are the best trout streams of the country. With the help of some local friends, I met the owner of a most amazing piece of land on the banks of Río Palena. With my (back then) very limited knowledge of the Spanish language I managed to come to negotiate with the old man and after a few months I was the proud owner of a small estancia. Being surrounded by evergreen virgin rain forested mountains of which the peaks often are covered in snow and knowing that the river in front of me holds monster size trout, I guess that I was the luckiest man on earth.
The question was, however, not only how to catch these fish, but also how to build a comfortable fishing lodge here in the wilderness. My first concern was to make an entrance to my land and to the location where I wanted to start building. For that I needed to clean a road into the forest and had to build two little bridges crossing a creek. On the property there was a humble little wooden house which was my base for the next year. There was no electricity, drainage system, running water or telephone. Together with a great group of local craftsman we managed to build the lodge in just over a year. Building materials were shipped by ferry from Puerto Montt, chainsaws were the most used tools, oxen charts were used to bring wood, rocks and sand for the building, a 30 feet deep water well was dug by hand shovel, 34.000 wooden shingles were one by one hammered in place, huge hardwood construction beams were lifted by the joined manpower of 8 men. Furniture, staircases, doorframes etc. were designed and made here by hand and limited tools and the rest I do not even want to remember.