Whoa! Every now and then all the planets align to produce an extraordinary day. So it was with Ron and best bud Bob: a spectacular sunrise piercing the fog, clear skies, calm winds, willing salmon, and wonderful conversation through the day. Bamboo rod maker, Ron, (Alder Creek Fly Rods) has introduced musician Bob (and former teaching colleague of mine) to fly fishing. Both guys absolutely love the out-of-doors, whether it’s fly fishing, duck hunting, and—dare I mention it here—golf (where Bob is an accomplished player and Ron the novice). Hence, Bob learns to fly fish, and Ron learns to golf. Sounds fair to me.

We fished the fat lines on 11’3″ switch rods, running steelhead buggers under strike indicators. Of the five salmon we put in the boat, four took the flies with confidence; the other in a disparate body part. No question, the bugger was the fly of choice today. A couple of trout smacked egg flies, but the salmon were all over the bugger. As reported here previously by me and other RiverQuest guides, the number of salmon in the Muskegon is fishable, but one needs to ply a bunch of water to find them. On the other hand, trout rose to hatching insects all afternoon in lots of spots, so if one were to miss on the Kings, trout stand ready to oblige to save the day. Most important: zip combat fishing, incomparable scenery, and gracious fellow anglers and guides made for a most pleasant and memorable day.

Now, a special thanks goes out to Ron and Bob, who humbled and surprised me with a gift-wrapped present at the end of the day: a dozen beautifully tied old school steelhead flies packaged in a tooled wooden fly box, crafted by Jim Newland of Traverse City. Guys, the flies are too special to fish, and the box will be long treasured. I was truly moved by your thoughtful generosity. Thank you so much!

Pictured are Ron with a hen, Bob with a buck, and a fresh male on the Boga.

Captain Tom Kuieck