Muskegon River Fishing Report – August 25, 2023 – Newaygo, Michigan

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The summer of 2023 has treated the Muskegon river in the Newaygo, Michigan area MUCH better than most “feared” mid June. We were coming out of the driest June on record for Michigan, had very low river levels and river temperatures that were climbing much faster than normal, but things turned the corner late June with some cooler weather and long overdue rains. The result was insect hatches that were relevant to resident Brown and Rainbow trout, that held on longer into summer than normal and that, coupled with timely shifts in weather, found the trout healthy and chunky all summer long.

The latter part of summer found good smallmouth bass fishing from late July up to this point, with good “action” most days and we did have to sort through some smaller “smally’s” to find some that would pull line of the drag and put a good bend in the rod.

We’re not far from the onset of great lakes big game fish season in Michigan, with fall run Chinook salmon coming first, followed by some Coho salmon up to late October/early November, along with steelhead from late October – end of December. The Muskegon river has arguably the longest fall/early winter steelhead season, of any river in the Midwest.

With both fly fishing and conventional equipment setups, we pursue salmon first on the Pere Marquette in September, followed by the Manistee late September/early October for both salmon and early steelhead, then switch to the Muskegon river mid October for some salmon, but quickly switching to steelhead through the end of the year.

Based on the summer fishing in the great lakes, it appears as though we could see some big salmon this fall, how many is still up in the air. Large fish, in excess of 30#, had been caught during some of the lake Michigan tournaments in the last month or so.

Should any be considering a guided trip this fall, touch base sooner than later as I am running very low on open dates.

Good fishing !


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