Muskegon River Fishing Report – December 12, 2019 – Newaygo, Michigan
The Muskegon river fishing report for December 12, 2019 in the Newaygo, Michigan area is about the river going into “winter mode” over the last week. With quickly dropping river temperatures and what looks like river levels that are FINALLY coming down, we’ll find migratory steelhead who are “wintering over” in the river, as well as resident Brown and Rainbow trout, finding their winter “lies”. As river temperatures drop below the 37-38 degree mark, fish will seek out slower moving water that still provides them with what they’re looking for……some sense of security in or around structure, medium slow to slow current, not far from primary currents that small nymphs and larva can be found floating down. With a fishes metabolism dropping significantly once water temperatures get down around the mid 30’s, they simply don’t eat as much and look to conserve energy whenever possible. Click HERE for current Muskegon river water flow data.
With not many steelhead calling the river “home” for the next few months, those looking to fish for them will need to put the time in, fish runs thoroughly and quickly and try to cover as much river as possible in hopes of getting a big tug ! Resident Brown and Rainbow trout will often migrate within the river, to find their own “winter water”. Some years they have been quite concentrated in optimal water for the conditions, other years can find them quite scattered. We’ll know soon enough what this winters fishing will be, once fish settle in over the next week or two. Weather often plays a bigger role with colder water temperatures, so finding a day with pretty steady over weather pattern, will be beneficial. Click HERE for current and forecasted weather for the Newaygo, Michigan area.
With both fly fishing and light spin tackle, we can fish for steelhead over the span of 10-15 miles of river below Croton dam during the winter months. If targeting trout specifically, indicator nymphing up closer to Croton dam with longer fly rods in the 4-6 weight range, will be the most productive approach.
We have not seen this happen much to a reliable extent in recent years, but if the midge hatches occur in numbers significant enough to get the attention of resident Brown and Rainbow trout, winter dry fly fishing with #18-22 dries, on 7 and 8 x tippet, can be a LOT of fun !
Present water temperature in the 36 degree range and flows around 2800 cfs and coming down.