July 2015


Rio Grande: River of Many Dreams

Text & Photos: Paul Smith A lifetime of fishing stories squeezed into one windy week. I am obsessed with seatrout. Many nights I dream about rotund and silver trout, still with clinging sea lice, and fresh from the cold waters of the North Atlantic. Furiously, at least in dreamscape, they attack my fur offerings, tied meticulously both on steel and plastic tube. I’ll try anything to capture my prize, modern or traditional, not at all troubled by wild wanderings that distance the Butcher and Pennell. Nor is fidelity with my homewaters a virtue I pursue. I’ll travel and cast anything if it bequeaths me the opportunity to battle chromed flesh, pitting flimsy cane or graphite against salty untamed ferocity. Read the whole article Rio Grande: River of Many Dreams by Paul Smith Posted in Chasing Silver Fly Fishing Magazine Issue 2/2015

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Friends in far places

A lifetime of fishing stories squeezed into one windy week. There is no airline flight too long, trail too rough, or paddle tough enough, to separate us from even a chance at that big fish rush. And the Rio Grande, considered the premier sea run brown trout river on Planet Earth, is the place to be for enormous trout. It is proper, I think, that our paths crossed here in Tierra del Fuego, the most southerly inhabited region of the world. A wild windswept place, where hardcore folks swing long rods in howling gales, determined to catch a fish bigger than the last. It is what we are about. Read the whole article Friends in far places  by Paul Smith   Posted in Atlantic Salmon Journal Summer 2015  

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Simon Gawesworth at Kau Tapen Lodge!

If you want to learn to cast like a pro- from a pro, you need to sign up soon. After a week with Simon you’d have to get in your car to get farther away from your fly. From Jan 10-17th, 2015, join jovial host, and champion fly caster and fly fisherman, Simon Gawesworth for a week of breath-taking Sea Trout Fishing at Kau Tapen lodge, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, home to 5 IGFA world records for Sea-Run Brown Trout. Have you ever wanted to fish for the big browns in windswept Tierra del Fuego? You have seen the photos—huge trout cradled by anglers who are leaning into a steady wind. They didn’t use to catch very many, but thanks to the evolution of spey fishing, the catch rates are terrific. Don’t be embarrassed because you can’t fish the two –handed rod—this is the perfect opportunity to learn. Let Simon be your mentor, and you’ll catch double digit trout with both single handed and spey rods. This is your chance to learn from the best! Spend the week of January 10-17, 2015 at the finest and most traditional lodge in South America, Kau Tapen Lodge, and fish the Rio Grande, known as the best river in the world for sea run trout fly fishing. While you are fishing, enjoy the impeccable accommodations and royal treatment of the Kau Tapen Lodge. With a week’s instruction and tips from Simon, you’ll be able to apply many of his techniques to your own fishing scenarios. You’ll catch more fish-especially hard to reach fish, and enjoy fly casting more. The departure is limited to just 10 anglers. Don’t miss out this opportunity!!

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Kau Tapen Lodge: March 21-27, 2015

Fishing Report: Mar 21-27, 2015 – By James Topham   Martin Carranza, Florida guide and Nervous Waters partner at Chime Lodge brought a group of his friends and clients down south for a taste of the famous giant patagonian sea trout. Most were accomplished single hand fisherman, but all but one had experience with a double handed rod. Normally that would mean a few casting demonstrations with the double hander, and refining techniques throughout the week, something the guides at KT are very accustomed to. This, however, proved unnecessary. This week was incredibly unusual for the inexplicable absence of wind. The first few days were bright and sunny, with no wind. The last couple days were overcast and cool, with no wind. There was no wind in the mornings, none in the afternoons, and none in the evening. It was uncanny, freakish, and we wondered if all of a sudden the mother of all gales would make up for all the quiet days, but it didn’t arrive. With low, clear water, and no wind to speak of, it meant the anglers could stay well within their comfort zone and make delicate presentations with single handers without difficulty. The fish respond well and most of the anglers caught their fish of a lifetime. Notable catches were a 22lb fish by Ed (who only started fly fishing 5 years ago and was one of the few to persist with a double hander- defiantly one of the quickest learners the guides have worked with!); John caught a beautiful 23lb fish on his last night and Jo landed a very unusual catch indeed. An estimated 25lb CHINOOK (no doubt very lost) found itself attached to the end of Jo’s line. It was a great way to finish off the season, a friendly group, good fishing […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge: March 7 – 13, 2015

7th Mar – 13th Mar. By James Topham   My boyhood hero was Robert F. Scott, the famous Antarctic explorer from the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole. Those of you familiar with the story will recall Captain Oats, who stricken frostbite and realizing he was slowing down the group said, “I’m going outside, I might be gone some time”… and was never seen again. This scene flashed through my mind when early on in the week we had a morning session with 100km/h winds and gusts strong enough to knock a full-grown flyfisher off his feet. At our first pool I parked the car into the wind, so the doors wouldn’t rip off their hinges. We sat for a few moments marveling at what the river had become. It was completely white-capped, with sheets of spray whirling and rolling downstream. It looked more like a waterfall that had been turned horizontally than the usually sedate Rio Grande.   The car rocked and bucked. The rods needed a leader change. And I said to my wide-eyed guests, “I’m going outside, I might be gone some time”. I tried to replicate the brave Captain Oats and make a hero’s exit, but embarrassingly the doors wouldn’t open, the wind kept them firmly shut. It took some ungraceful grunting and shoving until I finally made it outside and was promptly blown out of sight. My 120-pound frame isn’t built for such conditions. One might say I’m gravitationally challenged. It was thrilling though, and we laughed over the absurdity of flyfishing in gale-force winds. It wasn’t a complete bust either. Peter Rippen managed to catch a beautifully fresh 11-pound hen, while casting on his knees so he wouldn’t get blown over. Thankfully, it quieted down for the evening sessions, and normal fishing resumed. The river […]

