Journal notes from quality destinations across the country...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May Muskie

In September, 2010, I bought a thick rod and a heavy line and made my first attempt to find Tiger Muskie on a lake near my home.  I still swear that the lone bump I felt on the line was one of those silent monsters.  Of course, I'll never know.  But the idea of a big Muskie has been lodged in my mind since that time and I don't know how I let last year slip by without trying again. 

So I went out during the first week of May and made my second play for one of these fish.  After a couple hours of casting in a strong wind on a very gray day, I was getting tired.  Or maybe a little frustrated.  Or both...  I knew the fish of a thousand casts can be ten times that for a fly fisherman but I was questioning, for the first time, my ability to stick with the task at hand.  Could I really cast and cast and cast all day, likely over the course of several outings, in order to earn this coveted prize?

God may have known that I wasn't capable of such fortitude. 

I was fighting the wind as it repeatedly blew my pontoon boat in toward the brush-covered shoreline in front of me.  I wanted to work my way along and try this entire stretch so I had decided not to drop the anchor.  But that meant that I only got one or two casts in and then had to grab the oars to move back out.  At one point I cast within a foot of a several branches that had fallen into two feet of water. One or two stuck up to mark the spot.  I made four or five strips and felt the line hang up.  I didn't have time to wonder if I had snagged a branch because the line started to vibrate and move.  Fish on.

The fish flashed and I saw it wasn't that big.  I then immediately assumed that golden gleam couldn't be a Muskie and must be a Smallmouth Bass.  But I was confused because if it was a Bass then it was a big one. 

It wasn't long and I got a better look, the long body giving away its identity.  I knew then that I had hooked a small Muskie.  Small by Musky standards, that is.  He would measure 28 inches.  Nothing to sneeze at for a guy's first Muskellunge.  And I was tickled. 

I'd done it.  And on only my second outing.  I'm a lucky boy...  And I'm still grinning.

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