Muskegon River Fishing Report (231) 519-7348

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing - Muskegon River Guided Fishing
Muskegon River Salmon Fishing Reports. Muskegon and Manistee Rivers
King Salmon from the Big Manistee River. September 2023

Michigan Salmon season is upon us! The Muskegon River is no exception.  Good numbers of King Salmon have entered the Lower Muskegon River rear Giles Road, and Maple Island.  Water levels have been consistant, and fish have been steadily moving up river towards their natal spawning areas.  We should continue to have good fishing on the Muskegon River for the foreseeable future!  Text to Book a Salmon Guide>> (231) 519-7348

March is upon us!! Welcome to Michigan’s number one Steelhead fishing destination and guide service. We’re happy to have the opportunity to guide and fish the Muskegon River, located in Western Michigan, near Grand Rapids.  Over this past week, we have had unseasonably warm weather for Steelhead fishing this winter.  Conditions for Steelhead have been absolutely perfect, and the Mighty Mo has been fishing exceptionally well.  Good numbers of bright Steelhead throughout the system.  Henning Park to Thornapple Launch has been fishing well.  Boat launches are clear, and ice free.   

Fresh Spawn sacks are the key to great Winter Steelhead fishing.
Big Steelhead, and lots of the them!! Muskegon River Winter Steelhead.
Michigan Winter Steelhead Fishing - Tippy Dam Steelhead
Eric displays a beautiful Winter Steelhead. A great time on the water is a guarantee!

We’ve had some very good Steelhead fishing this week.  Double digit hook ups some days, with beads and spawning being the key!  Trout beads with a hint of chartreuse and orange have been on fire! Usually neutral, natural colors work best during the winter, low clear water but beads with a little “pop” in color have been getting smashed like crazy! 

While fishing for Steelhead during the Winter months, be sure to bring a variety of bait. Often times, in colder water, scent is the key.  Steelhead skein spawn sacks, Waxworms,wigglers, or salted Emerald Shiners all contain a massive amount of scent, this gets Steelhead feeding in cold water temperatures.


Your fishing location also plays a key roll during the Winter months.  Slower, deep water with boulders, rocks, and gravel is typically the most productive for Fall and Winter Steelhead.  Rocks help break the current and give the fish a sense of security in clear water, especially on sunny days.  Steelhead tuck tightly into rocky areas during the day.  Spend time in these sections of water, and you’ll be rewarded with some nice fish.  Larger Trout also hold in these areas.  


Steelhead fishing has been very productive the past few days. New fish entering the river system.
Michigan Fishing - Pike Smallmouth River Guides
Michigan Muskegon River Fishing Reports for Smallmouth, Trout, and Pike below the Croton Dam.

Welcome to Michigan’s Smallmouth Bass Shangri la ~ Muskegon River Fishing Report~ (248) 210-0827 ~  Smallmouth Best fishing has been exceptionally good on the Muskegon River so far this summer.  Perfect water conditions, excellent weather, and spectualar amounts of crayfish have made for some outstanding trophy Smallmouth Bass fishing on the Mighty Mo. Top water Bass fishing has been phenominal with the hot water!  Lots of Muskegon River Smallmouth. 

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing Reports
Guided Muskegon River Smallmouth Bass Fishing - Pike Grand Rapids
Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Michigan
Northern Pike Michigan Fishing Guide Service
Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing - Muskegon River Smallmouth

We offer guided Smallmouth and Northern Pike fishing adventures, just 30 minutes North of Grand Rapids, Michigan.   Both spin fishing, bait caster, and fly fishing is available for these great fish. Good numbers of Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Bass, Musky, and Panfish, can be caught on each guided trip in Northern Michigan.  

Many different techniques have been effective for Smallies on the Muskegegon River. Fishing a section of soft plastics, tube jigs, Ned rigs, top water hard baits, spinner baits, and Rapalas all work well during the day. During the afternoon and evening, top water is king,  with explosive strikes and larger fish!   Muskegon River Fishing Report and Smallmouth Bass guided fishing trips are available during the summer months. June, July and August are best, before the King Salmon Migration. 

