Go figure. While the bugs have either hit the water fifteen minutes before dark or been AWOL the last few days, last night we were treated to an excellent grey drake spinner fall, and—get this: the trout decided to snack on them! Dave and Toren took nine trout and eight smallmouths through the afternoon/evening, the highlight of which was Toren’s laying out a beautiful 40′ cast to a rising brown, only to bring him to net after a spirited resistance. 16.5″ and beautifully marked, the fish was in excellent condition and bolted from my hand upon release.

Our sequence of flies for the evening went like this: caddis (in response to small tiddlers taking what appeared to be caddis, but apparently were not); sulpher spinner (took one on this fly, but it clearly was not the preference of the trout); isonychia spinner (absolutely nothing doing on this usually reliable fly); and finally grey drake spinner, which the trout took with confidence. Thank you master tier Fred Vargas and congratulations Toren!

The afternoon and evening were a perfect combination of great conversation, steady fly fishing action, and fabulous atmospherics. In short, a dream afternoon and evening on the Muskegon. For me, it was a special float since I now (as gramps-retiree) go into summer “retirement” from guiding to spend time at our family cottage and to tackle a long list of “honey-do’s” around home. Needless to say, the cottage time looks great, but the list is, well, the list…. Come to think of it: September on the Manistee for kings is looking pretty good right now!

Again, congrats to Toren and thanks to him and his friend Dave for a wonderful time on the river.