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Betts Guide Service

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Location
USA
Postal Code
49337

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Phone
231.519.7348

Fishing Services

  • Boat
  • Catch & Release
  • Fly Fishing

Freshwater

Waters Fished

Waters Fished
Michigan's Great Lakes, Muskegon River, Pere Marquette River, White River

Steelhead Fly Fishing Adventures for Michigan's Great Lakes Steelhead, Spring Steelhead & Winter Steelhead. Jet Boat Fishing Guides for Muskegon River Steelhead! (231) 519-7348

Cory displays a gorgeous Spring Steelhead taken while drifting stone flies on the Muskegon River.
Welcome to Michigan's premier Steelhead Fishing destination; Muskegon River. 
Tom with a beautiful winter Steelhead from the Muskegon River.
Tom Coumes from Chicago with a gorgeous Muskegon River Winter Steelhead. The Muskegon River offers unparalleled fly fishing for Fall, Winter, and Spring Steelhead! 
Chicago anglers enjoy fly fishing for Michigan Steelhead!
Steelhead off anglers a unique experience using both Fly Fishing and Floats & Spawn techniques available during the Fall, Winter and Spring!

MI Fall Steelhead - Grand Rapids, Mi.Muskegon River Fall Steelhead fight like crazy! Anglers enjoy the acrobatics and vigorous fight! 

Great Lakes Steelhead- Fremont MI.
Trophy Michigan Steelhead are available on the Muskegon River during the Fall & Winter Months.

Michigan Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing. 
Float fishing for Winter Steelhead offers numbers 
of hook-ups and a unique experience!

Click here to contact us for more information about guided fishing trips, rates and availability on the Muskegon, White and Pere Marquette Rivers!

Mitchell with a Michigan Winter Steelhead on the Muskegon River.
Trophy Steelhead are available in Michigan's Muskegon River and other Great Lakes tributaries during the Winter and early Spring months.

Mitchell with a Michigan Winter Steelhead on the Muskegon River.
Plan a guided fishing adventure today! We'll get you into more Great Lakes Steelhead.

Centerpin float fishing for Winter Steelhead is unparalleled in the Muskegon River. Centerpin float fishing steelhead is the stealthy way to landed big numbers of Steelhead.
Steelhead are the only freshwater gamefish that will strike a fly savagely in in 35°F water water, leap relentlessly like a tarpon, make blistering bullish runs, and test every fly-fishing skill you possess!

Muskegon River Steelhead - Steelhead are the ultimate game fish and the "Crown Jewel" of Michigan Rivers. Like Salmon, Steelhead are born in rivers but spend their growing years in larger bodies of water. Our Great Lakes Steelhead return after three or four years, then head out to the big lake again.

These beautiful fish average 8-10 pounds and occasionally a monster close to 20 pounds is caught. Natural reproduction is increasing so join us to catch a Wild Trophy Steelhead and the memory of a lifetime! 

West Michigan Steelhead fishing ReportBetts Guides Muskegon River Fall Steelhead in November.Muskegon River Fall Steelhead - Great Lakes Steelhead migrate into our rivers in late October. These hard charging, acrobatic, exhilarating chrome bullets enter the Muskegon River in mid October while Michigan strain- Chinook salmon are spawning. Bright silver egg robbers cruise spawning salmon redds searching for free egg samples. Drifting egg patterns behind the spawning Chinook is the preferred method for taking early fall Steelhead.

Later in the the season when when the water temperature cools, greater numbers of Fall Steelhead enter the lower Muskegon River. Fishing spawn drifted under a float just can't be beat. These Steelhead are fresh, just in from Lake Michigan!!

Muskegon River Winter Steelhead - During the winter months, fall and winter steelhead stage in the lower Muskegon River below Newaygo. Due to colder water, these Steelhead group up in deep holding water and slowly make their way up river. This is an exceptional time of year to focus on good numbers of Fall and Winter Steelhead with few anglers on the River. Both Fly Fishing and Floats & Spawn are very effective for targeting these great fish! 

Fall Steelhead jump like crazy! Kara with a bright chrome Steelie.
Michigan's Spring Steelhead 
In late February, the winter steelhead move up river and begin their migration to their spawning areas. Steelhead feed heavily on stone flies, caddis larvae, and Chinook fry. During March, April and May, Steelhead begin to polish gravel and begin to spawn. During this time, Fly Fishing Steelhead is at it's absolute best!! Anglers can visually seek steelhead and make casts to the spawning Spring Steelhead. Sight fishing to Steelhead on gravel and watching them take the fly makes this an exhilarating experience!!

~ Michigan's St. Joseph Summer Run (Skamania) Steelhead ~ Nathan with a gorgeous Michigan Skamania Steelhead from the St. Joe River.
Michigan Summer Steelhead - (Skamania Strain) Probably the most noted, the St. Joseph River, located in southwest Michigan, and the Manistee River, is perhaps the most reliable River in Michigan for Skamania Steelhead. Both Michigan and Indiana, plant more than one hundred thousand summer run steelhead a year into the St. Joe River. Numbers of adult Summer Steelhead return to the river as adults. Skamania Steelhead stage at the mouths of cool spring creeks flowing into the larger main stream. Large groups of steelhead cruise clearly visible to the Chicago fly Angler. Casting the fly to particular fish, managing the drift, and watching the take make this fly fishing experience extraordinary. 

   

~ Winter Steelhead Float- Fly Fishing Guides ~ 
During the Winter Months, ( December, January, February, March) the Muskegon River is loaded with Fall & Winter Steelhead. Unlike the Grand and Pere Marquette Rivers, the Muskegon is a tailwater fishery, this means the Muskegon River never freezes. This allows us to guide anglers throughout the winter months for Steelhead and Trout. Fly fishing during the Winter is a beautiful time to be on the water with good numbers of Steelhead and lots of wildlife along the rivers banks.

