Somewhere In Musky Country

Somewhere In Musky Country

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.


1 comment

  • Anonymous

    Hi, Eric. I fished with you at the Goodnews River Lodge. I hope all is well with you. Where are you guiding now?

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