been fished, nearly every fisherman i talked to in Chilean
Patagonia spoke of streams that had never been fished.
the concept didin't ever seem unusual to any of them. A man in Coyhaique
asked me if I knew any Americans potentially interested in investing
in a lodge operation. He wanted to offer spike camps to fish rivers
that didin't even have names.
weeks after I had returned home from fishing in Chile's vast, sparsely
populated region of Patagonia, I spoke on the phone with Jay Burgin,
the American partner of Estancia del Zorro and Cinco Rios lodges near
Coyhaique, where I had stayed.
since you've been down here we've fond another spring creek," Burgin
said. "It's never been fished that anybody knos. Not with a worm,
a flay or dynamite caps. The guides went up into it and say there are
30-inch fish living there."
even though these are fishermen speaking, I belive it.
Belive it because i fished at a tiny spring creek that winds through
Burgin's Estancia del Zorro property, and heard stories of a legendary
fish nicknamed "Tippet Cutter" that lived under a nearby bridge.
I fished with 2X tippet -2X on a spring creek, mind you- in
anticipation of the rodeo that would take place if I were to hook something
like the 32-inch, 15-pounder that came out of the same creek a couple
mainly I belive it because Rodrigo says it's so, and I've come to belive
everything Rodrigo says.
since you've been down here, we've found another spring creek'
told Rodrigo I would kiss him, wich probably weighed on him a fair bit.
He was the guide, after all -and had to make the gringo happy- but he's
also a Latin guy, and so was probably bothered by the prospect. Who
Knows what gringos are goin to insist on?
days prior, I was fishing on another spring creek and caught tons of
decent fish, just pop, pop, pop one right after another -in
my first five cast I'd caught three fish- but nothing particularly large.
Today I wanted something... hefly.
was trying to be reasonable. I'd heard over and over again rumors about
the 10-, 12-, 15-pound browns lurking under the cutbanks.
I said, "how could a fish that big hide from me in this tiny little
dudes are hard to
They are wild and intelligent," he replied. "That's why they
I wasn't one fo those hook-jawed savages. I just wanted to catch something
that felt big. Twenty-three inches is all I wanted, and Rodrigo
was going on about fish as big as my leg.
when I said it: "we catch a 23-inch fish and I'll give you a kiss."