Osceola County fisherman reflects on successful winter season

EVART — Josh Johnson, of Evart, is now focusing on coaching his high school baseball team. So he’s moved from winter to spring in a hurry.

“My fishing is over for now, but don’t remind me,” he smiled. “I had a good winter. We had several fish fries. I thought they were biting pretty good.”

The steelhead run has impressed Johnson.

“I plan on getting out during spring break and taking my boys to the river,” Johnson said. “I like to fish (at the Pere Marquette) but I also like to fish the Little Manistee. I’ll go down to the Croton and fish the Muskegon River some.”

River fishing attracts a lot of diehard Osceola County fishermen including Johnson and another one of his coaching colleagues, Paul Higgins.

“It’s awfully peaceful fishing on the river,” Johnson said. “Catching steelhead, it’s one of those fish. It’s a thrill. You can spend the whole day and catching one steelhead, you feel like you’ve had a lot of success.”

Steelhead are fighters, much to the delight of a fisherman like Johnson, who likes a challenge.

“You have to do everything right,” he said. “Just getting one steelhead off the river bank gives you a really good feeling. If you get two, then you’re a legend.”

Johnson mostly fishes area private lakes.

“You just have to get to know some people,” he said.