April 14 – Smithtown
Given’s Park is easy to miss as you are zipping along Jericho Turnpike. It is where 25A comes in, diagonally across from the Bull. It is also where the Nissequogue runs under the road heading for the Long Island Sound.
I have canoed it, walked it, and of course fished it. This section of the Nissequogue is public domain and the parking is free and unregulated.
I’d suggest getting in the river by the over pass and test all the spots under and around the bridge as well as along the far side working your way up to the Rail Road Trestle. Pay particular attention to the little riffle that runs beneath it. You can see it at the lower of the tides. During high tide you can’t really wade the river, never mind see riffles. I have picked up a few fish here on dries as well as nymphs and streamers. Sure, they’re stockies, but they are trout after all. And you never know when a sea run might come by.
Continue working your way upstream, trying the likely holding areas on the bank but the real jewel is at the head where White’s Falls spills into the tidal section. The water is deep here, even at low tide. Be sure to respect the property owners on both sides. Stay in the river.
You can work your way up both sides, with care, to the base of the falls and the old mill, now a house. The race and the eddies on each side are good fishing as is the center of the pool.
This area is open to all types of fishing – fly, bait and lure. Bait fisherpersons do particularly well but also account for the diminished fish count as the season wears on. It is a put-and-take fishery so that is okay – but just expect fewer fish as the end of May approaches. Check NYS regulations on taking trout in tidal waters.
(That said I have caught fish here, as has my buddy Clark, in all seasons.)
Once you have explored this area, move downstream, under the bridge. You can work your way to Landing Avenue at which there is another park and water access. Be careful of the river mud the lower you get.
Below Landing Avenue I would not advise wading although Clark knew some paths off River Road and we would fish from the reed filled banks.
Jerry and I used to fish with the canoe from Landing on down to the mouth of the river. There are a few holes where trout hang out, but the saltwater beauties are there as well, Stripers in particular.
It is one beautiful river and well worth exploring, even if you leave your fishing rod at home.
For more on how to catch a trout, click here.
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