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Rio Grande, Sea Run Brown TroutI got lucky last week and was able to sneak into a cancellation at the last second to Kau Tapen lodge in Tierra Del Fuego, fishing the Rio Grande for sea-run brown trout. Thanks to help from some of Fins and Flies boys, I somehow made it happen. Overall the experience was as good as any I have had on a fly fishing trip. The fishing was exceptional, weather was exceptional, accommodations and food was very good though probably not worth the money if I had to pay full fare. The guides were very good and other guests where great.The fishing was interesting. Fish seemed to turn on and off very regularly and for no apparent reason. You might be crushing them in one run and a mile away you are going fishless. Having never swung flies before it was a very new experience and i missed a couple fish right out of the gate as you really don’t set the hook. I got yelled at a few times for that and for creating impressive amounts of wind knots. Once I figured that out, hook ups increased. I was pretty much only effective with my 7wt with my floating line and a sinking polly leader or just full floater. Got two real nice fish on floating line fishing glass calm water on a green machine fly fished about one inch below the surface. Very cool to see a 10+ pound trouts’ whole head and back come out of the water as it roles on a fly in those conditions. You see it all happen before you feel it. It was great to hook up to these fish and fight fish on the 7wt but was a little tricky when the winds of Patagonia reared their ugly heads. Fortunately, to our amazement and luck that did not happen too often this week. I mean it blew everyday at some point and hard some days but not at all what I was mentally prepared for. It was amazing how the fish usually turned on as the sun started setting and it was torture to have to leave the water at 10:30 every night as the fish were generally fired up and taking flies well. That was really the only thing that really bothered me. Having the morning session after fist light so we could have a big fancy breakfast was not ideal. The schedule was fish 9am to 1:30 then 6pm to 10:30. This schedule did however create an environment to get drunk twice a day though. In fact, on my best evening session I was pretty dam stewed. Overall I would say the fish were much more impressive than I had expected and I was very surprised how much they jumped and the display they put on fight-wise. Many of the fish I caught including the bigger fish jumped more than the tarpon or steelhead I have caught. The Patagonia sea-run brown trout are really spectacular fish.

Sunday AM: No fish had a take but set hook and it pulled out.
Sunday PM: Got two chrome fresh fish 6 and 12 pounds both with tags in them
Monday AM: Big morning, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 pound fish
Monday PM: 8 and a 12 pound fish
Tuesday AM: One 3 pound fish and a real nice resident brown over 20″
Tuesday PM: One decent 10 pound fish
Wednesday AM: 4, 8, 17 and 18 the three biggest fish all from one run called Nirvana, man that was very cool.
Wednesday PM: 4, 6, 9, 10, 15, 17,epic day all around
Thursday AM: Nadda not even a touch from a resident, crazy … as other rods in near by pools did fine.
Thursday PM: Straightened the hook on a good fish and landed a 13 pounder to keep the streak alive. I also hooked into a nice beaver, took me into its backing as it went into it’s home very weird. Thank god fly came out once I dragged it back out of its hole.
Friday AM: One 4 and a nice 12 pounder on a surface fly
Friday PM: 5, 10 and a 12 that took right at 10:30 so it was great to finish with a quality fish on one of my own flies.

Final Tally: 28 sea runs, countless small residents and a few real nice residents.
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