Fishing with Dr. Howard Tanner Part 2

Now that I’ve introduced my friend Dr. Howard Tanner, it’s time to talk about a fantastic steelhead trip that we enjoyed this past October.

Dr. Tanner is 88, and despite being retired for a number of years, he is one busy individual. We unsuccessfully tried for 2 months to get in a salmon trip on the Manistee River, but given the weather, my busy guide schedule and his busy travel schedule, we finally were able to finalize a date. This time it was for steelhead instead of salmon.

The night prior to the trip, we met up for drinks and dinner. Mutual friend, John Hesse functioned not only as a chauffer, but as a fishing buddy. John is a tremendous steelhead angler in his own right, and is the former president of the Michigan Steelheader’s Association.

We had a fantastic day steelhead fishing, and had a lot of fun doing it. It’s incredibly rewarding, on a personal level, to be able to not only fish with a gentleman of Dr. Tanner’s stature, but to be able to call him a friend. We’ve shared a lot of drinks, fishing stories and laughter, not to mention some great fishing.

Howard surprised me when he wrote this review for me following our October trip. “I want to send a special thanks to you for the part you played in a very special steelhead trip that I enjoyed on October 24th. For several reasons, the trip we had together was the best trip I have ever enjoyed. When you can hook 15 and land 12 beautiful steelhead, that alone makes it a great trip. But so much more went into it. The skills you come by, the boat handling, the excellent equipment, the knowledge of the river and your thoughtful assistance to me, all came together to make it my greatest trip. I have been telling everyone that will listen about our trip, and I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to fish with you”.

Thank you, Dr. Tanner, for the kind words, for the friendship, the advice and for my job! His mentorship means more than he will ever know. And yes, I’m looking forward to our next fishing adventure as well.

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