“If you had asked me a year ago what my future plans were, I’d probably have told you that I’d still be stuck at university, scraping through the shitty pages of textbooks, while frothing over each and every fishy Instagram post from around the world. Although that’s true for only half of this year, I’ve somehow found myself on the edge the world, chasing sea-run brown trout. And, even after two months of being on the water daily, the realisation of what my job is, hasn’t quite hit home.
Tierra Del Fuego is one gnarly place. Kau Tapen Lodge is situated in the Rio Grande Valley, which is one of the most intensely harsh and desolate environments I’ve had the pleasure to experience. They say Montana is “big sky country”, and although I haven’t been there (yet), I can almost bet that this place will give it some serious competition, especially in the final hours of the day, where the sunsets will just melt your face off.
The weeks leading up to the season were filled with nervous anticipation. I wondered if I’d be able to pull it off without any serious hiccoughs, and whether or not I’d get a feel for the fish, and the style of fishing that’s used down here. At home in South Africa, fishing the swing is a completely foreign concept to most. Throw in a double handed rod, a whole bunch of technical jargon, different gear and techniques and you have yourself the style known as spey fishing. It is one of the coolest ways to fish, and I cannot wait to apply some of the principles of it to the fish at home! For example, here, one of the most exciting flies to fish is a Sunray Shadow. A salmon fly, featuring a very simplistic design, with a bit of monkey fur and flash tied on a tube, fished on an intermediate line just under the surface, with long slow strips. You can just imagine how a sea trout eats that thing. It’s wild.”
Nick van Rensburg of FlyBru on his first season guiding at Kau Tapen Lodge on the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. Read the full story in issue 17 below: