Sunday, October 9, 2011

Douglaston Salmon Run Full of Fish: Lots of Persistent Success

Never thought I would see dragonfiles while fishing salmon near Pulaski, but today's temperature rose above 80 I'm sure. We fished the Douglaston Salmon Run from just after 6:30 a.m. to almost noon, and then from about 3:00 until 6:00. My brother Rick wanted to catch a steelhead more than a salmon--his first time here--and did just that, catching a six-pounder in no time. Dennis is here his first time, and until this morning had never hung a trout over four or five pounds--his pre-dawn eight-pound brown set the bar a lot higher. In the DSR all trout must be released, and that's fine with us. I saw a steelhead in the 12-pound class caught. My son hooked one about eight pounds--strikingly silver as it lept. We saw a number of others hooked, and heard of anglers who had caught as many as five. Matt and I return to the Steelhead Lodge in November to take a guided drift boat down, so I'm hoping the presence of so many steelheads is a good sign.

My nephew Kyle had three coho's, one of them very good-size at about 10 pounds, my son a 16-pound, one-ounce king. Dennis and Rick both caught a number of kings and cohos. Fish are everywhere. The run is late for the obvious reason of heat, but fish become abundantly present throughout the length of the river from what I hear.

I had a tough day, catching a very small steelhead, and losing upwards of 20 salmon. Everyone loses much more than they catch, but I was jinxed today.

People did very well with fly rods. According to my brother Rick, they hit anything--some used Wooly Buggers, others stonefly nymphs. Sometimes they don't hit--the line catches between open jaws and the hook catches on the outside of the mouth. But even Rick concedes that sometimes they hit. For example, he found a salmon in eight inches of water yellowed near the belly, apparently from digging a redd. This salmon went out of its way to attack Rick's egg sack. 

I spoke to people who caught 35 salmon, having fished all day and not left for lunch and a power nap as we did, and hoping to get some salmon on a smoker. Next time we'll fish all day, bring lunch and water. But that's irrelevant to the fact that we have a lot of knack to pick up on yet. It's the third year for Matt & I. We've caught some fish, but we're still amazed as yet at how well veterans do. If I get a king or two tomorrow, I think I'll be very pleased. In the future I'd like to catch a lot more. Possibly I'll purchase appropriate fly rods for myself and my son, the same that we could use in the surf or on boat at the shore.

Expect another post on the salmon run possibly Tuesday night. We'll be out tomorrow morning beforre heading back to Jersey.