Muskellunge, also known as the “fish of 10,000 casts” is one of the most elusive species to catch let alone getting a follow. The popularity of targeting this toothy fish range from its crazy and vigorous fights to just the unimaginable feeling of finally hooking into one. As fishermen take on the challenge of musky fishing, they all seem to carry flies as long as one’s forearms and the heaviest of tackle. What most fishermen do NOT carry is the mental game and passion, resulting in little success. Zane Porter (@porterflyfishing) is an experienced musky angler and artist from North Carolina. He gave the bottom line of what fishermen need to do to “make musky happen” and shared his experiences on this impressive species.Flylords: What “makes musky happen”?
Zane:
 “Over the years of chasing these fish, I realized what you learn comes back only to confuse you. What the initial drive for me in my younger days was wild trout on small streams approaching them with dry flies only. These streams were located in western NC, where many stories told about musky lingering around in which these headwaters trickled down. I honestly still was feeling doubtful and uncertain regardless of the stories I heard at the time. Finally gearing up and hitting these rivers with the little knowledge I had, the truth behind these stories didn’t change my uncertainty. Looking back now, that’s exactly what was the drive. After countless time on the water; feeling I was doing everything thing right, I was doing it all wrong.

“Years later of casting and chasing these fish in local waters, I decided to chase them in the Northwoods. Making that decision I noticed that musky are musky and they just happen.

Chasing the apex of the river isn’t easy. Not just physically, but mentally as well. Over the years the number one advice I have is making the cast and swimming the fly like the fish of a lifetime will eat it. Musky don’t come easy and no matter how bad you want it you must pay your dues. Rule number one is: want it and stay in tune. Any serious musky angler will back me up on this.”

“They eat what they want when they want. These fish will make you so confused about your fly selection, as soon as you tie on a new pattern, they want the previous one. When it comes to musky fishing, when it happens there’s no reward quite like freshwater angling has to offer.”

“So what makes musky happen? Making it happen.” – Zane Porter

Zane shows his passion through his works as an artist. “I started my work when I was a kid. Hints the fact of why I play with crayons in my latest pieces.” What really influenced his artwork was the time after he began his fly fishing explorations. Follow the link to check out the rest of his work, here.

Photos courtesy of Captain Jordan Carter for more content from him check out @outgoing_angling on Instagram!

If you love fly fishing for Esox be sure to read our “5 Tips to Catch Monster European Pike” from David Royo