Long Island, New York, October 4, 2007
A report from Jin for mikescatchreport.com

I fished Connetquot State Park, the famous brook trout stream in Long Island that has its own hatchery to keep the stream full of fish. It's about an hour drive from Manhattan.

The stream is located in what used to be a private hunting and fishing club and is now a state park. Springs that bubble up just below the Long Island Expressway feed this tiny stream and create an ideal habitat for trout. The fish are mainly stocked by the hatchery but the fertile environment allows fish to hold over. As you work up or down from the hatchery, one will encounter more holdover fish. The fish below the hatchery are larger. Brook trout below the hatchery are measured in pounds.

Fishing at Connetquot is highly regulated by the park authorities. You can fish from 8am until noon or noon to 4pm. During summer, they offer an evening session that goes from 5pm to 8pm. Wading is not allowed above the hatchery. The stream is fly fishing only, single hook, and no lead or weight of any kind. Fishermen are assigned a 100-yard beat to fish exclusively. Most fisherman use nymphs and indicators but I have had much more success throwing dries and, today, streamers. This was the last week of fishing before the stream closes for the year.

I normally fish the upper section above the hatchery, preferably the handicap beats that receive extra stocking of fish. But today, I elected to fish below the hatchery to see if I could hook one of the legendary 30-inch browns that sit in the deep pools. Some lucky fisherman beat me to this beat, so I ended up just below him. My beat had a small pier that extended away from the trees into the stream. Casting was difficult, as the stream is less than 20 feet wide and full of cover.
I started the day with dry flies and hooked up half a dozen fish pretty quickly. The first fish was a nice 18-inch brown that looked wild, though it probably was stocked. I switched to the sculpin pattern Tom (Baltz) tied for me and quickly landed couple more fish in spite of the fact the sculpin wasn't really getting very deep underwater.

I switched to a Shenk's Minnow, a very heavy fly, and that's when the day got really interesting. The browns couldn't resist the white Shenk's Minnow twitched and swung in their face. Because the water is so clear I could see most of the takes. Some fish were moving across the stream, crashing the streamer and chomping down the fly. A surprising number of grabs did not end up with a fish. In fact, I hooked about a third of the fish that
grabbed the streamer.

Fishing slowed down around 10am, as the sun started to come
out. I caught enough fish in two hours that I decided to make it an early day and drive back to the city. Final count: lots of browns and brookies, some lost flies, and one sore arm.