After one of the most dismal fall salmon runs in my 23 years of guiding we have been chasing steelhead since October 8. Was I happy to see the change in seasons....estatic to say the least, as guiding for steelhead is my passion.
The steelhead numbers are not huge, but there are enough to play with, with increasing numbers daily. Fish seem well distributed through the river system, with faster riffles and runs holding the most fish. Fishing near spawning salmon will also produce steelhead and trout.
Float fishing with egg patterns has been my favorite method, as it allows you to cover so much water and get the biters quickly.
I still have October 21,27,28 open as well as Nov. 28 if you are looking to get on the water.
Please give us a call (231-250-9745) or Email Jon if you would like to get more info.
Fishing Report - September 30 2014
The less than average salmon season continues, In my 22 year career as a fishing guide, this is hands down the toughest year on record. There are fish in all west michigan rivers, but not huge numbers. Be prepared to work for them. The good news is that the weather as of late has been perfect for just being outdoors.
The lower sections are still seeing slow trickles of kings as well as a steelhead here and there. Covering water and making the best of the day are keys.
Steelhead season is just about here and are worth chasing any day from here on out.
Fishing Report - Sept 16 2014
Slow....is the word that best describes the salmon run right now.
The fishing has been slow at best this year so far. There are a few spots in every section that are fishing ok. But those spots are changing daily for the most part.
Last weekends weather events should have sent the migration into high gear....but that was not the case. The good news is that every day we are getting more fish and things should start filling in soon. We saw a year like this not long ago, with the bulk of the kings showing up after Sept. 20th.
Covering lots of water and looking into every spot is the best bet right now.
Fishing Report - September 10 2014
Back to the river!!
My big water season ended last week and I ran a few trips on the Pere Marquette, floating from Rainbow rapids to Custer in a matter of 3 days...thats a ton of water...the fish numbers are very thin. But the lower in the system we got, the more fish we saw. Hopefully this weeks cooler temps and rain get a good surge of fish coming.
Have fun on the river and please respect the resource. Look for reports to be much more consistent now for the fall.
If you are looking for a fall steelhead trip, let me know asap. Open dates are going fast.
Fishing Report - July 20 2014
Wow...its been a month since I posted...
The smallmouth fishing on the muskegon is going well, especially early and during the week. Weekends have been over run with traffic and the fish seem to notice. Sub surface throwing streamers can bring out the odd nice trout as well. Look for topwater fishing to get better as the water warms this week.
As we roll into August my calender is filling up with charters on the big lake, I do still have openigs if you are looking to get into some Great Lakes Salmon and Trout.
Fall dates are filling up, if you are thinking of setting a date with me on the river for Salmon of Steelhead its time to make the call, November is almost full.
Fishing Report - June 20 2014
Sorry for the lapse in reports.
The truth is that as the steelhead season ended I was super busy buying a new boat for my Ludington charter fishing business. Then had to get it ready to put in the water, go through the inspection process and a couple weeks of getting everything set up.
I did manage to fish a few days and ran some trips on both the PM and Muskegon as well as a few charters. The river fishing has been great this year. The hatches have been heavy and consistent. The Muskegon river is giving up big trout and some big smallmouth bass.
If a full day trip does not fit your schedule, we are running half day trips for only $275 1-2 anglers with drinks and snacks provided.
If you are looking for something different than the river, we also offer charter fishing in Ludington,Mi. www.hattrickfishing.com
Fishing Report - April 26 2014
Happy Trout opener!!
The Muskegon has fished well this past week, although water clarity has played a role. Water temps have offset the effects of the high dirty water. Steelhead are available in good numbers in the runs and popular spawning areas..Look for the fishing to be great for another few weeks as the long cold winter pushed the peak back a few weeks.
I still have openings May 5-8 and depending on the fish numbers May 12-?
Pictured (April 26) is a great friend and client Greg with one of the most impressive steelhead I have seen in a long time!!! Although the fish only weighed 16 pounds it had the body of a fish much larger. (Had this fish been caught fresh from the lake it would have pushed over 20 lbs, I have seen untold thousands of fish in my 22 yr guiding career but not many were this impressive.
Nice job Greg!!!!! Great "Kicker" fish to top off 3 awesome days of fishing.
Fishing Report - April 14 2014
And here I though we had dodged a major bullet this year....mother nature is a cold cold woman!!! We have recieved anywhere from 3-6 inches of rain the last 48 hours and all local rivers are blown out and un fishable for a few days now. All launches are closed on the Muskegon river.
