Catskills Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Trout


It was quite an afternoon on the lower Esopus Creek in the Catskills today. I used my light spinning rod with quarter ounce Al’s goldfish lures and had a bit of luck. In the first hour, I pulled out these two beauties. One trout was an 18-inch rainbow and put up a good fight, and the other was a much larger brown that came right to the net. After I caught the brown, I noticed fish spawning all around me, some only 6 feet away. I decided that it was not a good idea to disturb them, and moved further upriver. The water was not that cold. It had to be in the mid-’50s, and the air temperature was about 65 or 70. It was a cloudless and warm fall day. Crazy weather because just a few days ago, we had 6 inches of snow up here in Roxbury.

On my next visit to the Esopus a few days later I carried my Robert Meiser trout/steelhead spey rod with an OPST Commando intermediate sinking Skagit line, 10′ T8 Leader and 3′ floro tippet. I had very good luck and caught a couple of large browns on the streamer and big nymph, sorry no pictures of the fish.

I am trying to get the hang of the Skandi line but its taking a lot of time and I tend to prefer the OPST Skagit head because it is easier to cast out there. Next year I will put more effort into Skandi. The lines I have that were made by Steve Godshall.

Ashokan Trout

Today, November 30th, was the last day of trout season on the Esopus Creek. Yesterday I made it over to the river just above the Ashokan Reservoir. The weather was spectacular, with temperatures in the high 50’s and sunny skies, it was one of the better days this fall.

Ted came along, and we fished small Al’s Goldfish spoons on a light spinner rod and reel setup. I am sorry to say we both got skunked, totally skunked, but some young kid pulled out a giant, 27″ monster. He had to show us all through walking up and down the shore several times, carrying the fish. It was a nice walk in the woods and a great day to end the season.

OPST Skagit Lines

Chile Tourism Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Travel Trout

My Fly Rods

Originally Published March 8th 2018 for trip 2017-18,

Edited November 3rd 2020

This trip I brought too many rods for trout fishing. I carried a 5/6 switch and a 5 wt nymph rod that I never used so my Winston 9 foot 6 weight BXIII did all the work. The Winston was good in the wind, cast the lighter streamers, and nymph rigs with indicators, a great all around rod. A softer 4 or 5 weight to play fish was on my wish list.

Remember it’s a good idea to have a backup rod and in case you have to make an insurance claim photograph everything before you leave on the trip.

My 9’4 piece rod tube fits into a large suitcase so there is no need for separate rod case luggage. This is a reminder for the future to get all my rods into a suitcase, rods have to be 9′ or less and come in 4 pieces, if they are longer than 9′ then they will have to be in 5 or 6 pieces to fit. The benefits if everything is in a suitcase is that no one can see your stuff, it’s easier to keep things organized and keep track of, there is less risk of accident, 30 inch hard plastic suitcases with wheels are easier to move around and they cost a lot less to bring on airplanes. You can buy a well build large hard plastic suitcases for 100 to 150 dollars on Amazon.

My custom rod case for hiking, 30″ fits in the suitcase.

November 2020 update. My feelings now are that if I ever get to make a trip like this again these are the rods I will bring; 9′ 5 weight Winston Air, 9′ 6 weight Winston BXIII, 9′ 7 weight Winston BXIII, and the Meiser 11’3″ trout spey with both the Skagit and Scandi Heads and if I want to cheat a little I will buy and bring a Santiam Fishing Rod. Santiam makes long travel spinning and center pin rods in 4 to 6 pieces that will fit in my 30″ suitcase which will be great for exploring larger rivers.

Catskills Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Trout

West Branch Of The Delaware

I have been taking lessons in trout Spey casting with Wayne at River Of Life in Deposit, New York. My rod is an 11’3″ trout rod built by Robert Meisner that I am finding very difficult to learn how to cast but progress, not perfection. I was out with Wayne on the last day of the fishing season. The river was running around 900, higher than at any time I had been there before, and it was cold. I managed to hook into two large browns Wayne took these pictures. It was a good day, and my casting improved slightly.

Do Not Squeeze The Trout!

