A female Muskegon river steelhead, resting in the net.
The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running below average flows at this time after a big drop in water flow out of Croton dam a couple days ago. The rhyme or reason behind some of these flow changes over the past couple years is eluding all that ask…? That said, at least we have some hardy fish that can withstand the “human influence”, I’ll call it.
Fishing remains good for mid winter conditions, with steelhead in the system and occupying slower, deeper lies, trout sitting in all kinds of water and even some trout sipping dry flies when Midge hatches get them to “look up”.
Light line indicator nymphing is the best route for the fly fisher to take in search of both resident trout and migratory steelhead. When hatches do provide some dry fly action, look to tie on #18-20 midges, with 7 or 8x tippet, cast on a 2-4 weight rod. Those fish I have seen rising, are doing so in very soft water seams, even some in back eddy’s. The key is keeping your eyes open, as such small rise forms aren’t always easy to pick out.
We’re into the last leg of our winter season and once March hits, anything can happen !!
Present water temperature in the 33-34 range up near Croton dam.