, but in such great condition – and I am very confident, that (if the river keeps this water level for just a bit longer) we will have some outstanding fishing ahead.

    It always amazes me how fast the time flies by down here. It still feels like the season has barely started, but our third week is already in the books. I am not complaining though, time that goes by fast is usually time very worth its while – and if everyone else is having as much fun as I do, this season is going to go by in a heartbeat. Thanks for a great week, to be repeated next season!

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

  • Report Week 2 : January 11 – 17 , 2020

    Another fantastic week comes to an end! 

    We were happy to welcome another great bunch of anglers in our realm of giant sea trout, good wine, endless skies, and hearty cuisine, to battle the elements at the end of the world and chase dreams in the troubled waters of the Río Grande.

    Cheryll and Peter, old friends who have been fishing with us for over a decade; Jim and Robert, who we had the pleasure to get to know here last year and have been truly embraced into our Kau Tapen family. JR and Spain, two friends and very keen fishermen for their first time down here in Tierra del Fuego; and finally, Juanjo’s friend Eduardo from Argentina. An intimate group of “only” seven guests that gave us all a bit more space to roam freely around our beats, to rest some pools in between, and of course get to know everyone a bit better and refresh old friendships.

    The water conditions were not easy, for the first time this season, the water dropped rapidly – approx. 4 inches along the week – and stayed crystal clear. Although we had reached a normal water level now (+/- 0cm), if the wind dropped, one had wade really carefully and cast as quietly as possible. Luckily, the fish that had entered the river with the big tide early last week and were filling up our beats now and you could feel that more fish were around. Even though the river conditions were not easy, for the first time this season we were getting the feeling of consistency. The fishing was far less patchy than in previous weeks, and the usual “hotspots” would start to produce more takes.

    Due to some rather warm days with chilly nights in between, the water temperature fluctuated between 10 and 16 °C. With these temperatures, the metabolism of the fish is working fast, and if aligned with the right weather conditions, they will be very active. Some of the fights that these fish were putting on (even the smaller ones) were unbelievable – acrobatic, strong and fast – and the overall quality of the fishing, outstanding. We even saw the backing a few times this week, which (considering the size of most pools here) is rather unusual. Cheryll hooked into an 8 lbs fish during one evening that made her Tibor reel scream like a banshee on a set drag and went straight into backing in one run. 

    The amount of 8-15 lbs fresh running fish that we saw, hooked, or caught leaves us very hopeful and they are amazing sport to hook into! More and more big fish were hooked and seen as well. The first day already showed us that, with Spain and JR landing two incredible fish in their first session on Río Menéndez, a 15 lbs and a stunning 17 lbs fish. Spain kept going with another great 17,5 lbs in the evening and also Cheryll got a head start into the week with a cracking 16,5 lbs fish amongst some others. Most of these high-teen fish were very fresh and fought like freight trains.

    While Sunday produced good-sized fish, Monday produced numbers – only six anglers hooked into a stunning number of 31 fish (!!) and everyone was able to land at least a couple that day. Cheryll managed to land an incredible 19 lb fish, Robert was able to bring in a few double-digit fish, amongst them a cracking 15 pounder. Eduardo was able to finish his evening with two amazing fish – a 14 lbs and a 16 lbs. While Cheryll was in charge of the numbers this week, it seemed like Eduardo was picking out the big fish, just like the 19 lbs he landed on Tuesday morning, and then topped by an outstanding 20 lbs on Thursday night. This great specimen would remain the biggest of the week!

    Spain and JR were taking care of consistency – they would come back from almost every session with at least one mid-teen fish, and just like they kick-started their trip on the Río Menéndez, they finished it off on two beautiful 16 lbs fish during their last evening session.

    Just as we saw many great fish make it to the next, it was also a week of lost battles. Such as the fish that Jim hooked on Thursday, that – after some deep and heavy headshakes – took off downstream, went into backing, and finally snapped the line. While landing a fish is what we aim for, losing a giant is what makes great stories and fuel the urge to come back!

    These fish were incredible this week – not easy to hook, but in such great condition – and I am very confident, that (if the river keeps this water level for just a bit longer) we will have some outstanding fishing ahead.

    It always amazes me how fast the time flies by down here. It still feels like the season has barely started, but our third week is already in the books. I am not complaining though, time that goes by fast is usually time very worth its while – and if everyone else is having as much fun as I do, this season is going to go by in a heartbeat. Thanks for a great week, to be repeated next season!

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

  • Report Week 1: Opening Week January 4-10, 2020

    The opening week of this season. Needless to say, we were all pretty excited to get the ball rolling, welcome our first week’s guests, and kickstart our fishing year 2020!

