As the days get longer and old man winter loses his grip, our thoughts drift towards Spring Steelhead on the Muskegon River. These treasured fish ascend west Michigan rivers in great numbers during March and April. With enthusiasm, anglers take to the rivers and streams in search of these silver leapers!
The best techniques for spring steelhead seem to be fishing spawn or jigs tipped with waxworms, drifted under a float. Strikes are subtle but electric once hooked! Steelhead make dashing runs with powerful jumps. Wading anglers must chase these fish on foot in order to land them.
Fly Fisherman also have great success with steelhead by drifting small egg patterns and nymphs near nesting or spawning steelhead. Often times, large dominate male attack flies to chase them away for females. Larch March and April, anglers may see lightened areas of gravel with fish spawning on top of rock shoals, these areas are called Redds, or spawning gravel. These areas are a hot spot for fish activity. Drift flies like stone flies or hex nymphs are very effective for these spawning steelhead. Flies may be purchased at Mojoflies.com. Dark flies with brightly colored egg patterns seem to work best.
Another favorite technique is to cast spinners along the shoreline for moving steelhead. These fish often follow the lures and make for heart pounding strikes! Often times, anglers may hire a fishing guide to help them learn the skills needed to land many steelhead. Fishing guides have all of the proper gear and tackle, making for a fun day on the water. The Muskegon River has many fishing guides, one of the best is Chad Betts. He has guided for many years, catching many Steelhead. Michigan Fly Fishing
Now is a great time of year to try something new and different, get outside and do some steelhead fishing on a river near you!