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Stream Stalker

Muskies 1,  Stream Stalker 0

Mon, November 15, 2010

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After catching a few smallmouths on Saturday, the big highlight of the weekend happened yesterday.  My first foray into the wild world of Muskie fishing.  But not only Muskie fishing, but Muskie fishing with the fly rod.  I have only caught one Muskie in my life and that came on the Mackinaw a few years ago using conventional tackle.  It was a pure fluke thing – caught that fish on a swim jig throwing for my beloved river smallmouths.

This trip would be different.  I would be targeting Muskies on a lake that is known to have many, many Muskies swimming in its lily pad infested waters.  The lake is Spring Lake and my partner for the day was my good buddy Duane, who runs a Muskie guide service in Central Illinois.  While Duane loves to catch Muskie using any method necessary, he is also a fly fisherman who hankers to tangle with a Muskie on the long rod.
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We arrived at Spring around 9:00 and encountered a tough South wind making boat control and fly casting a little difficult.  Wind or no wind I was pumped and ready to catch just ONE Muskie of any size on the fly.  I knew it would be tough to get a Muskie to commit to a large fly, but I was hoping luck would be on my side.
Duane has an awesome boat for fly fishing.  Large and roomy with an open space design.  Sure was nice to be able to stand up and cast the long rod.
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  Almost immediately I had a Muskie following my fly.  I did not see the fish, but Duane did.  Now I am really getting excited.  In addition, for the next hour or so we had numerous Muskies rising and chasing shad.  Prospects are looking up……………….right?

Well, unfortunately, luck did not seem to be on my side.  Duane definitely put me right on the fish, but I could not close the deal.  We did try a little conventional gear – just to see if it was the flies that were not doing the job.  We put a Jake jerkbait in the water and did not elicit a strike either – back to the fly rod.  I worked hard and made tons of casts with many different types of flies, but my Muskie luck was not going to materialize on that first day.  Here are a few of the flies that I threw:
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I am not going to give up!  I want that Muskie on the fly rod!  I plan to fish with Duane once or twice more before ice covers the lake.  If you wish to contact Duane for a trip, you can visit his site at



Well at least you caught one’s attention. As soon as i get the Congo Hair order, ill send some your way, and you can make some nice Shad imitation flies. My buddy has good luck on the fly rod for Muskie over our way in the river on EP/Congo Hair flies. Hopefully i will get it this week Jonn. Frank

Posted by coinman66 on November 15

fly rod for musky is like chasing mature bucks with a dull stick…...asking for trouble smile but when i saw you had Duane with you i understood….....than guy would fish for Pike and Muskie using a pencil and dental floss…...he’s ate up!!!! in a good way

Posted by Flatlander on November 15

yes, flatlander it is a bit extreme, but I am going to get it done.  Do not know how long it will take, but you will see me holding a muskie, fly rod in hand as soon as possible.  And, of course, you will see the picture first, right here on Heartland Outdoors.

Posted by stream stalker on November 15

Jonn, what weight rods and leader material are recommended for this type of fishing? Catching them on the fly is always of interest on those rivers up north but I have enough of my own troubles getting them on the conventional heavy hardware.

Posted by Andrew Ragas on November 15


I was a little under-armed for my first trip into Muskie fly fishing.  I was using my 8 weight rod mostly.  The rod is a Redington CPX nine footer.  I had a furled leader connected to my fly line and a two foot section of Tyger Wire as my tippet.  Tyger wire is a neat product.  It is a woven steel leader covered with a plastic coating.  It is very flexible.  So flexible you can tie knots in it just as you would if you were using mono/fluoro/braid.  It comes in ten foot sections and you just cut it to the length you want using side cutters.  Attached to the Tyger wire I had a Cross lock snap.  I attached the fly to the snap.  This is done so you won’t have to cut the Tyger Wire every time you want to change flies.

Posted by stream stalker on November 16

In addition, if this fly fishing Muskie/Pike sticks with me (which I think it will), I will be adding a 9 weight to my arsenal next year.  I have talked with a few Muskie fly fishing insiders and they have told me that a nine weight is a great option.  I will probably purchase Redington’s 9 weight “Predator” rod.  Hopefully, this spring.

Posted by stream stalker on November 16

Well at least you were able to move a couple of muskies which is better than we were able to do on our last pike adventure. Good luck on you future quests for those muskies, hopefully next summer we have better luck on the pike than we had a few weeks ago…

Posted by esox_lucius on November 16

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