The Muskegon River is a tail water fishery north of Grand Rapids, Michigan below Croton Dam near Newaygo, Michigan.  The river is home to three groups of gamefish:  migratory fish, cool water resident fish, and warm water resident fish.

Migratory fish:  Lake Michigan steelhead, lake-run brown trout, and chinook salmon. Steelhead enter West Michigan rivers as early as late September.  The fall steelhead fishing gets to be very strong by the third week of October.

During the months of October, November, and December, the Muskegon is transformed into one of the Midwest’s premier spey fishing rivers. Lake-run brown trout are an often overlooked game fish that are most abundant from late September through March.  Chinook or king salmon enter the Muskegon in August and September, but are not fished heavily until they concentrate in October.    

Cool water resident fish:  There is a very strong population of resident brown and rainbow trout.  Both types of trout can be found in the twenty miles of river below Croton Dam.

Warm water resident fish:  The most popular warm water fish are smallmouth bass and northern pike. The Muskegon is a fantastic smallmouth river from late June until late September. Northern pike inhabit the entire system and are fished during the months of May through September.

Fishing Reports

Feenstra Guide Service
Muskegon River Fly Shop


Feenstra Guide Service
Gray Drake Lodge and
Great Lakes Fly Fishing/Fred Vargas
Jay Allen Fly Fishing Guide Service  


Muskegon River Inn

Dining & Drinks

Rockford Brewery (Grand Rapids area)

Hatch Information

Michigan Fishing License

Local Weather


  • Temperature: 48.38 ° F
  • Streamflow: 1740 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 5.39 ft
Temperature GraphStreamflow GraphGage height Graph