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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Mailing address: Matt Zudweg LLC
18943 Tall Timbers
Howard City, MI 49329
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.