Despite my best efforts, not only have I been stymied on lake run trout and salmon, but I have also yet to catch a musky on the fly. Actually, I may have never caught a musky, period, unless I did when I was much younger. With that goal in mind, I hired a guide.
I had fished with Kevin Moore of Muskies, Etc. two times prior. Each time, he put me on fish, though I was unable to convert the follows to hook ups. In my outings with Kevin, I had landed a few bass and pike, but was still waiting for the musky. Before I continue, let me just pimp Kevin a bit. Kevin charges noticeably less than other guides in the area. At first, I was a little skeptical, thinking maybe it meant he was a hack (sorry, Kevin). But after fishing with him, I was shown that Kevin is certainly an adept guide who knows the area lakes. At his prices, he’s a steal. He’s got plenty of great stories to share and knowledge to impart. So, if you’re looking for a musky guide in the Milwaukee area, hire him.
My prior attempts at musky had been during the spring or summer. I’d heard that fall was a great time to try for a large musky as they fatten up for the winter, so I thought it was worth a shot. However, my outing did also open my eyes to some of the negatives of fall fishing in Wisconsin… The weather may not be the greatest. It was 33 degrees when we set out on the lake. Luckily, though, the wind was dead calm.
The down side of the dead calm was that the incredibly thick fog wasn’t going to lift anytime soon. If not for Kevin’s GPS, we quite literally might have not made it to the spot.
Why do fish taunt me?
Fishing started slowly. Then, around 9:00 a.m. or so, there was a period where, though the fishing didn’t pick up, the fish activity did. There were fish rising all around us in the bay we fished. At least a couple of them were certainly muskies doing their best porpoise imitation. Not sure why they do that, unless maybe they were chasing baitfish to the surface… Maybe they were just checking us out.
Regardless, despite the activity, we had nary a follow from a musky.
A bright spot
Near the tail end of the fish activity, I was stripping in my “Skok’s Super Mushy” fly (purchased from The Fly Fishers in West Allis) when I had a hard hit relatively close to the boat. I didn’t have to strip too long and the fish came into sight.
“A walleye?” I said with a mixture of excitement and bewilderment. It hadn’t been the first walleye on the fly for me, but I wasn’t expecting it.
The non-conventional fly catch wasn’t just unique, but it was also the largest walleye of my career. The walleye was 24″, which is apparently quite a rarity for LaBelle. (See the title picture for this post.
Unfortunately, it was the only fish of the day. And due to rain and wind that blew in, we cut our trip a bit shorter than I had originally anticipated. So, my musky quest is still unfulfilled, but I did catch a personal best, and got to use some great gear that I’ll be reviewing soon.