“Patagonia is too large. Immense, for someone who goes fishing only for a couple of days.”
Dreams for Hire is a story by the great Colombian writer García Márquez. The title perfectly summarizes the task of fishing guides. On their backs stands nothing less than success or failure, and the hard task of making the angler’s dreams come true.
Even if fishing has a large portion of chance and therefore turns out to be irrational, there are certain people having true, almost “scientific”, knowledge –we could say- about their place of influence.
And this gift, which is not something inborn but something experience has been in charge of teaching, creating and enhancing, makes them essential at the time to organize a fishing outing, so that it turns out to be successful and pleasant for the angler.
Therefore, when the decision to go fishing to an unknown site is made, it is mandatory to hire the services of a fishing guide or getting counseling from locals who really know the sites where attempts are to be made in Patagonia.
I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant - and not nearly so much fun.
When I heard the comment, it sounded ridiculous, even as a bad joke. But when I saw with my own eyes that it was something real, I felt like crying. I would even say that a couple of tears were dropped into the crystal-clear waters of the beautiful river.
For those readers who have not understood it yet, let me tell you that, at present, at the mouth of the Chimehuín river in Lake Huechulafquen (Junín de los Andes), a mythical and worship place for sport anglers from all round the world, un lugar mítico y de culto para los pescadores deportivos de todo el mundo, stands the wooden skeleton of a hotel under construction.
It is a real show of disrespect, not only for anglers, but also for tourists in general, who are currently enjoying a magical place, modified by the kind of mistakes made by some men: building where they should not build.
Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that some people's dreams face other people's dreams. What is important is that the provincial or national authorities become aware in time that the dreams of all are much worthier.
I do not believe that there are good or evil men. I do believe, and maybe I am too positive, that most of us may make a mistake, whether consciously or not. But those who, once knowing that the damage exists, do nothing to revert it are evil.
Maybe this reaches the owner or the owners of such a piece of ridiculousness. I may be cursed or ignored. It does not matter. It is them who I would like to tell that the mouth of the Chimehuín is one of the few sites in the world where God is still seen, without any need to ask permission from men. And I do hope, for the sake of everybody's dreams, that it continues to be so for good.