Saturday my partner Franny (previously known to many as “Little Manistee” Fran) and I chartered a Steelhead fishing trip with Terry Weiler on the Muskegon River. It took a little coaxing to bring Franny out of retirement to fish steelhead again after about a 10 year hiatus. We met Terry at the boat launch at about 7 AM, the weather was favorable for fishing, temps were to climb to the low 40’s and overcast. Terry’s boat is very comfortable with a cover and a heater if necessary.
We arrived at our first spot around 8AM set 4 lines with Hot & Tots it didn’t take long for action to begin. I told Franny she was to take the first fish. By 8:30 Franny had landed 2 tipping out at about 10 lbs. She was out of control!! It was great watching her perform some of her forgotten skills and anyone that knows Franny …. she was heard for about a ¼ mile. No other boats in the area so the only ones affected were the wildlife and anyone that may have been trying to sleep in.
We ended up with 5 fish and had a total of 9 hits. Franny landed another that was in the 10 lb. class which is a nice size for steelhead these days. Terry and I both had a blast watching Franny work out and taking in her excitement! I really didn’t care if I landed a fish but Franny insisted I play one and eventually put one in the box.
We fished most of the day fishing the Hot &Tots (black and silver produced 3 of the 5) and then we changed a couple lines adding Wiggle Warts with some success. We also took one fish on spawn.
My buddies fished Sunday w/Terry and did about the same hooking about 10 fish. They landed 5. They also fished Monday with another guide and only hooked 3 fish. They used the “drop back” method w/spawn.
I have fished with him 2 times for steelhead and once on the Big Manistee for Salmon. He has a nice set up on his boat and good fishing equipment to handle both steelhead and salmon.
See you all soon on the river and hopefully I’ll be with my “Guide” Franny G.!
– Bob Thomas