Where it all started... Kau-Tapen ("House of Fishing" in the Ona
language) was the first fly fishing lodge in Tierra del Fuego and
represents the standard of elegance by which other lodges are measured.
What started as the brainchild of Jorge Donovan and Jacqueline De
Las Carreras more than thirty years ago, has revolutionized the
way in which the fishing world views big trout. Located in the heart
of the Rio Grande -the best River for Sea Trout fly fishing in the
world- Kau Tapen combines the most elegant accommodations with mind-boggling
Sea Trout fly fishing, holding many world records for Sea Run Trout.
The first brown trout were stocked in Tierra del Fuego by John Goodall
in 1935. Shipped from Puerto Montt in Chile, 60,000 'salmo trutta'
eggs survived the arduous journey to be planted on the Candelaria
and McLennan rivers, both tributaries of the Rio Grande. These fish
eventually found their way to the sea, possibly attracted by the
rich nourishment of the estuary. These sea-run brown trout now complete
the yearly migratory cycle of salmonids, spawning during the summer
months in freshwater. Salmo trutta trutta remain in the river
for a period of time which ranges between 1 and 4 years until their
first migration to the sea, where they will feed and grow for about
6 months before their first return to freshwater, weighing approximately
6lbs. Researchers have found trout which had spawned more than 6
times. A trout which has completed 4 cycles of returning to freshwater
can weigh over 20 lbs. The frequency with which they return to freshwater
is also an indicator that the fish face very few threats. Whilst
also providing a very real example of the benefits of Catch and
The lodge is located on the banks of the Rio Grande, in Tierra del
Fuego, Argentina. The success of the fishery on the Rio Grande is
a modern-day fisherman's Cinderella story. In just a decade, through
access control and the diligent promotion of catch and release,
average catch results have risen remarkably from less than a fish
a day in the early '80's, to multiple fish per day, per person.
In the modern era, starting with the opening of Kau Tapen Lodge
in the early '80s, the Rio Grande became the most productive sea-run
trout fishery in the world. However, trout numbers fluctuate with
conditions at sea, tides, water levels, and a host of other natural
factors. The Rio Grande flows from East to West, from the Andes
to the Atlantic Ocean, through 70 km of Argentine territory. The
landscape of Tierra del Fuego is reminiscent of Wyoming or the Scottish
flow country. It is a sparsely populated wilderness. Large sheep
farming estancias share this land with herds of wild llama-like
guanacos, red foxes, and condors.
Mid December - End of April
Built in 1983, Kau Tapen lodge was designed to offer rods maximum
comfort during their fishing trip, as well as easy accessibility
to the pools. It accommodates up to 12 guests in 8 twin rooms and
1 double bedroom. A large living room area opens up to vistas of
the Menendez Valley and Rio Grande valley. A large roaring fire
and well stocked bar will welcome you after every fishing session.
The lodge has a tackle shop with a good selection of rods, good
quality reels, flies, lines, and clothing equipment, especially
selected to suit the needs of your trip. In addition, guests have
the full use of the lodge's fly tying table and equipment. The lodge
has 2 wading rooms, a sauna, Finnish steam bath and Massage room.
PACKAGE / PRICING
Starting from U$S 5950.- Package / Per person
6 1/2 fishing days / 7 nights
Minimum 2 anglers
Included: Ground transfer, Rio Grande airport / ranch round
trip; 7-night accommodation in an exclusive ranch with all meals
and beverages (liquors, wine & beer); 6 1/2 fishing days with qualify
guide. Not included: Airfare; fishing license, fishing equipment
and flies, clothes, personal insurance and gratuities.
HOW TO GET THERE
Kau Tapen Lodge is reached from Rio Grande city. There are daily
flights from Buenos Aires to Rio Grande airport where a member of
the staff will be waiting to drive you to the lodge. Domestic flights
can be arranged.
EQUIPMENT & GEAR
Wading All of our fishing is in rivers and streams, wading
from the coast. One pair of fly weight chest waders and one pair
of neoprene chest waders is recommended. The new waders "non-condensation"
is the best for walking. The comfort of your wading shoes is very
Rods Bring 2-3 rods. A good combination is:
8/9 weight spey rod.
-- 9-91/2; 7/8 weight single handed rod.
Lines We suggest:
--Floating lines for each rod.
--Sink tip lines 7-9. (like Scientific Angler Ultra 2 wet tip IV
10 or Tenny Nymph Tip)
--Shooting head sink tip line 7-9 weight (Teeny T200 or T300 or
shooting line sink V).
--Optional: Intermediate sinking line. Baking 75-100 yards is sufficient.
Leaders From 4 to 12 feet long. Tippet material is extremely
important in Argentina. The trout are very strong and powerful.
Your tippet material should be sheer resistant as well as have the
maximum breaking strength in small daymeters.
Flies Bring plenty of flies. You can lose 6-10 flies a day
on snags, in trees, by breaking off fish or on stones. Streamers:
Wooky Bugger, black and olive (from size # 4 to 10); Rabbits, cinnamon
and black (size #2 to 8); Matukas, green and olive (size #8 to 12);
Blonde, white (size #2 to 6); Cone Head Marabou Muddler, brown and
white (size #2 to 8). Nymphs: Prince (size # 10 to 14); Hare´s
Ear, natural and black (size #10 to 16); Soft Hackle, cinnamon and
black (size # 8 to 14); Kauffman´s Stone black (size # 6 to 10);
Montana (size # 8 to 14). Dry Flies: Adams (size # 10 to
16), Elk Hair Cádiz, natural and black (from sizes # 10 to16); Red
Humpy (sizes # 10 to 14), Blak Gnat (size # 12 to16), Goddard Cáddis,
natural (size # 10 to 14) and Irresistible (size # 12 to 16).