It’s been quite a summer for “Gramps Tom,” and today was no exception. Steve returned from the Soo for a couple of days so we grabbed his two oldest boys, Masen and Zachery, and off to the Muskegon we went for a three generation smallie trip. Over three to four hours, we boated five bass and lost two of the proverbial “big ones”—all taken on top water green and white poppers. The bass were having absolutely nothing to do with underwater patterns—the very converse of most days on the river. In short, a blast with the fish and, best of all, with the boys.

July is vacation time for me, but not from fishing. What do guides do when not guiding? They fish, and I’m no exception. We’ve met with some success, too, whether with carp on Grand Traverse Bay, with smallies on the Bay and North Lake Leelanau, where we have a family cottage, and, of course, with perch from Lake Lee. We at River Quest are a 100 per cent catch and release guide service—with two notable exceptions: Lake Superior whitefish and perch. Both go into the cooler and onto the plate. Yum!

Pictured along with a couple of bass from today—one a smallmouth and another a largemouth—is a family July perch catch from Lake Lee.; Steve with a typical GT Bay smallie; and yours truly with a Bay “golden bone.” All in all, it’s been a wonderful summer vacationing with the family and tossing flies (and drowning minnows to bang those perch) for fun. Truly, we are blessed here in western Michigan with such varied and plentiful fishing opportunities.  And, of course, for grandpas like me, to spend time on the water fly fishing with sons and grandsons, is simply is a gift, one for which I am most grateful.

Hope your summer is bringing you all refreshment and renewal with family and friends. Won’t be long and the kings will be sniffing around the river mouths. Can’t wait!