The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running close to “average” flows at this time due to the warm weather, snow melt and resulting runoff, which brought both river levels and temperature.
We’re on the front end of the spring steelhead run on the Muskegon river and barring any real curve balls from Mother Nature this spring, we should see the bulk of the spring run arrive shortly and make April the busiest month on the river this spring.
Some fresh fish are coming in now, but more will surely follow as water temperatures climb to that magical 40 degree mark……a temperature where their metabolism changes and they can be electric !
The brilliant colors of a Muskegon river Brown trout.
We’re fishing for migratory steelhead with both fly and light spin tackle. For the fly fisher, a few options exist including chuck-n-duck, floating line and indicator nymphing rigs, as well as swinging streamers with both two handed rods for spey casting, along with single handed rods for the conventional fly caster. The swung fly bite will improve as water temperatures come up, but some are their to be had on “the swing” right now. As water clarity diminishes due to rising water of spring, bright and gaudy will be the theme, with large orange/copper, black/purple, chartreuse/pearl colored “attractor” patterns, as well as large glo bug and clown, egg fly patterns. For the light spin angler, similar flies will certainly produce if one wants to ID an option for floating spawn bags under bobbers.
Resident Brown and Rainbow trout will become much more active as water temperatures climb and once migratory steelhead are actively spawning, trout will be posted up behind them eating eggs and larva that get kicked up during the spawning process.
Present water temperature is in the 34-35 degree range.