Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Nissequogue River and White's Pool

View of Beat #3 on the Nissequogue River, Caleb Smith State Park
Now that trout season has officially begun in New York, I thought I would, now and again, do a post that would highlight some of the places I tend to fish. In today's post I thought describing the Nissequogue River on Long Island would be a good idea.  The Nissequogue begins as a series of natural springs that merge and flow north, through Caleb Smith State Park, towards the Long Island Sound.  It can best be described as a spring creek.  It is one of Long Island's premier trout streams (along with the Connetquot and Carmens River) and has a long history.  For much of it's history (at least since colonial days) much of it has been held in private hands or by gentleman's hunting and fishing clubs.  Currently, it is run as a NYS park.  What's kind of neat about it is it is run much like an English chalk stream. There is a "beat system" to it.  Anglers make a reservation for a particular beat and for a 4 hour period will have one section of the river entirely to themselves.  Long Island is known for it's salt water fishing but believe me the fresh water options can be pretty crowded at times and this beat system can make for a very relaxing fishing trip.

Man made structures present in places to create fishing spots
 The river is at times stocked with Browns, Rainbows, and Brookies.  However, there is natural reproduction of browns and brookies, which is nice.  Some of the trout can reach impressive proportions and make this a place worth visiting if your in the area.  I fished beats 3 and 7 last Saturday afternoon and was surprised to find only one other angler and myself on the river.  That is very unusual for opening weekend.  But the fact that I (and the other angler) couldn't seem to even scare up some fish may have had something to do with that.  Fishermen in the morning session seemed to have had better luck.  There was also a decent hatch of March Browns coming off the water and no trout rising to them.  Well it was still very nice to be out on the water.

White's Pool
To try and save a little face I headed over to White's Pool to try my luck there.  White's Pool is another favorite place of mine to fish. The pool is the head of the tidal portion of the river.  It's also just downstream of the last beat in the state park.  What's interesting about the pool is that because it's tidal and has brackish water you can catch anything from three kinds of trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, yellow perch to saltwater fish like striped bass and snappers (baby bluefish). 

Looking downstream of White's Pool
When I arrived late in the afternoon, I put my Tenkara rod aside and elected to use my ultra-light spin out fit and some Mepps spinners, just for a change of pace.  I'm glad I did.  Within minutes I had a 12" brookie in my net with a Mepps Thunderbug hanging from it's jaw. 

A nice Brook Trout
For the next 40 minutes it was several casts and a hit, several more casts then another brookie, etc.  All brookies were averaging about 12" so I figure they might be stockies.  A biologist at the DEC informed me that that was exactly what they were and that they probably came from the park I had just left!  This was a pleasant way to end the day.  With two trips under my belt, this season is starting out the way I hoped it would.

Another nice brookie


  1. White's Pool sounds like a fun place. I love surprises on the end of my line.

  2. Sounds like a nice day out, hoping to get out more myself this spring

  3. Mark, I hoping to get up to your neck of the woods in June or October. Catching brookies in the Adirondacks...there's nothing like it!

    Jay, There are other places like that here on Long Island where you can catch fresh and salt water fish in the same body of water. I thinks its cool and somewhat sureal to see a yellow perch or a bluegill and a crab in the same spot.

  4. Those are good looking pools, and it was nice to have brookies who were willing.
    The streams you speak of are featured in "Brook Trout", a nice history there.

  5. Brk Trt, "Brook Trout" is where I first learned about them a few years back. The Nissequogue is one of the few really "nice" places left on the island to do some fresh water fishing without the typical hassels found elsewhere on the island.

  6. Awesome canoe trip aug 4th, went swimming up in the fresh water by the fall, spent 4 hours enjoying one of the best places on the island