As it creeps up on 1am, we reluctantly drain beers and each say our goodbyes. Not just handshakes, but embraces, a common occurence on fishing trips where kinships among strangers form faster than they do in the regular world. But there’s a current of guilt running through the small group of us that are headed out early in the morning for a daylong pilgrimage to the Blanco River.
We were originally scheduled to head out for the Blanco come Friday. But word of a significant storm is upon us, one that’s expected to dump several inches of rain on the valley—conditions which can make travel into basecamp considerably challenging. As a result, our host, Eduardo Guarda, has pushed our departure up one day in order to take advantage of the sunny, dry conditions forecasted for Thursday.
Which means we’re leaving a day early and Gary’s not coming. In fairness, Gary was never slated to join us on the Blanco, thanks to a wedding that was calling him back stateside. But we had one more day on the docket together, fishing the waters in striking distance of Magic Waters Lodge—the famed Simpson, Paloma, Mogote and Huemueles. But now we're pulling out early. Ditching, even. It is unavoidable, but it still feels wrong ...
Read the full story at Hatch Magazine.
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The River of Dreams
The middle section of Rio Blanco is some of the most untouched water in all of Patagonia. The lower reaches of the Blanco, near its confluence with Rio Aysén and mere miles from where the river dumps into the Pacific Ocean, can be reached via both an unimproved dirt road and by upstream jetboat—until powerful waterfalls and class IV rapids block your way. And a few miles downstream of the river's origin can be accessed by portaging across Lago Caro and hiking downriver.