Brook Trout - Interesting Trivia [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Brook Trout - Interesting Trivia

01-18-2003, 09:30 PM
Source: McClane's Angling World - A.J. McClane
1986 - The Country of our Youth pages 44-45.

"Although the island of Manhattan was fissured with ponds and streams, the early settlers had already netted some of these waters to near depletion. During the next two centuries the ponds were filled, the streams funneled into conduits, and the whole island gradually covered with asphalt. Seemingly, all the ghosts of the past were forever sealed from view.

Then in 1956, when a water main broke on 58th street and Madison Avenue, plumbing expert Jack Gasnick found a brook trout floping in the gutter as water poured down the street. Like most of his compatriots who worked the city underground, Mr. Gastnick had taken a variety of fish over the years including pickeral, carp, goldfish, smelt, catfish and eels. But this was his first trout possibly a relic from the Turtle Bay Stream, which still meanders under the east 50s. According to Mr. Gastnick who has since netted trout in the flooded basements of 301 and 325 east 52nd street, the stream is audible, as it whimpers behind walls and below cellars. In the eyes of its nomenclator "Salvelinus Fontinalis is a fish of the fountains and indeed there is modern proof.

One brook trout erupted from the outlet pipe of a lobby fountain in a newly built Greenwich Village apartment house, which straddles the site of what was once another productive stream - Minetta Brook. I won't speculate on the underground life of salmonids, as I can't even imagine what the pH of a Manhattan water main might be, and God knows how trout feed or reproduce in a no photo period environment. Maybe they just wander down from the Catskills along some labyrinth path and get mugged by a bib faucet. The point is, this beautiful native american char should have vanished over most of its range years ago -- but the spirit is indomitable".

To think I walked over these areas for years when I worked in Manhattan and did not know about this. Actually walked over this area 3 years ago while on business there.

Heres an obscure brook trout fact you can impress your fishing colleagues with !

01-18-2003, 11:41 PM
Like I always say, long after the species of man faces extinction, the salmonids will return to their former places in all their glory.


01-19-2003, 09:17 AM
It gets a little hilly on the upper east side as you get closer to the East river which is where these brooks are probably running towards in the underground.

Find their entry points to the East river and you may be onto something.

Amazing isn't it ?

PM Out

01-19-2003, 03:53 PM
As a kid, growing up in Utica, NY, we used to catch brookies in the heavily polluted Barge (Erie) Canal - where little trickles of feeder creeks ran in. The canal was polluted with oil, raw municipal sewage, etc. - but for the outlet, and 25 yards downstream, the little brookies thrived.

We also caught these little jewels in road culverts, below where springs fed them.

As kids, with a vivid imagination, you try ANY fishable water - and come up with some OUTSTANDING surprises!


01-19-2003, 07:14 PM

My first fly caught trout was a 9 inch brookie on a Parmachene Belle wet fly from Stoney Brook in Sloatsburg, New York.

Can still remember that little guy coming up from under the rock and nailing it. I bet I could take you to the exact location today. I think there is still trout in that brook which comes out of Harriman Lakes state park.

That was 43 years ago.

Some more trivia for you.

PM Out

01-20-2003, 08:25 AM
Now that's impressive!!!! I've always consider them a fragile fish. I guess they are a little tougher than I thought.

John Desjardins
01-20-2003, 08:50 AM
Hal, I'm not that surprised that a brook trout can survive in the pipes under the city. After all the waters are taken from some of the most storied east coast waters and the underground transport will keep them cool in summer & warm in winter. The question I have is what do they eat? I'd assume the chlorine would do a job on the insect life.

Interesting side note on this is that a couple of years ago I saw an article on the internet about fly fishing in cave for fish that never saw the light of day. The fish had definite albino qualities. I just cant remember where the people were fishing, and where it was posted.

01-23-2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher
My first fly caught trout was a 9 inch brookie on a Parmachene Belle wet fly from Stoney Brook in Sloatsburg, New York.

my first fly caught trout was three years ago on the housy with a stimulator