    We could not have asked for a better bunch of anglers for this first week, an amazingly homogenous group, a lot of familiar faces, as well as some new members to the Kau Tapen family: Timo and Iver, our long-time friends together with their buddies Lars and Ian; Mike who has been with us for the past three years brought his good fishing friends Jim and Woody along, who we dearly got to know and hope to be welcoming soon again. And last but not least David, also here for his third time together with his mate Peter, who unfortunately could only get a taste of this place, staying just 2,5 days. All in all, we had five nationalities gathered around our dinner table, but the common language everyone spoke was “fishing”.

    Starting into this week, the water conditions were near to perfect. A comfortable water level of +10 cm rendered almost every pool fishable from top to bottom and temperatures stayed stable between 10-13 °C (50-55 °F) along the week. Although the wind would come from all imaginable directions over the course of the week, it blew rather mellow, allowing us to efficiently cover most of our pools. While the water and weather conditions were on our side, it was still a hit-and-miss kind of fishery in some beats that did not follow a clear pattern, yet. With this season being rather late, it seemed that the bigger fresh fish were just starting to enter the freshwater in the estuary in the beginning of the week and although it is fair to say that all pools are already holding fish, the main run of fish has yet to arrive.

    Luckily, all of our anglers were keen fisherman and handy with a spey rod. Those, who fished for sea trout for the first time picked it up incredibly quickly which made our job as guides much easier, allowing us to focus on finding fish and cover the water very quickly and efficiently. Already in our short warm-up session on Saturday evening, the first fish were hooked and landed – a promising start into the week. By midweek, we had already racked up numbers much higher than expected considering this year’s delay of the run. And although we were still hoping for the main run of big fish to enter our beats in better numbers, we saw more and more silver bright fish in that 6-12 lbs range and every group member had already landed fish. These midsized fish were in perfect condition and thanks to ideal water temperatures, were fighting incredibly hard, putting angler and equipment to the test.

    Finally, we received the big news from Villa Maria that the first big and spanking fresh fish were caught on Tuesday evening and sure enough, after a full day of rain that pushed the water level up a couple of inches, these fish reached our waters on Thursday. And although during these last two days it was still about finding the running fish in the right place, we saw significantly more large fish being hooked and landed: an incredible fresh 18 lbs chromer for Jim, a two 17 lbs rockets for David, an angry kyped-up 16 pounder for Mike, and a mean-fighting 15 lbs freight train for Woody, amongst other great fish.

    An incredibly fun week comes to an end, and although the fishing did not seem easy with lots of casting and pool-hopping, searching to find the right pieces of water that were working, we are very happy with this week’s final results. Despite of the fishing, we could not have asked for a more pleasant and joyful week to start into our 2020 season. It was great to see our old friends again, and to make new friends along the week – we surely hope we can welcome everyone (ideally in this same constellation) next year again!

    The good water level that we have now, the feeling of more and more consistency in most pools, and the fact that the big full moon will push up the tides in the beginning of next week to hopefully drive in a major run of fresh fish into the river give us great confidence about the coming week(s). Stay tuned for more – as always, you will get our weekly updates about the course of the season here in our River Diaries!

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

  • Guide’s week: Dec 27, 2019 -Jan 3, 2020

    Kau Tapen Guides: Hernan “Nanchi”, Lucas, Paulo, Juanjo and Nick

    Kau Tapen Lodge fishing guides: Hernan “Nanchi”, Lucas, Paulo, Juanjo and Nick

    The very first week of the season, the first opportunity for all of our Guides to see the water for the first time before our opening group with guests. This year, we’re excited to welcome a few new faces to the team, Lucas and Juanjo both from Argentina, and Eugene who will arrive here a few weeks later. Hernan, Paulo and Nick remained part of the team from previous years.

    Guides week is not only a chance for all the new Guides to learn their ways around the river, get to know every pool and the way we approach them, similarly this time is needed to see how much certain pools change, how they fish and if holding areas have shifted. Hence, regardless of the years spend in this place, it helps all of us massively to start into the new season with confidence. 

    The overall conditions were great. The weather was stable while bright and overcast days took turns. Mild climate kept the water temperature at good 12-16 °C and the also the water level remained fairly stable, only dropping at a very low pace. A newly installed watermark will help us track changes in water level much easier from now on. Starting into our first week with guests, we are having a comfortable 10 cm above what we’ve established as “zero” or “normal”. 

    While our 2019 season was a very early one with plenty of fish in the system already by the end of December, the 2020 season seems to be slightly delayed, and the main run of fish has yet to arrive with the next full moon. The river is in great shape, however, and fresh fish will have no problem running into our beats once they have entered the river. The clear water in combination with mild temperatures already allows us to fish a variety of flies. While the fish are still spread out over the many pools and one has to search them a bit, completely different approaches have broad fish so far. But especially in the lower part of the river, more and more fresh fish are being seen and caught, and our hopes are high that the run is entering just in time for the new season!

    All of us here at Kau Tapen wish you a happy new year and are very excited to start into this 2020 season together with you guys. May it be a memorable one!

    Paulo Hoffmann – Kau Tapen Fishing Guide

2020 Fishing Reports

Fishing Reports by Year