"The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be." --John Gierach
Thursday, September 29, 2011
9/25 Pomme De Terre Lake "Ten Weights and Figure Eights...The Quest for a Musky on the Fly Begins"
Ever since I witnessed some of the new video footage out there on fly fishing for musky I've been intrigued with the prospect of chasing these toothy monsters with the long rod. After doing a little research on the prospects here in Missouri it seemed like a concievable goal , although I fully realized the time that one has to put in for these fish outdistances all species I've previously fished for. Anything worth accomplishing shouldn't come too easily anyway , goals attained with a little more time and effort just seem that much sweeter when they come to fruition.
With the idea firmly planted in my head , and not going anywhere until I made good on it , I began searching the interwebs for all of the information I could gather. I have to admit , there's not an overabundance of info available compared to most types of fishing , it seems as though this musky on the fly craze is just getting started. My next step was to try and find a few like-minded individuals that were just as sick as I am and willing to give this quest a shot. After a couple of posts on my favorite local boards I was lucky enough to hook up with another guy from here in KC that had some knowledge about Pomme de Terre lake , one of the top producing muskie lakes in Missouri , and more importantly the same desire I had to catch one on a flyrod. Richard and I traded e-mails several times before finally finding a day that worked for both of us and from there the plan was set in motion.
First step was to see about obtaining a few flies that would be suitable for a fish the size of a muskie. I tie a lot of flies but they mostly resemble small aquatic insects as opposed to the half a chicken on a hook I'd need for these fish. Luckily for me I stumbled onto a great guy from my local fly fishing club that was willing to work up some deer-hair and EP Fiber flies for me before the scheduled trip. This guy does some great work and I have to admit that I couldn't have accomplished these flies myself in the time allotted. I explained to him what I needed and about a week later I got the call that my flies were ready , after seeing them I knew I'd made the right choice!
Sunday morning the alarm went off at 3:30 am , it didn't wake me though , I was already awake. I'd been lying there for I don't know how long with thoughts of the days adventure running through my mind , I honestly couldn't remember the last time I was this excited about a one day fishing trip. I met Richard at a gas station near his house and after the usual pleasantries of a first time meeting we loaded my gear in his jeep and were off. Obviously I couldn't have made this trip happen without Richard , as he's the one with the boat. Needless to say I'm just not sure my little inflatable pontoon is suited to chasing these fish around a large lake . We pulled into the boat ramp at the dam area just as the sun was cresting the surrounding hills.
Nothing like being on the water during that magical time of day , whether it's a lake or river.
It was a short boat ride to our first destination and the thought of finally getting those flies in the water had me sitting on the edge of my seat just itching to make that first cast. Being the gracious host that he was , Richard let me have the front casting deck first (and actually most of the day...thanks Richard!) as he positioned us over the structure with the trolling motor from the back of the boat.
We weren't the only boat on the first shallow flat casting for muskie , there were at least two other boats using gear and chucking big crankbaits. Most times the idea of others fishing on your spot isn't a good one but somehow it was almost re-assuring that there were others around , kind of validated the fact that there were actually some muskie in the lake. Not that I didn't already know this , but what can I say , I've never even seen a muskie in my life so the whole idea almost seemed too far fetched to be true.
We each were rigged with a different fly pattern and assumed the task of dilligently making cast after cast to promising looking areas. We passed the time talking fishing , not just muskie fishing , but anything that came to mind and made good conversation.
We hit some really good looking water and managed to find a few coves full of baitfish , which was one of our main goals when the day started. At one point during the day I was stripping my deerhair diver in as quickly as my tired arms would allow when I got a solid and heavy strike , I practically jumped out of the boat with excitement but to my dismay no hookup followed. Since it wasn't seen we'll just have to wonder what type fish it was , but I'd like to think it was a musky!
By days end our wrists and forearms were aching from throwing those big flies into a brisk wind with a 10 weight , even without a fish to show for our troubles we both left the water that day with a smile on our face.
One thing you can count on , we'll be back again this fall with a better plan and a little more knowledge about what it takes to coax those toothy bastards into eating a fly , neither of us is going to give up without a battle (or a dislocated elbow!).
I've always heard that muskies are the fish of 10,000 casts....guess I've only got 9000 more to go!!
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I'm also looking for my first on a fly rod! I've had 2 on so far!ReplyDelete
Sounds like you're doing better than me to this point. I think it's just one of those things you have to stick with..it'll happen eventually. I'll be checking in on your blog expecting to see a pic of one with a big fly in his mouth soon!!ReplyDelete
They are hard nuts to crack!ReplyDelete
A new addiction in the works...they are certainly worth the challenge.ReplyDelete
EMB - I guess they don't call them the fish of a thousand casts for nothing. If nothing else it's a good workout , maybe I can give up my gym membership!!ReplyDelete
Sanders - Yeah , I've got the bug for sure. Just what I need ...another addiction to suck up my time and money!!
The sickest thing about Musky fishing is the flies. They are a work of art.ReplyDelete
Richard - I have to agree about the flies , some of those patterns I hated to even get wet as they looked so cool in the box. I'm thinking they might look just as cool hanging from the lower jaw of a 40" muskie though!!ReplyDelete
thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed the story...wish I could say that I ended up being successful on that quest but it just didn't happen for me. Lost touch with the gentleman who had a boat and was willing to give it a go with me and havn't gotten the opportunity to get back at it yet , but I havn't lost hope!Delete