Muskegon River Fishing Report


Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report

Open Guide Dates:
April:   22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30…
May 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15…

Steelhead Fishing Should remain good, double digit hook ups until early June.  Water temperatures are much colder than a normal year. Steelhead Fishing is exceptionally good right now!  (231) 519-7348

Michigan Fishing Reports Croton Dam
Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing
Croton Dam Fishing Guides
Manistee River Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead fishing has been phenomenal the past several days.  We are now heading into the peak weeks with big number hook ups, and lots of fish!  Fly fishing now takes center stage with good numbers of Michigan Spring Steelhead on gravel and actively spawning.  Water temperatures are perfect at 42 degrees.   Visibility is very good, over 10′ visibility.  Sight casting to fish is now an option. Fly Fishing for spawning Spring Steelhead has made for some double digit days on the Muskegon River below Croton Dam, just upstream of Newaygo, Michigan.

Michigan Steelhead Fishing Muskegon
Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing
Steelhead_Fishing_CrotonDam
Croton Dam Spring Steelhead Fishing
Croton Dam Spring Steelhead Fishing

Finally! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Our first good push of Muskegon River Spring Steelhead. Bright Silver Steelhead just showed up over the weekend. Water temperatures are still cold but we have seen many Steelhead beginning to spawn and hit gravel in some locations.

Spinning fishing light tackle with floats and spawn, trout beads, and jigs and waxworms. All of which are fishing very well.
Fly fishing should pick up later this week as water temperatures begin to warm, and spawning becomes heavy.

Croton Dam Spring Steelhead Michigan
Croton Dam Spring Steelhead
Michigan Fishing Reports - Steelhead

Water levels are finally back to normal Spring levels. Muskegon River is running at 5440 cfs. Clarity is very good at 5′ and clearing.  We had an excellent day fishing with Greg and Luke.  We landed a ton of nice Steelhead this morning. I feel like today marks the first batch of Muskegon River Spring Steelhead. Lots of Steelhead now entering in from the lake with the major push starting this week.

What’s working?  Jigs tipped with wax worms worked well for us this morning. Florescent colors seemed to work best.  Trout beads have also been working well. medium sized spawn sacks in chartreuse and pink, all working very well.  Small jigs tipped with small ice fishing plastics have also been good.  Michigan Steelhead Fishing Reports – Muskegon River.

Spring Steelhead Fishing Croton Dam, Michigan

What a gorgeous spring chrommer… 

Michigan Fishing Reports

Starting to see good numbers of bright spring Steelhead. New fish coming in…

Update: Water Levels are at 5440 cfs, Levels are up but the clarity remains good. Visibility is 5′. Should make for some phenomenal Spring steelhead fishing next week! We are finally getting some much needed warmer weather! Temperatures are scheduled to be above freezing for the next week. Starting to see good Spring Steelhead movement throughout the Muskegon River System.  Longer daylight, good water levels, and warmer temperatures should certainly kick up the fishing a notch.  Full day $395  Half Day $295

Open Guide Dates: March 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
April: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21…

Fishing fresh steelhead spawn has been excellent. Smaller spawn sacks in natural colors have been fishing well. Steelhead Trout Beads, in natural, 6mm and 8mm all fishing very well. Starting to see a few early spring stone flies. Fly Fishing should become a major thing during the next several weeks as steelhead gorge on stone flies.

 

Toby with a chromer. Bright Steelhead Year Around

Evan displays a gorgeous Spring Steelhead.

Some our best Spring Steelhead fishing takes place during late February and early March. Steelhead feed heavily on King Salmon Fry, Gobies, Sculpin, Scuds, Green Caddis, and after waking up from Winter’s slumber, Steelhead absolutely love the late Winter Stonefly.

Trout beads drifted along the bottom perfectly represent Brown Trout or King Salmon eggs. Hand painted trout beads look identical to salmon eggs.

Flies that represent Scuds, Sculpins, and Coho Salmon fry are also very effective near the Croton Dam. The Muskegon River never freezes so we fish all winter long, offering great fishing year around.

Drifting Trout Beads, tiny spawn sacks, or jigs tipped with wax worms has been fishing best for Muskegon River Steelhead, Brown Trout, and Salmon. Good numbers of Michigan Spring Steelhead throughout the main Muskegon River. Lower sections near Maple Island, Bridgeton, and Newaygo are all fishing well. Pine St and the Croton Dam have lots of resident trout and spring steelhead. There should continue to be steelhead well through the spring months. Steelhead usually peak here in late March and early April.

