Muskegon River Fishing Report – Newaygo, MI – January 16, 2017
The Muskegon river fishing report for the Newaygo, MI area is a pretty good one for mid January ! With rather mild weather over the last near month, with a few brief arctic blasts tossed in here and there, the Muskegon river is still fishing well for mid January standards. Both resident Rainbow and Brown trout, as well as steelhead that are wintering over in the river are what we’re focusing on when getting out. I had not been out in a couple weeks due to elbow surgery that I had the days prior to Christmas, but I will be this coming week and whenever we have the chance to get out and put a bend in a rod.
With both fly fishing and light spin tackle, we’re fishing typical “winter lies” from Croton down stream past Newaygo itself. Water conditions in the lower river from Bridgeton down, can be suspect this time of year as shelf ice can form quickly. Although it only forms on the edges of the river and we’re fishing mostly mid river runs, it’s navigating up and down the river while dodging floating chucks of ice that can be sketchy.
Another really cool aspect of the Muskegon river during the winter when water conditions are right, is dry fly fishing with #18-22 midges, on 3- 5 weight rods, with 7 and 8 x tippet ! Nothing like coming around a corner and having a pack of noses to head hunt in the winter !!
Not long before many peoples thoughts will shift to our great Muskegon river spring steelhead run, which starts in mid March and goes well into May, often the 3rd week or even through the end of the month.
For those considering a spring outing, please note that I ONLY HAVE A HANDFUL+ OF OPEN DATES FOR SPRING STEELHEAD. I have 39 dates booked as of now and this will surely change in the weeks ahead.
Prime trout fishing dates from late May – late June are going fast as well and I’m sure most all “trout nuts” are looking forward to the wonderful dry fly fishing the Muskegon river has to offer.
For those looking to venture out on their own, just walk slowly and with a stick or wading staff if possible. It only takes one fall this time of year to find yourself in all kinds of trouble in cold water, with cold air temps and not a lot of people around to alert if you do end up taking a tumble.
Present water temperature in the 34-35 degree range, but this may come up a degree+ with some mild weather over the next week or so.