Spring is in the air! Captain Don Graham hosted me on his boat for an afternoon of fly fishing for steelhead on the Muskegon today. Temps in the low thirties, but sunshine galore, which seemingly brought wildlife out for a sunbath. Turkeys and deer that normally shy from the boat paid no mind to us as they fed short distances from us. With river levels coming down and the water still somewhat stained, but completely fishable, we had a most enjoyable time. The bite was slow; we had to work hard for the couple of fish we hooked up, but it was a great time nonetheless. As one would expect with the cold water, the fish are holding in softer lies, off the heavier current flows. The cute little hen I’m holding took a hot pink egg fly.

A final thought: we finished out the day by joining the Riverquest guys and our fellow professional river guides at the Red Anchor Inn in Newaygo for our annual Michigan River Guides Association banquet. This is the organization that works to improve the quality of fly fishing on West Michigan rivers through projects such as the commercial trash bins placed at the Pine and Thornapple Street landings, which MRGA has funded in collaboration with Action Fabricators and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. MRGA’s advocacy for resources protection and high standards of sporting ethics is one of our best hopes for the future quality of Michigan’s fishery resources.

Captain Tom Kuieck