The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running a little below average flows for this time of winter, with most recent readings around the 1600 CFS mark.
It’s pretty much the same story on the river and will be for a while as we get out of the arctic grip that smothered most of the Midwest and Northeast U.S. over the past couple weeks-month+ for some regions of the country.
With the only real “open water” in west Michigan being the Manistee river, by Tippy dam and the Muskegon river, near Croton dam, those looking to wet a line can still do so…and get into some fish !
The general theme for cold, low and clear water winter conditions, is long, light and small. Longer rods for indicator nymphing with lighter tippet and smaller flies. A 10′, 5 weight rod, with a 9-10′ leader tapered to 6x and fishing #18-22 nymphs such as green caddis, pheasant tails, midge and brassies is a good combination.
As we get into March and with the pending rise in water temperatures, we’ll surely see the return of the Black stone fly nymphs and ultimately, dry flies once conditions come together. They are a very important insect for the Muskegon river and the fish that feed on them. It doesn’t happen on a regular schedule year in and year out, but when the “stars align” and we get trout….no BIG trout….sipping on these fluttering dries, it can be some of the best dry fly fishing of the entire year. Big, hungry, dumb trout !….great recipe.
Present water temperature still hovering in the 33-34 degree range.