 

Giant Spring Steelhead from the Muskegon River near the Croton Dam. Muskegon River Spring Steelhead

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Spawn sack and Bead fishing is going well right now. Bright Steelhead entering the river.

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing

Recent rain has greatly improved the Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River. The middle sections have been fishing well. Pine Street to Henning seems to have the most fish.

We are now starting to see good numbers of Muskegon River Fall Steelhead entering the lower Muskegon River near Giles and Maple Island. Fall steelhead ascend the river to feed during the fall months. King salmon eggs are the main food source for steelhead during November. Trout beads, small spawn sacks, crank baits, and swung flies all fish well for Steelhead this time of year.

Water temperatures play an important role for migratory fall steelhead. The best water temperatures for Steelhead in Michigan are between 55 to 45 degrees. These water temperatures make for excellent steelhead fishing in Michigan. Screaming drags, incredible jumps, and mean head shakes make for thrilling fights with Michigan Fall Steelhead.

Croton Dam to Newaygo offers some of the best Fall Steelhead Fishing in Michigan. Excellent runs and deep pools in this section of river, it offers great holding water. Pine St to the Thornapple access also has fantastic trout fishing for Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, King Salmon, and Steelhead. Smallmouth Bass can be found here during the Summer Months.

Muskegon River Fishing Reports

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Reports for the Croton Dam and Newaygo Area for Trout, Salmon, and Steelhead

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Reports for the Croton Dam and Newaygo Area for Trout, Salmon, and Steelhead.

During the Fall months, the Muskegon River receives a large amount of Steelhead. Steelhead can be fished throughout the Winter and into Spring Months (10/28)

Trout fishing remains strong. Good numbers of Muskegon River Trout feeding behind the spawning King Salmon near the Croton Dam. Fishing Reports for the Muskegon River near Newaygo.

MUSKEGON RIVER STEELHEAD is the ultimate game fish and the crown jewel of Michigan Rivers.

Steelhead are the only freshwater game fish that will strike a fly savagely in 35 degree water, leap relentlessly, make blistering lightning quick runs, and test every fly fishing skill you possess.

Honest 18lb Steelhead! No doubt the largest year class of steelhead since the mid ’90’s. Steelhead are plentiful and huge this year!

Like Salmon, Steelhead are born in rivers but spend their growing years in larger bodies of water. Our great lakes Steelhead return to the rivers when they reach sexual maturity after three or four years of growth in the big lake. After spawning commences in late spring Steelhead migrate back to the big lake and start the process all over again the following years.

These beautiful fish average 8-10 pounds with an occasional monster caught close to 20 pounds each year. Join us for an experience of a lifetime fishing for one of the most sought after fresh water game fish in the world. These world-class fish are available in the fall, winter, and spring.

FALL STEELHEAD (October thru November)

Fall Steelhead fishing is your best opportunity throughout the year to experience the true power these fish have to offer. These Great Lakes Steelhead migrate into our rivers in October following the migration of the Chinook or King Salmon. These bright silver bullets cruise behind spawning salmon redds in search of discharged eggs.

If you truly want to experience Steelhead fishing at it’s best, join us for a fall Steelhead fishing trip. You will not be disappointed!

WINTER STEELHEAD (December thru February)

Winter fishing for Steelhead is one the best kept secrets throughout the Muskegon river system due to numbers of fish throughout the river and you virtually have the complete river to yourself. Steelhead will ascend the Muskegon river all year long due to its warmer tail water and ice free flows providing for some spectacular fishing December through February.

Betts Guide Service prides itself on being able to offer you some of the best winter Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon. It has been common to experience double digit hook ups even on some of the coldest winter days.

If you have never experienced the sheer tranquility and peacefulness of winter Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River, give us a try; it’s a great way to shake the winter blues in Michigan.

SPRING STEELHEAD (March thru May)

Beginning in late February, the winter Steelhead move up river and begin their migration to their spawning areas. During March, April, and May Steelhead begin to polish gravel and begin to spawn. During this time, Fly Fishing for Steelhead is at it’s best. Anglers can visually seek Steelhead and make casts to the spawning Spring Steelhead. Sight fishing to Steelhead on gravel and watching them take flies makes for a very exhilarating experience.

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report.(231) 519-7348


Fully Guided Spring Steelhead Trips for Michigan Rivers.
Full Day Trips ( 8 hours) $395
Half Day Guided Fishing Tours (4 hours) $250

** All Gear, Tackle, Rods, Reels, Fishing Cleaning Provided**
Super Prime Spring Steelhead Dates & Half days available.

Spring Steelhead fishing is in full swing on the Muskegon River. Water levels have bumped up, making for excellent fishing. Grace with a gorgeous spring Steelhead from today. New fish moving in from Lake Michigan.

Longer daylight is really improving the Spring Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River. Longer days trigger the steelhead to migrate up river into the spawning sections near the Croton Dam. Water levels are perfect. We expect a large, early run of steelhead in later February, early March. Good water conditions help fish migrate and move freely through the Muskegon River system.
Best bites have been on small spawn sacks, trout beads in natural colors, and feather jigs tipped with wax worms. Fly Fishing has also been good, as steelhead key heavily on small black stone flies during early Spring. Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

Check out our NEW guide service in Arkansas White River Fishing Guides
Trophy Brown Trout on the White River.

Eugene with a gorgeous Spring Steelhead from the Muskegon River. Steelhead fishing has been very good and continues to improve. Longer daylight brings new fish.

Spring Steelhead Fishing – Steve with a beast! New Bright Steelhead entering the river in good numbers. (1/24)

Kyle with his first Steelhead in Michigan. Warmer weather has improved fishing conditions. Spring is just around the corner.

Spring thaw is bringing more Steelhead into the upper river. Croton Dam Steelhead Fishing has been good. (1/24)

Now Booking Muskegon River Spring Steelhead Trips.

There’s no question that the Muskegon river offers the best Steelhead fishing in the Great Lakes region. We have prime Spring Steelhead dates available for Steelhead during March, April, and May for the Muskegon and Big Manistee Rivers. Guided trips are all inclusive. (All gear, tackle, bait and flies provided) Fish cleaning is also included at no charge. We look forward to fishing with you this Spring season!!
Text to book>>> (231) 519 7348

Michigan Winter Steelhead – The Muskegon River offers the best steelhead fishing in Michigan. Because the Muskegon River is a mid draw dam, the Muskegon River never freezes, allowing anglers an opportunity for good steelhead fishing throughout the winter months. Trout fishing is also excellent. Trophy Brown Trout spawn during December, offering shots and some very big trout. (231) 519-7348

It looks like we’re finally going to get a reprieve from these brutal cold temperatures. It’s finally tolerable to get out and fish! This weather feels a lot warmer, almost mild temperatures. The good news is, that nobody has been on the water bothering the fish! Steelhead and Trout should be unmolested and biting well.
The Muskegon River is a tail water fishery which means, Consumers Energy takes water from the river about ten feet below the ice on Croton Pond. The water for the river is several degrees warmer. This means that the Muskegon River never freezes below the Croton Dam. Warmer water temperatures allow us to fish – guide through out the winter months. Unlike the Pere Marquette, White, Rogue, and Grand Rivers, the Muskegon River Never freezes. Offering very good Trout and Steelhead fishing all winter long.
Steelhead and Trout fishing has been consistently good throughout the winter. Good numbers of Steelhead in the upper stretches of the main stream.
Best techniques during the winter months are presentations that slow the bait down a bit. Back bouncing spawn sacks, back trolling plugs, drifting trout beads under a float, or chuck and duck fly fishing are all productive methods that we use when the water is cold. Steelhead metabolism is slow this time of year, techniques that keep the bait in their face, are the best producers.

Guided Winter Trips for Michigan Rivers. Full Day Trips ( 8 hours) $350
Half Day Guided Fishing Tours (4 hours) $250

** All Gear, Tackle, Rods, Reels, Fishing Cleaning Provided**
Super Prime Spring Steelhead Dates & Half days available.

Don landed this gorgeous West Michigan Muskegon River Brown Trout. Winter time can offer some outstanding Trout fishing. Trophy Browns spawn during December.

Casey with a gorgeous bullet hen. Recent rains helped shuffle the deck – Bring Chrome fish.

Top 5 Tips for Winter Steelhead.

