Kau Tapen Roundup

It’s amazing how time flies as we have already passed the mid-point of our 2020 season. Another great week was in the books as we welcomed some old friends, like Kjell and Dave. Hubert and his son Jean-Hubert were also returning clients who we have been fishing with for many years and were happy to see again this year. It was also great to welcome new members to Kau Tapen for their first time. Charles and Brian from Canada, Pierre from France (who had fished our old sister Lodge “Toon Ken” years before), and Bud from Colorado. Neither Bud nor Brian had ever cast spey rods before but showed the group how easy it can be to learn!

Kau Tapen, Sea Trout, Rio Grande, Aardvark McLeod

Weather Conditions

From day one, both water level and clarity were inconsistent, changing every day. This made it hard for us to find the most effective approach. On top of this, very cold nights forced the water temperatures down to 8 °C. However, on some sunnier days the temperatures rose to way to 16 °C but midday.

Kau Tapen, Sea Trout, Rio Grande, Aardvark McLeod

Fishing Conditions

While stable conditions blessed our fishing during the previous week, this week showed more severe fluctuations in weather and water once again. Strong winds greeted the guests, and the rain in the mountains from the previous week started to show in the river.

The first few days were affected by small pushes of water that increased the level by 20 cm (8 inches). This resulted in the Río Menéndez and the Río Grande being high early in the week. Despite this, jumping and porpoising fish indicated lots of fish movement in our system. These running fish mixed up the pools and once a pool settled, hook-ups soon followed.

The low visibility early in the week made it tough to get the fly close to the fish, even with a big tube fly in front of a leech and a long T-17 tip. Shallow pools with good holding structure produced the best results, which considering the conditions proved a saving grace. Those able to get the fly close enough to the fish, hooked up. Like Dave, who was able to land three big fish in one of the shallower runs.

Kau Tapen, Sea Trout, Rio Grande, Aardvark McLeod

Despite these conditions the team did surprisingly well. Dave, had an amazing start to his week landing a chunky 16 lb and 17 lb fish while running through the first pool he fished. Brian and Charles took the pressure off with a few nice fish straight out of the gate. This hot-start was topped by Bud’s fantastic 21 lb sea trout caught during his first evening session, this was his first day of spey casting, so a stunning result.

As the week progressed less debris was being washed down and the river slowly started dropping and clearing. By Thursday the visibility was good enough to fish all pools with confidence with most beats producing good fishing. Even though the river was dropping at a slow pace it was started to look very “fishy” again on the last day, so prospects for next week are looking good.


Most action was had while combining heavy tips with small leeches, intruders, and heavy rubber leg patterns fished very slowly. Not only was it difficult to find the right approach, the rapid changes in conditions also affected the fish’s activity seeming to put the fish down for periods of the day. Nonetheless, if you were in the right pool at the right time you could have some great fishing. Much like Jean-Hubert and Hubert, who landed six fish up to 16 lbs in one pool on the second evening, or Pierre, who hooked 9 fish just on Tuesday, landing some very nice double digit fish up to 16 lbs.

Kau Tapen, Sea Trout, Rio Grande, Aardvark McLeod

We where especially impressed by the amount of 8-12 lbs fish that were landed this week. The high water seemed to have pushed in large numbers of mid-sized fish, which were happy takers and provided some amazing sport. The conditions certainly were not easy but everyone still had some great fishing and plenty of fun. With ever improving conditions we can’t wait for next week.

If you would like more information then please do not hesitate to contact Steffan Jones or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.