Outdoor Articles

Explore Newaygo Year Round-Fall Salmon Run

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Salmon Fishing

September 09 2007, Newaygo Michigan- This sleepy rural, mostly farming community lies in Western Michigan, just 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids.

Newaygo County has over 230 natural lakes and 350 miles of rivers and streams, 2 huge dams, Croton and Hardy. Hardy Dam is the largest earthen dam east of the Mississippi River. The Muskegon River continues to be the main attraction for summer cottage residents and fishermen, who find it nearly the best source for spring and winter steelhead and its fall salmon run anywhere!

The fall salmon run on the Muskegon River and nearby White River occurs every fall. This fall salmon run usually runs from the middle of September to the end of October or later. Water temperature determines run time and length.

You do not have to worry about missing the fall salmon run, because as the salmon run tails off, the fall/winter steelhead enter the rivers from October to early spring, usually the end of May.


During the fall salmon run, most baits will work such as, Husky Jerks, Hot-n-Tots, Rattle Traps, Thundersticks, Lil Cleo to name a few. You should also be prepared to fish with chunks of fresh roe or spawn sacs tied with a 3 way swivel with a large split shot about a foot below the swivel and a leader tied to the other eyelet about 18″ behind this.

Not sure how to fish for these fall dandies? No need to fret here, Newaygo is home to more than a dozen local river guides. Many of these guides have been featured in nation fly fishing articles and as authors.

I would recommend these five top notch guides as your starting point.

1. Riverside Outfitters LLC/ www.riversideoutfittersllc.com or call 231-834-9155
2. Betts Guide Service/ www.bettsguideservice.com or call 231-652-3189
3. Feenstra Guide Service/ www.feenstraguideservice.com or call 231-652-3528
4. River’s Bend Guide/ www.riversbendguideservice.com or call 231-250-9745
5. River Rat Dog/ www.riverratdog.com or call 517-651-2616

A typical 8 hour float trip on the Muskegon River includes the boat and guide, all rods and equipment and a shore lunch for around $325.00 (prices vary) Partial trips are also available for around $200.00. A State of Michigan fishing license and trout stamp (all species) is required, but not included in any package. You can obtain a license from Parsley’s Sport and Fly Shop (231-652-6986) located on the banks of the Muskegon River in downtown Newaygo.

We now know a little bit about Newaygo County, the Muskegon River and its fall salmon run, how to fish em or at least who to call to help you fish em, but you will also need a place to stay. Yea, you will be tired after a day on the river battling 15-30 pound salmon.

There was a reason behind this article, you see, I own and manage several waterfront cottages rentals in Newaygo, which caters to fishermen, hunters, ice fishing, and snowmobiles and for family vacations.

We are open year round and our modern fishing cabins/cottages are on Hess Lake, an all-sports lake, and the Muskegon River.

On Hess Lake, you can enjoy 1 and 2 bedroom cottages that sleep up to 6 people each, with modern kitchens and appliances, all kitchen utensils, linens and bedding. All cottages also feature fire pits, private patios/ decks, gas grills, docks for your water toys, and one cottage even has a hot tub.

We also have a fantastic Muskegon River front cottage on over 3 acres with 350 feet of water frontage. Low cost cottages are our approach to staying open year round. You can rent these spacious cottages from just $75.00-150.00 per day or $300.00-$450 per week from September to the end of May.

Now that you have all the information you need to plan your Muskegon River-Fall Salmon Run fishing trip to all seasons Newaygo Michigan, don’t hesitate, and make your reservation today.

For more information on the guides mentioned, area information or to book a cottage, visit our website www.hesslakerentals.com or call Brent Vanderstelt at 616-604-1900

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