Kau Tapen Lodge – Week 2: January 7th to 14th, 2023

By Max Kantor - Kau Tapen Lodge Fishing Guide

As the season continued into January, we were excited to welcome guests from the USA, Poland, and Norway. All but one were newcomers to the Rio Grande and some were picking up a fly rod for the very first time. As fresh fish continue to make their way into the river, the action was had all around despite some unfavorable conditions to start the week.

We are transitioning from our early season fishery, composed of lots of searching for the first arrivals to what is typical of mid-January- fresh fish entering both our upper and lower beats. These fish alternate between moving and resting, the former making it very difficult to feed them a fly and the latter being preferential to some of the exceptional fishing we witness on the Rio Grande. These fish, like all anadromous species, are not feeding out of necessity when in the river, but instead out of instinct or aggression. We witnessed a number of fish moving between pools both during the day and the evening which was a great spectacle, although they proved hard to hook. When they decide to stop, however, bites can be almost electric when one chance into a pool full of happy fish. Just like swinging flies for any other type of migratory fish, the motto is to keep casting and presenting the fly for success and the takes will materialize. 

Weather conditions for the week were not easy, to say the least. After last week’s slight rise, the water level dropped steadily but now remains stable and a bit higher than at the start of the season. The toughest factor was the wind, as it blew consistently from both the North and the East. These are not our prevailing winds and while there are some pools that can be fished in these conditions, the angler is often fighting the wind rather than using it as an aid for casting. For new anglers, this is quite the challenge when picking up a two-handed rod for the first time. 

The majority of the fish continue to be fresh fun-sized fish between 5 and 9 pounds, but towards the end of the week, there were a couple of noteworthy successes to be mentioned in addition to the fish stories of the monsters that got away. Tom from Norway landed a fantastic hen of 20 pounds and Tricia from the United States landed one of 18 pounds. Both were healthy fish in great shape, packing on pounds from feeding in the ocean and putting on a battle to remember for each happy angler. Tricia’s fish was chrome bright and took her well into the backing. Not bad for one’s first time using a fly rod! 

It was another week in the books at Kau Tapen, filled with smiling anglers both on and off the water. Good numbers of fish were seen moving throughout the week, signaling great things to come here on the Rio Grande. All of us could not be more excited for guests to once again visit our waters from around the globe. For current updates from the river, 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 river!

Tight Lines from the Kau Tapen Guide Team.

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