With less steelhead in love every day, we were indeed fortunate to find a couple a young ladies attended by numerous admirers. Ron Barch, bamboo rod builder extrordinaire, and his friend and former educational colleague of mine, Dr. Bob Oster, joined me for a wonderfully enjoyable day of fly fishing for steelhead on the Muskegon River. With waters dropping and clearing and the steelhead run winding down, conditions are less than ideal, but some cloud cover and breeze, coupled with the urgency the fish feel to finish their spawning chores, kept the trout active in front of us all day. Bob was new to steelheading, but he learned his lessons well and boated his first steelhead on the fly. Ron is an experienced fly caster, but tossing the fat switch lines on the 11’3″ Sage switch rod was new to him, but in short order he was laying out long casts, mended well. Once again, our best flies were pale egg patterns, caddis pupa, Steelhead Buggers, and purple Crystal Egg Sucking Leaches. All in all, it was a great reunion with Bob, and a deepening of my personal friendship with Ron—all in the context of excellent steelhead fly fishing. Next step: steelhead on one of Ron’s Alder Creek bamboo rods. Thanks, guys, for a superb time! Pictured below are first Bob and then Ron with a couple of the steelhead they brought to hand.

Captain Tom Kuieck