We opened Bairs’ Lodge for the fall season in September. We were fortunate that South Andros Island in The Bahamas was un..
The second last week of the season is over and we had a full house! Some old friends came to visit us again: Roberto and Fran, as well as Martin and Theresa, all four from Argentina, and who have been coming here for many years now. Tom and Colman, who’s first time it was were keen fishermen and excited for a completely new fishing experience. Richard, who had fished the Rio Grande before, brought his good friend Gordon. Just as last year, the guys from Fly Fishing Nation hosted part of the week with Alex bringing along Daniel, both who were with the same week last year, as well as Fabrizio and Patrick, who were in for a great first Argentinian experience. Last but not least Toni, who came to follow this week’s anglers with his camera, conserving all these amazing experiences and images in motion pictures! After this exact week last year had been a complete blast, we were all looking forward to another great late season week!
Last week’s push of water had already dropped to a large extend. However, the water was still colored and the visibility stayed knee- to thigh-deep all week – a dark tee. In my opinion the best color of water, that gives the fish enough clarity to fish smaller rubberleg nymphs/bugs, but at the same time is murky enough to fish a larger streamers or leeches with good confidence as well.
Despite those very promising conditions, the first day started slowly, with only few fish landed during the first morning session. Everybody had to get used to the new environment and get warmed up with the casting. But already the evening brought some proper fish, amongst them a chunky 18 pounder for Gordon to take the pressure off of him. The fishing on Monday picked up, showing the group the immense potential of this river. Just barely into the morning session, Tom could land a splendid 18,5 lbs specimen, amongst a lot of medium sized fish for the group, while more big fish were lost for the group. However, it wasn’t until Day 3, that the fishing really turned on – especially the Rio Menendez was the center of the action. While Alex and Daniel had an incredible morning on that little tributary with 7 fish landed, amongst them a 16 lbs, a 19,5 lbs for Alex and an amazing 20 lbs for Daniel, they did not stop during the evening either, topping it off with another 17,5 lbs and an incredible 23 lbs for Alex! But they were not the only ones, who had a blasting session on the Menendez. While Gordon started his day on another great 15 pounder, Tom ended his on a fantastic 20 lbs fish – both from the Rio Menendez as well! This just showed us once again, how incredibly lucky we are to be able to fish this little river: three fish over 20 lbs landed in just one day, all on single handed rods.
But it came even better, when Tom returned on Thursday with news of the biggest fish of the season! 25 lbs of dynamite from the Rio Menendez as well – the same day that Martin landed an amazing 23 lbs just a few turns upstream. And also Fran and Roberto had an amazing session on the Menendez, landing 7 good fish just in the evening on that little tributary.
While the Rio Menendez was on fire this week, the Rio Grande also produced incredible fishing this week, as it was slowly but gradually clearing up. The fishing into the sunset got also more productive again by midweek after being fairly slow while the water was colored. That was shown by Richard and Gordon, when they doubled up on two good during their Thursday’s evening session. The same night, when Daniel was back at it again with two proper fish landed at just before dark.
By Friday, everybody had already landed good fish and could head relaxed into the last two sessions. But it was not over yet and there were a couple more surprises left for the last day. Almost every group member was able to end his trip on a good note by landing one last fish. Daniel had another ace up his sleeve and saved the best for last, landing another two fish over 20 lbs on this very day. Incredible!
An incredibly fun week comes to an end, that ended up being one of the best of the season. The low activity of the fish made it everything else but easy to connect to fish, but the high spirits and hard work of every group member made it much more productive than anyone would have predicted.
Especially the Rio Menendez stood out once again this week. Not only a saving grace, when the conditions on the Rio Grande are tough, but the go-to place to have a really good chance on a giant sea trout on the single hander. This week alone showed how real these chances are, with five fish over 20 lbs from this river alone, amongst them the biggest of the season. The scouting of new pools in this river throughout this and last season payed off and many of these new places produced immensely good fishing – not only this week.
We had an incredible week with lots of laughs, great stories and good food. We are sad to send this amazing bunch of people back on their travels home, but while the season is almost over, we are even more looking forward to seeing many of these kind people next season here in Kau Tapen again!
~ Paulo, Kau Tapen Fishing Guide.