As dawn broke over the mountains, we walked down a small stream called Arroyo de la India. Tree limbs laden with moss and bromeliads and orchids shaped the sunlight into sharp shafts and pools of light that illuminated the sandy creek bottom. The only sound that broke the silence—aside from the persistent hum of cicadas—was the call of a bird I did not recognize.
My wife Christine was beside me, as was our friend, José Caparrós. We’d been walking for nearly an hour through the jungle. We were carrying fly rods and food for the day. There was a palpable sense of anticipation building among us.
Out ahead was Agustín García Bastons. He was walking at a brisk pace, passing in and out of the light and smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. Wafts of blue smoke lingered behind him in the heavy air. The aroma reminded me of days spent fishing with my grandfather.
We rounded a bend in the arroyo and the canopy broke open to reveal a sky with clouds so low it felt as though we could reach up and touch them. Red stones and sand and sunchos appeared before us.
And then I heard the rush of the river running below...
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