Bring on the July Wisconsin Fly Fishing

by | Jul 3, 2023 | fly fishing for musky

wisconsin-riversI recently said all great fly fishing days in June start early.  Well, in July they do too.  In fact today was my earliest in years.  Lots of years.  I can only remember leaving earlier back in my Freemont Lake ice fishing days in the early 90’s.  Back then I left at 2:30 AM.  Today Josh Hulbert and I met at 3:45 AM and picked up Bob along the way to the river.


fly-fishingWe had our reasons to leave so early.  First of all, the forecast called for temperatures in the high 80°s.  Number one we don’t need to be hassling fish when its super-hot by midafternoon.  Its tough on the human body as well.  The other great reason is it gets light here at 4 AM with sunrise just after 5.  In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful time of the entire day.


Josh-HulbertToday I took the oars first.  My Yeti still had fresh hot coffee I pressed at home and it is easy rowing on these midwestern rivers so I could enjoy it while handling the boat.  I took in the birds.  We watched a mink swim the river carrying a cub.  There was a beaver.  Then Josh caught this slab smallmouth on his musky fly.


musky-flySpeaking of flies.  Josh doesn’t mess around when it comes to flies for muskellunge.  He likes them big and he loves his fancy twisty tails.  And trust me, this fly looks deadly in the water!


Scientific-AnglersAfter about 45 minutes Bob took control of the oars.  I grabbed my 9-weight all rigged with a floating SA Jungle Taper line.  I switched to this line today because of the heat.  The jungle taper has the perfect taper designed for launching bird-sized peacock bass flies which means musky flies too, and the line’s coating performs amazingly on hot humid days.  Right away I was happy with my choice.  The only bad thing was I had a musky charge and explosively devour my fly.  I went tight but he came off seconds later.  Dang!


catch-and-releaseThat attack got my attention however and my focus became intense.  In the very next pool I got rocked again but this time I didn’t miss the set and a good musky was on. The excitement put us all in a spin – literally.  Bob got so enthusiastic he dropped the oars to pull out Josh’s huge musky net.  It’s a complicated net to unfold and in the process the boat pivoted over my line and for a minute there I was fighting my fish at a very awkward angle.


Currier-flyfishingLuck would have it and despite a moments disadvantage Bob righted the drift boat and Josh took control of the net.  Muskies fight hard but with a 9-weight and a strong leader we landed the musky within a couple minutes at most.  The fish measured 36”.


muskellungeI released this beautiful musky at 6:30 AM.  We’d had two muskies eat in a matter of minutes so we felt certain we were about to have a rare multi musky day.  But that wasn’t to be.  I had two more follows and Josh was pretty sure he had one, but there were no more hook ups the entire rest of our float.


smallmouthThe smallmouth bass fishing on the other hand was phenomenal.  I hated to put down the musky rod but by about 9:30 the muskies were hiding and I had to break out my 6-weight.  While I was tempted to try a popper, I had on the same Tequeely that caught me a few smallies the other day.  I started dunking it in all kinds of cool spots and the smallies rewarded me.


Currier-smallmouthOver the next couple hours before ending our float I landed six handsome bronzebacks that included this dandy that was pushing 18”.  Not a bad river smallmouth bass if I do say so!


It was another fantastic day and a magnificent start to July.  If July is half as good as June was I’ll be happy.  It looks like I’ll be happy.  Time to get ready to stay on the property for the fourth of July tomorrow.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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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!