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April 12, 2012
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Fishing Chilean Patagonia

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Attend a free Tahoe Truckee Flyfishers’ presentation on Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m. at the Truckee Community Recreation Center. Join Bruce Ajari, longtime Sierra Sun columnist and Truckee resident Frank R. Pisciotta, a professional guide since 1984, will present a stunning slideshow.

The presentation will provide an overview of the fly fishing waters within driving distance of the town of Coyhaique, Chile. Bruce will comment on his first impressions of the area and Frank will draw on several excursions he has had in this exotic region.

There will be no precise diagrams of suggested riggings, preferred techniques, close-up images of bugs or flies. Frank and Bruce will provide a free-flowing commentary of all the areas imaged relative to their uniqueness, most productive techniques, bugs, seasons and flies and whatever else that is pertinent from a fly fishing perspective. Learn what is available in this remote area of southern Chile and how to improve one’s success in the area’s challenging waters.

Mention Patagonia and it conjures up images of the Andes, condors, penguins, llamas, ice fields of Torres Des Paines National Park, wild fuchsias, multi-colored lupine, lush hardwood forests, and volcanoes (most of which are thankfully benignly active). Fly anglers also envision countless free-flowing rivers, crystalline lakes and plunge-pools beneath waterfalls full of uneducated trout.

Patagonia has imprecise borders shared by two countries; Chile and Argentina. The presentation discusses southern Chilean Patagonia’s Aysen area, Region XI; the most thinly populated region of Chile. The capital is Coyhaique, Chile’s last large city with a population of 40,000 plus. It is the acknowledged epicenter of fly angling in South America. Within a 100-mile radius there are 15 lodges and outfitters. Unbelievably, all afford access to uncrowded waters. Frank has ventured to the area seven of the last eight years. During Frank’s first venture 2004 he fished 18 of 21 days in-country, fly fishing different water each day. During the period he saw one other fly angler.

Chile is 2,600 miles long with an average width of 140 miles. On the east it is bordered by the pampas and ascending foothills of the perpetually snow-capped Andes. To the west the Pacific Ocean’s rocky coast intertwines with glacier-fed fjords and rocky cliffs. Altitudes range from sea-level to 13,500 feet. Unbeknownst to most, Chile has the driest desert in the world, the Acama desert. The country is the world’s most southerly land mass and is the gateway to the Antarctic.

For those fortunate enough to have ventured to this remote area of the world fly fishing and cultural memories inextricably mingle. Foremost are the region’s unpretentious, friendly people, Pisco Sours, a variety of fresh seafood, Aji sauce, the traditional lamb “asado” and incredibly beautiful trout.

Southern Chile is an area lost in time. While bumping along gravel roads, wade-fishing or drifting a river, a fly angler sees sights of a by-gone era; ox-drawn carts loaded with cut timber for home fires, rickety yet still-floating, wooden skiffs ferrying the locals across waterways on their way to market and weather-beaten farm structures.

In today’s chaotic world it is reassuring to know Chile is one of the safest countries to travel in the southern hemisphere. It is the most stable political and economic country in South America. The country’s total population is 12 million. Santiago, its capital city, is inhabited by 7 million.

Contact 530-587-7333 for information about Tahoe Truckee Flyfishers and the presentation, or visit www.ttff.net.

— Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 12, 2012 03:24PM Published Apr 12, 2012 03:16PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.