Muskegon River: A Fishery for All Seasons

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 trout, and warm water resident fish.

Jay has fly fished for over 35 years and guided for 26 years. Guiding in the eastern and western parts of the United States has given Jay diverse knowledge and experiences which contribute to his unique perspectives on fly fishing for a variety of game fish species.

Jay manages a summer fly fishing program at a guest ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – a role which contributes to his providing an exceptional fly fishing experience. Having worked with anglers of all ages and skill levels, Jay offers clients great opportunities to bring fish to hand, all the while teaching techniques sure to improve success on any water. Jay’s passion for entomology is particularly evident in his understanding of the intricacies of nymph fishing. Each guided trip with Jay is centered on the guest. Of all the areas Jay has fished, West Michigan is one of his favorite areas and he is proud to call the Muskegon River his home river.

Find out why when you book your next fishing excursion with him.

For specific questions, please contact Jay Allen via phone or email: 
M:  (307) 690-2962

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.

In the Spring, steelhead make their annual migration ascending the river for the sole purpose of spawning. This is the best time of the year to catch numbers of steelhead because of the the high concentration of fish in the system.

Cool water resident trout

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.