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Trout Tales: A Fly-Fishing Celebration
on the threshold of the new season, another gathering of the clan…

A Celebration of Trout and Trout Unlimited!

Saturday, March 26, 2016
1-5 PM Fish Fest $10 admittance (half a donation to Trout Unlimited) reservations suggested 
5-6 PM Happy Hour Cash Bar
6-8 PM Dinner $25 plus tax reservations required! 

Co-sponsored by:
Ashokan Pepacton Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Upstate Adventure Guides
Fur, Feathers and Steel
The Catskill Mountain News
WIOX Community Radio

Whether you’re a beginner looking to find out more about fly fishing Catskill streams, or you’re one of the “charmed circle” of fly fishermen, we hope you’ll join us for a hands-on, minds-on day celebrating all things trout—try, test, taste, experience, explore…and it all culminates in a fishing feast of old, around the grand table, where we’ll swap fishing tales—some true, some imagined!

  • Kids welcome, and free 15 and under for the afternoon (dinner separate)
  • Bring your best fish tale and win best tale-teller of the evening
  • Call 800-811-3351 for more information and to make reservations

We’ll have some of the Catskills’ greatest fly fishermen sharing the secrets of casting, fly-tying, reading streams, where to hike into legendary waters and secret fishing spots, cooking trout, the right gear, and more, culminated with a superb trout feast in the evening. (And trout stories. Of course. There must be fish stories.)

If you’ve always wanted to explore trout fishing but didn’t know where to start, here’s your chance! And if you love all things trout and want to get a jump on newest cool gear, come on by.

This is the beginning of an annual tradition. Our first Trout Tales was last spring, an extraordinary collection of some the great fishermen in the area, swapping stories about these glorious streams and beautiful fish, memories woven over a lifetime of finding the poetry of the trout. This year is bigger and better, the weekend before the season opens here in the grand Catskills, the birthplace of America fly-fishing.

This event is a celebration of fly-fishing and of Trout Unlimited, a hugely important conservation and education nonprofit organization. The Ashokan-Pepacton Chapter of Trout Unlimited and its leadership is why we still have fish in the streams in the Catskill mountains. Trout Unlimited members and local guides will be available too answer your questions about every aspect of the fishing experience…and if you want to dive a little deeper, you’ll be able to join Trout Unlimited’s Ashokan-Pepacton chapter—a legendary chapter in the heart of the Catskills,  where modern fly fishing was born.


1 PM – 5 PM Open Fish Festival ($10 admission, kids 15 and under free)

  • A informal, ongoing demonstrations throughout the mansion and on the grounds so you can learn hands-on about trout fishing, or catch up with some of your old pals with their latest gear and ideas.
  • We’ll have gear on hand from regional vendors – from reels to waders and more! Check out the toys…
  • Munchies will be available for sale and the cash bar will be open in the Tavern.
  • Learn about Trout Unlimited, an extraordinary conservation and education organization, and find out how you and your family can become members.
  • Starting at 2 PM, an array of expert presenters will give informal 15 minute talks on fly fishing.

Event Guides

Trout Unlimited members and New York State Licensed Fishing and Hiking Guides will serve as your guides to the day. They will greet you as you arrive and help you find what you’re interested in.


  • 1:30 Ed Ostapczuk, Trout Unlimited Board Member: romance of fly-fishing
  • 2:15 Lenny Millen, Trout Unlimited Member: casting demonstrations on the lawn
  • 3:00 Mark Loete, Trout Unlimited Board Member: the geological forces that created these great streams
  • 3:45 John Hoeko, Trout Unlimited Board Member: the art of tying flies
  • 4:30 Will Soter, NYS Guide Association Board Member: cleaning and smoking trout when camping

5 PM – 6 PM Cocktail Hour

  • A chance to speak informally with guides, presenters, and other guests.
  • At 5:30, we’ll do a drawing of a Cahill rod and reel outfit (8.5 feet long, 4 piece, 5 weight), courtesy of Trout Unlimited. Winner will be 15 years old or younger, so make sure you get your children entered!
  • Featuring the Trout Tail, a mixed vodka (from our friends at Union Grove Distillery) and maple syrup (from our friends at Lazy Crazy Acres). The sap runs just before the trout!

6 PM – 8 PM dinner

A grand Trout Tales feast! Come and sit with the living legends of trout fishing in the Catskills. Come prepared with your very best fishing tall tale and tell it to enter into our first-ever Spillian Trout Tales contest for your chance at the silliest Trout Tales Trophy ever to see light of day. Or come prepared to listen and laugh and be awed and fall in love with the trout.

Stay for the weekend!

Call us for special Friday & Saturday night pricing on individual rooms at Spillian. This is an increasingly rare chance to stay with us without renting the whole facility. We’d love to have you. Check out our rooms here and call us at 800-811-3351 to make your reservation.

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