Staying warm and comfortable is by far the most important thing while fishing during the winter and early spring. Basic components such as keeping the head and feet warm is key. Don’t skimp on a good hat. Insulated is the key. A hat that is insulated with a bill goes well with polarized sunglasses. You get twice the glare in the winter. (Sun & Snow) Another major wicking socks go on your feet first, then your heavy wool socks. These socks wick moisture away from your skin. If you haven’t tried them, they’re seriously a game changer. Part of staying warm is good boots. Muck Boot Artic, Sorrel Blizzard, and Mickey Mouse boots are some good ones, notice I did not say waders. Wicking socks (Polycapilene Socks) resemble woman nylons, usually black and thin, wicking socks go on your feet first, then your heavy wool socks. These socks wick moisture away from your skin. If you haven’t tried them, they’re seriously a game changer.
Gloves are another major deal with fishing steelhead in the winter. There are a million brands and styles out there. I’ve tried all of them and settled on old school military style fingerless rag wool gloves. These stay warm even when wet, and lead into another key. Hot Hands shakable hand warmers. There things are phenomenal!!
Rag wool gloves keep the hand warmers exposed to oxygen. I put hand warmers on the back side of my gloves (Not the palm side) This allows the hand warmers to warm the blood flow going into your finger tips, and stay out of your way while casting. Use the Hot Hands brand, the Grabber brand just plan suck, barely warm up and are dead in a few hours. Hot hands get very warm and last 10 plus hours.
For hardcore Winter – Spring Steelhead fishing I love to wear a water proof shell. Snow boarding pants or snow pants work exceptionally well for fishing. They repel some water and trap a lot of air to keep you warm. I wear heavy duty fleece pants under snow pants. I layer the hell out of my upper body. I want to stay warm but also need range of motion for fishing. I start with long sleeve under amour against my skin, then a synthetic thin hoodie, (Patagonia or Outdoor Research) with a regular cotton hoodie over everything. Last but not least, a down vest. Down keeps my core warm and I can cast and row well.
Guiding and being on the river every day, I get to watch clients not dress properly and freeze while they’re fishing. Most anglers or clients, don’t really understand that while steelhead fishing, you’re not super active, and the river always seems about 10 degree colder than the main land. Also the air above the river is very damp, making things feel colder . Before each guide trip, I text my clients a list of warm clothes to wear on their fishing adventure. People hook and land a lot more trout and steelhead when they’re warm.

Here ‘s a quick list of the best clothing for Winter – Spring Steelhead.
Warm Winter boots, Snow pants, Polycapilene socks. wool socks. Hot Hands hand warmers. Under armor shirt, quality synthetic hoodie, XL Regular hoodie, down west. Rag Wool fingerless gloves.
Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

I haven’t had too much time to update the report with the artic weather last week. I’ve been getting a lot of texts as to, How are the boat launches? I took a drive this morning, here’s what I found. Croton Dam Launch (Just below the dam) Croton Launch is plowed shut so it’s not usable. Pine St Launch is plowed completely for parking. The boat launch itself is clear but very icy. Salt, sand, or ash is a must for Pine St. but overall it looks good. Thornapple Launch is in excellent condition. Plowed with a bare spot to launch. Maybe a bit of salt. Henning Park launch is excellent. Plowed and sanded. Didn’t get a chance to hit Bridgeton but usually that is usable but shelf and pancake ice down there.

Chad Schaub and Zack are doing guided ice fishing trips for those who are interested. Ice conditions are excellent!! Clear blue ice. 4″ – 6″ in most areas. Ice fishing guides are doing very well on Blue gills, Specks, and Pike. Not much going so far for Walleye and Perch yet. Jake and I are still doing Steelhead and Trout Trips on the river. Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

Good numbers of fall – winter steelhead throughout the system on the Muskegon River. New fish coming in from Lake Michigan.

After a few days of some wild weather, steelhead fishing has returned to normal. There has been several decent pushes of steelhead moving in from Lake Michigan. The lower sections of river have been fishing well as steelhead move into the winter lies. Water temperatures are beginning to cool, so slower techniques have been fishing the best. Drifting spawn sacks along the bottom has been working well, along with back bouncing, drifting beads, and jigs tipped with wax worms.
There’s been a good mix of chrome and winter hold over steelhead in most of the sections. Lake Run Brown Trout are starting to become a big deal. Brown’s spawn during December so this is an excellent time to look for a trophy Brown Trout. Pine St to Henning park holds the best gravel (slower, deeper, and a bit more fine than steelhead prefer) for these beautiful fish. Streamer fishing has been best for big Brown Trout.

Text to Book >>> (231) 519-7348

Trophy Lake Run Brown Trout Spawn during December. Both the Big Manistee River (Above Pic) and the Muskegon River, get a decent migration of big Brown Trout through out December and early January.

