Muskegon River Fishing Report – March 28, 2023 – Newaygo, Michigan

2 min read
I was VERY fortunate enough to get a great picture of my 14 year old son Jack fly fishing at our cottage last summer….and it made it to the cover of the most recent Michigan Trout magazine from Trout Unlimited !

The Muskegon river’s annual spring steelhead run is in full swing right now and we’ll see these migratory great lakes “silver bullets” arriving through the month of May. The first good push of fish came up a bit earlier than most years, with fresh fish showing up the first week+ of March. We’ll typically see some new ones come in from lake Michigan around then, but this year we saw a much better first batch.

With both fly fishing and conventional equipment, we’re targeting per-spawn fish, which will be in the deeper pools and runs, waiting for their biological clock to tell them, “time to spawn”. The spawning process will continue through April and May, river conditions will often dictate how long into May we have good enough numbers of fish, to make a day out of pursuing them.

Winter returned a couple of times over the last 3 weeks, which finds river temperatures still chilly, I got 39 degrees yesterday on my trip and with some pretty cold nights and not real warm air temperatures over the next week, we’ll likely see water slowly warm up….it IS still March, but we got spoiled with some great, short sleeve shirt weather over the last month or so.

Also showing up are stone flies that are hatching and fluttering all over the surface on certain days. It’s a bit cold for resident Brown and Rainbow trout to key in on them, but I did see a few fish sipping bugs as of late and I have my box of black stone fly, dry flies and a 5 weight fly rod on board in case !

For those considering a guided outing before the end of the spring steelhead season, know that I only have a few open dates in mid May. I will fill those, so if there is any interest, send me an email, text of give me a call – 616-560-3195. Email information on the “contact” link on this site.

For others who may just want to walk in on any of the handful of west Michigan rivers that get a spring steelhead run, feel free to touch base if you have questions about locations, rigging, flies/similar…happy to help!

Good fishing…………


Steve with a NICE Muskegon river steelhead from the other day.

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