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Long time coming - First Musky

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I don't post much on this board, except I actively swap in a bunch of the swaps over on that page. I thought I would post this here as well, because I landed this fish on a fly I got in a Musky swap on here about a year and half ago. Credit goes to bertgwen for the fly.


In August of 2008, I made the journey from Utah to North Carolina to fish with my old trout bum friend, Owen. This trip changed the focus of my angling passion. He guides for a outfitter in Boone and had started fish for two new species of fish. After an obligatory first day of trout fishing one of our old haunts, we set out on a two day float of a nearby river to target Smallmouth and Musky. We had a great trip and stuck many Smallies. Some of you know, I am a Smallmouth junkie these days from my previous swaps. My Smallmouth habit was formed on this trip as well. But, there was one moment that hooked me on Muskies for good. We got to a deep flat and Owen handed me a big spinning rod with a huge bucktail spinner on it. He said we were switching to Muskies and for me to try it out. About a half hour later, just as I was starting to wonder why we had stopped catching Smallmouth to wear ourselves out throwing these giant lures, two huge Muskies appeared side-by-side right behind my spinner. I nearly jumped out of the bow at the sight of these mean freshwater fish making a bee-line towards my lure. Needless to say, rookie me did not make the smooth transition into a figure 8 that may have sealed the deal, but from that moment on, I was a Musky hunter.


Since then, I have chased these fish all over the South and made 2 trips to the Upper Peninsula. I have logged my casts and had many follows. I have messed up the take and missed plenty. I have spent a lot of money in fly shops, tackle shops, Rollie and Helen's, gas, motels, restaurants, and bars all in the name of these amazing fish.


Yesterday, with my friend Eric, I finally put a Musky in the boat!!! We met at dawn on a Plateau river boat ramp to hunt for the day. Ran upstream a few miles and fished our way back down. Just above a big deep hole, I got a hot follow from a nice fish. It stayed with the fly through a couple figure eights and fell off. I slapped the fish on the head with the fly and it started following again. It fell off the fly again. I thought it was done. Eric said, "he turned under the boat, get your fly back out there!" I slapped the water hard again, and the fish rocketed out from under the boat and swallowed the fly. One moment the fly was in front of its nose, the next, it just disappeared. I strip-set and felt the weight. Eric said, "hit him again!" I hit it twice more and the fight was on. I put the fish on the reel and kept the battle tight to the boat. A few tense moments later, a 39" Tennessee Muskellunge was in the net! The fly was right in the corner of its mouth and popped right out. We took some pictures and put the fish back in the water to revive it. A couple minutes later, the fish started bucking and let us know it was ready to go.


We had good action throughout the day. About twenty minutes later Eric had another nice Musky hit his fly after a couple merry-go-rounds boatside. We don't know what happened. The fish inhaled the fly, closed it mouth, Eric set the hook, but the fish was gone. Heartbreaker!


After lunch, both are arms were killing us, so we broke out some spinning tackle. I had three good follows using a Super Shad Rap, but did not get the fish to hit any of those. One of these was an absolute giant! Onto some pictures...


River X



Alright, we've gone far enough, time to fish!



I know I have a ridiculously cheesy, shit-eating grin, but I guess I couldn't help it!



39" TN Musky



Let em go



Indian Summer



Headed home



I can't wait to get back out and start hunting for the next one. I like to think of Musky fishing as the big game hunting of the freshwater angling experience. You put in a lot of time, research, and effort for a few glorious moments.


I hope you enjoyed my post. Thanks for reading!


Tight lines,


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Nice fish!!! I'm jealous for sure! I grew up in northern Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula, and I've caught some pike on a fly when I was a kid, but no musky. I remember the figure 8 always seemed to be key with musky. I remember fishing for large mouth bass out of by grandpas paddle boat with an ultra light spin casting rod. I had this 40 or so inch musky follow my spinner up to the boat. It had a head the size of a dogs head, and being 12 or so years old, I got scared and ripped the lure out of the water (afraid he might break my $40 rod:rolleyes:). Looking back, I might have given it a figure eight. It could have been the fight of my life!


Anyways, congratulations on those nice fish!

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Congrats and thanks for sharing! I have caught Northerns on the fly myself, but have never caught a Musky....It's on my bucket list for sure!



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I'd be interested to know what fly you used for that great catch (I have one saltwater pattern that many use for pike but I don't know if it's taken any musky...). Here's a tip for the spinning side the next time you make that musky water.... try a product called Hogy (their 6 to 9" models) -it's a soft plastic eel type lure that you can rig with a single hook in the nose, we've had great success with it on tarpon (which come at it slowly and follow for a moment before taking - sometimes right at the boat just like a musky....).


Tight Lines

Bob LeMay

(954) 435-5666

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Thanks y'all. Capt Bob, the fly was basically a fire tiger colored Hangtime. It is fly designed by Brad Bohen aka the musky on the fly guy of Musky Country Outfitters. I think there is a tutorial on it on this site. I also like your idea of the soft plastic. I have been wanting to put a few of those in my box two. They can get such great action. I'll look into the ones you mentioned.


Edit - here is the link



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