Metro West Member and long time friend/crewmember, Dan Keifer and I planned a charter trip on the Muskegon River several months ago. Dan now lives in PA but is still an active MW member. We met at Henning Park launch in Newaygo on Monday. We quickly set up the camper . Cold weather but warm camper and sleeping bags made for a fine night of camping.
We met our friend and guide, Jon Kolehouse at Pine St. launch at 6:45 am and were on the river by 7 am. We dropped the anchor just a ¼ mile up river on the south side – four other boats were in place on the north side. Jon gave us our rods/reels of choice, strike indicator and bead egg and handed me the first rod while he set up Dan’s rig. I casted up stream as instructed and FISH ON. One cast and a hook up! It got off but it felt great! Second cast up stream, mend the line and FISH ON! Jon put Dan’s rod down to help land my steelhead! It was a great start! First fish at 7:13 am! A beautiful 31 inch steelhead. Maybe this is the one I will submit for the big fish contest for 2015? Jon, Dan and I were very pleased with such a fast start to the morning.
Dan got his rod set and was into the excitement. He had several hook ups but a bit of bother with the hook setting. My next fish came at 7: 25, 20” and Dan landed his first fish at. 7:40. I landed the next four steelhead between 7:43 and 8:50. By this time I had gone 6 for 9 – Wow what a outstanding COLD morning! Rain, snow, wind and lots of steelhead! Dan’s turn at 9 am – 18” rainbow, 25” &, 30.5” steelhead in the next hour!
I got my game back on with five fish landed by lunch at 12:30 – including a 32” beauty. I will submit this one for ‘big fish’ for sure!! What a great morning, we even landed a double!
Dan and I landed 19 steelhead, one rainbow and one small brown for the day. We pulled anchor at 3:30 after I landed a 28” steelhead – one for gooooood measure! Wow what a day!
The final total, 21 fish landed and several additional hook ups. Total length of our catch – 45.5 FEET; average length was 25.5 inches including the 12” brown and 18’ rainbow. The three of us were extremely pleased with our adventure. The weather was not great but the fishing and catching on the Muskegon was outstanding. Beautiful fish of all shades – silver to very dark with lots of pink thrown in! Jon commented that this was an exceptional day on the water. All of this within a 300 yard stretch of the Muskegon river! Thanks Dan for suggesting we schedule a repeat visit with Jon! Let’s do it again next year!!
– by Henry Nabors