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Michigan - 1st week of May ?

1141 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  flytyercurt
Hi Guys,

I was looking at driving up from PA and having a 5 days up there - but was wondering what the steelhead fishing would be like then in early May ? - some sites say its the peak, others that the runs finish 'late spring'.

I was thinking of basing myself near Baldwin and fishing the upper FFO of the PM and maybe a day on the muskegon and/or manistee and unless the fishings incredibly hot, i thought perhaps a 1/2 day on the Ausable for trout on the "holy' water...


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Go fish for Browns...

Steelhead fishing in May is drop-backs primarily... lame

If you are wading, stick to the PM or Au Sable Rivers...

Fishing for steelhead in Spring is like taking the fat girl to prom, settling for less...
Almost impossible to predict weather/ fish migration here in Michgan, I've been at it a long time. If it was me, I'd shoot for second week of April. Wintered over fish hang around all winter and the freshies run when the stars align, but mid way through April is where I'd start. If you are a wading angler the Muskegon probably is not your best bet that time of year, with run off/snow melt. Best of luck !
While im no expert, I have fished a lot of the rivers you mentioned for about 20 years. But I would not start any later than the last week in April. I agree with Honyuk96 I think mid to early April would be your best bet.

Good Luck

Grew up in this area and this is a bad time with run off and all. Best to hit the holy water for trout and stay away from the floods on the big rivers.
Manistee run timing is generally later than on the PM. Also will have that on the Muskegon. My birthday is in the second week of May and have done well at those times. As mentioned before, weather can have a dramatic effect on the run timing. The earlier the better but if you have no choice go for it...
As others said first two weeks of April are your best bet for a dependable steelhead run, however the first two weeks of May will also have fish but not as many. Bring your trout tackle also as all of these rivers have good resident trout populations. Been at it on these rivers since 1980. Also something to consider is that April will greater angler pressure than May unless the steelhead run is later into May like last year with the cold winter,

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I have found that the best time to fish the PM is from late February to mid April. This last spring, we fished it for a week during the 3rd week of April and the fishing was on the decline. There were still fish but they were very well educated by then. On the otherhand, we caught some of our largest browns during that week. During that time period last year the Muskegon was very high and dirty but fish were everywhere. The Muskegon is a very large river and not easily waded. By May its pretty hard to find steelhead (except drop backs) in the PM or the Muskegon but I wouldnt rule out anything. good luck
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