Muskegon River Trout Fishing Report – May 21, 2017 – Newaygo, MI
The Muskegon river trout fishing report for this time of May in the Newaygo, MI area is about the onset of the best dry fly fishing of the summer on the Muskegon river !!
After having had a very unusual spring season filled with surges back and forth of cooler spring like weather with temperatures in the low to mid 40’s, followed by scorching mid summer like weather with temperatures getting into the mid 80’s…..all in late April and May !!!
Our spring steelhead run was a solid one overall, with the bulk of our the steelhead being caught in the last week of March, then again the middle 1/3 of April. We had fish throughout the entire steelhead run, from mid March – early May, with some of the best fishing being those two, 10 day time frames.
We’re now into our trout season and will be chasing resident Brown and Rainbow trout for the next few weeks. With the very warm weather from earlier in the month, we did see some of our insect hatches start earlier than normal, but the trout were not keyed in on them hardly at all.
I think most resident fish have been full for a little while, as they’ve had a buffet of steelhead eggs, insects, salmon fry, sucker eggs and smaller trout that were recently stocked, so feed on over the last few weeks. REALLY easy meals for resident fish are the eggs & insects that got kicked up during the steelhead and sucker spawn. With such an abundance of food, getting fish to bite has been a struggle for several days. I think that once the suckers wrap up their spawn, which is soon, and the stocked trout spread out a bit more, resident fish will get their appetite back. A recent outing found a pretty nice Smallmouth bass on the end of a rod that had bit a baitfish imitation….I’m not sure why the fish bit it…the fishes belly was so full of baitfish that it looked like the fish had swallowed a grapefruit !
With the cooler weather in recent days, it has cooled the river down a bit and presumably slowed insect hatch activity. With some cooler than normal weather in the short term forecast, it will be interesting to see how the fish respond.
Present water levels on the Muskegon river below Croton dam around 2200 cfs, which is “low” in general, but not far from “average” flows for late May. Present water temperature in the 57-58 degree range, which is down from the 60 degree mark I got on a recent guide trip.
The best dry fly fishing of the summer is rapidly approaching…..hope to see you with a bent rod in your hand in the days and weeks ahead !