January 31, 2014

Musky Meat

When I was tying trout flies I felt like it was a chore just to fill my box with nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. And tying size 24 midges and tricos is just mind numbing.  When I'm tying predator flies I'm having fun. There is an art to tying little stuff but people really get excited when you show them a box of flies that range from 8-16", has 1 to 3 hooks ranging from 3/0 to 8/0,  has every color in the rainbow in it, and has more flash than Mr. T's neck. Predator flies are just sexy.

I absolutely love tying this stuff.  The best reaction is when you get the question "What do you think you are going to catch on that?".  When they hear the answer they just look at me like I got a dick growing out of my head and tell me that I'm nuts.  Nobody believes me till I show them pics.  Here are a few of my ties.

Flies from a 3 day tying weekend at Jim's Sports Center

Big Triple 16 inches



The really good ones get to ride shotgun

A couple of doubles

And of course the best view of a fly.  In the head of a fish.

January 30, 2014

Cabin fever setting in.

The winter doldrums are setting in and cabin fever is getting as real as it gets right now with this whole polar vortex thing going on across the US.  This time of year in PA the only thing that is typically free of ice and open to fish are the tailwaters.  Musky fishing in Pennsylvania there really isn't much better than the tailwaters of Kinzua or the Allegheny River. I have some plans in the works for some toothy critter action when things warm up this weekend hopefully.  Right now even the tailwaters are trying to freeze.  Here are some cool shots of the Allegheny taken by Allegheny Outfitters of Warren, PA this week during the deep freeze.

My Tribe

With the predator fly fishing movement happening right now there is a brotherhood forming across the United States that us predator heads jokingly refer to as Musky Nation.  I have friends that I never knew I had most of which I have never met but speak to each other regularly because of our common interest.   I do however have a core group of people I fish with on a regular basis here in PA.  This is my "tribe".

Ryan (He broke my arm by the way lol)
 My 2 favorite fishing partners
 Jess (She cheats and uses gear lol)
Boone (everybody needs a good musky dog)

January 29, 2014

Ruined for Life!!!!!!!

It all started several years ago.  I was once a hardcore troutbum fishing for native brook trout in the mountains of North Central Pennsylvania and the limestoners of Central PA for big browns and the occasional rainbow.

I was thinking about trying my hand at musky and pike fly fishing and had even conjured up some ratty patterns that I thought would work and one day I had seen an episode of Wild on the Fly. Brad Bohen of Musky Country Outfitters in Wisconsin was fishing with the hosts.  This got my blood going a little bit and I then bought and watched Brad's movie Zero to Hero.  From this point on I told myself I was going to catch a musky or a pike.  

So I picked up my first 10 wt at the local fly shop in Clearfield Jim's Sports Center which of course had to be ordered because a 10 wt in PA is just blasphemy.  A friend of mine Corey Siple was interested as well and we decided to try it together.  He and I went to a local pike fishing spot and were skunked after a few hrs of trying not to kill ourselves with the large flies we tied.  We had lost the battle but not the war.  

On a cold March day we decided to give it a try again and something amazing happened.  As I was daydreaming I saw a huge slash behind my fly and I nearly crapped my pants and about 2 seconds later it happened again but this time it ate the fly.  I set the hook and the battle ensued.  Neither Corey or I had ever landed a toothy critter so we were having a little trouble.  We beached it up on the bank and the rest was history.  A 36" pike which is a damn respectable pike for PA was my first toothy critter.  It would not be my last.  From that point on I was pretty much ruined for life.  When the toothy critter bug bites, it bites REAL hard.  Ever since then I have pretty much dedicated myself to the pursuit of predatory fish.  I have now caught and landed well over 100 pike and musky and even some very large chain pickerel.  I have  no intentions of ever stopping unless my body will not allow.