River of Life Outdoor Adventures
Wayne Aldridge
19 Latham Rd.
Deposit, NY 13754


Chile Tourism Fishing Fly Fishing Salmon The Patagonia Travel Trout

Villa Manihuales

Villa Manihuales is found at the confluence of the Rio Niriguao and the Rio Manihuales.

Map of the Tributaries of the Rio Aysen

Villa Manihuales has a population of 3000 inhabitants. The primary income-generating activities of the area are mining, ecotourism, sport fishing, secondary activities include logging, dairy, farming, and livestock.

The town is located along the Carretera Austral which is also called the Ruta del Los Parques and is close to the cities of Puerto Aysen and Coyhaique in the region of Aysen Patagonia. 

I found it a peaceful small town with plenty of markets, restaurants, hostels, cafes, and two great little parks. Backpackers, campers, and touring bicycle adventurers plus the usual auto and bus tourists are everywhere in February.  The town’s cell service is 4G and first-class plus the hostels in town have fast WiFi.

January can be rainy but in February the weather starts to improve but both months are notoriously windy. In March the weather moderates, the wind eases, and for fly fishermen, the hopper season hits high gear. Hoppers, Chernobyl Ants and Foam Beetles, and Attractors are in order plus anything else you can cast because the trout are hungry and will eat anything.

La Lavanderia

The Rio Manihuales at Villa Manihuales is the upper course of the river, it is not a white water flow here but it does run fast and deep. The Rio Manihuales is not the largest river in Patagonia but it has a moves and is cold, clean, and has healthy populations of Rainbow and Brown Trout plus runs of King Salmon. Its tributaries are the Rio Picaflor and the Rio Nirehuao and the Rio Manihuales itself is a tributary of the Rio Aysen.

There is no one on the river but me, and there are miles and miles of water all to myself. I have not found many posts on Facebook or in Web searches about fishing the Rio Manihuales which makes it good for me as there are lots of uneducated and trusting trout. The river has runs King Salmon and very large trout but I had to look for them. I found plenty of access and no one seemed to mind if I crossed through their property as I always closed the cattle gates on the trails. The river can be wide so I needed to be able to fly cast for a distance which not my strong point, and there is the wind in January and February, sometimes lots of it, but I hear it lessens in March and April. Despite all this, I managed to land large fish.

Sleepy guide

My Guide working. I hooked a rather large trout in this lagoon and it fled for the bottom like a rocket and then hid under a submerged tree. Federico swam for it but we didn’t retrieve the fish or the Fat Albert. The picture of me is with one that I managed to hook.

La Lavanderia Goddess of the Manihuales

The Parque Lavadoras is large for such a small town. It has gentle trails wandering through the park with pleasant views and benches to enjoy them while sitting. The lower section has custom wooden toy rides for the children and gazebos in case of inclement weather. The park is named because there is a small rill or creek running through it. In the past the washerwomen of the town came to do laundry, scrubbing the clothing in the stream and then hanging it on the trees in the park. One Sunday I was lucky to have been there to watch a performance art piece, that is where the picture up top is from. I also took a video and it is posted below. Here are the credits.

This is an iPhone movie that I made that Sunday afternoon.

I gained an understanding of why the park is named as it is. The performance art was about the spirit of the washerwomen, las lavenderas, who used to work along the stream that runs down from the mountains and through the park.

Chile Tourism Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Trout

Time Flies

Sometimes I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew. This amount of gear is crazy! I am bringing 4 rods; a 13.5 in switch rod, a Loomis 10 weight 9 ft, a Winston Boron III 6 weight 9 ft, and a Winston Air 5 weight 9 ft, and if I am going to be crazy, then a four-weight 9 ft. Then there are the reels, spools, and last but not least, all the flies for salmon and trout. Let us not forget the waders and boots, lines, leaders, tips, and other assorted junk. Daily I put my head in my hands and wonder WTF I am doing. Couldn’t I be just as happy sitting at home eating, sleeping, and doing nothing, maybe date a little?

Chile Tourism Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Travel Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance Again

Where is our trout?

I strongly suggest that voyagers use travel insurance. The policies I purchased have paid for themselves a couple of times on past trips. Travel Insurance makes life much less stressful. If you happen to get sick or hurt, they could save your life or even a small fortune. If your flight is delayed or canceled, you will be covered for additional charges, delays, meals, and hotel rooms. Remember to keep every single receipt; copy them on your cell phone scanner app.

