Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 92

Perhaps the only people who truly understand are the gluttons for punishment, the mentally insane and anyone who genuinely loves heart break. I am really not sure but I think Garth Brooks was talking about Musky when he penned the lyrics; it’ll drive a man insane. Yes the song is entitled Rodeo but we all know there are only two things that drive a man to the brink of mental stability; one of which is a tall, slender she fish, Esox Muskellunge. If a cup of McDonald’s coffee comes with a warning, chasing Musky on the fly should come with a mental health advisory.

What it all comes down to is fly fishing for Musky is a gambling man’s game. It is the risk and reward of trying to catch something nicknamed the fish of 10,000 casts. You know the saying; “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Broken rods, razor cut leaders, gut wrenching refusals and dealing with a fish that generally displays bad behavior is all part of the equation. Imagine you are multiple days in, all fishless, only to watch as a 40 plus inch beast emerges for the depths, turns on your fly, charges your offering it in an all out assault and…. at the last minute decides NOT to eat. Yup, that’s just the harsh reality of Musky fishing, especially on the fly.

So why in the world would someone keep putting themselves through such misery? It’s hard to explain to say the least but watching a dragon from the deep rise up and against all odds finally do the unthinkable and eat is worth it’s weight in gold. The countless hours only make victory that much more sweet.

Here it is, laid out in the most plain english possible. If you are into 100 fish days and something easy, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for mountains to climb, something to challenge you as an angler, Musky on the fly might be your Everest. So lace up your big boy boots, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for the ride of your life. One thing is certain, when the magic finally happens and you join the ranks of the few who have endured long enough to catch a Musky on the fly, you will never forget it.