By MATT HARRIS Itati, a humble farming village on Argentina’s remote northern border seems an unlikely spot to find a spectac..
Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 10: March 4th to 11th, 2023
By Max Kantor - Kau Tapen Lodge Fishing Guide
This week at Kau Tapen we welcomed guests from USA, UK, and Scotland. Like the last week, it was a group of all returning anglers who have had some experience fishing the Rio Grande and for sea trout. After the rise and stained water, we left for the river in anticipation of how the fishing would turn out for the warm-up session and were pleasantly surprised to see that all had hooked fish. This was the sign of a great week to come.
Following the significant rise last week, the Rio Grande is finally at a solid water level. While the river started out stained in Grande and Menendez, it cleared through the week. Rises and drops were based on temperature, but there were not any threatening changes to height or clarity to be mentioned. The water was quite cold some mornings, dipping below 5 degrees C (41 F). While sea trout do become lethargic in such cold temperatures, there are tactics we use to adjust to this and we continued to hook fish.
Air temperatures ranged from seasonably cold to moderate and changed drastically with wind direction. Some evenings it dropped as far as -4 C (25 F) and north winds during the day brought it up to about 14 C (57 F). We did see strong north winds for most of the week, creating interesting casting conditions as this is not our prevailing wind direction. Crossing the river to put it at the back of the angler is an option, but the warm air arriving brought a number of interesting weather patterns as well. It is rare to experience lightning, hail, rain, and bright sunshine in a week, let alone a single four-hour fishing session!
The fishing saw the most takes of any week of the season so far. There were many light grabs where an angler must be ready or miss their chance. Sea trout take the fly from behind unlike an Atlantic salmon, thus one can lift the rod much earlier than with the latter. We see takes like this often in cold water conditions, but that is not to say some did not smash the fly as well. Some anglers got to enjoy double-digit days of sea trout with some regularity, which was a first this season. Overall, the rise in water was much appreciated and our lucky guests got to reap the benefits with many fish hooked and landed.
There are a number of fish to be mentioned as well, but first, we finished the week with an average sea trout weight of over 10 lbs. This was composed of plenty of fish in the mid to high teens, making for great fishing all around. We had a few lucky anglers land trophies over the 20 lb mark among others that were hooked. Gordon finished his week with a lovely 20 lb fish, Mike landed a 20 lb Menendez fish of a lifetime and Richard managed 2 fish of 21 and 22 lbs.
Any cast on the Rio Grande could result in a sea trout to remember, one must just keep their fly in the water.
Conditions seem to be shaping up for a fantastic end to the season on the Rio Grande. Fish are well dispersed throughout the pools and the water level has come into shape. If one can brave the elements and cast straight through the wind, chances are high for connecting regularly into fish. We hope for stable conditions moving forward, which should only aid the fishing we are experiencing now.
For current updates, be sure to follow our social media accounts (@kautapenlodge 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.