Trick or Treat? That was the question for us on the Muskegon with the salmon run finished and the steelhead only starting their ascent up the river. Since my longtime client and friend Ben had invited one of his clients, Andy, who owns a home on the Flat River and fishes smallies via bottom bouncing but who had never fished for kings with a fly rod, the fishing choice of the day was clear: find some fresher kings and have at it. And have at it, they did. After Andy laid out three “C&D” casts, I told Ben that he had brought an easy date!  Andy simply transferred his smallie river fishing skills to the Chinooks, and away he went. Multiple hookups resulted in fish after fish chased down river and led into the net. By lunch, both guys had sore arms, with some of the fish coming to indicator fishing with the 11′ switch rods. Post lunch, it was time to fish the dark water for trout and perhaps a steelhead not taking a nap. The first trout decided to take a whack at a trailing Antron Hex a king was zipping across the river and promptly hooked himself! Wow! Did that poor trout have a ride! The poor thing couldn’t figure what the fat was going on! Ben, a committed trout aficionado, was thrilled that he had such a unique double—salmon and trout. All part of a great day—my final day of guiding for 2008, as a matter of fact, since I had earlier promised my now retired wife that the end of October would mark the end of my guiding for the year so I can make some memories with her. So, special thanks go out to to Ben and Andy for making my last day such an enjoyably memorable one. Terrific weather, great company, good numbers of spawning kings, and some trout tossed in for good measure. Best flies: clown eggs, steelhead orange nuke eggs, and the Antron Hex. Best of all, at the end of the day, Andy declared that he would much rather fly fish on the river than fish the big water over downriggers—enjoyable as that sport may be in its own right. Another convert to the long rod! Looking forward to seeing you, then, Andy, in the Spring for steelhead; you have a real touch with with the drift and your presentation of the flies, not to mention your ability to fight fish. Pictured are Andy, Andy and Ben, and yours truly with my bud, Ben.

Tom Kuieck