If Captain Dave DeVries ever decides to exit the happy life of the fly fishing guide, he really ought to consider getting into prophesy. In Prophet Dave’s post of yesterday, he predicted that salmon fishing was about to get a whole lot tougher on the Muskegon due to dropping river levels, steady or rising water temperatures, and clear skies with no rain in the forecast for days. Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to Dave (as well as Captains Steve and Don), but given the numbers of salmon I had seen the day before and clients Ron and Bob had hooked up, I thought, “How tough could it be, really?” Well, put simply, really, really tough.
The salmon haven’t left the river, but the aforementioned environmental realities have left them all out of sorts. Hens wanted to come on gravel, but with higher temps and dropping water, they just couldn’t bring themselves to get on with their spawning duties. Of course, no females = no males. We had salmon cruising around, but precious few locked up in love. So, Chicagoans Tom and Bernhard and I cruised miles of water looking for fish that had chosen to buck the prevailing salmon marching orders of the day. Tom and Bernhard, though, had the perfect attitude about it all: “Any day on the water is better than a day at the office, and we’ll take whatever the river gives us.” Clients have little idea how happy such fishing and life maturity makes us guides! Both were new to fly fishing for salmon, and even though few fish were in evidence, they were patient and persistent. Lo and behold, both Tom and Bernhard brought fish to hand, as well as losing others. Just goes to show: when the going gets difficult, don’t bail; hang in there; stay on the move; and realize it only takes a pod of salmon here and there to save your day. It was another one of those, “Can’t remember when I’ve had a better time when the fishing was so weak” kinds of days. Thanks, Tom and Bernhard; I thoroughly enjoyed our day together. You both are great listeners and learners. Hope we can do it again. Pictured is Bernhard with a hen he took.
Captain Tom Kuieck