Built in 1983, Kau Tapen Lodge was designed to offer rods maximum comfort during their fishing trips, as well as easy access to the best pools on Patagonia’s world famous Rio Grande. Today the breathtaking lodge—brimming with first-class hospitality—accommodates up to 12 guests. It has five en-suite bedrooms with two queen-size beds each as well as five double bedrooms with king beds, also ensuite.
A large living room opens up to peaceful vistas of the Menendez and Rio Grande valleys and includes a roaring fire and a well stocked bar—welcoming you after every fly-fishing session.The lodge also boasts a tackle shop with an excellent selection of Sage rods, quality fly reels, flies, lines, clothing, and equipment. In addition, guests have full use of the lodge’s fly-tying table and equipment.
Additional Kau Tapen highlights include two wading/fly gear rooms, a sauna and Finnish steam bath, and a massage room. Fish with gusto, relax in style, and remember: You’re always at home at Kau Tapen Lodge.
Kau Tapen offers a first-rate kitchen, an in-house executive chef, and an a la carte menu featuring wonderful cuisine based on local meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and tempting deserts. A traditional asado (BBQ) will be held once during your stay, and you can sample various cuts of meat alongside savory sides, delicious salads, and an impressive list of top Argentine wines to wash it all down.
Pioneering angler John Goodall planted the seed—quite literally—for a fly-fishing legacy when he introduced brown trout to the Tierra del Fuego region in 1935. It’s believed that 60,000 salmo trutta eggs survived the arduous journey Puerto Montt to the Candelaria and McLennan rivers, both tribs of the Rio Grande. Over the years these trailblazing trout established a foothold and began annual migrations to sea, returning to freshwater in the fall to spawn.
Although most of their lives are spent in the ocean, sea run brown trout of Tierra del Fuego seem to retain more of the eccentricities of resident browns than, for instance, steelhead do of resident rainbows. Moody fish, they must be shown flies the way they want to see them; at the precise time that they’re ready to take. The Rio Grande isn’t a big river and it’s compatible with a wide range of techniques.
Welcome to Patagonia’s Tierra del Fuegoarchipelago, a fly-fishing frontier split vertically by the Argentina and Chile border at the southern most tip of the South American continent. Kau Tapen has lived in the region for more than 30 years and is located southwest of the coastal city of Rio Grande. The lodgesaddles theArgentine side of the town’s namesake river—home to world-renowned fly-fishing for record-size sea run brown trout.
The Rio Grande flows west to east, from its headwaters in the Andes to its Atlantic Ocean outlet, and through approximately 45 miles of Argentine territory. The wind-swept landscape of Tierra del Fuego is reminiscent of Wyoming or the Scottish lowlands. It has a stark oceanic climate and features sparsely populated wilderness spotted with sheep farming estancias, herds of wild llama-like guanacos, red foxes, soaring condors and, of course, impressive annual returns of sea run trout.
SpeciesSea run brown trout were first introduced to Tierra del Fuego by John Goodall in 1935. Today they are one of the most widely distributed non-native fish in Patagonia. Similar to steelhead and salmon they spend most of their lives in the ocean and return to their natal freshwater streams annually to spawn.
While in the salt, sea runs have a penchant for packing on length, girth, and muscle and a trout that has completed four return cycles can weigh more than 20 lbs. Many monster specimens will complete up to six cycles and have been known to push 30+ pounds. These larger fish have led to several fly-fishing World Records on the Rio Grande to date. The latter is a testament to the prime overall health of the fishery.
Research tells us brown trout become sea run brown trout due to a mix of environmental and genetic factors.With superhighway access to nutrient rich and protein-laced environments,the migration from inland to ocean havens has become as natural as the changing of the tides—and this special fishery at Kau Tapen Lodge continues to prosper because of it.