Things have changed a little bit.
I can remember the conventional tackle guys still kinda looked at fly fishing like almost a waste of time. Well last month at the Chicago Musky Expo I could see a bit of a shift. The conventional world has seen the success of the fly. There were so many “fly-curious” people coming up and talking about Musky fly fishing. My seminar was packed, there were people standing behind all the filled chairs. It was so great to see. So many guys asked really awesome questions. Not the “oh does this really work questions”. Rather questions about specific techniques for using the fly. Situations on lakes. Cold front conditions. What type of fly patterns and why? I was extremely refreshing to see the fly game have a good amount of much interest.
Even some of the major players in the musky tackle industry had products specify for flies. Like JustEncase, coming out with a boat box for flies. The box holds all the flies on sleeves with magnets. Each sleeve slides out of the box for easier access. No more torn up foam from big musky irons. Magnets on the outside the hold drying flies and slots for your musky tools on the other. Pretty cool to see the crossover products from “the other side of the fence”. Especially one that hits the nail on the head.
I really think we are going to see a lot of guys with a fly rod in their musky boats. Using them as a tool to get more and more fish in the boat. That follow that won’t eat. That one fish that keeps haunting them. Bertha, Moby, Big Ugly, Frank, whatever they call that fish that they just couldn’t get to go. A few more big fish in the net each season is worth learning a slightly different approach.
Really looking forward to seeing what the next few years has in store for the fly fishing aspect of muskie fishing. Getting a couple more people out there trying out the fly stick. Can’t wait to see what a bunch of talented, generally lake, musky anglers can do if they just try something a little different on their favorite hunting spots.
By Chris Willen of Chris Willen Guide Service pm