Finding myself in the wilds of long island last week, I met up with Mr Lentini of the fine blog, Mastastico, and had some beers and did some early morning fishing. Highlights were falling into the long island rabbit hole and learning much about the little known conspiracy scene in middle long island, aliens and mutant deer and industrial waste abound! Having grown up an hour south of Manhattan, I don't remember ever being further east than JFK airport, so I was not sure what to expect, but I learned much. I recognized the sandy terrain and the perpetual fog from my earlier life living on the east coast. I did not see the sun for three whole days while I was there, something that never occurs in New Mexico.
mastastico game face, moscaline not so much
Fishing started very early one morning, especially considering the two hour time change I was experiencing. Based on sound intuition, we headed out to the more sporting "not catch fish" area of the Carmans River.
I was a bit surprised to find such a nice trout stream in the middle of Long Island, but it was good. In typical fashion I caught nothing, but I did see lots of little troutlings in the shallows. Despite unsporting dropcasting, I did not even get a nibble. I did lose a couple flies to overhanging trees.
Nice rail road access singletrack through the piney woods.
After Mr. Lentini left to catch his train, I still had an hour or so to fish before I needed to get back to work, so I kept wading downstream looking for fishy prey. Not 100meters from where we parted ways, I caught a flash of something running through the woods on a high bank of the river. I stopped casting and waited and watched. I heard nothing for a while, and then just as I resumed fishing, I saw another brown flash and heard hooves thundering alongside the stream. I saw what appeared to be something between a dog and a horse rush off in the distance and then I could hear the thundering hooves turn to splashing up the river toward me. The splashes stopped. I looked around for anything or anyone, but is was just me, the river and the splashy mystery beasts just around the bend.
Mastastico fishing the RR bridge
Honestly, my first thought was to just start running upstream and see if I could catch Mr. Lentini, but I considered it unwise in waders. I then flashed to the previous night's tales of alien landing in this very location, wondering if there were mutant alien warthogs with tenticled mouths patrolling these parts. I dismissed that and, as the beasts were running back up the bank and into the woods, I caught a glimpse that lead me to believe that these were the imported sitka deer that ran rampant to these parts. As they rushed back and forth in and out of the stream I wondered what would make them run like that. Then I realized that Mr. Lentini was sporting an orange hat. Shit!?! was it hunting season? Was I going to get gunned down in the middle of an unlikely trout stream in long island? I paused and watched and looked for chasing hunters, but nothing. After a few seconds/minutes/years of heart pounding silence, the deer took flight up the bank again and off into the woods, not to reappear again.
darn nice, if infested with insane deer
I continued casting less enthusiastically for another half hour or so, but enjoyed the misty early morning on the river. It was a really beautiful spot.
I hiked back to the car and remembered my previous fishing trip this year. A January hip deep snow hike along the Rio Chama after a cross country ski race. I could not find an ice free area close enough to shore to cast to, so I did not even unsheath the mighty bean fly rod. I did see bobcat track in the snow. It was also a good day fishing.
Frozen Rio Chama
Anyhow, big thanks to Mr. Lentini for providing the bar, calzone, local history and fishing information that improved what could have been a deadly boring trip. Next time we challenge the seagoing fish and further explore the depths of the local knowledge base!
Cabin camping at Stub Stewart, 18-19 Feb 2017
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