Sunday, February 20, 2011

Musky Secrets

September fish from 8 years ago
There has been a whole lot about musky on the fly in the media in the past couple of years. There are definitely some very accomplished musky fly anglers out there that have been bringing it to the forefront of the fly community. There are new rods, videos, lines, all sorts of stuff. It is definitely cool. I have to admit it is a kind of bittersweet to me. I have been fishing muskies on a fly for a long time now. My first fly caught musky was back in 1996. I have been pursuing them ever since. 
Musky tat poking through

I love muskies. I would not have a tattoo of one on my left shoulder if I didn’t. I have been pretty careful about what I say about muskies though, especially about where I fish them. Being an apex predator they tend to have small numbers of larger individuals and can be vulnerable to fishing pressure. With that in mind I have kept my musky angling at a fairly low profile. I have also made sure that I don’t give up locations to people when they ask me where to go. I know a number of people who have been upset with me when I won’t tell them. As far as I am concerned, they can go get stuffed- it took me a long time to learn my spots and they just want to me to give it to them?  Usually these are guys that I don’t know from a hole in the ground too. 

Tim and I know where this was... no one else...

Let’s face it, musky anglers have been a pretty tight lipped community for a long time. Great spots for big ‘skies are not something you tell a lot of people about. Pressure does nothing good for these predators. I have made mistakes before. I took a “friend” to a spot a number of years ago under the distinct understanding that he would never divulge where I had taken him. About a month later he tells me about bringing a friend to the same place. I don’t fish with that guy anymore. Plain and simple- if you take advantage of me, we are done. Hell, if I had ties to some friendly, well dressed garbage types, I might have gone for cement boots too…

Hey Marty- I'm not talking- are you?

Feel free to ask me about techniques, flies, leader set ups, gear, etc.  That kind of stuff I am happy to help you out with. The nuts and bolts of angling are one thing. I want people to know what they are doing. I would much rather take you out on a guided trip to show you. But ask me to tell you where to go for musky?  Or even any other species?  Seriously?  If you are asking a guide to tell you where to go to fish for any species that the guide for, don’t expect an answer, especially if you don’t know them. That is similar to asking a guide you have just met to go out fishing with you. Would you go to an accountant you just met and say “hey man, lets hang and do my taxes!” or go up to a chef you were introduced to at a party and suggest that  you host a dinner party together?  Ever consider that you might be asking someone to do something for free they get paid to do? Good guides know their stuff and don’t give it out to anyone who asks them about it or worse, just puts it up online for anyone to see. Leave that to the guides who don’t know what they are doing…

ps- to all the great fly rod musky guides out there- kudos! Especially Brad Bohen- you know your stuff man and you have put your time into it. You deserve all the credit you get. I hope some day we have a chance to wet a line together. I have some great spots for you if you ever make it out east- get in touch!


  1. great post there drew and im 100% behind those sentiments buddy ... keep it safe man see ya in july we got some chuking to do

  2. Sadly, it's a pretty common phenomenon ...

  3. WOW! great looking fish guys! Excited to see what comes next