The good news is that the river is still cold and the fishing should be just fine when the water drops, look for reports to resume when the launches re open and the water clears a bit.
Fishing Report - April 10 2014
Finally a little spring weather has shown up....now if only the fish thought so. Water temps are still quite low in the Muskegon River. Hovering between 34-36 most days. With the pond and Muskegon lake still frozen..we are just seeing a trickle of fresh fish, this should change once we get rid of all the ice around.
Float fishing has still been the best,hands down. The fish have moved into slower pools and current seams for the most part and float fishing allows us to target these areas the best.
The good news is that we should see some great fishing well into May, so if you are still interested in getting some steelheading in, I do have plenty of openings in May.
Due to cancelation April 22 is now open....prime date!!
Fishing Report - March 26 2014
Spring weather will be here is another day or three...The fishing is still pretty much in winter mode. Water temps and levels have what fresh fish there are in the system in lock down mode....just a slow trickle of chromers....mostly colored males and fat pre spawn hens.
Look for river levels to rise finally next wee and the run to kick in big time. Floatfishing is still my prefered method for covering tons of water and getting the biters.
Fishing Report - March 15 2014
The calendar says mid march, but temps and river conditions are showing like mid- winter. Water temps are cold,clear and the fish are in winter mode for sure. We did see a small batch of fresher fish a week or so ago. But for the most part we are catching fall/ winter holdovers.
Ice in the rivers,guides and at the boat launches has pushed back early moring starts many many days. The cloudy overcast days and low light periods of the clear bright days have been best. The bite has just about shut off when the sun gets above the trees,making those morning hookups that much more important on the clear days.
Despite the minor thaws and melts the river levels have remained low and clear. Light lines and smaller baits are the best option. We have been floatfishing for the most part,But chuck and duck nymphing will get a few with a little patience and good long drifts.
Fishing Report - Feb 26 2014
Just a quick update today...
The fishing last week was great, the fish are well rested and ready to snap when the weather permits us to hit the river. This weeks big freeze will give the fish a much needed rest after we hammered them pretty hard. Look for the fishing to be great again once we get through this arctic blast.
I still have openings for this spring for anyone looking to get on the water. I'm hoping that we see the size of the spring fish similar to those that we saw last fall.
Half day trips thru March 10--- $200 for 1-2 anglers
Fishing Report - Feb 10 2014
As you can se we have made it out several times in the last week, we found the fishing to be very good in some areas...and lesser fish in some very prime winter spots.
We landed some really nice winter males pushing into the high teens. All of the fish seem to be winter holdovers, but a few fresher females were landed.
I have the cure for cabin fever for those that are infected and need to shake the winter blues...Your steelhead are waiting.
Floatfishing with eggs...is pretty much the only way to go when its this cold out.
Fishing Report - Jan 29 2014
Ok Im pretty sure everyone is with me on this one....its time for old man winter to kick the bucket and move on...Its very rare for me to say I'm ready for spring, because I enjoy winter steelheading so much, but enough is enough...its time to move on and spring cant come too soon.
The truth is I think I'm on my longest fishless streak in forever....I just have not felt like hitting the water with temps in the single digits and wind chills below zero!
Im sure the fishing will be great as soon as I get back to the river,the fish are well rested and should be pretty dumb again, with very little food in the rivers this time of year, our offerings should look very tempting.
So...look for a warm up, get your dates booked and lets fish!!!
Its time to get those warm spring guide trips locked in as well.
Fishing Report - Jan 4 2014
I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year.
I wish I could tell you I have been on the water every day....I really do wish I could, but....I cant. The weather these last two weeks has been frigid to say the least.
I did get out this past saturday, with the short break in the weather we had, and we had a pretty good day. We were float fishing and covered a bunch of water,looking for the hungry fish and moving on.
It looks like we have a good break in the weather coming in a few days, if you need to shake those winter blues please give us a call and get on the water. The fishing should be great!
Its also a good time to get those spring dates booked.
Fishing Report - Dec 16 2013
Just a quick update today....
Winter has arrived in force in West Michigan for sure...the river is blanketed in a thick layer of white snow and the steelhead are sporting thier Christmas colors as well. Wildlife has been pretty active as well.
The fish have pretty much moved into their winter lies. The fishing is still pretty good if you know where to look and how to present your offering, The water is getting very cold and crystal clear. Its now time to downsize your offering. Lighter lines, smaller flies and smaller baits seem to be working best.
The fishing should be pretty goood from here on out with the number of fish in our rivers, Weather conditions as well as accessing the launches may be trying at times, but the hard work is worth it for sure.
