Captain Don Graham and I continue to snoop on the progress of the 2011 steelhead run with some first-hand investigation; the way we figure, someone has to do it….

Fishable numbers of steelhead course the Muskegon with the bulk of the run yet to come, of course.  Late January hens are flashing their silver along with crimson striped earlier run bucks.  Fishing pressure is light to non-existent, which affords  first casts of the day to prime locations accompanied only by rushing river flow, bird calls, and the flutter of turkey wings during fly down..  All else is silent; the woods stand cloaked in white, and whitetails bound from their beds, startled by the laughs of two buddies reveling in the beauty of the day.  It’s winter steelheading, our hands-down favorite float.

Bright sun and temps in the mid-30s along with clear water greeted us.  Our best hopes for a hot bite, though, were dashed by a light bite.  As we observed, “The fishing was great; the catching not so hot.”  Nonetheless, persistence pays, as the hen I’m holding attests.  From here on, numbers of fresh run fish should build until, by the end of the month, we should be well into the largest push of steelhead.  Hope some you reading this, can find a way to get away and join us on the river.

Captain Tom Kuieck