Chinook Salmon - RiverQuest Charters
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Chinook Salmon

Manistee River
Late August-Late September
Muskegon River
Late September-Late October

Manistee River Chinook Fly Fishing

The Manistee River is broad, expansive water. Coursing through natural, undeveloped woodlands, the Manistee River is perfectly suited for our large jet boats, which enable us to cover miles of its clear, gravel bottomed water quickly and safely. Although we occasionally wade and fly fish with floating fly line tackle, most of our fly fishing is from the boat using deep nymphing or sink tip rigs. The Chinooks here run large and when hooked, typically challenge us to chase after them with the boat. The Manistee boasts some huge runs of King Salmon with the bonus of possible hookups with large resident brown trout in spawning colors and summer run or early fall run steelhead. The Manistee River allows us to provide our clients with consistently high quality salmon fly fishing, day after day, throughout the month, as the runs build and peak. Lots of sore arms and unforgettable memories mark a day spent with RiverQuest on the Manistee. Put this trip on your list of “Must Do’s.”

And if you are a fan of “full press” fly fishing, mid-August through mid-September brings some of the best streamer fly fishing for big fish Michigan has to offer, period. Streamer fishing for Chinook salmon can only be described as exhilarating: imagine the chase of a 20″ brown or rainbow trout; now make that a fish that is usually 12-14lbs. Plus and full of angst since it is truly the top dog of the food chain. 10wt. fly rods are the norm with 350-400gr. Streamer Express lines delivering large (1/0 to 2/0) streamers as your arsenal. This technique takes advantage of the fresh-from-the-lake salmon’s need for an easy meal. This truly is a not-to-miss fishery!

Muskegon River Chinook Fly Fishing

How can we convey our affection for this wonderful river, located just 45 minutes north of Grand Rapids? Surprisingly wild and natural in numerous locations, the Muskegon’s extensive, shallow gravel runs draw amazing numbers of Chinook salmon. Here the Spey rod is the tackle of choice – floating fly line with an indicator and two flies or flies only. Swing the Spey rod over Chinooks you or your Muskegon River guide have located is as good as big fish fly casting can get. Hooked fish typically bolt downstream forcing the wading fly fisherman to charge downstream after them, reeling and working the rod all the while. Double digit hookups are the norm, in what can be a spectacularly beautiful setting of high bluffs and ridges, crystal clear water, and shallow gravel stream beds – set in the colored brilliance of a Michigan fall day. As our home river, the Muskegon River gives us lots of space to fly fish and plenty of Kings to chase. Book early because these trips fill fast with returning clients who, year after year, can’t get enough of fall fly fishing for Muskegon River Chinook salmon.