Muskegon River Fishing Report – May 2, 2023 – Newaygo, Michigan

2 min read
Ray with a NICE one !

After a good start to the spring season on the Muskegon river back in late March, we’ve seen all kinds of odd things happen with the weather and river. We had record breaking temperatures, followed by snow storms and really strong winds and then went through a weeks long drought of sorts that only found light snow as precipitation and now we’re back to cool, late fall like weather…..hmmmm?

All of this had an impact on the rivers of Michigan, with many reaching very high temperatures in mid April, only to have a bout of winter return and have them drop several degrees in a matter of less than a week.

Many saw their spring steelhead run come to an end early, the Muskegon river is either on the verge of that now, or done altogether. The rains we got yesterday and last night did bring the river levels up, which “historically” is the trigger of sorts to bring in our last good batch of steelhead from lake Michigan. We may have already seen them come, only the days ahead will truly answer that question.

It was a good run in general, better than many feared, not as good as others had seen in years past of hoped for, but we have to bear in mind that our overall steelhead population in the great lakes is down a bit.

Soon we’ll be focusing our efforts on resident Brown and Rainbow trout, as they will be seeing insects emerge in a few weeks and this kicks off our best dry fly fishing opportunities of the year on the Muskegon and other Michigan rivers.

With 5 & 6 weight fly rods, well cast our caddis, sulphur, blue wing olive, gray drake and other fly patterns, to “rising” trout in the 10+ miles down from Croton dam. With any sudden change in river levels, we’ll pull out streamer rods and cast 2-300 grain sinking lines on 6 & 7 wieght fly rods for trout, maybe smallmouth and the occasional Walleye.

Not but a few weeks or so after bugs and trout, smallmouth bass fishing will pick up and provide great action for both the fly fisher and conventional equipment angler, through the end of June, July and August.

Looking ahead to fall, we’ll get into the fall salmon run in September on the Pere Marquette, followed by the Manistee river out of the Wellston area late September/early October, then switch to the Muskegon river mid October and switch to fall steelhead the end of the month and fish them through the rest of 2023.

Availability for fall is limited and dates are running out, best to touch base sooner than later if you’re interested….my September 2023 is already completely booked.

For now….


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