The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running above average flows at this time due to the heavy rains that came through most of west Michigan in recent days. The river is in very good shape overall though since the “summer” season was not that hot and resident rainbow and brown trout held over nicely.
Trout fishing options on the Muskegon right now are mostly up high, close to Croton dam. Their has been Caddis activity with cooling water temperatures and #18 green caddis are emerging, with best fishing being late afternoon. Emerger patterns as well as adult dry fly patterns will get trout to look up.
Smallmouth bass fishing remains good, but will begin to slow quickly if water temperatures continue their consistent decline as seen over the last near week. Both top water poppers, as well as subsurface baitfish and crayfish patterns are working well.
Some fall run Chinook salmon are in the system, but not many and once water temperatures get into the 50’s, we should see more arrive. Before you know it, both salmon and fall steelhead will be in the river, providing fall anglers an option for pursuing such great lake big game fish.
Present water temperature in the mid 60’s.
Pere Marquette River
The Pere Marquette river between Ludington and Baldwin, MI is also running a bit above average flows and again, due to the rains that came through the last several days.
Trout fishing behind the first of the spawning salmon is good right now, as not a lot of salmon are spawning right now, but this will change in the days ahead with dropping water temperatures.
The fall Chinook salmon run is the talk of most heading to the “PM”, but the fall run is not that strong as of yet and many are wondering, myself included, if we’re simply in for a smaller than typical fall salmon run this year….? Fish are throughout the entire river system, but not bunched up in any given stretch and we’re missing a few thousand fish !
The lower PM is being fished with spin gear, braided line, bait and tackle for the most part. I have cast flies to them with larger rods, T-8 & T-11 sink tips, but no response from them as of yet. The middle and upper river are being fished with both spin and fly gear, with fly gear being the most common technique amongst PM anglers.
Fall steelhead should be right behind the salmon and some are in now as well. More will surely come as salmon spawning activity picks up.
Present water temperature in the low to mid 50’s.