Week 12: March 18th to 25th, 2023
BY MAX KANTOR – KAU TAPEN LODGE FISHING GUIDE
This week at Kau Tapen, we welcomed guests from the USA, the UK, and Uruguay. All were Rio Grande veterans, ready to take on some of the most exciting fishing of the season. As we transition into fall, dropping air and water temperatures necessitate a specific approach to sea trout fishing, similar to that of winter steelhead in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. While sometimes moody with the cold, the numbers of fish are here, and time spent with the fly in the water led to hooked fish across the board and happy guests!
After the rise in the Grande towards the latter part of the previous week, we experienced stable and dropping water for all days with no drastic changes in the river’s level. The Menendez started out with an off-green color and went gradually clearer as the week progressed. The Grande remained mostly clear with a slight tea stain to it, perfect for swinging flies for sea trout.
The biggest challenge proved to be the wind, which blew regularly at 80 kph with gusts over 100 kph for the first 4 days. Finally, on Thursday, we experienced normal fall conditions of a calm morning, breezy mid-day, and calm evening. As the wind dropped, so did the water and air temperatures. The lowest water temperature of the season in both the Grande and Menendez was recorded at below 5°C (41°F). This undoubtedly led to slower fishing towards the end of the week, but there was still action to be had.
Despite the wind, we experienced some of the best fishing of the season in the first few days. For example, Tuesday had almost 50 hooked fish with many landed. This is truly Rio Grande at its finest! Fishing slowed down with the cold, but there were still pockets of high activity. During the cold snap, many fresh fish were seen moving through both the upper and lower beats coinciding with the new moon’s spring tides. Overall, there was a good size average weight for the fish at just over 9 lbs, with fish of all sizes adding to the total.
Once again, there are a few spectacular fish to mention, but first, for the second week in a row, it is notable that everyone landed a fish over 15 lbs. Tom impressed us all with a behemoth of 28 lbs and 100cm in great condition! Robert and Jorg both put fish of 20 lbs on the board as well. For a window early in the week, guides remarked seeing many more 17 to 19lbs fish than usual. Also mentionable was a surprise super fresh chinook was landed for Jim in our lower beats. Usually, these fish run in November, and to see a fresh one this late in the season is extremely rare. While uncommon, the fight rivals that of any fish, and it was a great addition to the week’s tally with one very happy angler!
We are coming into the final weeks of the season, and fall has certainly arrived on the Rio Grande. With our beats in the Grande and Menendez full of fish, we are excited to finish the season strong with our last groups of guests. For current updates, be sure to follow our social media accounts (@kautapen and @nervouswaters). For any questions regarding our preferred tackle setups, information about the river, or our preferred fishing techniques, please visit our website for a thorough list of information. We wish you all the best and hope to see you soon on the water!
Tight Lines from the Kau Tapen Guide Team