The fish of a thousand casts …and yes that is a fact

GEAR Guide

FLY ROD: 12 WT Thomas and Thomas Fly rod

REEL:  Matching large arbor reel ( I use and recommend Abel or Ross reels ) with capacity for 350 grain sinking line with 150 yards of gel spun backing. 

LINE:  350 – 400 grain full sinking line & 12 wt weighted forward  Pike/ Musky specific floating line

LEADER: 7 ½ 40-lb test flouro with 2 feet of  40-lb steel (coated) leader. To simplify: you can buy the “Toothy Critter “ 40-lb test tapered leader from RIO fly line. It comes with a snap at the end for easy fly change-out. 

Flies used:  Size 2/0 to 6/0 hook in a variety of color – My successful fly was 12” long tan with white belly with heavy dumbbell head.  Spring and summer flies for musky are much smaller, as small as 4 inches. Fall is a very challenging time to fly fish for musky, but have quality, beautifully colored fish. Spring and summer are far better, more successful times to land higher numbers of musky on the fly.  

Conventional gear:  Okuma rod in 7-ft medium heavy fast action with matching baitcaster reel , 80-lb Mustad braid, with 100-lb fluorocarbon leader with stay-lok snap.   Okuma – 8 ft 6’, extra heavy fast action rod, paired with matching baitcaster, with a power handle, with 80-lb braid; the longer the rod the easier it will be to do a figure 8 motion. The common leader for general  musky fishing is  12 – 18” of 80- to 100-lb flouro-carbon test with swivel snaps down to a stay-lok snap, then the lure.  

Lures used:  When using conventional lures – you’ll be stepping it up in size!

Aside from chucking big flies, I chucked some massive 14″ swim baits from Savage gear , and other fall-season soft plastic lures such as bulldogs, jakes, grandmas, and bucktail spinners. 

Other essentials: 

  • Warm clothing: dressing in layers is essential to being comfy for the long days on the water
  • 3 to 4 pairs of winter mitts/gloves
  • Hats and beanie/toque 
  • Waterproof boots
  • Full survival suite for boating is ideal
  • Water, plenty of water, hot tea, coffee in the thermos
  • Head lamps for low light when getting off/ on the water
  • Pack a cooler of food / eat on the lake! More time spent on the water will increase your musky hook up.
  • Dry bags – to keep extra clothing dry
  • Camera – with water-tight case.

The boat I use is a deep hull 22-ft Alumacraft Competitor 205 LE, run by a 200 HP Yamaha,  with Minn kota Ulterra self-loading trolling motor. A king of boats with full windshield, double live wells, and incredible comfort, so we where well equipped to stay on the water and battle any weather condition !