Dedicated to the relentless pursuit of fish on the fly. Welcome to the obsession, I hope you enjoy the pics and ramblings. If you like what you see (or really don't), feel free to drop me an email at And when you're done, get your waders on and get out there, cause the only way to catch 'em is with your bug in the water.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tooth Missile

Way up in the north woods of Wisconsin there lurk monsters. Some of the biggest, meanest freshwater predators in North America prowl murky tannin-stained water with one thing on their mind: destroying the egos of fisherman. Walk into any bar in the north woods and you'll see one on the wall. Chances are you'll hear the story of how it was caught and by who and what kind of epic battle ensued. You'll also probably hear about how long the guy fished for it before catching it. It's not uncommon to hear stories of people fishing for years just to get a shot at one. So when the chance arose to go throw flies at the mighty musky, there was only one thing to do.

Down the road we went, Andrew D. and I, and 30 hours and 2000ish miles later we arrived in the muskie capitol of the world. Of course there were the usual delays with gear, middle of the night truck repairs, and having only a vague idea where we were going. But there we were, staring bleary eyed into steaming cups of coffee as our buddy Tim Fisher pulled out his camera. "This was yesterday," he said, as he flipped through picture after picture of giant fish. "You boys ready for this?" Tim is one of the guides at Musky Country Outfitters ( and was pumped that we finally got to come up to his neck of the woods when he had a couple of days off. Some of you may remember Tim from the last Wisconsin epic. Off to the river we went, dropping the boat in at a beautifully manicured launch site that I'm pretty sure Andew was not a big fan of, it being his truck and boat. Hey, what harm have concrete and rocks ever done?

We quickly learned that musky fishing is just like throwing streamers for trout. That is, if for trout you were throwing a 10wt. rod, sinking line, and a small dog as your fly. It's a good thing we had the helmet. The first fish that came in got us going. A few hours into the float we saw a tail break the surface just a little way downstream and Andrew's fly got smashed a minute later. It was on, it was hot, and it was pissed.

With the skunk out of the boat, we pressed on, smacking our huge flies into every seam, pocket, and riffle that looked fishy with nothing to show for it. Then, in the fading daylight, as our hope of another fish was fading, my line came tight. With a vicious strip set I drove the hook home and the next thing I knew the water exploded. A missle streaked across the river and erupted from the surface. The fish tried to jump several times, with violent gill plate rattling head shakes that I just knew were going to throw the hook. Putting my ten weight to the test, the fish ripped back and forth across the river. I didn't give him an inch, hoping that the 60lb. leader and 80lb. tippet would hold, and it did. With victory in sight, Tim slammed down the anchor, grabbed the net, and guided the beast in. It turned out to be the biggest fish of the trip, estimated at around 44", and my personal best for any fish on a fly.

Over the next three days we pounded water in several different locations and were able to land two smaller musky as well as a few smaller northern pike, but nothing quite like that first day. We saw plenty of other fish, even having a few supermonsters follow flies right up to the boat, only to turn away. That was just fine, that's Musky fishing for ya. Four days, four musky, no complaints here. A big thanks to Tim Tim and Willan the flymaster at the musky shack, I'm looking forward to partying down with you guys next year.

1 comment:

Quit reading this now and go fishing