We opened Bairs’ Lodge for the fall season in September. We were fortunate that South Andros Island in The Bahamas was un..
Guides Excel at Kau Tapen
I have always said “the education you get from doing a full seasons guiding on any fishery is invaluable”, day in day out studying, watching, analysing a myriad of different factors which affect your ultimate target – catching a fish.
Your mind is constantly busy weighing up each and every factor. Doing this on your own, you develop an approach to your guiding which you believe will deliver the best results, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong, with experience the odds usually turn in your favour.
Guiding with a team of guides the horizon to your approach broadens significantly.
This year at Kau Tapen we have been afforded an unbelievable wealth of experience and the guide cabin has become an incredible melting pot of ideas.
Our youngest member Santiago at the tender age of twenty one has already guided here for five seasons, the Russian pair of Max M. and Andrei F. are your “Wallace and Gromit” of fishing and since crossing paths on a bus journey to a fishing spot many years ago they have been bouncing ideas off each other ever since. Our head guide Gaston wanted to grasp the intricacies of the trout in Patagonia so much that he decided to live in the region for over thirteen years.
While Diego and I come from a slightly darker side, where poaching provided a solid foundation of knowledge.
Week number three at Kau Tapen saw this culmination of experience come to full fruition, each guide was playing their trump cards on the river with deadly results. Walking leeches into the top of some of the pools, fishing size 16 droppers, fishing certain pools backwards ( moving up the pool after each cast rather than down). While all the time adjusting the size, weight, profile of our flies, to suit the water conditions.
Sunrays needed to be shorter with less volume, green machines smaller, apple green nymphs with a hares ear thorax, even one of our Patagonia wading belts got ripped to shreds as our rubber legs were thought to be too rigid while the elastic material within the belt was deemed to be the perfect diameter. Such was the production of flies that buckets of water were kept on standby to keep the vices from over heating. The end result saw us having the best week of the season so far.
A majority group of seven Scotsmen joined by two Kiwi’s and a Canadian were the group of guests who got to witness the guide team in action. All first timers to the lodge they revelled not only in the Kau Tapen experience but also in each others company.
With two to three fish sessions being the norm the atmosphere in the lodge soared and late night singing sessions occurred regularly.
Wattie’s rendition of the “ Fields of Athenry “ on the final night had me feeling like I was at an Irish rugby game rather than in a fly fishing lodge eating tapas.
Under Colin’s stewardship, the head of the table and a high visibility jacket was awarded to the angler who landed the biggest fish of the session. Michael D., Vince M., Russell L. and Mike S. all got to don the jacket landing fish in the high teens, while Colin himself sat at the head of the table on Wednesday after landing an 18 pound fish on his single handed rod. The fish of the week however goes to Gordon Turner who landed a 21 pounder in Athol Rocks.
I would like to reiterate Carolina’s words from Friday night and congradulate our guests for not only catching so many fish but for the manner in which they embraced the week, enjoying each others company and the experience as a whole and taking the fish as a bonus. We also promise to have much more Johnnie Walker in stock if they ever pay us a visit again.
For those guests coming in the near future I am glad to report that our holding pools are literally stuffed with fish and when they decide to show themselves the pools just come alive. Having witnessed, in the space of half an hour, close to twenty fish running the shallows below Isabel’s pool this morning, the future looks bright and Kau Tapen is certainly an exciting place to have on your travel schedule at the moment. A forecast of heavy rain midweek may hamper some of our current guests fishing but this will bode well in the long term, encouraging even more fish into our waters and keep good flows in our pools.