Sunday, January 30, 2011

ESTERO TURBIO

It is so nice having E here in Chile with me.  And I don’t mean just to have someone who can read the menu.  I’ve been blessed with two fine sons and friends.  I have tried very hard not to live the Harry Chappin song “Cat’s in the cradle”.  I think we have succeeded.  I hope Ethan and Dan feel the same way.

On Friday’s you can get a fishing permit here in Coyhaique.   A little after 9 we were there but were told we had to wait about an hour for the man to arrive.  No big problem.  We ambled over the Full Fresh grocery store and stocked up on supplies for the day.   At 10, with E’s permit in hand we were off to one of E’s favorite places to fish, Estero Turbio, a tributary to the Guillermo. 

Estero Turbio has a moderate gradient with some longer pools separated by stretches of riffles.  The pockets in the riffles are not real big but with a well-placed cast will produce a fish.  Most are 10 to 12 inches but a few will be closer to 14.   The best fish of the day was a “gimme” from Ethan.  It was his turn when we reached  a great run.  E is a great caster.  By that I mean not only distance – what most perceive as the definition of good – but more importantly pin point precision at a 20 foot distance.  I once heard a quote attributed to Kansas City golfer Tom Watson:  “Drive for show but putt for dough.”  We fly fishers should take Tom’s advice and work on our short game if we want to catch more fish. 

Back to the “gimme.”  Anyway E had to hook the end of his cast in behind a couple of cane stocks hanging out over the Estero.  Typically an easy cast for him.  A split second before his cast was going to come in behind the cane and into the current seam a gust of wind blew his fly onto the last 6 inches of the cane.   There was no way I could have made the cast Ethan had come within a fraction of a second of making.  But now I had everything going for me.  I sent E a little downstream and across the stream and with his fly still on the tip of the cane, had him pull his line to get the cane back out of the way.  All I have to do was make a relatively simple 20 foot cast.  I did it and was rewarded with a good – but not great – fish.
 
With two of us fishing I was more comfortable in exploring further upstream than I had ever been.  I had always turned back at the first gorge.   These streams are in such rugged terrain and/or are so remote that if something happened to you, likely you would be found by an archeologist, if at all.   (My Dutch friend Gerlof, who like me is often alone someplace remote, carries a satellite phone in his backpack.)  One long and rough gorge section finally lead to the end of the road for us.  

Walking out we decided to follow a sheep path up to the top of a ridge rather than retrace our path back through the gorge section.  It worked out just fine.  Not only was it less demanding than scurrying over the rocks but at the top of the ridge we came upon an old farmstead and two cherry trees.  I had forgotten how good cherries are.

1 comment:

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