Muskegon River Fishing Report – August 6, 2014

6 min read

Gabe, from OR, with a nice Smally

Gabe, from OR, with a nice Smally

The Three Amigo’s on the river !!

Jacob S. from OH , with a nice, chunky one !

Jacob S. from OH , with a nice, chunky one !

 Alec S. from OH, holds a scrappy one that jumped for us !

Alec S. from OH, holds a scrappy one that jumped for us !

Muskegon River

The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running a little above average flows for this time of summer.

Although water temperatures are still cool for August, running in the low 70’s, trout are taking a back seat to Smallmouth bass for most anglers as fishing improves with rising water temps.  Both fly fishing and light spin tackle are getting fish with topwater poppers and subsurface streamers and lures.

Some hatch activity is present for the fly fisher in pursuit of mid summer trout fishing, but they are sporadic at best and not always getting trout to “look up”.  It’s a mix of Caddis as well as BWO and Efron mayflies.  Most trout fishing being done now is with wet flies fished by swinging through riffle water or floating nymphs under and indicator through shoots and runs near faster water.

Smallmouth bass fishing will only improve as water temperatures increase.

Present water temperature in the 71-72 degree range.

Pere Marquette River

The Pere Marquette river between Baldwin and Ludington, MI is running a bit above average flows for this time of August, but in good shape overall due to a cooler than average summer so far.

Trout fishing is still viable on the “PM” due to the nice weather, with dry fly, nymphing and “mousing” at dusk and into the night.  Dry fly fishing with terrestrials is better on days with warmer than average morning, coupled with a decent wind by 9-10 a.m..  Once the bugs start moving about, the wind puts some in the water and trout know all about that easy meal.  Keep flies close to the bank…I mean CLOSE.  Safe to say that 10-15″ is ok, 6-8″ better, bounce it off the grass and right on top of that undercut bank and you’re good !

Nymph fishing with floating line, indicator and small nymphs such as PT’s, midge type larva and Hares Ear nymphs fished close to the bottom in faster shoots and runs will work best.

The night mousing game is always a go in mid summer.  Cast a bit heavier rods, with shorter leaders and fish mouse type patterns or waking flies off the bank is your best bet.

Some early run Chinook salmon are in the river, but not in any numbers.  An eyewitness report from yesterday found some “kings” podded up at the mouth of the PM, in Pere Marquette lake, staging and ready to come in.

Present water temperature in the mid 60’s.

Grand River

The Grand river near Grand Rapids, MI is running a bit above average flows at this time, but will be coming down in the rain-less days ahead.

The Grand has not given up much for fishing so far this summer due to consistent rains that have come through west Michigan and continued east towards Lansing, close to the headwaters of the Grand.  As a result, the whole watershed has been getting rained on and has yet to clear for any extended time.  That said, the recent cold water temps in lake MI did bring a push of Skamania Steelhead up the Grand and fish are finding their way into the cooler tributaries that flow into the Grand river.

Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up a bit, but nothing epic taking place just yet.  As water temps rise, smally fishing will only improve. 

Some Northern Pike and Walleye are being taken as well, the best fishing for them is low light conditions – early morning or evening.

Present water temperature in the low 70′s

Flat River

The Flat river near Lowell, MI is running near average flows for this time of summer.

Smallmouth bass are the fish of choice on the Flat once summer arrives and will provide for some good, lower water wade fishing options for anglers of west and central Michigan.   If we DO see the Hex’s popping on the Flat yet this summer, it will provide for some unique dry fly fishing for the Smallmouth, who don’t pass up that free meal each summer night it comes along !

Most common fly fishing for Flat smally’s is with a 5-6 weight rod, with either floating line or floating line and a short sink tip.

Present water temperature around the 70 degree mark.

Manistee River

The Manistee river near Tippy Dam/Wellston, MI is running a little above average flows at this time, but coming into August mode with every passing day.

A limited combination of  Midges, BWO’s and Caddis are coming off early and late in the day, providing for some dry fly fishing to resident Rainbow and Brown trout.  Daytime swinging of soft hackle patterns is bringing fish to net as well. 

Smallmouth bass fishing is getting better and will improve as water temperatures continue to increase.

Present water temperature in the mid to upper 60′s.

The Manistee river above Tippy dam is running near average flows as well, but still producing some nice trout.  It’s a hodge-podge of activity in the upper water right now, with some very few Hex’s to be found here and there, along with Isonychia’s and Cahill’s.  Foamy hopper-terrestrial fishing is the primary day time draw and will get fish to look up when the right fly is presented the right way.

Water temperature in the mid 60′s in the upper river.

White River

The White river near Hesperia, MI is running near average flows for this time of summer, after having been up for the better part of the last few weeks.

The White has had some sporadic Caddis activity that were bringing some trout to the surface, but this will not be the best approach for the trout angler at this time of summer.

Wet fly fishing and stripping streamers are the best bet for the White right now, as it’s starting to come up in water temperature and shut down most cold water species activity.

Present water temperature in the upper 60′s.

Rogue River

The Rogue river near Rockford, MI is running near flows for this time of early August and has pretty much held its own from a water level standpoint all summer long.

Trout fishing is fair on the Rogue right now due to water temps being a bit high for active trout, but those looking for a BIG bend in their rod can find some Skamania steelhead swimming about, as they came in not long ago when water temps in lake MI “turned over”.

Both the fly fisher and light spin tackle angler can get at Skamania with their gear.  Fly fishing with indicator and nymphs or swinging streamers for them are your best bet.  Light spin tackle anglers can float imitation or real bait (canned shrimp/spawn) under a bobber through deeper pools and runs, which is where “Skams” will hold in the Rogue.

Present water temperature in the upper 60’s.

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