Sunday, May 26, 2013

Patience & the Connetquot

The Connetquot

The Connetquot, historically, is one of Long Island's trio of premier trout streams. The Carman's River and the Nissequogue River being the other parts of the trio.  All three streams are spring fed creeks.  The Connetquot was the last one remaining on my "to fish" list until this morning.  With the long weekend here I thought I would give it a try.  The Connetquot is similar to many English chalk streams in the fact that it uses a beat system.  An angler reserves a beat for a specified time and has that section of the river to himself or herself.  In years past getting a good beat was difficult.  The Connetquot has it's own hatchery, or least had a working one until several years ago.  Due to an outbreak of trout infectious pancreatic necrosis it was closed and the numbers of anglers and trout dropped off.  However, this is still fish to be had if one wants to put in the time.

Typical stretch of water upstream of the hatchery
I started at beat 27 hoping to catch some native brookies but didn't have a whole lot of luck.  I wanted to use my TUSA 11' Iwana but it was too cramped for that so I went my 9' Shimano Kozuka. With no fish to be seen anywhere and no other anglers in sight I figured I would just work my way back downstream.  Fishing a stream like this can be challenging with it's dense mats of aquatic vegetation but there were other things to divert my attention.

A little muskrat having breakfast with his back to me.

There was quite a bit of wildlife out and about including muskrats, ducks, ospreys, and deer.  However, I was interested in trout. After an entire morning of not so much as a single rise I was just about ready to call it  a day when I finally caught a glimpse of something and figured what could I lose by a few more casts. So I tied on a brown soft-hackled yarn body fly and hid behind the only tree available and began to cast.  Three casts later I had a hit and then a jumper.  It was a handsome brown trout that put on a beautiful aerial display by jumping clear of the water three times.

15" Connetqout brown trout

I less than a minute I erased an entire mornings frustration by just exercising a little patience.  Though the Connetquot may not have provided the action seen in former glory days this trip proved to be well worth it and desreves another trip.

This respectable brown was caught just in front of the tree to the left in the picture.
Brown soft-hackled yarn body fly (originally tied by Chris "TenkaraBum" Stewart)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Usual Trip That Was Not So Usual

The Millpond
 I have not had a tremendous amount of time to do any fishing lately but I did manage a trip this morning down to the local millpond to catch a few bluegill and bass.  It started out like any other trip I have made to the millpond over the last few years but today was to be a little different.  Usually I will not fish in the rain but I have waited all week and I was not going to let a little on and off drizzle deter me.

Northeast corner of the pond with a quiet cove
I thought today might also be a good opportunity to give my new TUSA Ito a work out.  Even though it can zoom to over 14' I choose to keep it at 13'.  So I tied on a tenkara level line as I have done for several years and started casting.  Just then a funny thing happened.  I am unsure if I had a fish or a snag but as I was bringing my line back in for another cast when the fly, tippet, and all 13' of my level line simply fell off and disappeared into the depths.  I stood there like an idiot with a "WTF?" look on my face.  Luckily I had another fly line so that my day did not come to an abrupt end.

Baltimore oriole in a tree behind me
Flowering dogwood
The unfortunate thing was that the line I had on me was a 12' horse hair fly line I made using a kit from the TenkaraBum.  Unfortunate, because the line is white and on a gray drizzly overcast day it was a little hard to see the line.  However, I definitely liked the way the line came out and how it cast. It also more than held it's own when pulling in decent sized bluegill.  The line I had made was a level line that had a 4 hair thickness throughout.

First bluegill of the day
Last bluegill of the day
I pride my self on not loosing flies when fishing.  At most I might loose two on an outing.  Today I lost two...what was more disconcerting was the fact that I lost two flies plus two fly lines as well!  One misplaced back cast and the horsehair line got buggered up in a tree and is now in sorely in need of repair.  Oh well...what can you do?  I brought a dozen good sized blue gills to hand.  A couple of flies and line is a small price to pay for a morning well spent.

Where the pond goes when it spills over the dam.