Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Salmon Run on the Muskegon River, Newaygo Mi

(photo courtesy of Riverside Outfitters LLC - Sherri Russell)
 By Sherri Russell

Newaygo Michigan is the perfect life naturally...

Imagine walking to the sound of steady water flowing through town.  Wildlife, rising and going naturally about their day.  Grab a hot cup of coffee in a cool downtown and take a stroll through the canopy of trees to the riverside.  Ahh…yes, the Muskegon Riverside.  Dominant and strong, yet peacefully inviting – to all forms of life.  Rod and reel in one hand, coffee in the other.  Salmon and steelhead a flurry upriver.  Slight breeze.  Quiet...

Newaygo Michigan- This sleepy rural, mostly farming community lies in Western Michigan, just 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids.

Newaygo County has over 230 natural lakes and 350 miles of rivers and streams, 2 huge historical dams, Croton and Hardy. Hardy Dam is the largest earthen dam east of the Mississippi River. The Muskegon River continues to be the main attraction for summer cottage residents and fishermen, who find it nearly the best source for spring and winter steelhead and its fall salmon run anywhere!

The fall salmon run on the Muskegon River and nearby Pere Marquette River occurs every fall. This fall salmon run usually runs from the middle of September to the end of October or later. Water temperature determines run time and length.

You do not have to worry about missing the fall salmon run, because as the salmon run tails off, the fall/winter steelhead enter the rivers from October to early spring, usually the end of May.

During the fall salmon run, most baits will work such as, Husky Jerks, Hot-n-Tots, Rattle Traps, Thundersticks, Lil Cleo to name a few. You should also be prepared to fish with chunks of fresh roe or spawn sacs tied with a 3 way swivel with a large split shot about a foot below the swivel and a leader tied to the other eyelet about 18" behind this.

Not sure how to fish for these fall dandies? No need to fret here, Newaygo is home to more than a dozen local river guides. Many of these guides have been featured in national fly fishing articles and as authors.

I would recommend these five fishing guides as your starting point:  
Marsh Ridge River Guide Service/ or call 231-920-7527  
Feenstra Guide Service/  or call 231-652-3528
Riverside Outfitters LLC/  or call 231-834-9155    Iceberg’s River Guide Service -Gary Bol call 231-834-8177      
River Rat Dog/ or call 517-651-2616 

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