Muskegon River Fishing Report

By: Capt. Jeff Bacon

With some rather cold weather having lasted through much of April, many were left scratching their heads wondering how this may affect insect hatches and the dry fly fishing that those hatches provide.

It appears as though Mother Nature is back on track, so to speak and we should see a fairly normal insect emergence schedule. First will be the LAST of the spring stone flies, which were about a month late in general, but these may thin out real fast and we could very well be done with them by Memorial Day. More reliable will be the #16 cinnamon caddis, followed by #14 & 18 sulphurs, as well as #12 gray drakes and then #12 brown drakes and #10 isonychia’s. Not to be left out are #18 blue wing olives, which can be found on any given cloudy date from early June – mid July.

Always good to have on hand when cloudy days or a good rain comes through to add a bit of color to the river, are 6-8 weight streamer rods and reels spooled with 200-300 grain sink tip lines, or floating lines with 10-20′ sink tip sections with a medium-to medium-fast sink rate.

Optimal setups for trout dry fly fishing would be your favorite 9-10′ long, 4-6 weight rod and weight forward floating line spooled on your reel. Leaders in the 9-10′ length, tapered down to 4 or 5x would be just fine.

At some point around the July 4th holiday, water temperatures on the Muskegon come up to the mid-to-upper 60’s and trout can start to show signs of being full and lethargic….but it’s a new adventure every year!

Shortly after this change in the river and the trout that call it home, I’ll switch to fishing for smallmouth bass and northern pike, with an outside change of a run in with a walleye here and there.


Capt. Jeff Bacon
Michigan Fly Fishing Ventures
(616) 560-3195