Fly Fishing for Muskie

When anglers think of Muskie, they thing of a mean, big fish with sharp teeth that
requires 10,000 cast to catch. Quite frankly, not many anglers have caught a muskie on
a fly. It's definitely a challenge. In the right place, at the right time, it doesn't take 10,000
cast to catch one. It only takes one.

Muskie are at the very top of the food chain. They are predators that can eat just about
anything they want and they do just that. As long as your fly looks like a small fish, it has
a very good chance of fooling a muskie. If it isn't very durable, one strike will be all that
you will get to use the fly because the sharp teeth and vicious head shake of a muskie
will tear it completely up.

Various states have different seasons for muskie. In many states the season is set such
that you want get to fish for them until after the spawn is over. It's usually May or June
before the season opens in most northern states where muskie exist. After the spawn,
which takes place in relatively shallow water, the fish tend to continue to hang around in
the shallows. You will find them in about the same water as pike during this time of the
year. You should focus on the shallow bays, shallow weed beds, and the mouths of coves
and creeks.

When the water begins to get warmer, in the high seventies, the muskie will move out of
the shallow water into deeper, more open water. They seem to prefer isolated structure
such as rock piles, isolated weed beds and underwater logs and other such cover. They
will often move back and forth from the deeper water to the shallows feeding early in the
mornings and late in the day.

During the fall, the muskie will again return to the shallow water to feed. The water will
begin to cool off and the baitfish will move shallower than they were during the hot
summer. The muskie will follow their food.

It takes a lot of blind cast in the right areas of a lake to have an opportunity to catch a
muskie, but if you are persistent and have enough patients, you can catch them. They
are not nearly as difficult as they have been made out to be by outdoor writers over the
years. You just have to keep casting, watching your fly and changing the retrieve until
your succeed. These fish are notorious at following your fly and not striking until its all the
way back to the boat. Don't loose your concentration until the fly is all the way out of the
water or your will probably regret it.

Most of the muskies you catch will probably average between ten and twenty pounds.
These fish are normally thirty or forty inches long. They exist in some lakes up to over
fifty inches long, weighing as much as thirty to forty pounds.  They are very strong
fighters and usually take some time to get in.

We cover the fly fishing gear and flies that work best for muskie in a separate article. The
gear you use is very important, so be sure to check it out. You want succeed in catching
a muskie if your gear isn't adequate for the job.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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