We finally had some decent water levels to fish for Musky so my fishing partner Andrew and I headed out to our favorite Musky water. The forecast called for partly sunny skies, with a high temperature of 45 degrees, and a low of 37 degrees. The water temperature was 41 degrees and we were hopeful t View more...We finally had some decent water levels to fish for Musky so my fishing partner Andrew and I headed out to our favorite Musky water. The forecast called for partly sunny skies, with a high temperature of 45 degrees, and a low of 37 degrees. The water temperature was 41 degrees and we were hopeful the "Super Moon" would have the fish on the feed.
I started working over a deep pool that had a downed tree on the opposite bank. This was the site of my very first big Musky earlier in the year. Every cast and retrieve brought me visions of that huge fish inhaling my fly and I was begging the fish gods for a repeat of that day. But after 20 casts and retrieves I had no action.
My good friend Andrew finally finished his coffee and PB&J sandwich and decided he would work the tail end of the pool. He threw his big 12" fly to the opposite bank and three strips in was greeted with a hard take of a hungry Musky. The 40" plus fish thrashed and fought and ended up throwing Andrews fly. We were both dumbfounded at what we just experienced. The fish of "10,000 casts" was hooked up on Andrews first cast of the day..But these fish give no quarter and despite his disappointment Andrew was quickly back to fishing.
I decided to move down stream about 50 yards making sure I gave Andrew room to fish. This stretch of water held fish months earlier and with near perfect water level and clarity I was excited at the prospects. With every cast the visions of that huge Musky filled my mind when suddenly something big violently struck my fly. I set the hook hard and without hesitation when I heard a loud crack that closely resembled a .22 rifle shot. My rod snapped in two pieces at the hook set and I saw my top section being taken into the deep pool by the large fish. I had to react quickly and chase down the rod before it sunk into the murky depths. I pulled the fly line until I felt the weight of the heavy and now irate Musky. I was now in a battle of "tug of war" with the fish as Andrew watched on. We both equated it to an episode of "Swamp People" where they are trying to land angry Alligators by hand. But after several minutes I was able to tire the fish out and pulled her close enough to where I reached into the water and cradled her like a baby and carried her to shore. Andrew and I couldn't hide our enjoyment at what just went down but in the excitement I realized my Hatch reel and bottom section of my broken rod were somewhere in the now muddy water. Fortunately Andrew was able to find it pretty quickly and we both laughed out loud.
The fish measured 47" on the nose and we guessed her weight somewhere in the low 30 pound range. We took some pictures, made sure she was alright and the released her back to her watery home. What a fish and my personal best. We were 1-2 in the first half hour of fishing and we were both pumped to say the least.
I needed to get my back up rod from the truck and catch my breath so Andrew continued to fish. He fished the same stretch over and over but had no follows or takes. He switched flies and fished the pool again but still no fish so we headed a quarter mile down river to the next productive area,
This new area has some deep channels with big boulders and these boulders break the current so the fish will hold tight against them to ambush any pray that swims by. I lost two Musky in this spot in late Summer and I also had one go airborne trying to hit my fly but missed. As with the first spot, I was very excited and optimistic we would get some action.
Andrew started fishing the bottom of the pool and I fished the head of it. We hammered every inch of that water and couldn't move a fish. We both switched flies and tried different retrieves in an effort to get a strike from one of the fish that we knew were there but nothing.. Since it was getting late in the day we decided to fish the area we started the day at.
Andrew decided to start at the bottom of the pool again and I went to the head of it. We both cast and retrieved over and over making sure to cover every possible hiding spot. Andrew worked his way up river and I worked my way down river until we passed each other. Minutes later on one of my retrieves my fly was crushed again by a very hungry Musky. I was a mere 10 yards from where I caught my first fish earlier in the day. The fish was not happy with it's new predicament and battled hard against my 7wt Syndicate fly rod. After a few minutes of fighting, the fish was beached and I had my second 40" plus Musky of the day. My rod survived the encounter but my fly wasn't so fortunate. The head of the fly and the front hook were damaged so extensively that the fly needed sent back to the fly guy for repairs. Such is Musky fishing and I'll gladly trade a broken rod or a damaged fly for a couple of these magnificent fish.