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Chasing the Dream

My name is Charles “Chuck” Hill and I’m known to talk a lot on the things I’m passionate about so buckle up and grab a glass of your favorite bourbon as this won’t be short and sweet.

I was born and raised in Charleston, SC and went to Clemson University. After school I moved back to Charleston and took a job selling life insurance with Mass Mutual and absolutely despised it. So I left and went and worked as a mate on my uncle’s charter boat until I figured out what I would do with my life. Eventually I began working for one of my uncle’s friends who would always come down to the docks, split a 6pack with my uncle, and they’d talk trash to me while I cleaned the boat. Eventually he asked when I would get a “real job” and so I said “When are you going to give me one?”

The following Monday I began my career in wholesale medical equipment exportation. 

We would sell anything and everything equipment related out of hospitals like beds, stretchers, monitors, X-rays, MRI’s, operating room tables, instruments, electrosurgical units- everything! When the newly purchased equipment arrived, I would pack the used equipment into shipping containers and sell them to just about every country in the world. We eventually opened up a retail location in Costa Rica. Over the course of 10 years my business partner Marvin Rodriguez and I would travel all over the entire country meeting doctors, hospitals, and clinics to supply them with American made products that they previously didn't have access to. 

During that span I got to know the backroads of the country, the ins and outs of business in Costa Rica as well as the people. Any chance Marvin and I had, we tried to break away and go fishing. We created strong relationships with many lodges and captains and I knew deep down that this was the place that I wanted to live my life. 

And then COVID hit. We had thought the Ebola outbreak was going to be like COVID originally so we had amassed the largest stockpile of used hospital beds in the world. In a time that the medical world was melting down, we were able to position ourselves to be very successful. After all the stress and many health problems that I have been dealing with for years, I decided to take a step back from the medical equipment industry and focus on my health, goals, and the rest of my life - one that was by my design, by my rules. 

I wanted to chase a dream that I was passionate about and woke up every single day excited to wake up. I wanted the same feeling I had in childhood on summer break when I could wake up everyday for some new adventure in the neighborhood, with no worries about reality. I spent every second of every day thinking about Costa Rica and comparing my mundane life in the Southeast to what was out in the wild waiting for me. I ultimately made the decision to go all-in on 4Corners Costa Rica and haven’t looked back. 

Knowing that I wanted to be the only American involved in the operation in order to give these business opportunities to locals to offer a truly authentic Costa Rican experience, I spent the better part of the next 3 years in Costa Rica with Marvin and his son, Arturo, (our 3rd founder) solidifying relationships and deals, dialing in fisheries, and teaching many local captains about fly fishing, catch and release/conservation practices, and how to satisfy clientele. In that time we had befriended the pioneer of fly fishing in Costa Rica, Peter Gorinsky, through the Costa Rica Association of Fly Fishermen (CRAFF). Peter was the exploratory godfather of Central America when it came to seeking fish on a fly. He had countless world records and even caught the first Arapaima ever on fly with Stu Apte in his home country of Guayana in the late 1960’s (I have a copy of the original photo in my fly tying office). Peter’s wealth of experience as well as his desire to pass on knowledge helped us strategize the organization of locals and Costa Rican-owned locations that we offer to our clients. 

After many lessons in fly tying, knot tying, late night stories and barbecues, we were able to pinpoint the 7 fisheries that we offer today! Each one incredibly different from the last, offering extremely exotic experiences and the ability to target between 50-100 species! 

We were able to build a business that Peter once tried to build in the 1970’s by offering sportsmen the ability to fish in multiple locations for numerous species during one trip. Clients can stay in one location for the duration of their trip, or they can combine locations for a bucket list expedition! Our customers range from families with kids, couples, to the most hardcore off-grid fishermen imaginable, and we are able to cater to them all! Our properties range from beachfront lodges and bungalows to riverfront cabanas to a coffee farm -offering our clients an extremely unique and diverse opportunity whilst being engaged in a culturally immersive experience! 

Why Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is one of the most exotic and unique countries on the planet! With coastlines on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, its proximity to the equator and being within the Ring of Fire, as well as the terrain which include jungles, mountains, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, rainforests, and coral reefs, it is obvious as to why Costa Rica is considered on of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Home to over half a million different biological species (new species routinely being discovered), the country houses over 5% of all species worldwide. Considering the country is about the size of the state of West Virginia, 5% of the world’s species is an incomprehensible number! All of that makes Costa Rica any avid outdoorsmen’s Fantasyland. 

