I for one really appreciate you adding in little tidbits like this. I feel like I have things "mostly" dialed with my fly design, but you've been doing this far longer than me, so things like "suspended pause without sinking" are pure gold. The devil is always in the details....thanks for providing many of those details.
No problem. It was these small details that increased my success exponentially. As you know they will follow a garbage truck if it's in their area but converting them to a strike is a bit more detailed and nuanced. You could likely have a book dedicated to just fly design and reading the fish. They have a subtle body language that tells you how to move the fly. For instance a wide swerving swimming action while compelling is not a likely biting fish. I will normally move on after one presentation from these fish. A tail only torpedo type swimming action is a player especially if it's moving at a good clip. I will spend time trying to entice these fish. If two fish are on the fly I've never had success. I'll attempt to split them and fish for them one at a time. This is easier with a second angler. Tigers should be looked at more like cats than fish. They have a distinct and subtle temperament that can be read if you know the signals. A cats tail and eyes are a big indicator of mood and what is going to happen next. A musky's tail, body attitude, fins, and swimming motion are all tells as to how they are going to behave and approach a fly. They are discerning, eat seldom but large meals, and can go on the sleep between meals. I'm sure you've seen the sleeping musky. Nothing moves them. There is a spectrum of activity between sleeping and kamikaze. If a fish is in the more active mood on the spectrum they will eat reliably provided the fly is presented in an effective compelling manner. For me that manner is neutrally suspending, even and wide swimming, and life-like with a pulsating twitch at the slightest motion. You cannot strip fast enough to play keep away from a musky who has made the decision to eat. The pause just ensures they don't miss.
On the note of reading fish. I normally fish very clear water. Good eyewear is essential. Seeing the fish isn't good enough. Seeing the various parts of the fish and how they are postured is critical. Just observing the shape of a fish and if it's closing or trailing off is not enough to be really successful. In the end fishing for Tigers comes down to an economic investment in time. You want to ask but eliminate fishing after fish that are low probability strikes. You want to maximise time fishing for fish and in places that fish are actively ready to eat. Fishing after sighted fish for long lengths of time is an inefficient venture. Yes you will convert some. You will maximise strikes though by understanding when and where and to which fish to devote effort. Revisiting interested but dour fish at sun rise, sun set, moon rise, and moon set can be a game changer. Knowing exactly when these celestial events take place and making sure your fly is in front of a fish at that time is a big advantage. Even if that fish was complacent an hour earlier.