Early Season Musky Fishing Ends with a Bang

by | Jun 29, 2023 | fly fishing for musky | 2 comments

muskellungeAll great fishing days in June start early.  Today was no different.  Friend Josh Hulbert picked me up at 4:30 AM and we headed to the river to meet up with a new friend, Tanner.  Young Tanner is 24 and was raised in the Hayward, Wisconsin area.  The sun rose at 5:15 and it was cool and damp but things would warm fast.


muskyJosh and Tanner floated this piece of river two weeks ago for their first time.  It was new for me.  Most things are still new for me here in WI which is refreshing.  They saw a few muskies on their trip so we were fully rigged.  Josh rowed.  Tanner took the bow.  I patrolled the back.


musky-artThe first hour or so was slow.  I was hucking my 9-weight Winston Air Salt.  Proper musky fishing requires cast after cast.  God knows I’ve been fishing and rowing a ton lately and my bad shoulder was feeling it.  I spent some time relaxing and taking it all in.  Tanner was throwing his mighty 12-weight with an amazing 10” long fly he took an hour to tie last night.  The set up would have killed me but he was handling beautifully.  And his fly looked insane good in the water.  I was expecting him to go tight at any minute, but the muskies weren’t cooperating.


fly-linesWe rotated turns rowing.  When I took over the sun was breaking through the clouds for the first time and we could see in the water nicely.  This river is lined on the edges with fallen trees and undercut banks.  We moved some nice smallmouth bass on the big flies but for the most part they wouldn’t eat.  But in a deep run in the middle of the river we spotted two muskies.


Northwoods-FlyfisherThese two pesky muskies paid no attention to our flies.  Like with most fish, once you see them they’ve probably already been watching you and its unlikely they’re going to eat your fly.  But we took note of where they were lying and on the next similar type run I held the boat to the side and had the guys cast towards the middle.  It worked and Josh went tight.


WisconsinIt was a musky and decent one at that.  Musky fight hard and this fish put the screws to Josh.  I had two nets to choose from.  At first the shiny greenish brown fish looked to fit in the smallie net but then after a few thrashes on the surface – it was time for the big net.  I got it out in a nick of time.  Just as I slid the net under the fish Josh’s barbless fly came loose.


Josh-HulbertThe moment went from a few cheers to a more surreal moment.  Though all three of us live in prime musky country, we hardly ever catch them.  Josh is on the water as much if not more than anyone and this was his first in ages.  He gently lifted the musky for a few photos than back to the river he went.  The musky measured 37”.


musky-releaseWe saw more muskies in the next hour.  Tanner had one steal a wirelessly rigged smallmouth streamer.  Musky teeth are too much for mono or Fluoro.  I had a small musky follow my big fly for an entire long cast but he turned away near the boat.  But by midday, when things started to heat up, our sightings of Wisconsin’s apex river predator ended.  It was time to push down and head home.


good-lifeToday was a fantastic day.  It was great to get on the water again with Josh and to meet and fish with Tanner.  I didn’t even mention that we caught a few smallies and a pike.  I guess muskies overshadow almost everything.  Time for a nice evening on the back porch!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tad


    A good day on the water!

  2. Howie

    Any day you see some fish is a good one Musky fishing! Looks like a cool stretch of River.

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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!