Thursday, September 27, 2012

Seeking Salmon on the Muskegon

Muskegon River in Newaygo, Mich.
On Thursday morning, Sept. 20, I walked down to the Muskegon River, which is at least 30 yards wide as it flows through the small town of Newaygo, Michigan. I carried my spey rod and the hope that there might be a few salmon in the river. The helpful folks at Parsley’s Sport Shop had warned me that the drought and heat of the summer had delayed the salmon run and it was unlikely I’d bump into many fish, so the hope I carried was more like wishful thinking. As I stood on a wooden deck overlooking the river I admired the multi-hued hillside across the water and listened to the flow rush by. There are three great sounds in life. A basketball swishing through the net, a beer can opening at dawn on the walleye opener and the ripple and rush of water flowing past.

I walked around the deck, down the small ledge and into the crystal clear water. This was my inaugural visit to the Muskegon so I have no frame of reference, but I’d say the tailwater was at the “low and clear” stage. No other anglers were in sight. I tied on an intruder style fly and started the slow process of exploring the river’s runs and pools.

Two hours later I returned to my car, removed my fishing gear, put the spey rod back in its tube and headed north. No fish. No signs of fish. But I got in some good spey casting practice. And I learned that the Muskegon is a beautiful, big river that will be worth returning to some year (but not this year) when the salmon are in.

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