Baldwin fishing guide loves the challenge

Flyfishing guide entertains plenty of clientele out on local rivers

BALDWIN — Jeff Hubbard lives in the Baldwin area and is a full-time fishing guide. He wouldn’t want it any other way

SUCCESS: Baldwin resident Jeff Hubbard shows a sample of his fishing expertise. (Pioneer file photo)

”My grandma and grandpa lived up here and I used to spend summers up here,” said Hubbard, a Jenison native. “My grandpa (John Hubbard) was a big fisherman and hunter. I grew up through the family. I never thought I’d end up here. I fell into doing it.”

After he graduated from high school, Hubbard went to Alaska and spent four years guiding out there.

“I got a job here at the Orvis shop in the 1990s and have been doing it ever since,” Hubbard said.

He now guides on his own. Hubbard figures he guides more than 200 days a year.

“I guide basically on the Pere Marquette. That’s my home water,” he said. “I also guide off the Muskegon and White River.” He fishes for salmon trout and steelhead, and is busy in the winter for steelhead

Hubbard said he sticks to flyfishing because of the strategy involved.

“No matter how good you think you are, you’re always learning something new,” he said. “It’s the challenge of doing it. From a guiding standpoint, Michigan is a great place to be guide. It isn’t just seasonal. You can make a living doing it.”

His clients, about 60 percent of them, come from the Chicago area.

“I take people from all over the world.” he said. “I have clients that come from Scotland, England and Japan. I’ve met a lot of interesting people. A lot of clientele I’ve had so many years now. It’s cool to watch them grow as anglers.”

Fishing seems to be picking up locally.

”The trout fishing has been pretty good,” he said. “Despite all the rain, we’ve had good streamer fishing. I do fly fishing only. The streamer fishing has been good.”

This should be a good month.

“(Water levels) will come down quite a bit. It depends on how much rain we get,” Hubbard said. “Before the water came up, the dry fly fishing was actually starting to pick up well.”

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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