Muskegon River Fishing Report – January 24, 2018 – Newaygo, Michigan
The Muskegon river fishing report for January24, 2018 in the Newaygo, Michigan area is about the heavy rains that came through most of the Midwest in recent days and the changes in river conditions as a result of them.
The river came up a fair amount after rains pounded the whole Muskegon river watershed, from it’s origin in northern Michigan near Houghton Lake, all the way down to the mouth of the river in the port town of Muskegon itself. With several reservoirs and dams in the lower 1/3 of the river system, when each of the reservoirs get additional water on top of the ice that formed during colder temperatures, water must be released through the dams “gates”, which has happened and brought levels up to near 3,000 cfs. Normal flows for this time of winter are around 2,000 cfs and with the additional water that inevitably came from on top of the existing ice and through the release gates, the incoming water is COLD…..and river temperatures reflect that.
All this said, we still have not only resident Rainbow and Brown trout to fish for, but also migratory steelhead that are wintering over in the river. Although water temperatures are low, fish still feed and are there to be caught for the patient angler.
With both fly fishing and light spin tackle equipment, we target the pools and runs that fish occupy this time of winter and work the water thoroughly. It may take several drifts through the same lane or lie to get a fish to bite, but proper presentation along with patience will get bites.
I have yet to see this develop this winter, but it’s possible to find small #18-22 midges emerge in slow tailouts of runs and find trout feeding on the surface for them. We’ve had a winter of significant and consistent fluctuations in river levels, which has not allowed the river to “set up” for this to happen, but I’m keeping an eye out for this wonderful, mid winter dry fly fishing opportunity.
With a pretty mild long range forecast ahead for the end of January, we’ll have good fishing through the month and into February, before we’ll likely see another round of arctic air come through, drop more snow and return things to more typical mid winter weather in west Michigan.
Present water temperature in the 34-35 degree range.