Words & Images By Riversmith Ambassador Eric Leininger
Every spring/early summer, I transition out of the bootfoot waders and spey rods to the single hand sticks and chasing the toothy critters. With that mind, I broke out the power boat and headed out. The season started off well feeding a few fish and landing one the first day out.
As the season progresses, the fish become smarter and adjusting your tactics is super necessary.
Flies - I tied a lot of them, and not all the same patterns. I found that just showing them something different can trigger a strike.Advice - work on your stripping game. No, not that kind. Having a fly that takes over an hour to tie come in looking like a clouser minnow is not what you want. Shake it up. Two strips, one strip, long strip. Throw a pause in there. The main thing is when they flare those gills, be ready and DO NOT TROUT SET. 100% of people who lifted the rod did not get the fish to the bag. Even when strip setting you probably only have about a 60% connection rate. A tiger musky's mouth is extremely difficult to penetrate with a hook. When in doubt, keep stripping.All in all the weather was all over place as well as the fish but we managed to have a great season. I'm already looking forward to next year.
Eric is a Riversmith Ambassador living in Oregon and you can read his bio HERE.