Since 1907 Kissena Park has undergone many improvements and renovations. In 1942, Kissena Lake was transformed into a "bathtub lake" when the Works Progress Administration drained it, built an encompassing stone retainer, and refilled it. The lake had to be drained again in 1983 due to a buildup of algae. Today the lake is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including snapping turtles, ducks, herons, egrets, and gallinules.
Saturday we took the Long Island Rail Road to
Jamaica, Queens. It has been months since Dennis
and I had fished this small lake for carp. There
are way too many turtles here for my liking but
there are some big, strong carp here.
The day was hot and fishing was very slow.
Most of the afternoon was spent trying to locate
carp. Nothing was happening until we moved
to the north side of the lake. There I caught
the first carp; really powerful, for it's size carp.
Dennis had started to target an orange koi, about
50 feet to my left; that was gobbling down his
dog biscuits. After about 20 minutes of this
the koi disappeared.
As dusk arrived, Dennis hooked his first carp of the
day with a deer hair fly. This carp ran like a freight
train at night. While Dennis was in his battle, I
hooked my third carp of the day. My second fish
was a LDR (Long Distance Release). We stood
almost side by side, sort of synchronized carp
fishing as daylight strolled away. Each fish was
a battler, running, head shaking and refusing to
be put in a net.
I had a hefty 8 wt fly rod, which gave me an edge
and I needed it for this fish. Dennis had his usual
5 wt, advantage carp. So even though our arms
were hurting as we hung on to our fly rods; I could
feel my fish weakening. Shortly, my carp was
unwillingly being pulled towards my waiting net.
Finally my ordeal was completed but Dennis'
fish still fought as if he had not already spent 20
minutes swimming like a shark. I tried to help
with the netting of the fish. This fellow was over
3 feet long, longer than my net was deep! At the
last moment he broke the tippet and returned to
the lake bottom for a well deserved rest.