Active member
Sep 13, 2006

A couple weeks ago there was a thread on the OT Forum started about Muskies on the flyrod. Instead of reviving it in that forum, I'll do it here.

There is an upcoming podcast on Ask About Flyfishing about musky fishing.

Here's an article about Muskies on the Fly.

I was told a guy took a big Muskie on the allegheny where pine creek enters a couple of weeks ago...

I had a real nice muskie follow while I was Bass fishing on Keystone Power Dam using a whistler... I did a figure 8 (but without putting the tip of my rod in the water so the fly might have been too shallow). I watched him just sink deeper and deeper and then he just swam away.
When I lived in Mass. I would target Pike regularly but I can't say I've targeted Muskies enough to know enough to catch them on a better ratio than 1 per 10,000 casts...that article (and show when it's on) could certainly help improve my ratio!
While I've taken a few small muskies on a fly (including one in Fisherman's Paradise), I've yet to get a big one on the long rod. I'll admit to targeting muskies mostly with conventional tackle. I like rivers for fly fishing for smallmouth bass and many of the good sized rivers in central PA or nearby are good muskie fisheries as well (Juniata, Susky, upper Potomac etc). I always keep a couple very large streamers or divers with a wire bit tippet readily available so when I'm out targeting smallmouths I'll be ready for the occasional shot at a musky. A lot of musky fishing is lucky timing. On the rivers I frequent, they seem to be more active in the colder months of the year and are often caught on jigs by guys seeking walleyes. If they'll take a jig, they'll certainly eat a Clouser Minnow of similar size.
The biggest part of catching a musky is fishing where there are good numbers of them present. Many people have caught a occasional musky and/or pike, often while bass fishing, but there is a huge difference in fishing for them.

Sping and fall have been my best times, especially late spring and early fall. As with many fish spring represents meal time after winter and fall a gorging before the upcoming winter. I have read, and believe my late spring/early fall obsevations to be true as muskies like much warmer water than pike, optimium temp around 70*. Thus at this temp they really have to feed to keep that giant engine fueled up.

Large baits also increase chances. Sure a musky will eat smaller jigs, flies and baits, but they will move greater distances for a bigger meal, thereby increasing the chances of a hook-up. I use large deceivers, half & half's, Puglisi baitfish or Dahlberg's diver to match local forage, but white & chartruese seems always a good choice when flyfishing. I use a fast action 9 wt with either floating or intermediate line, depending on the depth you want to fish. I only flyfish for musky spring & fall as that is when they are depth more readily accesible to long-rodders.
Just a follow up note...I tried for smallies yday where pine creek enters using a white bucktail streamer. Got snagged on something sharp...line broke as I raised the rod. A few seconds later, a small/med size musky swam past me thrashing his head side to side.
The Delaware is a great place for big Musky. Last one i caught was a 52" in the frenchtown area in spring. going to hit the local lakes here since no one uses flys here for them.