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing - Muskegon River Guided Fishing
Smallmouth Bass on the Muskegon River. 21.5" and 5 lbs, this big girl was happily released.

Smallmouth Bass fishing is exceptionally good during July and August on the Muskegon River. Hot weather makes for heart stopping, top water hits, and big jumps!! Crank baits, top water, and soft plastics are the name of the game during summer in Michigan. Michigan Smallmouth Bass fishing reports suggest that is is going to be a great summer!! Lots of Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and a few trout below the Croton Dam.  

Musky Muskegon River Guided Musky Fishing
Giant 54" Female Great Lakes Musky caught with our great friend, John Hojnacki. Below Rogers Dam near Big Rapids. We love the giants beasts, and certainly love fishing them!! Trophy Michigan Musky

 Welcome Spring Steelhead anglers – March madness is upon us! Muskegon River is now starting to get good numbers of Spring Steelhead moving throughout the river system.  Water levels have been consistant and clear, with good clarity. Look for Steelhead fishing to remain good during the rest of March, well into April, and early May.  Full Day Guided Steelhead  

   Text to Book (231) 750-0673

Muskegon River Spring Steelhead Reports
Monster Buck Steelhead from the Muskegon River this morning.
Muskegon River Spring Reports _ Croton Dam
Good numbers of bright, Chrome Spring Steelhead below Croton.

A good selection of trout beads, small spawn sacks, and Salmon egg beads, all working well. Natural colors, as water has been very low and clear.  Flourocarbon leaders,  a bit light line, and a smaller presentation has been key.  Small jigs and wax worms are also very good during March.  Black jigs are exceptionally good, due to the large amounts of winter stone flies in the river system.  Black Stone flies are a key, and major food source for Michigan,  Spring Steelhead. 

Look for Steelhead fishing to continue to remain strong over the next month or so.  Big Fish, and lots of em!  March and April offer excellent Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River. 

Michigan Fall Steelhead Float Fishing _ Muskegon River Steelhead
Lots of Steelhead - Muskegon River
Michigan Steelhead Fishing Guides
Michigan Fall Steelhead Fishing - Fly Fish Steelhead

Good numbers if Michigan Fall Steelhead on the Muskegon River  Steelhead fishing has been excellent !!  January and February are the best times for Michigan Winter Steelhead. Starting to see lots of Steelhead moving through the lower river, into the Newaygo – Croton Dam section. 

Manistee River Fishing Reports - Fall Steelhead Michigan
Manistee River Fishing Report - Fall Steelhead

Recent rains have brought good numbers of Michigan Fall Steelhead into the Mighty Muskegon River, near the Croton Dam, and through the Newaygo area. Water levels are perfect now for Fall Steelhead. King Salmon are starting to die off, creating an epic “Egg Bite” for spawn sacks, and Trout Bead fishing. Trout beads mimic drifting salmon eggs. 

 Both the Michigan Fall Steelhead, and the Michigan King Salmon, have been much larger this season. Ample food in Lake Michigan has made great food, and growth for out migratory friends.  Look for Steelhead fishing reo remain strong well throughout December, into January.  November is the best month for these crown jewels of the Muskegon River. 

Michigan Steelhead Fishing _ Muskegon River Fall Steelhead Fishing
Grand River Spring Steelhead Fishing _ Betts Guide Service

Best techniques for catching Muskegon River Fall Steelhead, have been float fishing with a Trout bead or spawn sack  suspended underneath a float, drifting with the current.  This techniques produces a very natural drift, representing a salmon egg along the bottom.   Back bouncing fresh salmon eggs directly on the bottom, produces a lot of steelhead.   
Chuck -N-Duck fly fishing has also been very productive.  Fresh salmon eggs or Steelhead Skein, is the key to this technique. 

Croton Dam Trout Fishing Michigan
Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing - Muskegon River Smallmouth

Michigan Trout & Smallmouth Fishing Reports for the Muskegon River, Pere Marquette, and Big Manistee Rivers. 

