Fly Fishing; Muskegon River; First Time!
Father and son, Mark and Sam, intent on learning more about fly fishing, made their way to the Orvis Shop in Breton Village where the knowledgeable staff soon filled them in about fly fishing for smallmouth bass on the Muskegon River with RiverQuest Charters. Their interest piqued, they decided to give fly fishing a whirl, and today I had the delightful privilege of hosting them.
New to fly fishing and transplants from California to Grand Rapids just two years ago, Mark and Sam are loving Michigan—even the winters—and marveled at the beauty of the Muskegon River and the wildlife that we so regularly see on the river. Today, it was an eagle, muskrat, turtles, of course, and sundry other birds that enriched our experience on the river.
With the first couple hours given over to casting instruction and how to work the poppers in hand, the guys began hooking fish—not large to be sure—but as they said, “We didn’t expect to catch anything so this is way more fun than we thought we would have!” Then, Big Bertha or Big Bubba, as the case may have been, absolutely slammed eleven year old Sam’s popper. All smallmouth bass fight hard, but this fish was in another class all by itself, so much so, that Sam couldn’t lift the tip of the rod, so there he was dead sticking it! No way was he going to bring that fish to the boat so the chase was on! Mark rushed to the back of the boat to help by lifting he butt of the rod, which, with the help of the fish gods, enabled me to slide the net under the bass.
Here, yours truly poses Sam’s bass, one of the largest boated by RiverQuest guides on the Muskegon River this year. Needless to say, I think we may be welcoming two new members to the cadre of fly fishers as Mark’s and Sam’s smiles throughout the day said it all.
Thanks for a great day of learning how to fly fish the Muskegon River for smallmouth bass today, guys. I loved every minute of it and hope today proves your initiation into the sport we love so much.
Captain Tom Kuieck