First up, I want to thank some very generous and thoughtful people. Steelhead fishing is not easy, and these folks have really helped me:
- Blog readers: Steve, Bobby, Gary Metras and Ben Liang.
- Friends of the blog: Torrey Collins and Zach St. Amand.
- The “Human Encyclopedia of Steelhead”: A huge shout out to Dave Machowski, who reached out and offered a phone call, which lasted over two hours. He has guided at and fished the Salmon River for 25 years. We covered it all: rigs, leaders, flies, spots and strategy. He has an encyclopedic amount of knowledge.
- Fellow blog writers: Alex Bagdonas and Dan Wells, both of whom spent a lot time on the phone with me. Jamie Carr also sent a note with helpful advice.
I am very grateful to you all. Thank you very much! Per my personal code of fishing ethics, any flies and spots you shared with me are safe. Your secrets will die with me!
Now, for the fishing update.
I decided to fish the Douglaston Salmon Run, which is private property at the first few miles of the Salmon River.
Garrett Brancy and Aaron Abrams there were very helpful and friendly when I wrote them before the trip to get advice. Garrett even gave me his cell phone number after a few rounds of voicemail tag.
I’ve heard much about the DSR, and so, I was really excited to see it. Garrett recommended that I fish the stretch before the ice melt started later this week.
An overnight cold snap meant that it was 15 °F at dawn, and so, I found ways to kill time: a workout at the hotel gym, work email, and a leisurely breakfast at a diner in Pulaski.
I got to the river at 9 am. Water temp? A brisk 32 °F. I got to work.
I ended up walking about eight miles in all. I explored a bunch of spots and tried all sorts of flies and approaches. I didn’t get any takes, but that was all right with me. Yesterday’s fish was still fresh on my mind, and it was amazing to fish the DSR.
At the dirt lot, other anglers also reported no fish. But, everyone was very friendly and in a great mood. After all, we were fishing.
A glorious cheeseburger awaited me for dinner. After a long day on the water, is there anything better?