: Tiger Musky Helllp
02-23-2002, 10:27 PM
I have decided that this will be the summer I realy focus on catching A T. M. I am A fly fisher but am absolutely clueless. I'll be fishing A reservoir and I think the primary food source is Squawfish. So please any help would be greatly appreciated.
1. Technique (presentation etc.)
2. feeding habits
3. fly patterns
4. Best time of day
5. Or anything I haven't thought of.
I live in Tacoma wash. and there just isn't A lot of people here who target them so my resource pool is kind of shallow.
02-24-2002, 03:10 AM
I fish a similar area here in Utah. It has some huge tigers, and you can only keep the 40" or above fish. They feed on perch and sun fish here, and all you need to do is fish the areas they are. One thing I will do is go to the areas that the sun fish spawn in and fish the shallows around there with top water or perch imatations. Or check out the areas in the shallows where there is grass or weeds or willows. They do a lot of cruising and will take a verity of things like clouser or even muddler minnows. Large sizes 1/0 even.... Also remember they are a toothy fish, so you have to become inventive on how to rig these flies... I have a friend who uses some steel leader on them.. I just use heavy test leaders and you loose a few anyway....:hehe:
02-24-2002, 08:25 AM
Large pike type streamers should work, look at past threads on this board for that. Pattern of the bait fish in your local waters
Look for weedy or timber shallow sandy bar areas that are close to deep water.
Would use a light steel leader and really sharp large strong hooks.
Muskys like fast retrieves, you can strip it fast enough to take it away from them.
They are notorious for following the lure and not hitting. A technique developed in wisconsin where I have musky fished is to do a figure 8 at the end of the retrieve with the lure or fly, a sudden change of direction many times works to have them attack right in front of you.
I hope your heart is OK, because these can be savage attacks
In spring spawning period try the northern shallow areas where there is cover as stated above on sunny days. Water warms faster on northern side of lake and fish will find it.
Tight lines, Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but tracks !
P.S. Oh yeah, make sure you have a large bottle of Advil ready at the end of the day, you will need it.
There is a reason they call musky "The Fish of a Thousand Casts"
02-24-2002, 10:49 PM
Heading down there myself to try for the same species soon, so any experiences you have will be appreciated! :)
I've caught many pike (and some muskie too) on gear with my Dad in Ontario CA, but haven't experimented closer to home (I live in Seattle).
I do know people who fish the Muskies in Mayfield - the chosen plugs are smaller than they use in CA - typically the 4-5" long jointed floating rapalas and such- fished around weedbeds and structure.
I recently bought a book - Flyfishing for Pike - that really helped with patterns and techniques for different times of the season.
It sounds like a floating, or sinktip, line would work for these fish and any larger water-disturbing fly with some flash. He likes his bunny bugs (rabbit strip flies) and a number of Dahlberg Diver ripoffs.
The author also talks specifically about Tiger Muskies ( he fishes them in Colorado reservoirs) - they sound like a fish of fickle temperment and he shares some of the maddening experiences he's had with them.
Cast and strip ~fast~ is usually the ticket. The author also talks about varying retrieves to see what they want on any given day. It doesn't sound like there are many absolute rules in Muskie fishing tho - get out and give it a go.
Oops . . .almost forgot. One of the things I love about Pike and Muskie?? They don't mind bright sun and seem as aggressive at midday as they are at dawn or dusk (unlike Steelhead)!
02-24-2002, 11:45 PM
This often works for me
I use a mnin-sink tip (Teeny line) in water up to 15 feet deep and a dry line in water up to 7 feet. Then cast as far as I can in likely holding water. Fastest retrieve that I can get (double hander) and then when the fly is about 15 to 20 feet away from me, I throw a large mend into the line to change direction and do this a few times while retrieving. It usually produces a strike if a follower is around, often works in shallow water as well when sight fishing.
As for flies, anything goes, my fav is the Yakka-Pikka. I think it imitates whitefish which are plentiful where I fish and it also looks like a chubb which is where I fish for muskies.
02-25-2002, 11:02 AM
Thanks FC - you made my day!!! We had long discussions on the water about how to imitate (or improve on) the classic "8" you use at the boat to tempt followers while chucking hardware for Muskies in Eagle Lake Ontario last year.
Throwing mends to change the fly's direction (along with speed) - with all those long hours in the boat it's amazing neither of us came up with that one! :rolleyes: :chuckle:
02-25-2002, 11:02 AM
I'll second the opinion already stated about the book "Pike on the Fly" by Barry Reynolds. It's a very good read and I highly recommend it to anyone who might be serious about pursuing pike and muskie on a fly.
