Frank Willetts is a Michigan fishing guide featured on WFN
Fishing guide, Frank Willetts (front) and “Guided” show host Mark Melnyk (rear) take a trip down the Pere Marquette River during a shoot for the upcoming episode. Photo courtesy: Mark Melnyk.
Frank Willetts had it good in the automotive industry. At least, good by standards that most value. The Commerce Township native had the big house, the family, and the stature of being running a plant in Mexico. His life was a whirlwind, but good living doesn’t come without a cost. Then, his seven-year-old daughter said something that ripped him apart.
Willetts is a fly fishing guide today, and owner of the Pere Marquette River Lodge, a popular Orvis-endorsed fly fishing outfitter that services the PM river, home to world-class brown trout and steelhead fishing.
Willetts recounts the story of finding his bliss during a 30-minute episode of “Guided,” a World Fishing Network reality television show that begins its second season Saturday. Show host and producer, Mark Melnyk, explores the life questions with Willetts as well as the spectacular fishing found on the Pere Marquette River.
Mark Melnyk, hoists a steelhead caught during the shoot. Photo: Courtesy Mark Melnyk.
“I knew I liked Frank Willetts the moment I layed eyes on him… standing well over 6 feet tall, rake thin and a pony-tail which rivals that of Willy Nelson, he extended his hand saying hello on that beautiful September day,” writes Melnyk in a blog post on Mark Melnyk Outoors “The lodge was rocking! People were everywhere putting on waders, lacing up boots, buying flies and generally talking fishing. The shop was alive. Frank instructed us to ‘Get some rest boys, tomorrow is a big day’ – we all obliged.”
Be sure to check out Melnyk’s blog for more photos and videos. The Pere Marquette River Lodge episode airs several times. The World Fishing Network is carried by several television providers in Michigan.