August 25, 2020 – Wednesday
Connetquot River State Park
It was to be a cool 78 degrees with blustery winds to knock beetles into the water so I booked a session. Decided to try mid-day which is the least desirable hoping to avoid crowds but there were 10 guys in line.
I was hoping to get beat 9
…since the upper river is closed due to downed trees. The beat was open when I finally reached the check-in window. I asked about the upper river and they said a tree crew may come later this week to work on the problem. Meanwhile I took beat 9 – it’s the last of the popular beats, has no foot traffic going by and I can wander down toward 8, which is a lot of open water, although not too fishy.
9 usually holds fish, good fish, but this is where the stocking cart stops and may not even make it here some days. The water temperature is 64 in the deeper holes. As I walk past the other beats I look for fish in the usual places and they are not showing themselves. Even at 14, where the cool water comes in, there are no fish.
I had a Grandpa and young boy above me on 10.
They worked the water together but from what I could see, had no fish, yet the boy seemed to like being in the river and flipping casts which he did well for his size. Grandpa was very patient and the boy seemed very happy. Hopefully a future trouter.
Work up, then down, under the trees, all the trees.
Stimulator, beetle, and nothing. Work around the sluice and below it, including where the spring comes in. Saw one small fish when I first started. Could not scare a fish, even out of the weeds. I did notice a lot of sculpins darting about and leaving trails of dust in the mud. A good sign that these important bait fish are regenerating themselves. There was a time when a Muddler Minnow was the killer pattern here, but not in a very long time.
Took a nap
…and then rigged for nymphing below the sluice as I remember Joe Pepe pulling out fish after fish in that same spot one time. Heavy Prince followed by a small Pheasant Tail. I looked at the Rainbow Warrior but for whatever reason went with the PT. Snagged a stickleback then got into a leader mess that took too long to fix. So much for my nymphing.
Grandpa gave into the boy’s need to head out so I put the beetle back on and worked up through 10, not a fish.
At 11 the fellow was standing pretty much where he was when I came in,
…working the elbow with a nymph, I presume. He was smiling and had some luck. Same with the guy on 12 only he had one on as I passed – his smile showed his teeth. Sounds unlikely but the guy on 13 was also in the same spot but he was fishing with a broken tip rod. I give him the award for persistence in the face of tragedy.
At 14 there was no one fishing but the fish had reassembled to enjoy the refreshing cool water from the wells.
A kindly old fellow had been on 15,
…the kind of guy who engages you and everyone else as you pass or while standing in line, an accent reminding me of my buddy Manny. He must have left, for another was in his place, fishing from the platform. We chatted. He had a few and offered to let me dip my fly. Nice guy but I kept on moving. The fellow on 16 was the one that made the most sense, given the day I was having. He was sitting in a beach chair reading what was probably a good book.
I stopped at 16A, as I always do when it is empty,
…to float something in the foam and see if the Brookies will bite. I had a small Stimulator on with no response. A Hopper was next and I worked it around the swirl a few times when all of a sudden a dark shadow emerged from the depths and sipped it in. I was still in awe of the sight of the rise when he spit it out. I was late on the set and that was the end of any interest in the Hopper.
A Joe Stack was last
…and I let the water rest a bit before launching it. My phone alarm was going off as I flipped it in. 3:45. The reliable fly got some interest in a few different spots with lips coming up but none hooked. Happened 3-4 times so I checked the fly to make sure I hadn’t broken off the point. It was intact. I headed for the car.
Last time I was here Beat 20 by Rainbow Bridge was alive with fish.
It also had a big blow down both up and downstream of it. I put the Joe Stack in and had, once again, hits without hook-ups. Just going to be one of those days. I thought of an Iris Caddis but it was late.
There were a lot of civilians in the park, hiking and strolling. Enjoying being outdoors. Nice to see people of all sizes and shapes enjoying this beautiful place.
The 4 to 7 fishers were arriving and gearing up as I de-wadered.
I heard the guy who was on 12 tell the fellow heading there that he had 20 fish.