The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running below average flows for this time of winter, but all will change soon with the warmer weather ahead.
We’re on the front end of our spring steelhead season and as the snow melts and we see signs of run off, we’ll see river temperatures rise and new fish come in fresh out of lake Michigan.
The steelhead that have “wintered over” in the river are still there and being caught with both fly gear and light spin tackle. With water temperatures still on the chilly side, we’re targeting the runs with optimal current speed and depth to get our offerings in front of fish. Getting them to bite is a matter of persistence and patience. Just yesterday we fished several very good runs in the morning with no luck, only to re-visit those same runs later in the day and get fish to bite. Bright sun is not the steelhead anglers best friend, so playing the “sun game” is a necessity.
With the 2 week forecast calling for temperatures to rise into the low 50’s as early as next week, we should see a significant change in river conditions in that time span. Unlike last winter when we had a lot of snow on the ground in the middle to upper portions of the watershed around Big Rapids and to the east, those regions don’t have much snow on the ground compared to 2014. As a result, we’re less likely to see the flooding we saw the last 2 springs, unless we get major rains in April.
Present water temperature hovering around 34 degrees.