DSR Mixed Bag

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On Sunday, May 15th the Douglaston Salmon Run fees dropped to their yearly low.  Since I hadn’t fished there in several years, I thought that it might afford me a chance to catch a mid-May steelie.  Despite the driving wind, bouts of sleet, aggressive rain and chilly May temperature, I decided to throw caution to the wind and drive there.  Sometimes you just have to be stubborn and lay out a plan!  Besides, the DSR is an hour closer than the WBD.

IMG_5175There were two other cars in the parking lot and one of the anglers was walking back to the car.  He landed a few smallmouth, no steelhead.  After purchasing my pass, I opted to walk downstream.  Soon, there wasn’t another sole on the DSR and I had the entire run to myself.  So, I bopped around holes and fished my ways downstream.  I was swinging and actively retrieving olive streamers, sparse white flatwing streamers, oversized brown buggers and more.  Once I reached the lower portion of DSR, I decided to hike upstream to the Black Hole and fish down again.  It was a good day to get some exercise.  Who says that you can’t cross train while fly fishing?

IMG_5179The wind blew and blew, the stormy skies alternated between sunny, cloudy, dark purple and blue.  It rained some, sleeted a bit and the wind never stopped.  At one point, it seemed like waves from Lake Ontario were making their way upriver!  Well, I never saw/touched a steelhead.  The DSR manager told me that guides got their clients into 3 early in the morning.   I struck out with steelhead.  There are a few stragglers still around, but most have returned to Lake Ontario.  On the other hand, I did entice several cooperative smallmouth, a chub and a spunky, 26″ carp that gobbled my fly.  Perhaps more important, I enjoyed supreme solitude on one of the heaviest fished tributaries in New York State.  I’m glad that I was stubborn and ignored the unseasonable weather.  It was still a treat to be there and fish.  I look forward to returning to the DSR.  Maybe I’ll entice a steelhead or Atlantic Salmon to join me next time…

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Craig Dennison

This is Craig and I host Fly Fisher's Workshop. My fly fishing experiences include plenty of travel (Montana/Florida/North Carolina/Maine) and a few years part time guiding for trout. While I primarily target trout and steelhead, I still manage to chase warm water species and enjoy chasing stripers and bluefish. I'm a 3rd generation fly fisher trying to share the passion with my two sons!

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