The Muskellunge, scientifically known as Esox masquinongy, are known for being ambush predators lurking in freshwater lakes and river systems throughout the East Coast and Midwest regions of the US. These toothy critters are cherished as a trophy for any angler who targets them. Its one thing to catch a muskie on tackle, but to catch one on the fly….a whole different ball game to say the least. It is a common misconception that a muskie bite is strong and forceful due to their size and aggression. Muskie are unique in that 90% of their eats are subtle and feel like your flies have been stripped through a brush pile. In this tips and tricks video of the week, world renowned guide Blane Chocklett breaks down fly fishing for muskie with Brian Flechsig of Mad River Outfitters.
Tips for Catching Muskie on the Fly
- Make sure your back cast is tight and presented properly. Having a proper back cast is probably the most important part of the casting process. Keep your loop tight and your momentum moving.
- Never bring your rod between ten and two, keep your rod low when fishing for muskie.
- It is very important to not lift your rod. Avoid the trout set on muskie because this will likely result in a lost fish.
- Keep your rod tip in the water when stripping line. Keeping your rod tip in the water reduces the amount of slack created by the line. Having slack line when muskie fishing is a no no in most cases and so avoiding that at all costs is necessary.
- Make long and fast strips of your fly line until you start feeling weight, and don’t stop stripping line.
- As strange as it sounds, try not to use the rod at all. If using the rod at all, keep the bend in the butt of the rod.
The fish of 1000 casts lives up to their name as they are not easy targets to land. Countless hours and trips can be spent on the water before you connect, but perseverance is the name of the game with muskie. Whatever you do, just keep casting until it feels like your arm is going to fall off. The reward of hooking and landing one of these beasts will be truly remarkable. If you are in the mood to chase these freshwater predators, take these tips from Blane Chocklett to heart and best of luck on the water!