|DSR Breakfast Club |
I’m sure you’ve probably seen them, the guys that fish the Run, day in and day out. There’s a small handful of folks that are lucky enough to enjoy time on the water on a daily basis. We all dream about what we’ll do when we retire. Well, these guys have it figured out! I was lucky enough to join two of our 12 month season pass holders, Andy Saunders and Paul Moore, for breakfast the other day. I wanted to get an inside look at what keeps some of our most frequent Douglaston Salmon Run guests coming back, trip after trip. These two DSR ‘regulars’ have seen many seasons (and fish, and deer, and birds, and…) during their time down on the Run, and they were eager to share some of their experiences.
Andy, a retired SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry professor of Natural History and Interpretation, is an avid wildlife enthusiast who comes to the DSR as much for the scenery and wildlife, as for the fishing. He recounted all the different birds and mammals he’s observed while waiting for that tug at the other end of the line. He began his fishing hobby as a boy growing up in Missouri, and it has since become a bit of a lifeline (and obsession!). He guiltily admitted to owning more than 3,000 flies, most of which he’s tied himself. He explained that experimenting with different materials and techniques is one of the many joys of Spey fishing and swinging flies, his favorite technique. I couldn’t help but laugh when Andy confessed to harvesting squirrels, grouse and deer for some of the fly tying materials he likes best, but he assured me the rest of the animal wasn’t wasted, as he often enjoyed a meal of fried squirrel after an afternoon of tying. Even his granddaughter’s cat wasn’t safe from his fly tying obsession, and he clipped (with his granddaughters permission of course!), a few hairs off the cat to incorporate into his next fly!
I’m sure Andy isn’t the only angler guilty of going to these extremes when it comes to following his passion!
Paul understands this passion for fishing and fly tying very well, he used his 12 month pass to fish the DSR a total of 140 days last year! A retired NYS Dept. of Conservation, Fish and Wildlife Technician II, Paul spent is career working in the field throughout central New York. Upon retiring, Paul took up residence in Pulaski, where he could be closer to the river and recreational activities he loves. Paul understands the delicate balance of the river and lake ecosystems and has seen both undergo a multitude of changes over the years. For over 3 decades, he has diligently kept a fishing journal, recording weather and water conditions, and of course, his catch! He enjoys fishing the DSR and the solitude it offers, but he is always willing to help a fellow anger with any questions they may have. That’s how Andy and Paul met, while fishing the Meadow Run several years ago, and they have since become close friends. They often share fishing and fly tying tips and tricks, and of course, they bust each other’s chops from time to time, too! Their friendship has evolved to include several other DSR ‘regulars’, who meet several days a week to fish, enjoy lunch together, and share in the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie that unifies anglers at the DSR.
We’d love to hear your stories of friendships made, or special traditions kept, while fishing the DSR. Feel free to message us on Facebook (Facebook.com/douglastonsalmonrun), or send us an email; firstname.lastname@example.org.