Late-Winter and Early-Spring Steelhead Fishing on the Muskegon River

Early-Spring-Steelhead-Muskegon-RiverIn the up coming weeks, we should start seeing a fair amount of brighter, chrome spring fish. I guided down low, Bridgeton down, last week and there were good numbers of chromers to be had. I know there are good numbers of fish in the lower section of the Muskegon River. Water levels were up this morning, also with warmer temps. Day light is getting longer, Spring Steelhead fishing should start in earnest in the next week or so. There also seems to be a fair number of stone fly nymphs. The activity of Michigan Winter Stone flies usually my cue to start fishing hard down lower for bright chromers closer to Muskegon Lake.

Ice-Man-Rainbow-FryMuskegon River Steelhead and Salmon fry – During the late winter months, early Spring, Chinook salmon fry and lake run brown trout fry begin to hatch out of the gravel into the “Fry” or “Alevin” stage.  Red Horse Suckers also produce many fry and tiny minnows.  Large lake -Run Brown Trout feed on them heavily throughout the winter months and early Spring.

Early-Spring-Steelhead-Muskegon-River-2These young fish are the perfect food source for larger steelhead and trout during this time of year. Egg patterns with a pronounced “blood dot” or bright red dot mimic the fry at this time. Also patterns such as the “Ice Man Minnow” or other fry or parr patterns also work well. Steelhead and trout during winter are now relying less on salmon eggs and focusing more on case caddis, stone flies, scuds, sowbugs, other macro invertebrates. Stone flies and fry patterns begin to really work well at this time of year when temperatures are cold and food is limited.

Muskegon River Daily Fishing Reports