Muskegon River Fishing Report – December 22, 2021 – Newaygo, Michigan

Muskegon River Fishing Report – December 22, 2021 – Newaygo, Michigan

Steve with a nice Muskegon river steelhead caught on our recent outing

The Muskegon river fishing report for December 22, 2021 in the Newaygo, Michigan area is focused on steelhead and resident Brown and Rainbow trout.

With signs of ‘Ol Man Winter coming AND sticking around, the window of opportunity is getting more narrow to tie into some high energy fish, before dropping river temperatures bring their metabolism down for the colder months ahead.  Our run of warmer than normal December weather looks to be coming to an end, with long range forecast showing lows in the mid 20’s and highs in the low to mid 30’s.  Click HERE for current and forecasted weather for the Newaygo, Michigan area.

The Muskegon river has been in great shape for the better part of the last month+, with water temperatures having held above 40 degrees for quite a while and flows running well above average for the same amount of time.  Click HERE for current Muskegon river water flow data.  Although river temperatures have started to drop and are currently in the 37-38 degree range, flows have stayed about the same and this is good for both migratory steelhead considering “wintering over” in the river, as well as resident Brown and Rainbow trout.

Fishing for steelhead has been a “grind it out and pay attention” for your opportunities.  Some days we’ll find a couple in certain spots, other days it’s a “one here, one there”, etc..  For those interested in trout, streamer fishing has been good with the higher water and many nice resident trout have come to net over the last few weeks.

All this being said, cooling river temperatures may slow the streamer bite, but there is still a small window to get out and “pull some bugs” with either sinking or sink tip fly lines, on 6-8 weight rods, fishing your favorite bait fish or attractor pattern.

Steelhead fishing can be with either conventional or fly fishing setups, it’s more a matter of personal preference.  For the fly fisher, bottom bouncing -aka “chuck & duck” is an option, along with long leader, indicator nymphing rigs and stripping or swinging streamers. The conventional equipment options include bottom bouncing rigs and longer rods for running bobber/float systems through likely runs.

As we get colder weather, river temperatures will undoubtedly continue to drop and levels will likely come down a bit as well.  Once temps drop to the low to mid 30’s, fish have a tendency to become a bit more lethargic.

Should anyone be considering a spring steelhead or late spring/early summer trout-dry fly outing, it would be best to touch base sooner than later.  I’m filling my schedule fast and if a weekend date is on your radar, this should be followed up on very soon, I’m down to 4 open weekend dates for steelhead and 3 for trout-dry fly fishing.

For now,

Jeff