The Muskegon river near Newaygo, MI is running below average for early winter. It did come up some following the rains of a week+ aog, but has since begun to drop again and is around the 1100 cfs mark, with average being closer to 2000.
We are still getting quality steelhead in all stretches of the river, using various techniques, but it has been tough at times when we're fishing water that had been previously fished by some who have "chummed" the water with salmon eggs. This is illegal and a topic on the front burner for many anglers and law enforcement officials as of late. This has always been an "issue", but it has unfortunately reached an all time high.....what is one to do ?
We have mixed it up a bit over the last week or so, by fishing both the lower river, near Muskegon itself and the upper river, closer to Newaygo. Depending on traffic and other variables, all stretches are producing, some more than others on any given day, but not a huge difference as of late.
Fishing around Newaygo has been very tough with low water, very high boat traffic and excessive harvesting of steelhead, but fish are there to be caught for the patient angler.
Top flies have been simple egg flies in soft pastel colors & combinations. We have gotten some fish on nymphs, as well as swinging streamers when conditions allow, but no one approach seems to be dominating at this time.
Water temps are in the low mid-upper 30's.
A traditional tailwater fishery, the Muskegon is a true "big river". It spans more than 100 yards at its widest points and flows over 200 miles south and west from northern lower Michigan, into the port town of Muskegon on the lake Michigan shoreline. This rich river system is home to numerous insects & hatches and host to resident rainbow and brown trout. The Muskegon river also receives migratory runs of fall salmon and spring steelhead that provide outstanding big game action for the fly fisher. Most all fly fishing techniques are employed on the mighty Muskegon, from dry fly to indicator nymphing, streamers and bottom bounce nymphing for migratory big game.