Click on each river for flow data information, or click HERE for Michigan statewide streamflow information.
The Muskegon river is the second longest river in the state of Michigan, extending over 200 miles from just outside Grayling, MI, flowing into the historic port town of Muskegon on the West Michigan shoreline. A big river that gains its tailwater status at the Croton hydroelectric dam, the Muskegon river near Newaygo, Michigan is home to trout, bass and walleye year round. Seasonal migration of salmon and steelhead can produce world class fly fishing action. As an insect rich tailwater, the Muskegon has some great hatches from April – October, providing the dry fly angler with a number of top water options. A true “big river”, it is one of the more popular in West Michigan.
Known around the country and world for both “catch and release” trout fishing in the famous “flies only” section and its migratory salmon and steelhead runs, this quaint little switchback river is unlike most anywhere. A National Wild and Scenic River, the Pere Marquette begins east of Baldwin, Michigan and flows west towards lake Michigan. It empties into Pere Marquette lake in Ludington, Michigan which is located on lake Michigan, about 100 miles up the shoreline from Grand Rapids. From the famous “hex” hatch of June, to mousin’ on a July night, to chasing migratory fish mid-fall through late spring, the choices are many for the fly fisher.
Trout, salmon and steelhead are available to the fly fisher on the Manistee river. Each has their own respective “prime time”, with fall comes spawning salmon in September & October. Spring finds migratory steelhead coming in to spawn during March and April. The summer months of May and June are the most popular for dry fly fishing below Tippy dam. Being a tailwater fishery, it changes considerably around the town of Brethron, MI, home to Tippy Dam. Above Tippy are many beautiful stretches of river known for both night time “hex” fishing as well as early spring streamer fishing for trophy brown trout. Below Tippy is still very good trout fishing because of excellent habitat, water flows and highly oxygenated water coming from the Tippy hydro dam.
A small trickle of a “brook” evolves into a quaint little cold water river just outside of Hesperia, Michigan. Nestled amongst farm fields, forest and a small, deeply wooded valley, the White comes out of Newaygo County and flows SW, into the town of Whitehall where it empties into White Lake and lake Michigan. Migratory salmon & steelhead bring big numbers of anglers out looking to wade fish each spring and fall. Good trout fishing can be had in early to mid summer, in the fall post-salmon run, during spring when steelhead are in spawning, as well as fall steelheading up to and through the holiday season.
Starting south of Lansing, MI and flowing first north, then west through agricultural land in Portland & Ionia, as well as the city of Grand Rapids, it reaches lake Michigan through the port town of Grand Haven. The Grand River is the longest in the state, offering both warm and cold water species angling opportunities. Seasonal migration of salmon and steelhead are prime draws, although this is a very good bass fishery as well.
A warm water fishery that empties into the Grand River just outside of Lowell, Michigan, it’s a short 15 minute drive from Grand Rapids to reach this quality Smallmouth bass and Carp fishery. Warmer months fish best due to the nature of such warm water fish. Streamers and dry fly fishing are possible, streamers dominate for “smallies”, while Carp sight fishing opportunities can challenge even the most accomplished fly caster.
Located just north of Grand Rapids in the town of Rockford, Michigan, the Rogue has changed dramatically over the years, but continues to produce both migratory fish of spring and fall, as well as resident Brown and Rainbow trout. Due to size and accessibility, wade fishing most common, although floating in a drift boat an option as well.