International Fly Tyer's Symposium 1997
By Martin Joergensen
During the show Bob Perry had promised to set up some fishing on the famed Connetquot. For those who don't know: the Connetquot i a Long Island spring fed stream that's (heavily) stocked with rainbow and brown trout. On top of that it has some brookies and a fair run of good size sea run brownies.
The Connetquot is a stocked stream for good and for bad. On one hand you get to see and feel so many fish that it's unbelievable. It's said that anyone can catch a trout here, and the local guys gest about the Connetquot 'being the perfect place to take your wife fishing'.
On the other hand it's almost too much when you as I hook a fish in your first lazy roll cast 15' from the car with less than 15' of fly line off the reel. It's the fishers paradox: on one hand we want to catch fish, but on the other hand we don't - at least not too easily.
Some of the locals call it Disneyland for fly fisher, and true, it's more like an amusement park than a wildlife preserve. I fished it last year, and even a fisher like myself with modest stream competence, will easily catch dozens of fish. Skilled fishers will have one in each cast. We told this to Co and Marijke, who did not believe us... until that first roll cast.
Well, never mind; the day was beautiful, the river was beautiful and the fish were nice.
I saw so many fish that day. One does stand out though. While fishing for one of my last and difficult fish, I was talking to Bob Perry who kept swinging a beadhead bunny leach by the nose of several visible fish across from us. We were joined by Lindsay Gradisson and Jeff Kurman. Suddenly Bob yelled as a huge fish emerged from the shadows and grabbed the fly.
After the landing and releasing of that fish I had only a few minutes left before I had to head for the airport - in Newark. For those not informed, going from Long Island To Newark, New Jersey between 2 and 5 in the afternoon is more a social experiment than transportation. Thanks to my excellent driver Jeff we cleared both Queens and Manhatten and the river and I made my flight ready to go home after a great week.
That fact makes me want to express the gratitude on behalf of myself and most of the other foreign tyers to the following persons:
Glenn Peckel - as ever dependable coordinator of pick-ups at airports and arranger of host families.
Larry and Sheryl Clemmens - patient and charming hosts of Totowa, excellent food, driving, shopping... and tying.
Jeff Kurman - first-time and last-minute host for Co & Marijke Roos... and myself for one night. On top of that Jeff acted as an excellent driver and fishing guide.
John Harrington - always referred to as 'Uncle Jack' inevitably showing up at JFK to pick up people.
Ted and Judy Patlen, and Mamma Etta - always having 'open house' for anybody that wants to drop in at Westminster 198, referred to by some as "Toothpick Mansion".
Denny & Noreen Fitzsimmons - who threw that great party, last year, and whom I only met shortly at Ramsey's this year.
Chuck Furimsky - and all the other people behind the show itself. You are the reason we come at all.
We were all overwhelmed by the trememdous hospitality shown to us by our hosts. All these people really bend over backwards to give us such a good time. Thanks, we'll pay back!