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Awesome Smallmouth Bass fishing on the Muskegon River. July and August have incredible Smallmouth Bass fishing.
Michigan Trout Fishing Reports
Michigan Trout Fishing Reports - Mike with a gorgeous Muskegon River Brown Trout. Trout fishing has been very good. New Trout regulations are making a huge improvement.

Hatch Master’s Evening Special – 5pm -10pm 

Fly Fishing Evening (After work) Special for two anglers – Muskegon River 
( $295 for two anglers – 4.5 hours ) 

Fly Fishing the Caddis Super Hatches has been excellent!  Each evening, we are having Gray Drake spinners, Isonychia emerging may flies, Pale Morning Duns, and Cinnamon Sedge Caddis . Fly fishing has been very good. 

Both Trout fishing, and Smallmouth are going strong on the Muskegon River. Gravel redds on the Muskegon River continue to have Red Horse Suckers, and Great Lakes Suckers spawning on the gravel shoals.  King Salmon Fry (Salmon Smolt) are the main food source in the river at this time. Sucker Spawn for trophy Brown Trout is coming soon.  

Morning Spinning Brown Trout – Smallmouth Bass Trips 
Trophy Brown Trout on crank baits – Smallmouth Bass on soft plastics. 
7am – Noon ~ ($295 for two anglers) 
All inclusive guided fishing on the Muskegon & Big Manistee Rivers. 

     We are very excited to be able to resume guiding at this time.  Both Steelhead and Trout trips are now available.  If you had a deposit from April, you may now float it to a new date.  Now is also a great time to book a Michigan Fall Salmon trip as well.  Many of our rescheduled trips have moved to September and October.  Its a good time to get on the salmon calendar now.  

     We look forward to fishing will you. Thanks for the helping us get through this!!  

Full Day Guided Fishing Reservation  or Text to book (231) 519-7348


Michigan Spring Steelhead
Michigan Spring Steelhead
May offers some very good Steelhead fishing on the Muskegon and Big Manistee Rivers.

Upcoming Fishing Oppertunies:  Spawning Steelhead in May.  Muskegon River Sucker Spawn for Trophy Trout.  Hatch Fishing Dry Flies , Muskegon River Smallmouth in July and August.

Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing
Starting to see good numbers of bright, Spring Steelhead on the Muskegon River. The past several days have been fishing very well.
Muskegon River Spring Fishing Reports
Spring Steelhead are here now!
Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing
Limits of bright siver, fresh, Spring Run Steelhead.

Steelhead fishing has been very good on the Muskegon River over the past several days. Water levels are perfect and the water clarity is crystal clear.  Starting to see Steelhead spawning on the gravel shoals, starting to dig gravel with some fish on redds.  Fly Fishing will improve as more fish begin to spawn and become active. Stone flies are fishing well, and Salmon fry are also starting to emerge. 

Booking Full Day >>      (231) 519-7348

Michigan Steelhead Fishing Reports
Michigan Steelhead Fishing

Water levels are finally back to normal with very good Steelhead Fishing conditions on the Muskegon, Grand, and Big Manistee Rivers. Starting to more bright Spring Steelhead entering the lower river.   Float fishing with beads and spawn continues to produce the most fish.  Fly Fishing with Black Stone flies are also producing. 

  Click here to Book Now or text to Book >>
(231) 519-7348

Michigan Steelhead Fishing _ Fishing Guides
Croton Dam Steelhead Fishing Guides
Yuki with a gorgeous buck. These guys absolutely nailed it and landed 8 really nice Steelhead. November is my favorite month to Steelhed fish. Gettin em!!

