As 2023 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the experiences and adventures that 2023 provided. The year started off with a bang as I traveled to my dream destination, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina in search of the massive sea run brown trout. A new friend was made and I was challenged by the enormous sea run brown trout and wind that is well known for this part of the globe. Battling the wind was not quite as horrible as I expected and was able to catch and land several very large sea run brown tout. A great time was had in the land of fire and ice.
Onward to Buenos Aires where a group of excited anglers were met and we traveled westward to Junin de Los Andes in the heart of Patagonia for an incredible fly fishing adventure! Days were spent wandering this incredible region of Patagonia, catching and releasing some very nice trout and experiencing the famous minnow run while floating the Collon Cura River, and camping on the the banks of this incredible river. The fish were excited and cooperated as we had plenty of stories to tell around the campfire each evening. Of course the magnificent hospitality of the Argentine people made the trip an even more memorable experience. After a month of fishing it was time to relax for a few weeks before heading to the Florida Keys in search of my first tarpon. The keys were an incredible learning experience with lots of water to explore and many boat problems. My grandfather would tell me “A boat is a whole in the water where you throw money into”. I truly believe his words today. All in ll it was a tough time but a lot was learned and a fire was ignited in my soul and the utmost respect was gained for the king of all gamefish! Many shots at tarpon were had but, the tarpon were not eager to play this time, hey, there is always next season!
My time in the Keys was fun but it was late April and the infamous Hendrickson hatch was calling, so it was back to Pennsylvania and my beloved home waters, the Upper Delaware River. This year was typical of the Delaware, tough conditions both atmospheric and water conditions but, was ale to land a healthy number of both browns and rainbows sipping those delicious Hendricksons. . Spring is a always a good time on the upper Delaware, as good friends gather to have have a great time on the river and around the campfire.
Late June brought a very memorable trip to Belize River Lodge with my dear friend Barry Servinete, It is always a great memory when I get the chance to fish with my good friend. Our experience was first class from the accommodations of this wonderful lodge, the food and the exceptional guides. Tarpon were hooked and landed while fishing the amazing Sibun River. The stars were aligned and seemed like it was just our time as everything we did equaled to success. The river fish are not known to be the monsters that everyone dreams about, but as our guide quoted “Its still the Silver King and you must bow to the King”
Summer was a time for rest, just an occasional trip to the upper Delaware was all that was on the schedule. September was an interesting month as we were all geared up and ready to Albie fish in Montauck, NY, the fish were not as geared up as we were expecting. We were able to locate and hook a few nice False Albacore but the experience was nothing like past years.
October is my time to be in the woods and thats exactly what I did, chasing the few grouse that remain here in Pennsylvania. Many miles were traversed across the Pennsylvania mountains but, very few grouse were taken, It seems like Maine will be an annual trek for me in the future! With the limited grouse population here in Pennsylvania, the majority of the autumn days were spent chasing pheasant both on public and preserve land.
November was a real highlight of the year, and my compass painted south again to South America, our destination, Chile. It has been several years since my last visit and my time away from this amazing country truly affirmed how much I missed this spectacular location. Traveling with two great friends made the trip even more memorable and the fact that a good friend was waiting for us to show us his new fly fishing operation in Manhuelas made the trip even more memorable. Manhuelas, Chile is a forgotten area of Chile, we were were greeted with some spectacular river, lake and spring creek fishing all loaded with some memorable brown and rainbow trout! Weather was a bit challenging, we survived and the ominous weather made for some spectacular scenery
Going forward into 2024, Riversage Outdoors is my top priority and I will be emphasizing the promotion of all aspects of Riversage Outdoors. It is my goal to introduce or remind as many sportsman of their passion for the outdoor lifestyle, either in person by participating in my international and domestic fly fishing, wingshooting, and now big game hunts, or through my videos, photographs and presentations. Please be sure to visit Riversage Outdoors website and Facebook page to stay up to date with all the exciting trips and events happening in 2024!! I also will be attending several fly fishing and sportsman shows throughout the winter so please stop by and say hello!
Family and friends are the the essence of a happy life, so please take care of yourselves and make 2024 the year you spend more time outdoors, enjoying whatever it is that draws you to the wild and live your life to the fullest!
Have a safe, happy and prosperous new year!
I am excited and look forward to hunting, fishing or just sharing stories together in 2024!