 

Michigan fly fishing can be at it's best during the Winter. Few anglers fish this time of year, the Steelhead are eager to feed well with little angling pressure or guides on the water. Our guides love fly fishing during the Winter months. Michigan is blessed with many great rivers that may be fished year-around.

 

We offer guided fly fishing adventures year around for Michigan's Winter Steelhead on the Muskegon River. March, April, and May are also great times to chase Spring Steelhead. The stone fly emergence during March produces excellent fly fishing for Steelhead in March. We have guide dates available for Spring Steelhead on the Muskegon, Pere Marquette, and Manistee River.

A selection of Floats & Spawn.
Techniques for Steelhead: 
Chuck -N- Duck Fly Fishing

Rods: As for Fall & Winter Steelhead fishing in November and December, I recommend a 9'6" 8wt fly rod or a 10' 8wt fly rod. These longer fly rods help for a longer drift allowing the angler feel the steelhead pick-up. They also keep the line off the water and allow for better mending and better presentation. Reels: I recommend Orvis Big Game IV or a Tibor Everglades. These reels have an excellent drag and very fast line pick up. Spool them with a running line, ex, Rio slick shooter or 25lb Suffix mono (Neon Tangerine) thinner shooting lines cut through the water and give you a very pronounced tick.. tick as your weight drifts along the bottom. 

Chuck-n-duck rig: I use a free sliding snap swivel clipped to pencil lead, a clear bead, and a barrel (crane) swivel with one end to butt (12lb) section, the other end to the tippet. For optimal drift, I recommend a 5 foot leader (8 or 10lb) from lead to end fly, with and egg fly in the middle and a dark nymph on the end. Also note: For guide trips, you will need waders and polarized sunglasses. All gear, tackle, flies (nominal cost) and a grilled, shore lunch will be provided with all guided trips!

Steehead flies: As for flies, I recommend a large selection of small egg flies in natural colors such as golden, steelhead orange, oregon cheese, peach, and cream. Tie them in size #8, and 10's tied on a Tiemco 105, Black stoneflies in 8's and 10's, small hex nymphs, and green caddis. Glo-bug egg flies in sizes #8 and #10's, natural colors such as Golden, steelhead orange, peach, Oregon cheese, baby blue, soft yellow. Hex Nymphs, nuke eggs, dark center, light halo. ......................Nymphs: Stone flies, hex nymphs, soft hackles, green caddis rock worm. I always carry a large selection of egg flies during fall, winter, and spring for Steelhead and resident Trout. Fly Patterns for Steelhead: Click Here

Techniques for Steelhead:
Floats and Spawn

Another prefered method for Fall and Winter Steelhead is fishing floats and spawn. Fishing floats and spawn is a fast-paced style of steelhead fishing. We fish quickly and cover miles of river in a day, usually producing lots of hook-ups and many steelhead landed. We prefer to fish specialized G. Loomis 11' 3" float rods. Loomis rods are available for your use on guided trips. These longer rods allow the angler a longer drift and a stronger hook set. We also use Cabela Prodigy spinning reels or center-pins reels spooled with 10 lb hi-vis monofilment. These smooth reels allow for long casts and a smooth drag system to fight big fish.. Floats for steelhead vary greatly depending on water levels and conditions. We generally use the orange/black Thill steelhead floats. They seem to work best for the Muskegon and Big Manistee Rivers. Smaller floats styles are available for the White and Pere Marquette rivers. All gear is provided for you. We have the spawn tied, cured, and ready to fish!

A selection of Floats & Spawn. 
A selection of floats and spawn.

Dave with a lower Muskegon River Steelhead fishing Floats and Spawn in November.

This world-class fly fishing offers rainbow trout bigger than you can catch in Alaska. You can find it within the city limits of cities like Cleveland or Rochester or Grand Rapids. You can find it in rugged northern rivers that drain into Lake Superior. Although there are hundreds of great steelhead streams in the Great Lakes area, the best ones are often crowded in the spring and fall. But winter is left to the diehards who just can’t get enough. If you live in the northeast and have not sampled this fishing, you’re missing out on fishing that draws anglers from around the world. And you can go out and do it today!
 


Betts Guide Service
(231) 519-7348

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Quantity of Fish 
 
5.0  (1)
Quality of Fish 
 
5.0  (1)
Guide Professionalism 
 
5.0  (1)
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N/A  (0)
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5.0  (1)
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Betts Guide Service is BEST!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Quantity of Fish 
 
5.0
Quality of Fish 
 
5.0
Guide Professionalism 
 
5.0
Camp and Amenities 
 
N/A
Overall Experience 
 
5.0
My friend Todd spent over $600, to fly from Florida to Michigan to join me fishing with Chad Betts of the Betts Guide Service at the Tippy Dam on the Manistee River Oct. 3rd 2013. I have been fishing for over 45 years and can honestly say the trip we took was the best fishing trip of my life! Todd and I have fished together in charters across the United States, Chad is the best guide we have ever had the pleasure to fish with. His boat and equipment are state of the art and his knowledge of how to catch fish is second to none. he even taught a couple of old men a few tricks. We have already booked him and our schedules for next year….which is something I have NEVER done. We have also ridden with Chad on other rivers, his team of 4 boats has helped accommodate many of my friends so we can all have a great day on the river. I have never written a review before, but was so impressed with Chad and his team I just had to say something. Bottom line, I would HIGHLY recommend him!

Fishing Info

Fishing Date
10/3/2013
MS
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