Its time to put those snow shovels down and give us a call for some fantastic winter steelhead fishing, YES....we do have heated boats.
We do offer Gift certificates for those still looking for a great holiday gift. Both 1/2 day as well as full day trips available.
Fishing Report - November 28 2013
Just wanted to say "thank you" to all of the wonderfull friends that I have made over the last 21 years as a river guide. Without your support and confidence in booking me for your river fishing adventures, I would not be able to do what I love. I am very very thankfull for your continued support.
As for the fishing...It is still going great on the river. The fish are moving into their winter spots. Look for current speed and bottom cover to make an impact on where the fish are sitting.
All signs point to this winter fishing great...still plenty of time to get in on the action. Winter 1/2 day specials will be starting soon.
Fishing Report - Nov 17 2013
The good steelhead fishing continues.....
We are having a really good season on west Michigan rivers. The fish are moving into their winter lies for sure, still some bright fish in the faster water, but the winter holding spots are giving up some fish as well.
This winter should fish very well.
Look for this weekends rain to bring up another shot of fish this coming week.
December openings as well.
Fishing Report - Nov. 5 2013
Is there a better fish to catch??? Not in Michigan!!!!
Not much has changed....the fish are spreading out...making it more important to cover more water. Although some key spots are good all day it seems.
Fishing Report - October 28 2013
The steelhead fishing continues to impress me !! I have not seen fish this big since 1999. The fishing should stay great all through the winter.
A good amount of rain is forecasted for later this week, look for even more chrome fish to storm the rivers in the coming days.
I still have some great days available for fall steelhead.
Fishing Report - October 22 2013
As you can see we have been targeting steelhead for the last couple weeks or so, and the fishing has been decent for this time of year.
The fish are running a few pounds over their average size for their legnths. So far I have weighted a few fish that were 13lbs or slightly over....this is awesome! These fish are very aggressive and mean this time of year. Truly the very best steelhead fishing of the year.
I still have a few openings between now and the end of November.
Oct 26,28,31 is what I have left in October.
Fishing Report - Oct 6 2013
October has arrived...the month of transition for my guide service. I will be finishing up on the PM this week, and changing over to my home river the Muskegon.
The Salmon run is still going pretty strong on both the PM and the Muskegon. The fish on the PM are spawning for the most part, the Muskegon river fish are spread through out the runs and spawning gravel. There are a few steelhead in key spots in both rivers.
I am really looking forward to the next 8 weeks as we should see some really nice fish...the Kings were large this season, we should see some impressive steelhead as well.
Check us out on FB for more fishing reports and photos,
Still some good dates available if your looking for some fall fishing.
Fishing Report - Sept 13 2013
The fishing on the PM has been pretty decent the last week or so, this weeks rains have shuffled the deck a bit, as far as the fish in the mid sections, some pools that were fishing great have thinned out,others have gotten better. The key has been covering water and trying to figure out how far the fish have moved.
The upper sections are seeing good numbers of spawning fish for those that are into that.
The lower river is still producing fish on skein and crankbaits,some days spinners have worked well.
These cooler nights should get the movement cranking again after this weeks hot spell.
Due to a few cancelations,I still have some prime dates open this fall for salmon...steelhead dates are starting to fill up.
Fishing Report - Sept 5 2013
Back to the rivers .....
Tomorrow I start guiding on the rivers for Salmon on the PM.
I have been out throwing hardware a couple times and have had mixed results. There are salmon spread throughout the system.
Look for much more updates in the coming days and weeks. I still have some prime dates open for salmon as well as steelhead this fall.
Fishing Report - Aug 5 2013
Updated guide trip rates and options should be up soon
Full days 1-2 anglers with lunch $450
Full days 1-2 anglers no lunch $400
Although it hasnt been the typical hot steamy summer....the days are flying by. I have been very busy on the lake and have not spent much time on the rivers. Although I have heard many many reports of Kings entering all the major rivers.
The cool lake temps and north winds have pushed several small pushes of Kings into the PM and Manistee systems. Early Kings are the best river quarry you can find.
Casting hardware or drifting gobs of fresh skein will get these early runners to go!!!! Hold on because the fish are running very large this year.
We should see kings pushing the 30lb mark this year for sure....I ave not seen a 30lb king in the rivers since 1999...it should be very interesting this year on the rivers.
Another three weeks on the lake and I will be switching gears towards the rivers the first week of September.
Plenty of open dates for September and October Kings...Fall steelhead season is right around the corner as well...time to book those dates.