Warmer weather has made for some excellent Steelhead fishing. This Winter has been much more mild, than years past. Fresh batch of bright Steelhead just showed up the past couple days. Lots of action and activity with Steelhead and Resident trout.  Fishing has been excellent. January and February  are my two favorite month of the year to fish for Steelhead.  Good fishing with few anglers on the water.
  Click here to Book Now or text to Book >>
(231) 519-7348

Michigan Steelhead Fishing _ Guided Muskegon River Fishing
Michigan Winter Steelhead Fishing - Tippy Dam Steelhead

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Reports – Heavy snow last night made for some epic Steelhead fishing today on the Mighty Muskegon River. Good numbers of fresh Steelhead and double digit days right now. Lots going on. November is definitely the time to be on the river. Huge fish with huge smile!   Click here to Book Now or text to Book >>
(231) 519-7348

Fall Steelhead on the Muskegon River _Michigan
November is the best time for Fall Steelhad on the Muskegon River. Fishing is excellent during the fall months.
Michigan Steelhead Fishing _Muskegon River

Muskegon River Fall Steelhead Fishing Reports – Steelhead fishing has been very good during the past week or so.  Good numbers of Steelhead in the upper Muskegon River near the Croton Dam.  Float fishing with beads or spawn has been very productive. Double digit hook ups have been the norm for this time of year.  Many resident trout are also caught throughout the day.  Half Days  ( $295 for 2 anglers) $395 for 2 anglers)  Fish cleaning is free and included.  Click here to Book Now or text to Book >> (231) 519-7348

Michigan Steelhead Fishing _ MI Steelhead Guides
Michigan Steelhead Fishing Reports

Water levels are up and and crystal clear. Most of the leaves and eel grass have blown out making for easier fishing. Water Temperature is holding at 50 degrees. Levels are high and clear. Wading in not an option at this time. Level is holding at 4000 CFS. 
Plugging is now an option and has been very productive.  Float fishing with trout beads or spawn has also been fishing well.  Steelhead are beginning to drop into their normal late Fall – Winter lies. Most of the Salmon have all died off, still a few flag tails hanging around.  Steelhead Fishing is excellent right now, and should continue to be excellent well into December. 
The Muskegon River and Grand River are now the most productive.    We are offering both morning and afternoon half days for $295.   Full days are also available each day for only $395.  All Inclusive Jet Boat, Guided Steelhead Fishing.    Click Here to Book Now>>     (231) 519-7348

Michigan Steelhead Fishing Reports
Michigan Steelhead Fishing _ Muskegon River Fall Steelhead Fishing

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report – Good numbers of Michigan Fall Steelhead in the Muskegon River at this time. Recent rains has brought a nice batch of Steelhead into the river.  Water levels are now back to normal, and Steelhead fishing is very good.  King Salmon are still in the river system but, are in poor condition, and fading quickly.  

Resident Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Steelhead rely heavily on King Salmon eggs as a food source.  Keying in on eggs makes for some World Class, Alaska style, trout bead fishing.  Fall Steelhead are a Rainbow trout on crack!  If you have never experienced the exhilarating runs, acrobatic jumps, and screaming speed of the Steelhead, now is and excellent time to fish for them.  November is the best month for Fall Steelhead, and the Muskegon and Manistee River offers lots of them.   Click Here to Book Now>>     (231) 519-7348

King River King Salmon
Good Numbers of King Salmon on the Muskegon River. Water levels are perfect making for some very good fishing. Steelhead are also beginning to show up
Michigan Muskegon River Steelhead

Muskegon River water levels have been nearly perfect.  Rolling at 2260 cfs.  Water temps hovering around 58 degrees. Very good temperature for Salmon, Trout, and Steelhead.   We’ve been spending time float fishing behind spawning King Salmon. Starting to see good numbers of Steelhead, and very happy about the larger resident Brown Trout.  Looking forward to some great fishing for the next month.  November should be excellent with the recent flow rates. 

Muskegon River Salmon Fishing
Muskegon River King Salmon Fishing

Finally starting to see some good numbers of King Salmon on the Muskegon River. Recent rains, and cooler temperatures have brought more fish into the river system.  These salmon are huge this year, and are still a ways from spawning. 

