April 2016

Kau tapen Lodge: March 28th – April 1st, 2016

Fernando and his group of Argentine amigos joined us for a shorter than usual five days this week. In the past this group has predominantly experienced high dirty water with the use of heavy colourful leeches being essential. So on the opening session of the week it was somewhat of a culture shock to suggest the use of green machines. Many of the anglers had never even seen this deadly creation, producing four inch long green leeches when asked did they possess one in their fly box. After four hours fishing all were convinced of its effectiveness with all anglers landing fish. Fernando had a particularly good session landing three fish, best of which was 14 pounds. For the first morning session of the week we were greeted by foggy overcast conditions with absolutely no wind. It is probably the first time I have experienced such conditions on the Rio Grande and it was most eerie. Guiding on Hills beat with father and son, Ricardo and Ricardo, I got them fishing seperate pools and warned them that the only audible noise to be made was a whistle to indicate a fish was on such was the poor visibility and stillness of the morning. Not long into the session a short sharp shrill was heard upstream and I was off at full tilt, net in hand. Upon arrival the single handed eight weight was doubled over and the long lazy head knocks indicated a fish well over 10 pounds. A tedious battle ensued with the end result being a 20 pound hen fish for Ricardo jnr. Julio and Guillermo did well the same morning both landing fish in the teen’s. A major drop in overnight temperatures midweek saw water temperatures plummet to four degrees celcius and the green machine tactic went […]

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Pira Lodge – End of Season 2016

Pira Fishing

The Dream Season Seasons, just like the name implies, are all about change. Some are challenging, where rewards are hard won. Others are easier, where seemingly every cast comes with the promise of a hard-pulling dorado. Seasons are about weather: Too much rain. Never enough rain. And seasons are about the fish. Where were they? Did they bite? And how much did they weigh? This past season at Pira Lodge was all of the above, but more than any one individual seasonal-ism, 2016 will be remembered for its great overall fishing. It was a dream season for all those involved. It’s always great to get back to the marsh to see how big the dorado are getting. This year our guides and clients found some HUGE ones. Starting in January we found healthy numbers large fish. High-water conditions also gave us ample opportunity to explore outside the main river and fish small channels that are typically dry. We found some spectacular mousing for mega dorado in these skinny-water haunts. February was also fantastic at Pira. With water levels dropping and cooling, golden dorado became active and aggressive. Stormy days with sweeping atmospheric pressure changes made the dorado go wild. Fishing in the marsh came to life with some exciting surface action. The Corrientes River, on the other hand, also fished well. We saw many fish in the 5- to 10-pound class, with a good number of 11- to 15-pound dorado. A special mention must be made of our Russian guest who landed a beastly 21.5 pounder, which is an excellent fish for Pira. Or anywhere for that matter. The good fishing theme continued through March—in the marsh and on the river and its productive side channels. It was a month of great visual takes and some great fish. Notably, another […]

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Villa María Lodge: March 20 – 27, 2016

Season Essentials

We have just  finished one of the most challenging weeks on the Rio Grande this season. The problem wasn’t fish—we have the fish! But the weather  divided the week in half–cold and windy and very mild, windless, and warm the second half. In fact we had a couple of the warmest days of the year with temperatures up to 26 degree Celsius! Generally, it was cool early in the mornings and very warm during the day. This also altered the water temp that was moving like a roller-coaster. And,at the same time, the water was starting to warm up, it’s level was dropping fast. I.e: last monday at 8am the air temperature was 5C and the water 6/8C but around 2pm the air was 25C and the water 14/16C. All these fast changes and the complete lack of wind and blue sky made the fish very unpredictable, shy, and prone to very short periods of activity. Good casts, better presentations, slow swings, and good dose of patience were the ticket to succeed with Rio Grande’s sea trout. We had a group lead by women this week, something not very usual to see in a fishing lodge at this latitude. So we were not short on laughters and good conversation. And for first timers in this river, they did a wonderful job! Every rod in the group got at least one fish over 17lbs! In these conditions, there was not a special set up to use and we were forced to change lines, tips and flies constantly. The tips varied from 3 to 12ft and from intermediate to T14, depending on temp, pool depth and fish activity. Smaller than usual nymphs and bright streamers of different colors were the first choice of guides and fishermen. Thanks a lot to Sam, Demetre, […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 12 – 19, 2016

