When to Fish

Best Times to Fish Michigan Steelhead Trout fishing in Michigan

Winter Steelhead fishing at its finest! James landed this beautiful big brown trout on the Muskegon River in Michigan.

When To Fish Michigan Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout.

Here’s a Michigan Fishing Guide as to some of the best times to come and fish Michigan Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout. Migratory fish like Salmon and Steelhead have specific times in which they enter, and are in the rivers in significant numbers.  Here’s a lay out of the best times to fish in Michigan.

When to fish Michigan Steelhead

One of the best times to start looking for Michigan Steelhead is mid way through the King Salmon season. Spawning King Salmon are a magnet to fresh Fall Steelhead. Fall Steelhead absolutely love fresh salmon eggs.
Fall Steelhead typically enter the rivers in mid to late October.  The Manistee and Pere Marquette are first to receive Michigan Fall Steelhead.

Michigan Fall Steelhead

Michigan Fall Steelhead usually enter the river during the later part of October and November. Wintering over during November, December, January, February, March and April.

Michigan Spring Steelhead

March, April and May are the beginning of the Spring Steelhead spawning season. Steelhead begin to seeking gravel shoals and places to lay eggs in the shallows.   Fly Fishing and Sight fishing are key aspects of this time of year.
Spring Steelhead continue to spawn on the Muskegon River until late May and early June.

When to Fish ( Spring Steelhead )  Steelhead bite well throughout the day. Using a variety of techniques is key. We mostly depend on using Trout beads, Stone flies, spawn sacks, and sometimes, cast crank baits.  Steelhead are crazy, insane fighters, offering wild jumps and scorching runs!

Summer Time Pan Fish 

Hands down, the most fun guided trip!



Trout Fishing

May and June offer the best in fly fishing!  During the early summer months of May and June, the Muskegon River has excellent hatches of Gray Drake, Isonychia, Sulphers, and Caddis. The Muskegon is a tailwater fishery and makes for excellent hatches, and dry fly fishing.  The Muskegon River is crystal clear and offers world class dry fly fishing for both resident Rainbow, and trophy Brown Trout.  Brown Trout over 15″ are common on the Muskegon.

When to fish? Most hatches occur in late afternoon, well into evening and night. Trophy Brown Trout are mostly nocturnal and feed most in low light conditions.  Rain and heavy cloud cover make for some excellent trout fishing as well.  

Late Summer Smallmouth and Walleye

Top water action heats up during July And August! Whether its fly fishing or light tackle, Smallmouth bass off some of the best fights by any species of freshwater fish.  Smallmouth will kick your butt, and test your tackle.

When to fish?  Smallmouth bass are the perfect gentleman’s fish.  They’re not really morning feeders, they fish best during the high mid day sun, and into the evening. Best baits are top water poppers, bait fish flies, and soft plastics. They make for high impact, action packed guided fishing trips.  Smallmouth are a guide’s favorite fish!

Muskegon River Walleye

We catch walleye in a variety of ways. Casting crank baits, soft plastic baits, crawler harnesses,  and jigs all put limits of walleye in the cool.  Walleye are poor fighters but, offer excellent table fare, and are Michigan’s best eating fish.