Canoe Fishing Missouri Breaks National Monument Montana Travel

Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument, Montana

I had been fantasizing about this canoe trip for some time. I do not know where the idea came from, but the paddle is an 8 to 9-day float down the Missouri River from Coal Banks Landing to Kipp Recreation Area in Montana for a total of 105 miles.

When I drove from Roxbury NY to Santa Cruz CA at the beginning of the May I brought my canoe with me, it is a 2003 17ft, Wenonah Voyager Graphite Ultra-Light (30 lbs) Performance Touring single seat glider.

Graphite Ultra-light 33lbs. $3,249 USD

Ultra-light hulls are stiff and incredibly light. They are ideal for speed and distance paddling and for all people or conditions that demand the lightest gear. In our Ultra-light construction a structural-foam core and ribs are laminated into the hull and sides. We also add extra fabric layers to strengthen specific targeted areas. Aluminum plates are strategically laminated into the hull. Seats, footbraces, and all hardware is then riveted into these plates. This gives a very secure connection and eliminates rivet heads on the exterior. A Graphite Ultra-light canoe is made the same way as an Ultra-light with Kevlar®, but with Graphite as the outer layer. It’s ideal for paddlers desiring more stiffness in their composite canoe. Graphite transfers energy better than any of our other materials, which makes these the most crisp paddling canoes. The aesthetic appeal of a black Graphite canoe is also undeniable.

Graphite Ultra-light canoe shown with Standard Options, may not be the Voyager.
Standard Options –
Black Aluminum Trim (Std)
Natural (skin-coat) finish
Premium Options –
Wood Gunwales (solo) Blk. Alum. Trim – $325 USD
All Wood Trim (solo) – $350 USD
This car rules the road. New York to Santa Cruz CA 3X

I have had many serene days in it on the Pepacton Reservoir last summer and the one before, I just could not leave it behind.

Me on the Pepacton Reservoir in NY.

Here is the canoe song;

Bruce Cockburn, Arrows Of Light

untitled-9 copy

Same after the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument.


Here is the packing list that I used as a template from a guide found in Backpacker, or was it REI?

Planning a paddle-camping vacation by canoe? Our comprehensive checklist includes required and optional gear, clothing, accessories and more.
Canoe Basics
Paddle (1 per paddler)
Extra paddle
Personal flotation device (1 per paddler)
Extra PFD (nope)
Knee pads (do not need)
Yoke (with pads)(do not need)
Dry bags (for gear organization)
Spray covers (do not need)
Weather/VHF radio (do not need)
Signaling devices (whistle)
Float bags (nope)
Core Gear
Matches/lighter/fire starter in a waterproof container
Knife or multitool
Two-way radios (do not need as I am alone)
Cell phone in a protective bag
iPad in its own bag
Mini Speaker
Headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
First-aid supplies (see our First-Aid Checklist)
Sunglasses and reading glasses
Lip balm
Water bottles (filled) 8 gallons of water
Water treatment method  (backup) bringing my own water but I will also take a filter)
Energy food (bars, gels, trail mix)
Beverages or powdered drinks, lots of instant coffee, Splenda, and creamer
Camping Tent and tarp
Sleeping bag and liner
Sleeping pad
Meals and snacks
Stove and fuel
Cookset and utensils
Dishes, bowls and cups
Insect repellent (plus head net, if needed)
Toilet paper and Restop Solid and Liquid Waste Bag
Hand sanitizer
iPhone Binoculars
Trip itinerary left with friend + under car seat
Paddling gloves or pogies
Sun-shielding hat
Bandana or buff
Wool/synthetic cap or balaclava
Moisture-wicking T-shirt
Moisture-wicking underwear
Shorts or convertible pants
Sun-shielding shirt (long sleeves) and pants
Rainwear (jacket and pants)
Synthetic vest or jacket (for insulation)
Repair-Kit Options
Sealant (such as Aquaseal)
Bailing wire (copper, small roll)
Nylon cord (or bungee cords)
Replacement nuts/bolts
Repair/duct tape

The trip was fantastic! I finished canoeing from Coal Banks to Kipp Landing in 7 days with 2 layover days at Gist Bottom. Up until Gist Bottom I did not see a single person, it was a truly amazing wilderness trip. The paddling was not difficult until the last day and a half when the river widened and the current slacked off. The wind was blowing hard and usually started at 10 or 11 in the morning. Today there was a head wind coming from the east and it did make for difficulty paddling but the canoe was loaded and the extra weight made it easier to keep the boat on track.