Tourists who love extreme sports, photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, surfers, and most importantly fisherman all come to appreciate the beauty and experiences Costa Rica has to offer. A country historically known for its sport fishing, I am making it my goal to increase the world's knowledge of the fly fishing capabilities here.

With a raining season and a dry season here, and having so many different locations, we are able to offer incredible fisheries year round. Another competitive advantage is our flexibility. Imagine you are on a week long trip to somewhere like Belize. When you arrive the wind is blowing 30+ or lightning and you get confined to the lodge twiddling your thumbs with no refund. Now imagine you come to Costa Rica for a week long trip. -Now I’m not claiming I can control weather conditions in the rainforest, but I can offer plan B and C in other exotic locations in case the conditions are unfavorable, which gives our guests a chance to still chase bucket list fish versus leaving a sour taste in their mouth, a wasted trip, and a client that would be less likely to return. There are very few fisheries in the world that can offer that kind of “insurance” to your valuable investment and still offer the opportunity to catch fish that you would be proud to have mounted on your wall. 

What unique about 4Corners?

Where do I start? When I talk about Costa Rica to people who have never experienced it, I describe it as this: Imagine yourself on the planet in the movie Avatar with a fly rod in your hand. 

To many, they can’t comprehend the biodiversity that is here without ever experiencing it. On the way to the boat landing or beach you could come across scarlet macaws, toucans, peacocks, monkeys, coatis, and even saltwater crocodiles. You can go out targeting roosterfish and come across schools of milkfish, tuna, cubera snapper, golden trevally, bluefin trevally, mackerel, and giant hawkfish -you truly never know what you are going to encounter out there no matter how much preparation you do. I am a huge fan of the mixed bag and the unknown aspect of what you will see as every day is like a scene out of Nat Geo!

What should an angler expect?

An angler should expect an extremely biodiverse fishery with an off grid safari-like expedition amongst their desired locations. Depending on what area or species they want to target, there is the chance of catching something unique, exotic, or indigenous to Costa Rica! They should expect to fall in love with the country, the people, the fresh food, and the environment. 

Advice for those new to traveling or fishing? What to bring?

If you are new to traveling I suggest starting with getting a passport ASAP. There is so much of the world to see and experience outside of the United States. Go experience different cultures and different languages. Get out of your comfort zone to gain experience in different situations to make yourself more well-rounded as a human being. Get lost without an itinerary, explore, unleash the childlike curiosity that we all have inside of us to expand your horizons. 

The most important items to bring would be bug spray, sunscreen, and a rain jacket! Other than that you can get by with just flip flops and board shorts if you want!

In regards to fishing, the most important factor would be to have a significant selection of rods depending on your selected fishery, ranging from 3wt to 15wt rods and everything in between -with floating, intermediate, and sinking lines for varying applications. You do not need to bring all of this for every trip to Costa Rica but rest easily knowing that we would direct you on the proper gear to bring for your specific trip as well as a list of preferred flies. We are also able to tie customized flies tailored to your specific expedition!

Where do you see 4Corners in the future?

In the future I see 4CCR as a world-class fly fishing operation with some of the world’s best fishing viewed in the same class as locations like Baja, Belize, the Amazon, and Africa.

In recent years the world of fly fishing has generated immense interest in the remote destination travel and at 4Corners Costa Rica we have all of those experiences wrapped into one customizable package! 

In the near future I have numerous camera crews coming down to film the lesser known locations so that the world can see how truly unique and incredible these areas are. They may be unknown now, but in 5 years they will be on the maps of fisherman worldwide!

Any additional thoughts?

We are very proud of the work and time that we have put into this business before rolling it out to the public, knowing that what we have built is top-shelf and extremely unique. Myself, but more specifically my Costa Rican partners, are extremely excited for our guests to immerse themselves in the same experiences that we have spent many years finding so much joy, clarity, and peace in. 

This is without a doubt the most fun I have had in my entire life on these adventures -and I cannot wait for y’all to experience it!

Whether that means you are here in person experiencing it -or following vicariously through our instagram, we at 4Corners Costa Rica are extremely blessed and eternally thankful for your support!


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