April 5, 2021 – Connetquot
After stopping at the County Center for Jason’s first Covid Shot, we headed to Connetquot. It is Monday so the Park is closed but Project Healing Waters, an organization I volunteer with, has it reserved. I had asked Jeff if it was okay if I brought Jason along with me.
We missed the 10 am start due to the vaccine but Jim and Jimmy were still suiting up. It was good to see them. It is good to see any one given these crazy pandemic times we are in. Jason strung up the GLoomis 4 wt. and I took the shorter Fran Betters. It is his first time at the Park, in fact his first time fly fishing. He has always loved fishing the salt and the freshwater but somehow in almost 50 years we have not found the time to fly fish together. That ends today!
Jim and Jimmy are strolling ahead and kindly defer 16A to us for Jason’s first “cast.” As I tell anyone who asks, fly fishing is not all about casting and too many let its difficulty stop them from enjoying the river and the rod. He flips the fly into the pool and works the current and eddy well. He gets a few looks and after some coaching has a bite, then another followed at some point by a hook-up. Nice rainbow. This is when I remember the thing I couldn’t remember but knew I forgot – the net. It was an easy hook twist release and we headed back to the car and the upper river.
At Rainbow Bridge we looked at the flow, currents and eddies. Jas played the woolly bugger well and quickly had a few nice fish. We walked to 20B but the wind was extraordinary coming down the pond. Pulsing a bugger off the bridge on the hatchery side brought us a nice little bass. Next stop upstream 20 to 22.
We stopped at the bridge long enough for him to hook a monster, a fish over 24 inches I would say. He didn’t land it, not many people could. Later, when the fish came back, he figured out how to tempt him once again. The fish took a few good looks but then sauntered away.
I am impressed with his handling of the fly rod and line. He has always been a good fisherman but some people just don’t take to the fly rod, at least not quickly or well. He did both.
Observation and stealth are needed up river, especially since they have cleared more of the streamside brush away. We would sight a fish and he would position himself to drop the fly down to him. Always sight fishing, at least on this trip. He hooked a few and missed more – which is a good thing. This type of fishing shouldn’t be easy, it’s not the point. He saw how to flip the line across in a mend in order to draw the fly to the far bank. He got it. He did it.
As our time came to an end, he didn’t want to leave.