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Kau Tapen Lodge: Feb 25- Mar 2, 2015

  So ends another fun fishing session at Kau Tapen Lodge, but by all accounts it was not your average week. Mark Taylor from Mavungana, Norway, brought his friends from all the way up there, to all the way down here. I’d been looking forward to this week as I know the crew well from guiding in Norway, and I knew that it was going to be, well, fun as hell. The crew didn’t disappoint, and it didn’t take them long to christen the lodges new hot tub in a spectacular show of partial male nudity. But I’m sure you folks don’t want to hear too much about male bonding sojourns, so let’s cut to the chase and talk about some fishing! The river is still running low, and cold and clear. As with the last few weeks this has meant great opportunities for some technical fishing. Small heavy nymphs, slow-sinking/intermediate tips, and good presentations made all the difference. After sunset, small Sunrays were fished with confidence and often produced three or four fish in the dying minutes of the day. The final tally of the week was 135 fish landed, and another 25 lost after a short fight. The largest fish was Kristoffe Vasdal’s beautiful 21-pound buck. It was sad to see the group leave this morning, my only consolation being I’ll see most of the guys again, when salmon season starts this summer. Hope to see you on the water, —James Topham and the Kau Tapen Guide Team  

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Kau Tapen Lodge – February 21 – 27, 2015

As you know, there’s always something to be learned when flyfishing. So I’m wary when someone calls himself an absolute “expert”—unless that person is veteran KT guide Max Mamaev. He comes pretty close. This week, we all learned a few important things: the first being the positives that come from practicing new techniques before venturing as far as Tierra del Fuego. Our group of intrepid anglers from Nebraska did exactly that. None had cast a Spey rod before, so they went out and sought instruction, bought casting DVDs, and tested what they’d learned on their local river. What a massive difference that made! We gave them a few tweaks and adjustments, and they were casting well—and catching fish—from the get-go. The fishing this week was marked by a continuation of technical, low water conditions. Although we did see a brief spike and slight water discoloration toward week’s end. Overall, sea trout numbers were decent and all 9 rods caught fish above 15 pounds… the largest being a 22 pounder. Finally, we gave Gianni a special prize for his faithful patronage at Kau Tapen. This was his 22nd week! And he earned himself a Sage One rod tube. (We’ll give him the rod on the next 22nd week anniversary!) Hope to see you on the water soon, —Kau Tapen Guide Team  

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Kau Tapen Lodge – February 2015

So ends another week at Kau Tapen, but by all accounts it was not you’re average week. Mark Taylor from Mavungana Norway brought his Norwegian friends from all the way up there, to all the way down here. I’d been looking forward to this week as I know the crew well from guiding in Norway and I knew that it was going to be , well, fun as hell. The Crew didn’t disappoint, and it didn’t take them very long to christen the lodges new hot tub in a spectacular show of partial male nudity. But I’m sure you folks don’t want to hear too much about male bonding sojourns, so lets cut to the chase and talk about some fishing… The river is still running pretty low, but running cold and clear. As with the last few weeks this meant an opportunity for some great technical fishing. Small heavy nymphs, and slow sink/ intermediate leaders and good presentations made all the difference. After sunset small Sunrays were fished confidence and often produced three or four fish in the dying minutes of the day. The final tally of the week was 135 fish landed, and another 25 lost after a short fight. The largest fish was a beautiful 21lb Cock landed by Kristoffe Vasdal. It was sad to see the group leave this morning, my only consolation being I’ll see most of the guys in for the Salmon season this summer. Hope to see you on the water, James Topham and the Kau Tapen Guide Team

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Kau Tapen Lodge – February 12-19, 2015

Posted on March 3, 2015 by Nervous Waters Feb 12-19, 2015 – By James Topham Well that one went quickly! It seems like yesterday that the group arrived, and now I’ve just said goodbye. As they say, time is relative. Then again, I guess fishing is too. Anyway, this week was defenatly a quality over quantity week. Despite catching fewer fish than previous weeks, we landed 5 fish over 20lb this week. The largest being 23lb. The total landed fish for the week capped at 88 fish. At the beginning of the week we had a good rain which despite soaking the ground, did little else to the river other than to discolour it, albeit fractionally and only for a few hours. The level might have gone up an inch or two, which was bit of a disappointment. I don’t know where it all went to. Re-filled the beaver holes I guess. It’s getting colder everyday, the water being no exception. We’ve started getting more and more fish on larger flies, so if you’re on your way here, don’t forget to pack a couple leeches and sunrays. See you on the water Kau Tapen Guide Team For more Fishing Report click HERE

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Kau Tapen Lodge – Fishing Report 2015

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Nervous Waters Kau Tapen Lodge Fishing Report – February 2015 – By James Topham The weeks are flying by! And a melting pot of nationalities has joined us at Kau Tapen Lodge united by their love, or curiosity, of monster Patagonian sea trout. So far no one has left disappointed. This past week, three Americans, two Norwegians, and six Brits got the full experience and entertained the guides with some great fishing and excellent company. Status quo tactics remain productive for now, with small Rubber-Legged Nymphs fished on long leaders during the day followed by fishing by larger Sunrays and leeches at night. Water temperatures have been getting colder, and the bigger flies are becoming more effective, inciting some aggressive takes. Despite the drop in water temperature, the Rio Grande is still on the low and clear side. It is however raining at the time of this writing, so let’s hope for a little bump. Overall, 125 fish were landed this week, with top honors going to Jim Simcoke for the largest of the week at 18 pounds. Hope to see you out here soon! The Kau Tapen guide team For more Fishing Report click HERE

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