Muskegon River Fishing Report – July 24, 2023 – Newaygo, Michigan

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What do you do when 1 smallmouth bites a lure with 2 hooks ???....let another smallmouth try to steal the others food and hook them both !

The Muskegon river in and around the Newaygo area continues to provide good fishing for this time of late July, for both smallmouth bass and resident Brown and Rainbow trout.

This is easily the best late July trout fishing that I’ve seen on the Muskegon river in over 2 decades of full time guiding. “Typically” and aside from small Trico mayflies, we’re done with most hatches that actually get trout to “look up” and feed on them come late July. Over the last 15 days, I’ve had 12 guide trips, 10 of which were specifically fly fishing for trout and we’ve been able to find 15-20 trout per day in the bottom of my net !

All that said, we do still have options for pursuing trout and smallmouth with both fly fishing and conventional gear such as open face spinning reels matched with 6-7 medium-light rods. The most common foods in the river for fish this time of summer are crayfish and baitfish, which make up about 90% of the food smallmouth will seek out and probably around 75% for trout, once the hatches come to an end.

Also showing up as of late are a few Northern pike, Walleye and I’ve even seen a few Skamania steelhead in the Muskegon river over the last couple weeks.

Not long before we’ll be pulling out the big rods for early run Chinook salmon, followed by Coho salmon and then come late October, the mighty Steelhead !

Current river levels are near “normal” flows, in the 1300 cfs range and river temperatures hovering around the 67 degree mark.

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