DIY Guide to Fly Fishing Connetquot River in New York

Fly fishing is a popular hobby, but when you don’t want to invest in a guide you might be wondering if you can still experience the best locations around the country. Fortunately, thanks to guides like these, you’ll have no trouble fishing anywhere you’d like. Fly fishing can be a lot of fun when you find the right spots. 

If you’re going to plan your own fishing excursions, you’ll need to learn about the best destinations. You’ll also need to figure out where to go, when to go, and what you’ll need to take. Keep reading to learn about planning a trip to Connetquot River in New York.

Fly fishing the Connetquot River on Long Island in New York

Connetquot Creek sits in Islip, beginning just south of the Long Island Expressway. Also known as the Connetquot River, and the Connetquot Brook depending on where in New York you are, it all covers the same six miles of Long Island and is considered state parkland. There is also a hatchery on the park property, and the estuary flowing through the park is subject to certain rules. 

The biggest rule that differs is that this section of the river is available by reservation only. That is, if you want to go fly fishing, you’ll have to book in advance with the park by calling 631-581-1005. Reservations are required at least a week in advance. 

The Connetquot River is fed by the park’s hatchery, as well as the brook trout that come from holdover. There are even a few sea-run brown trout here and there. It has a steady current flow and makes for easy wading, thanks to the mostly sand bottom. 

Unlike a lot of popular New York fishing spots, this stream flows right into the Great South Bay, which means it’s surrounded by suburban developments. It’s not going to be your best choice for a quiet or secret getaway, but it’s got a great fishing game if you’re willing to put up with the crowds.

Keep in mind that the stocked fish here usually wise up after a few weeks, so don’t expect easy fishing unless you come after first release. There are a total of 30 assigned areas for fishing, and each angler gets four hours to fish. The space that you get depends on when you arrive, so get there early if you want to secure a certain spot. 

Daily fees are required for this creek, which offers year-round fishing with limited date availability for reservations. Read on to learn more about where to go, when to find the best fly fishing, and what you need to take.

Connetquot River Map and Fishing Access Sites

map of fishing access spots on the Connetquot River in New York

Get directions to fishing access points and real-time stream flow data with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

Best Places to Fish the Connetquot River

This spring creek can be accessed directly from Connetquot River State Park Preserve, which is located on Route 27 near Oakdale. Also known as the Sunshine Highway, Route 27 is just minutes from the Long Island Expressway and is a major thoroughfare through Islip. Once at the park, there will be plenty of signs to direct anglers to the Connetquot Creek fishing area. 

All fly fishermen will want to ensure that they are following all instructions that came with their reservation and checking in at the appropriate areas. Parking is ample at the State Park, and the water can be accessed on foot so there is no need for a boat. In fact, at least within the park, the flow of the stream doesn’t really allow for craft anyway. 

There may be other river access points for public fishing via permit, but you’ll want to check when planning your trip because these areas aren’t always open or available. If you are caught fishing without a reservation or permit, big fines could ensue!

If you’re coming from New York City, you can take the Long Island Expressway to NY-454, which will take you to Route 27 West. There’s an exit specifically for the park and the fishing area.

Best Time to Fish the Connetquot River

Although the season is open year-round, the park doesn’t always offer fishing reservations. They’re typically open on a limited basis from February until April, and you can reserve your time well in advance if you’d like. Springtime, like most New York destinations, is a great time. 

Of course, you’ll also find premium fishing during the winter months, thanks to the warm water being fed in from the springs. Summer is really slow for trout fishing, so it’s not recommended to travel. Locals might head out to beat the crowds, taking the risk of a slow day, but it’s not worth a whole trip. 

Better to go when the fish are biting, even if it’s busier. From April on, there are three sessions a day to accommodate more anglers, but once you get into the warm months, you’ll find that the stock and holdover are both hard to find. Locals and those who favor this spot suggest going between February and April for the best chances of success. 

You can also call ahead when making your reservation to find out about water reports, current fishing reports, and what the weather is going to be like, to help you strategize the best time to take your fly fishing trip.

Stream Flow and Current Conditions

Be sure to check the stream conditions before heading out to fish the Connetquot River. The USGS stream gauge near Central Islip, NY provide a good indication of current conditions.

The graph below shows the stream flow (discharge) for the past 7-days. If flows are considerably above or below historical norms (yellow triangles on the chart) then fishing conditions maybe not be ideal.

CONNETQUOT BK NR CENTRAL ISLIP NY

  • Flow: 25.1 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 2.64 ft
.
USGS

Fly Box - What You'll Need

Here is list of general fly pattern recommendations for the Connetquot River:

  • Black Stonefly (#12 -18) 
  • Brown Stonefly (#12 -14)
  • Little Black Caddis (#16 -18)
  • Tan Caddis (#12 ) 
  • Blue Winged Olive (#14 - 18)
  • Hare's Ear Nymph (#12 - 14)
  • Pheasant Tail Nymph (#14 - 16) 
  • Woolly Bugger (#6 - 8) 

Gear Recommendations

A 9-foot 4-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on the Connetquot River. A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 5X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.

Connetquot River Fishing Report

Area fly shops, guides and websites that can provide a Connetquot River fly fishing report and update on current conditions are listed below:

Fishing Regulations

The state of New York requires that all people who are 16 years of age and older have a valid fishing license. There are resident and non-resident sport fishing licenses available.

You can purchase a New York State fishing license and learn about the most current regulations through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Trip Planning Tips

Connetquot Creek is just over an hour from New York City and minutes from Oakdale, New York, where visitors will find plenty of options for lodging, food, and more. You can also inquire about camping in and around the Connetquot Creek State Park area during open camping seasons if you want to save money on your accommodations. 

If you fly into NYC, you’ll want to rent a car so that you can get to the park and to wherever you’ll be staying. This is a major fishing area, so access is well-signed and easy to find, even without GPS.

Looking for more places to fish? Check out our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in New York

Feature image CC by Americasroof

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