A Really Big Muskie on the Fly

by | Oct 15, 2018 | fly fishing for muskie | 4 comments

big muskie“Monsoon Currier” strikes again.  Its not a monsoon here in Wisconsin but its just plain bad weather.  Something I’m famous for.  On Friday it was so cold fly fishing for musky that Granny and I could hardly move with all the clothes we had on.  Today was supposed to be nicer but instead was colder and snowing.  It was so bad at 9 AM when we met our muskellunge guide, Bill Sherer, Granny bagged completely out and didn’t go.


fly fishing WisconsinIt’s a bummer Granny didn’t go.  We planned this trip a year ago.  But you can’t predict the weather.  Bill and I put in at this exact spot in October 2012.  It was later in the season and it was a gorgeous fall day.  Some would look at this picture and say its beautiful.  I say not so much.  We pushed off down the river at 10:15 AM.


muskie fliesI don’t get guided much so to kick back and watch Bill rig my fly in the frigid conditions was nice.  For muskies we use big flies but not huge.  It’s a myth that you need 12” flies.  Bill’s sucker patterns are about 8” and a chore enough to toss on the 9-weight.  It’s also necessary to have a wire shock tippet which hinders the casting more.  My new Winston Salt Air does the job however and it also helps that I use the Scientific Anglers Titan Taper which specializes in tossing air resistant cumbersome flies.


fly fishing for muskellungeOnce you get geared and move down river it is gorgeous.  I know I repeat myself, but Northern Wisconsin is a spectacular place.  Within ten minutes Bill eased me into the hole where the biggest musky he’s seen on this stretch of river lives.  I was ready and the muskellunge, Bill estimates at around 42” (its not been caught), chased my fly and ate.  I strip set several times and swept my rod with all I had.  I went tight for a few seconds than off he came.  I missed him.  Ugh!


Jeff Currier flyfishing for muskieI didn’t hook the fish well enough to think there wouldn’t be a second chance.  We pulled to the side and had a snack and rested the musky.  I do this when I miss any big fish any time any place.  Then we went back and I cast once more.  The elongated brown fish emerged and ate again.  And disastrously, I missed her again.


fly fishing for muskellunge with Jeff CurrierIts dejecting missing any special fish but especially when you’re far from home.  It hurt and no doubt, inside I was stewing and wondering what else I could’ve done to succeed.  But as I stewed I kept casting to the banks – concentrating on every strip.  Only a hundred feet later, I made a cast I felt particularly good about.  There was wood on the bank.  A few weeds and a drop off.  I let my fly sink.  Then, on the first strip I went tight.


Winston Fly Rods Jeff CurrierIt felt like a snag at first.  Like a log or a tree.  But then she budged and moved upstream.  It took exactly one second for me to spurt out, “This is a big fish Bill”.


It was a big fish.  And anyone who’s been with me when I hook a big fish knows, I strip and hoist with no fear.  I trust my rod, line and tippet and it takes one heck of a fish to make a run on me.  Within seconds I had the king-size creature on the surface.  “That’s a big girl Jeff. . . that’s a big girl!”, Bill announced.


fly fishing for big muskie with Jeff CurrierGirl or a boy.  Male or a female.  This was my biggest muskie.  And wouldn’t you know Bill forgot his net for the first time ever.  But we lucked out.  This fish was likely old and it was cold and the fight wasn’t spectacular.  I kept up the pressure and in minutes we had her on the bank.  46 inches and fat!


Today was yet another example of my old saying, “Keep the fly in the water”.  I could’ve easily been sulky after missing Bills pet minutes earlier.  But instead I kept my “Currier” persistence and ended up getting a bigger fish that Bill hasn’t seen before.


Funny thing, had I caught the one I missed minutes earlier I may not have gotten this one.  Fly fishing is a weird and wonderful sport.


fly fishing for muskieI went on to miss a few more muskies throughout the morning.  None of the takes were deliberate but I’d like to have gotten the rascals.  By 2 PM the bite was over and we never saw another all the way to sunset.  It was freezing cold when we pulled out but the skies have cleared.  We fish again in a couple days and the weather is forecasted to be better.  But this is the Great Northwoods of WI.  Stay tuned. . . .


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tad Einloth

    A beautiful Musky!


  2. Howie

    I love that picture! Way to go Jeff! Now go get Granny one 🙂

  3. Jeff

    CK – its close and it being the same fish did cross my mind. How cool would that be!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!