It's hard to add to the advice that's already been given, but I'll give you a common misconception about these fish in the pike family: the fallacy that they're very active after dark. Unlike bass, pike and muskies are fairly inactive after dusk when the darkness is complete. It's usually not worth your effort to go after them at this time. Why? There's a few theories kicking around that I won't get into, but suffice it to say that your best fishing will be from dawn to dusk.
Good luck, and let us know how you do! :)
02-25-2002, 02:02 PM
Forgot, in the spring use a smaller fly to imitate the hatching forage fish in the water you are pike or musky fishing.
Thats what I did when looked that monster musky on the Chippewa Flowage, Wisconsin five years ago.
It only took me three years to figure that out.
You owe me a beer some time. I do think the smaller streamers work in the spring better. Lots of experienced musky fisherman were throwing smaller lures even in June up in wisconsin
02-27-2002, 04:30 AM
I want to thank everyone for all the great advice.When I started fly fishing about seven yrs. ago, I didn't know anyone who fished letalone(I'm sure that's A word somewhere in the world) fly fish. It has been every bit as fun as it has been frustrating at times. So once again thank you; STEELIESON, FRENCHCREEK,DBLHAUL,DOUBLESPEY,and PMFLYFISHER.
Hay PM. does that mean you are A afternoon fisher ? Any way do you have A paypal account? I can't drink anymore but I understand GUINNESS(SP. ?) is VERY GOOD. When I catch one, I'll send you the money and you can have one for each of us. That ok?
Doublespey,it is nice to know there is at least one other guy out here who is nuts enough to try to catch these fish on A fly. I have A 17 ft. sled and it is A great boat to fish out of.It's A tiller and there is nothing to get in the way of fishing. If you are serious about trying this I would be pleased to get together. send me an email and let me know if you think you would be interested
02-27-2002, 06:55 AM
No problem on the advice, I was and still am a musky fanatic, just need to find the time to start the pursuit again. Read my Chippewa Flowage musky story back in November. Will let you know what thread that is in. Have to look for it. That was defintiely in my top three fishing days.
PM stands for Pere Marquette (PM) , famous Michigan steelhead, trout, salmon river. Wild and Scenic river, holy water no kill, fly fishing only, world class fishing when you hit it at the right time. Ernest Schwiebert wrote in 1980s it was the only river in Ameriica that was instantly known among all fly fisherman by just two letters. That how it is today in the Mid West, say PM to fisherman and they all know what you are referring to. Now has an international reputation.
If anyone knows of another American river that has name recognition by just two letters, let me know.
02-27-2002, 09:01 AM
PM is a good one that's for sure, how about this, the" Big D". That's as close as I can come. It's a river in the east.
02-27-2002, 11:02 AM
Here's a couple of letters for you....
Around here, the Connecticut River is widely referred to as simply the "CT". While driving to the river in my RAV-4 SUV, I listen to VH-1 radio so that I can hear U2, UB40, REM, and EPMD. FM is always better then AM, and when I arrive at my spot everything is A-O-K. But if the fish aren't biting, I'm SOL.
I also have a CB in case of emergency or need of SOS.
Now my head hurts....:rolleyes:
02-27-2002, 01:29 PM
Thank you for adding to my education. I'm not at all familiar with things back east. I reaaaaaaaally wanted to to make some wise crack about PMSflyfisher but you don't know me that well so I figured that wasn't cool. I am looking forward to reading your link on Musky. Let me know when you find it!! The only thing better is when I can buy the Guinness.
02-27-2002, 07:21 PM
Only drink Old Milwaukee or Old Style when musky fishing in wisconsin, just like the Wisconsin Cheese Heads (locals). Lets not talk about that anymore.
Here is a current article on Pike fly fishing similar to musky, but musky are harder, they do not feed as much. If you are there when the bite is off forget it.
Need to fish weeds and cabbage beds, and sunken timber, or fish cribs. Underwater structure especially weeds and cabbage they will be around. Also cover a lot of water see the tips already given.
Could be a zipperlip secret Musky lake out there. Most people there fish salmon, steelhead, trout. Don't give out the name on the net is my advice.
Also look in the warm water section of the board for past pike and musky threads there were some in December with good links to web sites etc.
Will find my past thread on the Big Musky lost. Don't really want to think of that event again, one of those special ones it was.
02-27-2002, 07:23 PM
The Big D would be the Delaware another one of my favorite water sheds. Lived in NJ 29 years and FFit a lot for trout, smallmouth, shad.
Great river system hope it is doing well.
02-27-2002, 07:33 PM
It was in "The In Zone Thread" from last December. Stories about when you thought you were about to catch a fish and it turned out true. In my case almost true. You can also find the thread by using search engine above, type in flowage, you will get a match
Here is the story unedited. Cut and paste worked. I can't read it again it hurts to much. There is no way any fly rod would have brought this fish in, I can see why the old Wisconsin musky fisherman use to use metal rods like pool sticks to fish for the world record musky in the Chippewa Flowage and other Nothern Wisconsin waters. Where the Musky is King. They can eat any other fresh water fish for sure. Big salmon would be no problem for these girls. All the big ones are females BTW.
Yes that feeling does occur at times. Mainly when I know there are steelhead or salmon in the pool and the conditions are perfect. Quite a feeling of anticipation when you believe the next cast or two will be a hook up.
But I have to say the most memorable feeling and event was a huge Musky I hooked up with for an hour on the Chippewa Flowage in Northern Wisconsin 6 years ago. I dropped off my boys at the campsite and went out by myself. Musky fishing is a lot like Steelhead fishing. The fish of a thousand casts they call it. I was dfifting over one of the most famous bars (shallow sand and weed humps in the middle of the lake) on the flowage which is named Petes Bar. Very famous place for Musky fishing. Many big musky have pulled off this location in the last century. The conditions were perfect in late June for big musky, windy, sunny day in the eighties, with a good chop on the water. Drifted over the bar 2 or 3 times skimming the tops of the weed beds with a medium size mepps spinner. Noticed on the fish finder this large object on one of the passes. Had fished there for several years and knew there were no major log jams or down trees. Looked like a big muskie, but of course I was not sure.
Well, I was bringing the Mepps through the bar and just new something was going to happen. The Mepps just stops. Nothing moves, and I am setting the hook with 40 pound test and a medium stiff musky rod. These rods are very stiff and similar to pool cues. Get the idea very strong. Well I ran the 16 foot lund over to where I now beleive the snag is. I get on top of it and start pumping convinced it is a tree stump. I did this for maybe a couple of minutes and was just about to cut the line and tie on another lure. Well the stump starts moving very slowly and taking line, maybe 20-30 yards. Remember in Jaws when the shark starts taking the bait very slowly, with the slow click, click of the drag ? Well that is what it was like. I still was not sure it was a fish. This went on about 5-6 times me chasing the fish by restarting the motor, getting over the fish and pumping to get it to move. It would just move slowly away after I got over it and started pumping. Actually I think it was moving back and forth from maybe two locations. This went on for about 40 minutes. A very tiring experience I can assure you. Was out there by myself with no boats to help me either. Knew the odds were way against me.
I was actually getting so tired that I almost cut the line and said the hell with it. I could tell it was starting to tire since I could raise it somewhat and got a quick look at its outline beneath the surface. It was a 5o to 60 inch fish and probably 50 pounds or more. Problem is the water in the flowage is stained from the peat swamps, like a tea color and visibility is only a couple of feet down.
Finally, I just said this is it, one last assault on this thing. I knew I was finally totally out of my league with a fish. I put all the pressure I could on it, I think it just said it is time to end this. She took off like a freight train, my reel was screaming, and then I saw the birds nest in my bait casting reel which had developed from all the chasing and pumping I put on to the fish. She was going hard and I could see the birds nest coming, I knew it was over, I just pointed my rod guides directly at the running fish and the 40 pound test popped like 2 pound test. I was beaten, my reel was trashed but what an experience.
That I am sure is going to be the most memorable fish story of my life. The world record musky was caught on the Chippewa Flowage very close to where I was fishing. That was caught back in the forties I think, was a 69 pound fish which is still the world record.
The experts said there was a huge musky hanging out at Petes Bar which people had hooked but no one could land.
Was this the fish I hooked, I don't know for sure, all I know it was the strongest fish I ever had on, and will be dreaming about the experience for the rest of my life.
Yes there were some witnessess which after I got back to the campground they acknowledged seeing me fighting the fish. They really could not have helped much though thinking about it in retrospect.
At that point in my Musky career I had been thinking about trying for them with a fly rod. After this experience I said forget the fly rod for this fish and never went further with that idea.
Perhaps a future encounter with a west coast 20 pound plus wild steelie on the fly will be the event which tops this one, I hope so
02-28-2002, 04:57 AM
My knee jerk reaction would be to say," It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" However, you and I both know that is of very little consolation to the broken hearted. I bet she has A girle friend out there some where. Just waiting to be loved.
The best to you
PS Thankyou for the link. It looks really good.