Best technigues have been float fishing salmon skein through the deeper holes. Casting thunder sticks in the morning. Fly Fishing has also been productive during the day. We landed these giants casting crankbaits but, lots of technigues have been working well.  Muskegon River runs late for salmon season. Mid to Late October is best for Muskegon River Salmon.  

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing Guides
Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Muskegon River Fishing Reports for Giant Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Musky, and Walleye. Located on the lower Muskegon River below Newaygo, Michigan.   Click Here to Book Now>>

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Michigan Salmon Fishing - Manistee River
Michigan Salmon Fishing - It's time to start booking Fall King Salmon dates for the Lower Pere Marquette River, and the Big Manistee River below Tippy.

Muskegon River Smallmouth Bass Fishing has been excellent! Water levels are now back to Summertime low levels. Top water bass fishing has been the name of the game. The hotter, the better!!  Smallmouth Bass absolutely love hot and humid weather. Buzz baits and cranks have been fishing really well. Weather and water are nice. It’s a fantastic time to be on the water.  Call or Text to book, or reserve online.  (231) 519-7348

Isiah with a gorgeous 23" Muskegon River Brown Trout. Dry fly fishing has been excellent! Gray Drake Spinners.
Summer Trout Fishing Muskegon River
Trout Fishing Manistee River - Summertime Trout

Very good insect activity and dry fly fishing over this past week. Hot humid weather has really got the May flies going.  Gray Drake, Hexes, Isonychia, and lots and lots of Caddis during the afternoon. Landing lots of quality Rainbow and Brown Trout below the Croton Dam.  Fly Fishing has been excellent.  Weather and water are nice. It’s a fantastic time to be on the water.  Call or Text to book, or reserve online.  (231) 519-7348

Getting into Smallmouth Bass, Trout,  and  Pan Fish. These Michigan guided fishing trips are fun, and fast paced with tons of fish CATCHING!  Muskegon River offers World Class Smallmouth Bass fishing. Local Lakes offer very good pan fish, Blue Gills, Crappie, and Rock Bass.  These are excellent light tackle trips for children and adults alike. Just makes for an excellent, fun filled, catching trip on the water!

$295 – $395  ~ Text to Book>>> (231) 519-7349

Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing kicks into over drive with action packed guided trips for Muskegon River Smallmouth. Excellent Smallmouth Bass fishing throughout the Summer months for trophy Smallmouth Bass.
Blue Gill Fishing Michigan - Pan Fish Guides
Guided Pan Fish Trips for limits of Blue Gill and Crappie.
Muskegon River Brown Trout
Muskegon River Sucker Spawn is in full swing. Trophy Brown Trout are available at this time!

Muskegon River Trout Fishing – If you love huge Brown Trout, now is the time! Muskegon River Sucker Spawn is in full swing. Trout gorge on eggs and nymphs dug up from the spawning suckers, providing opportunities for trophy trout in Michigan. Streamer Fly Fishing and Casting crank baits is  fishing very well for numbers of solid trout. 
New Trout Fishing Regulations for Brown Trout – Muskegon River. 15″ limit is wonderful, providing us with a lot more larger trout. Making for better trout fishing!   Text to book>> (231) 519-7348

Michigan Trout Fishing Reports
Muskegon River Sucker Spawn offers Trophy Brown Trout.
Michigan Trout Fishing _ Sucker Spawn Trout

Evening Hatch Master Specials for Muskegon River Trout Fishing – 4:30pm – 10pm. ($295) Hatch Fishing at it’s finest!  Caddis, Gray Drake, Isonychia, and Sulphers.  Become the Dry Fly Jedi  
Muskegon River Guided Fly Fishing. 

 Full Day Guided Trout Trips $395  ** All Inclusive Guided Fly Fishing Trout Guides ** 

Kids Fishing Michigan Rivers
Brian and I are trying to take a pic, while Mike is fighting one in the back ground. We've had some incredible Steelhead fishing over the past few days. Cold temps keep em coming!