For me one of the major attractions to fishing for sea trout on the Rio Grande has always been the ability of the river and its fish to put the angler to the ultimate test. If you do not have “your shit together” as a former guide used to say, you will experience frustration, the feeling of inadequacy can burn through your arms as each cast fails to land in its desired location. Its not all doom and gloom however as each session passes your ability improves and you slowly begin to conquer your demons. Your confidence rises once things start fitting into place and that burning sensation turns to pure elation once your line goes tight and you feel thoses first couple of head shakes. I feel a greater appreciation and sense of achievement is  obtained by doing some hard yards at the start of the week rather than nailing fish from the get go. The Rio Grande certainly made our guests appreciate their fish this week as gusts of 80 kmph were experienced on the opening session. The river was transformed into a sea of white horses and for the first session of the season all guides returned for siesta empty handed. A significant abatement in the wind for the evening session allowed us to restore some parity on the scoresheets. Italian angler and Kau Tapen regular Andrea managed to land three fish, the biggest of which was 13 pounds, while his fishing partner David landed the fish of his dreams a beautiful 19 pound female. On the same evening Bernard here for his second week had a 19 pounder with the current big fish specialist Diego. Monday morning saw the wind causing more havoc, blowing from a North easterly direction which makes many of our pools extremely […]

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Pirá Lodge Fishing Report – March 2016

The rainy season is almost over, water in the marsh is dropping, and fishing conditions are as good as they get. Over the past week, we’ve had success on the Corriente River swinging large streamers on a deep (300-grain) line. Floating lines have also done well, blind-casting to the banks with 2/0 streamers in black/purple, black/red, and straight black with a little flash and a muddler-style head. Mouse patterns have also been moving fish off the banks. Fishing in the marsh, on the other hand, has also given us some nice surprises. One of them was Michael’s 13-pounder that measured 89 centimeters and put up a great fight. Rick’s 9-pounder was also memorable. It appeared alongside a school of dorado close to the boat. With some fast thinking he dropped his streamer in front of the pack, stripped fast and hard, and watched as it was instantly annihilated. That kind of visual is hard to beat. The fish of the week, however, went to Cole who connected with his 19.5 pounder in a sidechannel trickle. The dorado jumped the fly in about 5 feet of water, and after an incredible battle Cole and his guide, Fergus, were able to tail it for the camera. Congrats, guys! Looking ahead, the forecast remains promising with coolish mornings and evenings and ideal river temps for tempting more big dorado.

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Kau tapen Lodge: March 5 – 12, 2016

Adjectives Reading people, specifically anglers is a talent all guides acquire after just a short time guiding, as my ghille back in South Kerry would say “ is not needed but paying close attention to the adjectives they use usually gives the game awayhe week, however  you can tell by the way they walk down to the boat whether they are any good to fish or not”, of course this refers directly to talent which ultimately affects the anglers success during the week, however success does not have to determine how much an individual angler enjoys their week. This is where reading your guests goes to the next level, a degree in phycology is not needed but paying close attention to the adjectives they use usually gives the game away. “I need to catch a fish this evening”, as opposed to “I would like to catch a fish”. Kau Tapen guide Diego, with his limited English (a good deal better than my Spanish) uses what I feel the perfect adjectives when it comes to fishing, his catch phrase has become ¨maybe I have the opportunity and possibility to catch a fish in this place¨, for all anglers, no matter where they are fishing this is a super approach to take. Needing to catch a fish is like buying a lotto ticket in order to pay your next mortgage instalment, you will be over the moon if it comes through but there is an even bigger chance you will be disappointed with the end result. Timo from Sweden was our most anticipated guest of the season, somewhat of a father Christmas to the guide team he had in his possession a large order of Danielsson reels which we had ordered, needless to say we were like children around a Christmas tree […]

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Kau tapen Lodge: February 27 – March 5, 2016

