Fly Fishing For Sea Run Brown Trout – Patagonia – Argentina
The largest brown trout in the world run from the ocean up the legendary Rio Grande in Southern Argentina, Patagonia to spawn and anglers travel from far and wide in the hope of landing a 20 pound plus sea trout.
Kau Tapen was started in 1985 and owned by the de las Carreras family and is run by Nervous Waters, owners of an impressive portfolio of flyfishing lodges throughout Argentina, Chile and the Bahamas.
The Rio Grande is not a huge river, most pools coverable with a long cast of a singlehanded 8 weight and relaxed easy cast with a double handed equivalent. The modus operandi is swinging large woolly buggers and leeches in high water and small flies like Prince nymphs and rubber legged bitch creek nymphs bounced on the bottom in low water. If you heard that the wind blows in Tierrra del Fueo it is indeed no exaggeration, when the guides drive down to the pools they carefully point the vehicle into the wind for fear of the doors being blown clean off their hinges as they are opened! The long lazy meanders of the Rio Grande means there is always a pool where the wind conveniently blows away from your right shoulder. One starts at the head of a pool, casting short gradually lengthening and allowing the fly to swing temptingly in the current. The far bank outside bend, where the current is fastest and the bank the most undercut is the sweet spot. Satisfyingly dropping the fly tight to the lush green grass on the opposite bank, a quick upstream mend to try and hold the fly there a shade longer is more often than not rewarded with an arm renching take and line peeling from the reel.
The fishing timetable is about the most civilised you could imagine, up at 7 am a leisurely breakfast before heading off with your guide, fishing till 12:30 returning to a log fire warmed lodge for along lunch. Perfectly cooked beef and lamb dishes with the ubiquitous glass or three of wine means an afternoon siesta becomes an easy cultural adjustment. Back out a 3pm and fishing well into the sunset this is often the session when the bigger fish are taken, sea trout the world over are far more aggressive in the dwindling light and the pitch black. Heading back to the lodge at 11 pm for a late dinner and sampling more superb Argentine wine is like ground hog day in paradise all over again!