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report

Water levels are are prefect ( Clear @ 4200  cfs) with lots of Steelhead of gravel.  Fly Fishing has been the best technique at this time. Free style nymphing with black stone flies, salmon fry, and small natural trout beads are all fishing well.  Many bright Steelhead with lots more entering the  river.  Prime Time is several weeks behind this year with Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing lasting well into May and early June. Good numbers of Steelhead and Trophy Brown Trout at this time. 

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

Still catching many bright Steelhead for May. Water temperatures are still colder than normal , keeping steelhead in the river much longer this year.
Muskegon River Spring Steelhead
Nate with a gorgeous bright hen.
Trout Fishing Muskegon River
Will with a gorgeous Muskegon River Brown Trout. Both Trout and Steelhead are feeding heavily on Steelhead eggs, and King Salmon Fry. These offer a huge food source during May.
Steelhead Eggs and Salmon Fry - Muskegon River Sucker Spawn

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report

Water levels are are prefect ( Clear @ 5000 cfs) with lots of Steelhead of gravel.  Fly Fishing has been the best technique at this time. Free style nymphing with black stone flies, salmon fry, and small natural trout beads are all fishing well.  Many bright Steelhead with lots more entering the  river.  Prime Time is several weeks behind this year with Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing lasting well into May and early June. Good numbers of Steelhead and Trophy Brown Trout at this time. 

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
Muskegon 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
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
Grand River 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

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


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.

Muskegon River Steelhead Reports

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.


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.

Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing How To Techniques

Michigan Spring Steelhead

Choosing the correct river for Michigan Spring Steelhead can pay big dividends. Croton Dam Steelhead

Late Febuary and March offer some of the best Fishing the Michigan has to offer, before the crowds arrive.

As for being a fishing guide in Western Michigan for nearly 25 years, there are always several reoccurring questions that I often get from clients that are interested in Michigan Spring Steelhead fishing. Probably the most resounding question I get the most often is, What is the best river to fish, and when?
That is a That is a very legitimate question for sure!

Typically, the rule of thumb is to fish from South (Michigan) to North. As a general rule, the rivers in the southern portion of the Michigan warm first, getting the first migrations of Spring Steelhead. Generally the St. Joseph and the Grand River kick off our Michigan Spring Steelhead. This is most often associated with water temperature. Most Steelhead migrations begin around 36 – 38 degrees. Active spawning begins near 42 degrees.

Based on water temperatures, the White River in Hesperia, Rogue River in Rockford, and the Pere Marquette River located in Baldwin, are going strong by late February and early March. I have often witnessed steelhead spawning in these rivers on valentines day if we’ve had a couple warm, sunny days. These rivers are smaller and warm more quickly than the larger rivers, offering early Spring Steelhead fishing.

Spring offers some of the best steelhead fishing in Michigan. Its short but sweet!

Warm sunny days are the best! Ashley with a gorgeous Spring Steelhead in Michigan Muskegon River.

The second set of rivers is a big more complicated, the Big Manistee River, and the Muskegon River located in Newaygo, are a bit more difficult to pin down. Because these rivers are tail water fisheries, the reservoir that holds the water generally has a thick layer of ice on the back water. The ice keeps these rivers much colder than others. Basically, ice cubes in your glass of water keep it cold until the ice melts. These rivers predominately get a big push of steelhead in later march, with peak being later April. The Big Manistee River and the Muskegon River usually have a fishable number of Steelhead until mid to late May, often until Memorial Day.

The third section of Michigan Spring Steelhead rivers are your most Northern rivers, Betsie river, Platt, Borgman River, Elk Rapids, and the St. Mary’s Rapids. These rivers always have later runs of steelhead. The water is clear and cold. The St. Mary’s Rapids has Steelhead well into June. Peak times are just after Memorial Day.

There are no hard, fast rules on choosing what river will be best for Michigan Spring Steelhead Fishing, however, these tips may certainly improve your odds. Paying attention to Spring run off, and water temperatures are your best bet but this list of rivers should also help.

Here are a couple links for Fishing Reports for Michigan Spring Steelhead fishing as well.

Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Reports