Spring Steelhead Fishing Report – (231) 519-7348


Fully Guided Spring Steelhead Trips for Michigan Rivers.
Full Day Trips ( 8 hours) $395
Half Day Guided Fishing Tours (4 hours) $295

** All Gear, Tackle, Rods, Reels, Fishing Cleaning Provided**
Super Prime Spring Steelhead Dates & Half days available.

Good numbers of bright steelhead in the Muskegon River from Thorn apple access to Pine St.

Spring Steelhead fishing is phenomenal right now! Good numbers of chrome steelhead

Water levels have been dropping and clearing rapidly making for some world class steelhead fishing. Cloudy, over cast days have made for exceptional fishing with good numbers of throughout the Muskegon River system. Large pods, or groups of steelhead moving up river daily. It may be possible to hook 15 plus steelhead in one spot, and many of the other locations, not have many fish. There are also plenty of steelhead of gravel now. Fly fishing to spawning steelhead on gravel (Sight Fishing) is going strong. For those of you that fish near the Croton Dam, the Michigan DNR will be shocking walleye from Croton Dam through the Pine St. area. The DNR shock boat generally stays above the Pine St. Boat launch. Phenomenal Spring steelhead is finally going strong right now. Water clarity, and water temperatures are absolutely perfect for fishing steelhead at this time.
Muskegon River Stream flow – 1800 cfs. (Excellent wading) Clarity – Gin Clear Water Temp – 37 degrees.

The guys from Canada putting a beatin on em eh? Centerpin Float Fishing – Bobber down! (3/17)

Sam with a gorgeous Spring Steelhead. (3/13)

Bob and Don really got into ’em the past couple of days. Finally some Spring Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River. Large chartreuse spawn sacks have been key!

Alex with her first steelhead. We were pretty happy have you ladies on the both. Landed some great fish this weekend. (3/4)

The guys from Texas should be grinning from ear to ear with this great buck. This was truly an awesome fish!! Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing. (3/17)

Trevor with a colorful Spring Buck. Starting to see some fish on gravel – water tempratures are starting to warm. (3/13)

Don landed this beautiful buck steelhead this morning. Steelhead fishing is excellent right now! (3/8)

Dr. Mike, Myself, and Chris had a great Sunday on the water. We finally had some cloud cover day. That helped us out a ton! We landed some nice Spring Steelhead while fly fishing. (3/4)

We saw our first Robin this morning! Spring has sprung and steelhead fishing is in full swing.
Starting to see good numbers finally in the upper river. Darker fish still, I think the push has moved around a bit and shuffled the deck. The water is still on the cold side to be moving chromers around much. Spring fish (True Spring Steelhead) should show up this week if the weather holds. We’re still catching a lot of winter hold overs but new fish are on the water. White River Trout Fishing Reports Arkansas
Water levels are absolutely perfect. The Muskegon River has a nice 3′ – 4′ stain but is mostly clear now. Water levels are premo and hold their own at 3320 cfs. Brighter colored baits and beads have been fishing the best.

Spring Steelhead fishing is now in full swing! Water levels are perfect with lots of new fish in the upper river.

Grace displays a gorgeous hen from the Muskegon River. Spring Steelhead fishing is excellent right now!

Spring Steelhead fishing is in full swing now! Recent flood waters have now receded on the Muskegon River. Water levels are now near perfect. There has been a big push of fresh chrome fish in the upper sections near the Croton Dam. Decent numbers of fresh spring steelhead near the dam. As water levels begin to drop, there should be more spring fish entering the river, and heading for the upper gravel sections of the Muskegon River.
Hot Stone Flies for Steelhead (Free Shipping on fly orders)

Best steelhead fishing techniques have been bright colored trout beads underneath a float. Bobber fishing has been the way to go lately. Jigs and wax worms continue to put lots on fish in the net during high water. Larger, brightly colored jigs have been working well. Spawn sack of fresh scraped steelhead skein are awesome during high water periods, where scent is the key! Spawn sacks in hot pink and chartreuse have also been producing some great fish.

We do have Spring Steelhead dates available for the Muskegon River. It is best to reserve your date on theRates Tab of the website. If you are looking for a trophy steelhead for the wall, we recommend two days of guided fishing to get a larger steelhead. Guided trips are ALL INCLUSIVE, and come with all the gear, tackle, bait, and flies. Anything you may need (Except lunch) is already provided on the boat. Fish cleaning is also included. Guided Full Day is $395 per two anglers. Guided Half Day is $250 per two anglers. A third angler may be added to any trip for an additional $100. Text to book>>> (231) 519-7348