Muskegon River Fishing Report – January 19, 2020 – Newaygo, Michigan

Muskegon River Fishing Report – January 19, 2020 – Newaygo, Michigan

Very impressive winter steelhead caught a month+ ago by friend and fellow guide, Jon Kolehouse…..we’ll be looking for that one this spring !

The Muskegon river continues to run well above average, after having gotten a fair amount of rain throughout the watershed over the last week or so, only to have a big winter snow storm follow.  We have seen a LOT of precipitation in the Midwest this winter, however it has fluctuated between snow and rain, much more than we’re accustomed to seeing in the months of December and January.    Both short and long range forecasts are calling for air temperatures around freezing over the next near 2 weeks.  Click HERE for current and forecasted weather, for the Newaygo, Michigan area.

With so much water flowing through most Michigan rivers right now, many are not only high, but also quite dirty and this make for some difficult fishing.  Smaller rivers such as the Pere Marquette that are spring fed, will rise rapidly, but flush water through the system quickly and drop quickly.  Larger rivers and specifically “tailwater” fisheries, those that have dams,  will hold back water behind those dams and it often takes longer for them to drop and clear.  Click HERE for current Muskegon river water flow data.

On top of the high water, river temperatures are at their lowest readings of the winter, presently hovering around 33.5 degrees.  As a result, fishes metabolism is running very slow and finding fish to bite in present river conditions, is going to be tough.  As a result of the crazy weather, fluctuating river and less than normal number of steelhead wintering over in the river, I have not done any guide trips since mid December and don’t anticipate doing any for another month+.  

‘Tis the time of year for the fly fisher/tier to work on tying up some new bugs for 2020 and all anglers rummage through equipment and get things ready for spring.  It’s also the time of year for various trade shows, may see some of you there !

If anyone is considering a spring steelhead or early summer trout trip, please note that I have very few open dates left for either.  Some steelhead openings in late March and early/mid May and some prime time trout dates in late May and early June.