  Dream Guests Its no secret that you enjoy guiding some guests more than others, nationality is irrelavant as difficult guests can come from any corner of the planet. It is always astounding to get the distinct impression from your guests that you are actually trying to hinder their chances of catching a fish when in fact you are doing your upmost to do the opposite. Thankfully such guests are few and far between and the group we welcomed to Kau Tapen this week were all polar opposites to those just described, in fact for both guides and house staff these folks could only be described as dream guests. Both relaxing and pleasant to be around, our time on the river this week seemed to fly by and no sooner had we finished assembling rods than it felt like we were having our final tapas night of the week. A slight rise in water levels ( 4 – 5cm) just as the guests arrived lifted not only the river but also the sea trouts spirits and quite alot of movement was observed during the low light conditions of early morning and dusk ( the sea trouts preferred time to travel upstream). The family group of Janet and Bill accompanied by their sons Jake and Frost started their first week of two on the Rio Grande, here with us in Kau Tapen, they have travelled down river this week to see what the Villa Maria waters have to offer. For Frost and Jake it was their second season down here with the double handers and the improvement in their ability was tenfold, so much in fact that they almost got a compliment  from fly casting supremo Max Mameav “ Almost”. Although it may kill their father Bill to admit it these […]

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Villa María Lodge: February 21 – 28, 2016

Looks like rain is the big absent this summer on the Rio Grande. The river remains very low and clear, but it’s still delivering the best sea-run brown trout fishing on the planet! Light rain last week bumped water levels by less than an inch. That doesn’t sound like much, but the fish feel the difference and react accordingly—charging upstream or changing positions in the pools. The group of return anglers we had knew the drill and how to properly adapt to the ever-so-slight changes. Faced with low water, relatively strong winds, and cool temperatures—dropping all the way to 3-degrees C at night—they found success. The “Best New Entrance Award” goes to Ingve, our Icelandic pal who during his first Rio Grande tour hooked and landed a superb 24-pound buck! But that wasn’t the only big fish of the week; everyone in the group landed at least one fish over 20 pounds, with Neil scoring his at week’s end—right before the buzzer! Again, we dabbled with a variety of flies for best results across changing light, temperature, and time-of-day conditions. Summertime staples like small nymphs and green machines performed somewhat better than others. And leeches remain the almighty option in low-light conditions. Regarding lines: Skagit heads with short sink-tips have been the go-to option. Although, floating and intermediates lines saw a lot of action this week—and success. The group also enjoyed using ultra-light switch rods, so it was fun dealing with some monsters that the river kicked their way. Largest fish of the week: 24 lbs. Fish over 20 lbs: 7 Fish over 15 lbs: 28   Alejandro Martello Villa Maria Lodge Fishing Manager

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Kau tapen Lodge: February 20 – 27, 2016

  Midway point Week number 7 has seen us reach the half way point in our season, physcoligically for all staff this is a significant milestone, working in an isolated location, far from family and friends is not easy but knowing you are on the home stretch gives you a calm reassurance that you are almost there. We had a predominantly Russian group of guests this week with the exception of Kau Tapen legend and all round gentleman Gianni who was also accompanied by his wife Lalla. Thankfully the moody fish of last week have settled into the cold water regime and  were less affected by cold overnight  temperatures. Persistant upstream winds on Sunday, Thursday and Friday did hamper the anglers efforts at straight line presentation however cloudy conditions on the evening sessions made for very productive fishing and with the early on set of darkness some of the fishing at the so called magic hour was ridiculous. Sergei with guide Gaston set an early benchmark on the warm up session landing a 13 pound fish which heightened expectations for all other guests immediately. His fishing partner Igor did not have to wait long and went one better the following morning landing an 18 pounder. Fishing alone Gianni did what he does every year, taking his time he carefully picks out as many fish as he can from each pool, at the age of eighty  the mans ability to catch fish after fish is amazing and if the truth were told caught many more fish than men half his age. The phrase “the olde dog for the hard road and the puppy for the path” comes to mind. There was a touch of Hollywood around the place as Vladimir, making a film about different fishing destination around the world had […]

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