I saw 2 herds of Bighorn Sheep – Ovis canadensis along the banks but did not get pictures of them and there were more Bald Eagles – Haliaeetus leucocephalus and Golden Eagles – Aquila chrysaetos than I could count. I paddled alongside a little Swift Fox – Vulpes velox, who ignored me completely and acted as if I was not there. There were lots of American White Pelican – Pelecanus erythrorhynchos. There are what I remembered and can identify but there was so much more to be seen. The Eastern Cottonwood – Populus deltoides were seeding and at times it was as if it were snowing.

I did not plan well for the food and meals, my diet was very simple, I had oatmeal for breakfast, tuna and more tuna for lunch, ramen, and prepared camping meals for dinner when I had the energy to cook.

Catskills Fishing Fly Fishing Trout

Trout Stocking on the East Branch of the Delaware April 14, 2018

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Saturday, I met up with Lenny Millen, guide and fly fishing casting guru, to help stock the East Branch of the Delaware River with hatchery-raised brown trout. The larger and older trout were electronically tagged by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Fish and Wildlife Tech department personnel. The fish were tagged so that the trout's movement in the river could be tracked.Saturday, I met up with Lenny Millen, guide and fly fishing casting guru, to help stock the East Branch of the Delaware River with hatchery-raised brown trout. The larger and older trout were electronically tagged by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Fish and Wildlife Tech department personnel. The fish were tagged so that the trout’s movement in the river could be tracked.

It was a great day and exciting watching the fish being released into the river. Later in the afternoon, I went back to the junction of the East Branch and the Bataviakill to fish in the pool below the bridge where we had released much fish. With a small de-barbed wooly bugger, I had good fun catching and releasing little trout, no big ones, sorry.

Measuring the 2-year-old tagged brown trout.

Smaller Catskill Fish Stocking -1.jpg

The paddle in his hand records the tag ID embedded in the fish.

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This is what an electronic tag looks like.

Smaller Catskill Fish Stocking -17.jpg

Junction of the East Branch and the Bataviakill.

Catskill Fish Stocking-1

Halcottsville bridge.

Smaller Catskill Fish Stocking -12.jpg
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Trout Stocking on the East Branch of the Delaware April 14, 2018

The process of measuring and recording length and tag ID before releasing the trout.

Catskills Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Trout

Fishing In New York State Reservoir’s

I think it’s a good idea to say something!

I have my license, my NYC DEP permit, and it’s April 1st, I can fish.

The weather is rainy, temperatures are in the ’40s, there is no sun, it’s not too windy, and the barometer is rising.

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">The reservoir canoe season has not begun but here are a couple of beautiful pictures.The reservoir canoe season has not begun but here are a couple of beautiful pictures.

My summer of 2017

Yesterday the sun came out, and it was a beautiful day. Guru Len caught three bass verses my none. When I thought about it last night the two of us fished the same stretch of river and at the head of the Pepacton reservoir. I didn’t do anything wrong as we were using stick bait but there were differences.

  • My Rapala was longer and had rattles.
  • I used monofilament, which I like, Len used braided line.
  • We might have used different retrieve patterns, but I did vary mine.

I thought of going fishing again today, but it’s snowing, about 4″, fell this morning. Is it really April?

Fishing Fly Fishing The Patagonia Travel

la soledad

Rio Nireguao, El Gato

Looking Down

A crystal clear bright day, no rises.

Water 54, air 70’s, little clouds and low humidity, very windy.

Since we are in a gorge, there is a venturi or wind tunnel effect. Therefore any breeze is amplified. If I am out in the water, casting is not difficult, but the line goes more or less where it wants. If I near shore, then it’s a bit more tricky.

After this, I started to fish with nymphs and a small plastic float bobber, my catches increased dramatically. It was nice to watch that bobber dip.

No me importa la soledad