Steelhead

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Winter Steelhead on the Muskegon River.

The Muskegon River Steelhead fly fishing offers a world-class fishery! Beautiful surroundings, but with miles of river to run in our jet sleds, we Muskegon River Guides are able to put our clients on steelhead consistently. Running up to 20 pounds, Muskegon River steelhead readily take flies and bait very well.

Many steelhead enter the river in fall and overwinter before the spring spawn.  Fall steelheading can be awesome, and winter fishing is unusually productive.  Spring brings some new fish to join with the overwintering fish.  During the spring months, floats and spawn are key. Later during April and May, fly fishing sighted fish spawning on gravel is fantastic, visual fly fishing and casting to targeted fish.

Muskegon River Outfitters guides take pride in the fact that our clients’ are very successful. Anglers that fish steelhead have been an elusive quarry, find success with us!

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Muskegon River Winter Steelhead - Winter offers some of the best steelheading to be had with very few anglers on the water, large numbers of steelhead in the rivers, and a peaceful surrounding.

Peak Dates: Late October, November, December, January, February

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Spring Steelhead on the Muskegon River.

Michigan’s Spring Steelhead - In late February, the winter steelhead move up river and begin their migration to their spawning areas. New fish enter from Lake Michigan.  Steelhead feed heavily on stone flies, caddis larvae, and Chinook fry. During March, April and May, Steelhead begin to polish gravel and begin to spawn. During this time, fly fishing Steelhead is at it’s absolute best!! Anglers can visually seek steelies and make casts to the spawning spring steelhead. Sight fishing to Steelhead on gravel and watching them take the fly makes this an exhilarating experience!!

Most early spring Muskegon River steelhead float trips find us deep nymphing with two fly combinations, typically with small, dark nymphs and egg flies. As the spring run progresses, we sight fish as well as drift runs and glides with indicators and floating lines. Swinging large streamers has grown increasingly popular with our clients, whether in the spring or fall. We fish single-handed and two-handed fly rods with shooting, sink tip, floating, and Skagit lines-the choice of tackle is determined by conditions of the river, the stage of the steelhead run, and the client’s preference.

Peak Dates: March, April, May, early June

Summer Steelhead - (Skamania Strain) Probably the most noted, the St. Joseph River, located in southwest Michigan, is perhaps the most reliable river in Michigan for Skamania Steelhead. Both Michigan and Indiana, plant more than one hundred thousand summer run steelhead a year into the St. Joe River. Numbers of adult Summer Steelhead return to the river as adults. Skamania Steelhead stage at the mouths of cool spring creeks flowing into the larger main stream. Large groups of steelhead cruise clearly visible to the fly caster. Casting the fly to particular fish, managing the drift, and watching the take make this fly fishing experience extraordinary.

Peak Dates: Late June, July, August

Check out our cool video on Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing: