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Dutchman 02-23-2002 09:27 PM

Tiger Musky Helllp
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.

steeliesonafly 02-24-2002 02:10 AM

Tiger Muskies
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:

pmflyfisher 02-24-2002 07:25 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"

Good Luck

Doublespey 02-24-2002 09:49 PM

Teeth 'r Us
Hi Dutchman,

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)!

Good Luck!


FrenchCreek 02-24-2002 10:45 PM

Pike & Muskie Technique
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.

Doublespey 02-25-2002 10:02 AM

Great Tip!
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:

Dble Haul 02-25-2002 10:02 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! :)

pmflyfisher 02-25-2002 01:02 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

Dutchman 02-27-2002 03:30 AM

thanks to everyone
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
An Appreciative

pmflyfisher 02-27-2002 05:55 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.


capt_gordon 02-27-2002 08:01 AM

Big D
1 Attachment(s)
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.

Dble Haul 02-27-2002 10:02 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:

Dutchman 02-27-2002 12:29 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.

pmflyfisher 02-27-2002 06:21 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.

Good luck,


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.

pmflyfisher 02-27-2002 06:23 PM

Capt Gordon,

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.


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