I have been guiding for muskies for the past 9 years. About 3 years ago I started fly fishing for them and have had a blast! My largest to date is a 42" muskie that I caught while out fishing with my dad. View attachment 35656
I just started fishing for Muskies this year. They are an incredible fish to catch on a flyrod. I only flyfish and they are my new favorite fish to chase. They like the shallows when most warmwater fish go deep and they feed near the top most of the time so the takes are very visual. I enjoy that there is no such thing as a lucky fly caught muskie. You have to put in your time on the water, learn and study everything about them to get the privilege to catch a 40"+ on the fly.
Awsome Work guys! here in WA we only have planted tiger muskie, however, I made a few trips for them with a few follows, and no fish landed. I am interested in some of your guy's fly patterns for musky. If you dont care to share publicly, feel free to PM with a few pics.
Large EP flies or flared deer hair flies on a 2/0 or 3/0 hook, 8"-12" long. Forget bunny strips they don't have enough body and get to heavy when tied muskie size to cast all day. Muskie flies don't need to be perfect they just need to be big, bulky and I like them to have big eyes.
I generally target muskies on the fly two times of the year...early Spring and late Fall/Winter. If you click on the picture at the top you can see the fly somewhat. Sorry no close ups of the fly. It is made with a 3/0 hook and is 5" long. It has a brown/gray back and white belly made from deer hair. It also has some flashabou mixed in the middle. There are also some red marabou gills toward the head next to the eyes. I throw this fly 95% of the time.
I rarely use anything larger. Their primary bait fish these times of the year are threadfin shad that are generally 2-6" in length. NDFlyfisher is way North of where I am located and shad are not their primary bait there. He is matching his hatch as am I but it is different in other parts of the country. I use a 9' 10wt. rod with 400 grain sinking line. Anything else you might need just let me know and I would be glad to help.
I did a search for Mike Sturgess on here and nothing came up?
If you want a great read on fly fishing for muskies pick up Robert Tommes "Muskie on the Fly". He is a great friend and an avid fly angler. I have learned a lot from him!
I mostly use conventional tackle with clients but have been promoting fly fishing for muskie for a couple years now. Clients are very happy with the fishery we have around my area (Indiana) as the DNR has done a great job stocking muskies into our waters. I generally put 150+ fish in the boat every year.
ND...I am fishing both open water and off break lines. Most of the threadfin shad are schooled up and are hanging in the 2-10 ft. water column. I watch out for seagulls going after them. Muskies will chase them to the surface and seagulls dive bomb from the air. I am not letting it sink anymore than what it does stripping it in (I am not counting it down).
Vince..I was just wondering, thanks for the reply. Your earlier statement is correct that our forage fish are different so it changes the game a little. In ND/MN muskies mainly forage on perch, suckers and ciscos. I see spin guys fishing deep at times so I thought I may get a tip on fishing them over deep open water with flies.
ND...if you can find baitfish in open/deep water and the muskies are keying in on those fish...get em! Use the weighted line and count it down depending on how deep they are. Try and keep it above them when starting the retrieve.
I guided for many years on Lake of the Woods in Ontario, Muskie and Smallmouth were my primary targets. That was before my fly angling days. The girlfriend and I may be relocating to Washington state and while I'm not much of a Trout fisherman, I go nuts for Bass (Smallmouth and Largemouth), Pike and Muskie on the fly. I understand that Washington only stocks Tiger's but I am curious, are there decent numbers in the state (worth pursuing anyway)?