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Who is Matt "Z" Zudweg?

I am a professional fly fishing guide on Michigan's Muskegon River and am a member of the Feenstra Guide Service Team.
Born in 1971, I have been a fishing addict since I was 8 years old and I have been guiding professionally since 2003. I enjoy teaching our sport to anyone interested (young or old) and will work very hard to see that you have a great time on the water. When you hire me as your guide, you have my full attention and I am there to serve you. You may have also noticed a button labelled "Outreach". As a Christian, I have a passion for what Christ did for me and feel led to use my love of fly fishing as a way to minister/encourage other Men who are trying to serve God, Family and Country. You can read more about me and my personal testimony here http://www.boneyardflygear.com/aboutus.html

Matt Zudweg

My preferred "style" of Fishing

After guiding over 10 years, several years full time, I have developed a certain way I like to do things. In my opinion, the most important thing to look for in a fishing guide is their preferred style of fishing, and mine has become quite specific. If you enjoy fishing the same style as I do or are interested in learning to fish that way then you've probably found the right guide for you. If not, there are other excellent guides available and I would be happy to point you in the right direction.
I certainly mean no disrespect to any other style of fishing as I have gone through many styles myself before finding what I enjoy the most. That style for me is specific for each species of fish I (we) pursue so I will list them separately.

Trout

Trout Pics

The Muskegon, or "Mighty Mo" as it is sometimes called boasts large numbers of rainbow trout and fewer (but even more prized) brown trout. A typical day in my boat trout fishing consists of swinging wet flies using a two handed "switch" rod (or a single hand rod if you wish). I do prefer switch rods though, as they are much more efficient and effective at casting distance with little effort. If you are new to switch or spey rods, I can usually get a beginner casting well within 30 minutes or so. Wet flies are fun and easy to fish and a typical day results in lots of action! The greatest part of swinging wet flies in my opinion is the take (or strike). When swinging a wet fly, the line is tight and the angler is directly connected to the fish the instant the fish bites!

Casting a two handed rod is also a very fun thing to do... if you haven't tried it, you are missing a real treat. Great wet fly fishing is generally from mid May through late June.

I also truly enjoy streamer fishing for big trout! Streamer fishing is a lot of casting and stripping (with a sinking fly line) but can result in some really large trout! Ideal conditions for streamers would be after a good rain when the river is higher and dirtier than at normal flow.

Of course I love dry fly fishing, as it is the very essence of fly fishing! When the opportunity arises to catch a feeding brown or rainbow on the surface you better believe we'll take advantage of it. The Muskegon boasts some great hatch matching with caddis, sulphurs, gray drakes, isonychias and many more! If I had to pick 2 weeks for dry fly fishing on the Muskegon it would be the last two weeks of May.

Smallmouth Bass

Bass Pics

Smallies have been a passion of mine since childhood. In my opinion, they are one of the greatest freshwater sporting fish in the world. They are big eaters and super strong fighters! Poppers are my favorite way to catch bass! There are very few freshwater surface takes that are as explosive as a smallmouth bass on a popper! For many years, I tied poppers commercially and as a result I figured out what makes a good popper, a great popper. If you love big bass on the surface then you're my kind of angler! Typical conditions for good popper fishing on the Muskegon occur from mid July through early September.

Streamer fishing for bass is also great fun if the popper bite isn't at it's best (late June/early July). We typically fish a big streamer just below the surface where you can still see it, so you still get to see the take! We also have certain spots that are ideal for swinging a streamer or popper on a two handed rod... that is a fun opportunity!

Steelhead

Steelhead Pics

I have a passion for West Coast Style Swung Fly Steelhead fishing using a Spey Rod (13' to 15' 2-handed rod), and since around 2009 have only offered this style of Steelhead fishing during the fall months (mid Oct.-mid Dec.). Swinging streamers and wet flies for Steelhead (in my opinion) is the most fun and amazing way to catch a Steelhead, period! Although certainly not the most effective way to get a bite, just one Steelhead on a swung fly is well worth the effort. These trips generally book very early due to the high demand for this style of fishing so please book early.

I also offer swung fly trips in the spring, but once the snow melts and rains come the water generally rises too high for this style to be effective… when this happens we turn to switch rods (11' 2-handed rod), these rods are also cast with both hands, but are light enough to use one hand for mending line. We fish these with a strike indicator/egg/nymph rig to allow the flies to get deep/slow enough in the high water. There are certain times the water is so high/fast in the spring that we must resort to chuck-n-duck style fishing… this is generally a last resort, but a very effective one.

Recap on the best times

Trout - early May through early July.
Smallmouth Bass - early July through early September.
Steelhead - mid October - mid December / mid March - early May.

Rates

I realize that times are tighter than usual, so I frequently offer special deals on trips. To receive these special offers please send me an email with "special deals" as the subject line. If you want to learn fly fishing or improve your current skills, I don't want a tight budget to get in your way.

Usual rates are as follows:
Half days are $250. Typically 4-5 hours, no meal. One or two anglers.
Full days are $395. Typically 8-9 hours, meal included. One or two anglers.
Gatuity is not included in the rates listed, but is very much appreciated if you are happy with my service

Places to stay

There are numerous places to stay during your visit to the Howard City/Newaygo area including economical hotels, rental cottages, b&b's and beautiful lodges right on the river. Let me know what you would like and I will give you my recommendations.

Equipment

I supply all necessary rods, reels, flies, etc. and you just need a valid MI all species fishing lisence. I use the finest equipment by great companies like Mystic, Echo, Orvis, Simms and Scientific Anglers. Waders are NOT necessary as we primarily fish from the boat.

Boat

I currently use an 18 ft. Stealthcraft power drift boat. It is super safe, roomy, stable and very comfortable to fish from. I have a 25 hp outboard which allows us to cover water if necessary.

Z's Boat

Can we keep fish?

I am very conservation minded and therefore practice catch, photograph and release fishing. The fish you release is a gift for someone else to catch, as it was for you.

Endorsements

I am a USCG Captain and have been trained in First Aid.

How to book a trip

All my trips are booked through Feenstra Guide Service.
If you are ready to book a trip you may call or text me personally at 231-206-7660 or email me matt@mattzudweg.com to see if the date you want is available. Once we agree on a date, I require a deposit of $150. The balance is due at the end of your trip. We gladly accept cash, credit card, check or Paypal.
Please visit the following link to FGS to pay a deposit: http://www.feenstraguideservice.com/info.html

 

Click on the following links to view the latest articles about Matt Zudweg that are featured on Globalflyfisher.com, True North Trout.com, and Willfishforwork.com

 

Click the link below to read a recent article by Matt Zudweg on MichiganTroutStreams.com

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All images copyright Matt Zudweg LLC 1997-2014

Email matt@mattzudweg.com

Mailing address: Matt Zudweg LLC
6319 E. 44th St.
Newaygo, MI 49337
Phone. 231.206.7660

Web Development by Eric Schweigert

Matt Zudweg is a licensed & insured Fly Fishing Guide on Michigan's
Muskegon River specializing in trophy resident brown and rainbow trout.
Fish from a Hyde drift boat with top of the line equipment by Scott
Flyrods, Ross Reels and Orvis. Beginners will learn more from one guided
trip than years on your own. Salmon and Steelhead trips also available.