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.
There 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?
The 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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