Now that's a hell of a first post! You would make a great addition to the community here! Good on you and if nobody else speaks up it was my reel, I recently lost a perfect, bougle, cascapedia, and a st John right at the place you speak of! Haha
Hope we hear more from you!
I know there is an older guy who fishes the muskegon every day. He is older and fishes a hardy bougle. you might put a sign up at 72nd street parking lot. He is a super nice guy but I dont remember his name. If you are able to return his reel it will certainly help in the karma department.
Maybe trying shooting an email to Feenstra, RiverQuest or some of the other guides in the area, they're on that river everyday and could possibly know the guy. Glen or Bob at Great Lakes would be a good place to contact as well.
A younger man fishing a Hardy.....awesome.....leaving it in the parking lot, not so much. I floated that stretch that day and have no idea who this fellow is. The newer shop in Newaygo is a good start or Great Lakes Fly Company in Rockford. I did see a youngish guys frantically searching the Thornapple launch site later that evening after I got off the water, but I assumed it may have been a lost keys situation, and never inquired. Stick w it, you're efforts are commendable !
if anyone is fishing there this weekend, maybe hang a sign at 72nd street parking lot, thornapple parking lot and even at 76th st. (sucker flats). maybe he wont see it but a friend of his might. its nice to see people that care.
I contacted both Great Lakes Fly Fishing and the Muskegon River Fly shop the day I found the reel. They have been talking to various anglers but so far no luck on the finding the owner of the Hardy. I'm thinking he may not even realize it is gone until the next time he goes fishing and starts looking for it. Maybe this weekend he'll find it gone and start searching...
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