KAU TAPEN LODGE
KAU TAPEN LODGE
In the mid 1930s juvenile Brown Trout were planted in Tierra del Fuego’s Rio Grande River which resulted in the most fabulous sea run Brown Trout fishery in the world.
Fifty years later, Donovan and Jacqueline De Las Carreras built Kau Tapen Lodge (means “house of fishing” in the local Indian language) which was the first fishing lodge on the Rio Grande and set a standard of excellence that has been copied by lodges from all over the world.
It set a standard for both the quality of accommodations and fishing that has kept anglers coming to Kau Tapen Lodge ever since. Kau Tapen has an 80% return rate!
Five world records have been set at Kau Tapen. 27 to 35 pound trout are caught each season and 20 pounders are caught every week. A stay at Kau Tapen will get you into a fishing experience of a lifetime.
Imagine spending the day catching these monster sea run Browns and then coming back to a five star lodge for cocktails and finishing off the day with a great gourmet meal and plenty of world famous Argentine wine.
At a Glance
Target Fish: Sea run Brown Trout
Location: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Seasons: December through April
Lodge Capacity: 12 guests
Nearest Airport: Rio Grande
Electricity: 220 volts. Voltage converters should be purchased prior to arriving.
Documents Needed: Passport (no visa needed for travelers from USA and most western European countries. Also, the reciprocity fee is no longer needed
In 1935 John Goodall stocked the first trout in the Rio Grande drainage. Of the 100,000 eggs that were shipped from Chile in milk cans, 60,000 eggs survived and grew into smolts that were subsequently stocked in the river and tributaries.
They became anadromous after discovering the great abundance of food in the river’s estuary where their growth rate accelerated beyond that of any Brown Trout in any other ecosystem in the world.
After spending about 6-12 months in the ocean they will make their first spawning run up the Rio Grande, at that point they will have reached a weight of about 6 lbs. After spawning, most of the fish will return to the ocean and continue to feed and grow.
Most of the fish you will catch will be in the 6 to 12 lb range, with some as big as 20 to 30 lbs. They have few natural enemies so the population is always stable. The spawning runs of the Rio Grande’s Browns is spread out over the season so no matter what your timing is, there will always be plenty of fish. The season runs from December 27 to early April and fishing is strictly catch and release.
Kau Tapen has exclusive access to 70 pools and access to both sides of the river. Because the river bottom consists of fine gravel, most fishermen have an easy time wading. On a typical day your time will be split between morning and evening sessions.
After returning to the lodge for lunch, you will have a few hours to rest or enjoy a traditional siesta after which you will meet again with your guide to fish into early evening. Only the most qualified professional guides, whether they hail from the local area or from other parts of the world, are employed at Kau Tapen.
All speak fluent English and are excellent instructors in all aspects of fly fishing including both spey casting and single handed.
Best Fly Fishing Seasons:
December 27 to early April
From the very beginning in 1984 Donovan and Jacqueline De Las Carreras set out to create the ultimate fishing experience for its guests. After several days of travel to almost the bottom of the world, your first impression upon your arrival at the lodge, is what an anomaly your adventure is going to be as you realize that you will be spending a week of not only fly fishing in one of the most desolate places in the world, yet at the same time to enjoy staying at one of the world’s most luxurious fishing lodges. The lodge’s location along the river was picked so its guests would have easy access to the best pools on the Rio Grande.
On Site Amenities
Satellite TV and VCR
Spa, Jacuzzi, and Finnish steam bath
The wood paneled lodge accommodates up to 12 guests in 9 spacious rooms, and features a dining room, sitting room, bar, wader room and fly tying table. A full service fly shop is also on the premises.
When you are not fishing, you can relax next to a fire in the spacious living room, pour yourself a drink and enjoy the grand vista of Rio Grande Valley. Of the nine bedrooms six are suites with two queen size beds, the others have a king size bed apiece.
All bedrooms have private bath with bathrobe provided. If that is not enough the lodge also has a full spa with Jacuzzi, sauna and a Finnish steam bath.
The food is fabulous and is served al-a-cart with Argentina’s famed beef a specialty. A traditional Argentine Asado (barbeque) will be held during your stay where you can have a choice of several cuts of beef and and imaginative salads.
After traveling to Buenos Aires/Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) you must transfer to the Domestic Airport to catch a flight to either Ushuaia or Rio Grande which are close to the lodge.
We recommend that you arrive in Buenos Aires on a Friday and spend the night. By arriving in Buenos Aires on Friday the day before you reach the lodge, you will have time to acclimatize to the time zone and visit one of the most beautiful cities in the western hemisphere.
The next morning you can travel to the Domestic Airport by cab to catch your flight.
Season 2019-2020: December 28, 2019 – April 11, 2020
December 28 – Jan 4 $ 7,950
January 4 – 11 $ 9,250*
January 11 – March 7 $ 10,350 *
March 7 – 14 $ 9,250 *
March 14 – 21 $ 7,950
March 21 – 28 $ 6,950
March 28 – April 4 $ 5,950
April 4 – 11 $ 4,950
Fishing License: $80. per person