Muskegon River Fishing Report – January 30, 2022 – Newaygo, Michigan

Muskegon River Fishing Report – January 30, 2022 – Newaygo, Michigan

Fish LOVE to eat smaller fish !!

The Muskegon river fishing report for January 30, 2022, in the Newaygo, Michigan area is about this river being one of the few in Michigan with open water !

Old Man Winter has certainly reared his frosty head recently with arctic temperatures that find most rivers in Michigan either locked up with ice from shore to shore or with significant shelf ice.  Although we’ve had the occasional “nice day”, most as of late have found wind chill/real feel in single digits.   Click HERE for current and forecasted weather for the Newaygo area.

Although on the chilly side, winter steelhead fishing has been pretty good when boat and angler traffic has been low and fish have had a break from overall pressure.  With both fly fishing and conventional equipment, we focus our efforts on the best “winter water” in various stretches of the Muskegon river, from Croton dam and down stream past Newaygo itself.

We’ve not had a lot of snow fall in the area over the last few weeks.  It had been fairly consistent up to mid December, but since then it seems more like consistent flurries, but on the light side.  As a result, river levels haven’t changed much, the river is running below average flows for this time of winter and very clear.  Click HERE for current Muskegon river water flow data.

As we get into February and with sights on the arrival of March, it won’t be long before we’ll wrap up preparations for the onset of our spring steelhead run, which historically goes from mid March – early May.  Following the steelhead spawning run, we’ll find resident and migratory suckers on their annual spawning run and resident Brown and Rainbow trout behind them, feeding on loose sucker eggs and clusters of them.   These provide great protein to hold the trout over until the arrival of the much anticipated dry fly season, which usually gets going the end of May and goes through June and even into July certain years.

After the steelhead and suckers wrap up their annual spawn, we’ll find a bulk of the insect hatches kick off, which provide our best dry fly fishing of the year for resident Brown and Rainbow trout.  How long this last depends on what we get from Mother Nature….if it’s moderate transition from “late spring to early summer” and with no real drastic fluctuations in weather, we can have insects around for 5-6+ weeks.  However, if we get a quick burst of hot weather early on, such hatches can wrap up quickly.

Following prime trout time, I will be quick to switch gears and equipment and shift attention to the long Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike season, which can be 9-10+ weeks long, from some point in June, through most of August.  This could be not only on the Muskegon river, but also the Grand river in and around the Grand Rapids area.

Should anyone be looking to get out on your own for some walk in-wade fishing, feel free to touch base if you have any questions about access, rigging or tactics.

Lastly, I’m filling dates quickly for the spring steelhead run and prime trout dry fly dates and will have most of my schedule filled in the weeks ahead.  If considering an outing this year, it may be best to touch base sooner than later to see what’s available.

Good fishing…!

Jeff