Shakedown Cruise

Meet Jim, who, along with his wife Mary, one day decided to check out fly fishing. A referral to RiverQuest from a Kalamazoo sport shop put both of them into my boat, and thus began what can happen when the fly fishing bug bites! How about first, sell your very successful trucking business; then sell your gorgeous suburban home, then buy a log home on the Muskegon River, and finally buy a jet boat—all in the space of less than 10 years! That’s where Jim and Mary’s fly fishing passion led them. Jim and Mary love living river life, which, in turn, resulted in Jim’s “Learn the River and Jet Boating 101” tutorial with yours truly.

So, with my standing behind Jim and directing him to dodge this boulder and that deadhead time and time again, we cruised a number of miles down river—all the while my pointing out productive fishing spots along the way. Then, a turn around and retracing our journey up river to where we set up to fly fish for spring steelhead. The great news? Jim’s a quick study and passed his first river navigation and boat handling lesson with flying colors!

The first push of Muskegon River steelhead happened in late March, so now we await what we hope will be a second run, which historically has been the case even into May. For now, though, not many steelhead are present, but enough are there to render chasing them worthwhile. Indeed, in the short time we had to fish, we hooked three and landed the buck Jim poses and the hen that I hold.

Jim and Mary’s story is truly special, and the two of them have untold adventures ahead of them as they learn the Muskegon River, its variety of sport fish, and, of course, the hatches that will have the trout looking up in a month or less from now.

Congratulations, then, Jim and Mary, for living life to its fullest, following your dream, and now seeing it all come together in the most beautiful of ways.

Captain Tom Kuieck