Local fishing guide enjoys challenges of his job

Fishing guidE: Casey Hefferan is a fishing guide at the Pere Marquette River Lodge. (Star/John Raffel photo)
Fishing guidE: Casey Hefferan is a fishing guide at the Pere Marquette River Lodge. (Star/John Raffel photo)

BALDWIN — Casey Hefferan realizes that fishing guides barely ever take a day off during the entire year.

But he doesn’t mind.

Hefferan is in his third year of being a guide for the Pere Marquette River Lodge.

“I was working on the fly counter for a while, saved my money and bought a boat, and decided that I really liked it,” Hefferan said.

He’s from Rockford but his family has a cottage on Clifford Lake near Big Star Lake.

“I grew up fishing up here, came up here every weekend,” Hefferan said. “Lately, I’ve been working quite a bit, getting out three days a week at other times five days a week. Usually this time of year, I’m not that busy.”

In the fall during fall salmon run, it’s a seven-day-a week venture for Hefferan and his fellow guides.

“It’s just being out there doing something I love,” he said.

A two-foot brown trout that a customer caught is among Hefferan’s top experiences as a guide.

On his own, Hefferan enjoys venturing out to other rivers, including the Muskegon and Grand rivers.

“This is the best thing I’ve got going on right now,” said Hefferan, who’s not sure if he’ll be able to continue making it his full-time venture. “I would like to figure out a way of making it happen.”

It’s obviously a unique area for fishing and Hefferan knows why.

“One reason is the flies only, catch and release water,” he said. “It’s a little nicer up in this part of the state. We have clean water. There aren’t as many people. It’s easy to spread out. One of the reasons I like the Pere Marquette is there’s so much diversified water. There’s always something a little different. There’s always something new to do. No matter how many people are out there, you can always find a good spot.”