Muskegon River Fishing Report – December 3, 2022 – Newaygo, Michigan

Rich holds a great Muskegon river fall steelhead.

The Muskegon river early winter steelhead fishing continues and despite some very odd weather over the last near 2 weeks, there are fish to be caught and any given day can find quality steelhead in the bottom of my net !

With both fly fishing and conventional equipment, we’re targeting areas where both migratory steelhead and resident Brown and Rainbow trout will “hold” in colder water temperatures that come with early December fishing.

The Muskegon river is running VERY clear, so downsizing tippet and at times, your “offering” of either egg-nymph patterns or even streamers swung with longer rods and sink tip lines, will prove beneficial. Sunny days seem to coincide with more river traffic, which can dictate the “lies” that fish are in, so it can be a matter of covering water to find such spots that may not have had much traffic or fishing pressure.

The overall fall/early winter Muskegon river steelhead run has been pretty good for the most part. Late Octover – mid November found the greatest number of steelhead in the system, but this and most all Michigan rivers, is not a “big numbers of fish” kind of thing. This is the first year in my 26 years of full time guiding, that I’ve seen the river so clear, for so long and throughout the entire river system, from Croton dam outside of Newaygo, all the way down to Muskegon itself.

We were blessed with some of the best steelhead populations and fishing from early 2000’s up to 2013-14’ish that we’ve quite possibly ever seen in Michigan, but such is mother nature and her fluctuating ways. So many who were fortunate enough to get in some fishing during that time, would be best served relishing in those moments and memories and not try to seek out similar results…it’s just not going to happen in the near future.

Based on current estimates of steelhead in the river though, we should have viable winter fishing for them up to the point where river temperatures drop to the point of significantly affecting fishes metabolism and feeding. Same for resident Brown and Rainbow trout, who are still actively feeding and best bet for fishing them is indicator nymphing, with light tippet in the 3-4# range and small nymphs such as brassies, midge, sparse caddis, black stones, hares ear and even small, 4-5mm egg patterns as some lake run Brown trout are in the river and going into spawning mode.

Lastly, for any considering a spring steelhead outing from latter March – mid May, it may be best to touch base with me sooner than later, I have about 1/3 of that schedule filled and come end of the year, it will most likely be 3/4 full.

Good fishing….

Jeff

Muskegon River Fishing Report – November 22, 2022 – Newaygo, Michigan

Grand Rapids, MI resident and long time guest and friend Chuck, with a great Muskegeon river steelhead.

The Muskegon river went through a wirlwind of conditions over the last 4+ days that put the fish into a lockdown with record snowfall, high winds, fluctuating air temperatures and dropping water temperature. Needless to say, the fish were a little fickle, but we’re hoping to see this change in the days ahead as weather stabilizes. Click here for current and forecasted weather for the Newaygo, Michigan area – https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/newaygo/49337/weather-forecast/2227651

With both fly fishing and conventional equipment, we’re now fishing all kinds of water for both migratory steelhead and resident Brown and Rainbow trout. From fast water runs of early fall steelheading, to slower pools and slot runs of mid winter steelheading.

I’ve fished up around the Newaygo area, as well as 25+ river miles down stream, closer to Muskegon itself over the last week+ and both have put up fish, but the action we had up to a week+ ago has begun to slow down, as it will when river levels and temperatures drop, which they have over the course of that time frame. Click here for current Musekgon river water flow data – https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=04121970

There are still fish to be caught though and they DO need to eat, so it’s simply a matter of putting in your time, fish “smarter, not harder”, cover water and capitalize on the opportunities you get.

Muskegon River Fishing Report

We are amidst the fall and early winter steelhead run on the Muskegon river in the Newaygo, Michigan area now and will be through December and mother nature willing, into the New Year.

With both fly fishing and conventional equipment. we’re pursuing the Great Lakes Jewel of game fish….fall steelhead ! With incredible speed and acrobatics, they can provide a battle like no other fresh water fish.

River levels and temperatures have dropped a bit in recent days due to the arrival of “winter” conditions, but it IS mid November and we were due for this sooner than later !

Katrina came from OH with her dad Craig and holds a GREAT Muskegon river steelhead….