Beat 5 – the Row Boat

August 21, 2021 – Connetquot

Hurricane Henri is due tomorrow…

so Chuck, who initiated this day of fishing (for which I am thankful) had to cancel as its course was predicted to change, but not before he drove to the park to give me the repaired tip for my 7’ Neuner Bamboo. The ferrule slipped off (the rod is about 15 years old) and he re-glued it which for him means refinishing the tip, artist that he is.  It looks better than new.  I signed us up before he arrived and we were number 10 and 11 in line. 

Beat 5 – 7 Row Boats!

It was our plan to come late and take what was left as that equates to fishing where no one else is.  Beats 8 to 16 were full. I have been wanting to try the row boat on beat 5 for a while but an August morning before a hurricane isn’t the best time – but what the hell – that is what I did.  I later sent Joe Odierna this text since they were his flies I was using:

      Was at Conny this morning with no reservation. 8 to 16 were taken. Decided to try row boat. A few risers but a nice row around the lake. East side is shallow and hard bottomed. West deeper and mud, weeds but not many on the surface as is the area by beats 3-4.

     They were not into ants or beetles. Sun came out and cicadas were singing so I put the one you tied for me. Cast well for a big fly and floated great but no takers. I came back to near dock and sluice. I saw a beautifully colored brookie porpoise. Tried ant and beetle. Put on the LaFontaine caddis you tied and it brought him right up! Once. Nice morning.

August Selection

Comments on the pond: 

The pond is a few feet deep at the south end with subsurface weeds.  There were fish to the right and the left – most active off the Old Annex where Gill lived. The east side of the water is shallow and hard bottomed.  I thought there would be a channel down the center but it seems to be along the west edge which is also deeper (but not deep) and had mud and weeds like below. 

The Annex

There doesn’t seem to be a channel leading to the eastern outflow although you would think one would form with the movement of water. I guess that tells you how hard the bottom is.  There are numerous redds (sandy cleared spots in the weeds and mud) like sunnies build although there don’t seem to be any sunnies, perch or bass in the pond. They just may be from trout. There was a school of something – alewives maybe, or minnows, or trout fry?  They were being regularly harassed making them jump and scatter but I couldn’t figure out either the prey or the predator.

View of Beat 8

I rowed the perimeter and anchored at the north end (they have small mushroom anchors tied to each stern) below beat 8.  I could see the platform and the fisher.  There were some weeds and overhanging trees so I tried ants and cicada on and then a Dace. I was thinking of putting a frog on but can’t remember seeing a frog.  The water temperature was cool to the touch for August (I didn’t have my thermometer).

Comments on the boats: 

The boats are roomy and sit high in the water which makes casting while sitting comfortable although on windy days the high profile may be an issue. Also the oars are the heaviest I have ever used.  Long and sturdy, it took a while for me to learn to feather them and get into a dipping routine. In many places you need to skim the surface on your stroke or hit bottom.  As long as you are not in a rush, or weak armed, they are fine. A throwable seat cushion and life jacket are provided and the lady who set the boat up for me and unlocked it was a delight.

As mentioned above, the few fish I saw were worth trying for – solid, well colored brookies.

The most action was near beats 3 and 4 which you can fish from shore although on a cooler, cloudier day in spring or fall, or maybe any evening, the rest of the pond might surprise you. All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend a session and I would do it again, especially when fishing conditions are more conducive to a hook up.