One of Those Fall Days You Dream About

by | Oct 17, 2023 | fly fishing for musky | 2 comments

flyfishingThe worst of weather and most frigid of days don’t hold me from fishing.  Granny on the other hand, she doesn’t love the cold.  It’s hard for her to get serious about fly fishing for muskellunge in primetime October.  Today however, was a day she couldn’t resist.  Although it started very cold, we enjoyed sunshine, very little wind and a high temperature of 58°.


fly-fishingWe did something different this week.  As usual we camped, but the Ruby Van is now hooked up for pulling the drift boat.  I need to be careful at some of the steep dirt launches because the van isn’t a 4×4, but I will be and this is a pretty dang nice set up.


deerWe headed out early this morning in cold foggy conditions.  We crept down the Wisconsin roads for an hour out of Hayward.  Although traffic isn’t much of an issue in this part of the Northwoods, well camouflaged deer are.  They love hanging out in the roads so you need to drive slowly.


fly-fishingWe floated a well known musky river.  A section of it I’ve done several times now and it holds a good number of muskies.  When we dropped the boat it wasn’t Granny friendly.  It was 35° and still foggy.  She gave fishing a try but within minutes bundled up and put on the gloves and took the oars.


muskellungeI went to work with my new Winston Air Max.  I was fishing a big black streamer about 6-8 inches long.  That’s big for me but I had one of those feelings.  We went through a few spots where big fish live with nothing.  Then out of a shallow tailout came this cute little musky.  Greedy creatures for sure!


fly-fishingI fished until the sun broke through.  This meant Granny rowed for an hour or so.  While the action was slow it was just enough that every 20 minutes I’d hook up.  I landed two pike and another small musky.




One of the pike

After I landed the second musky Granny finally took the 9-weight.  While I know the first mile of this stretch well, the further down the less I remember where the fish live.  We hit most of the promising spots and in one of them Granny went tight.


Muskellunge aren’t easy to hook.  They have hard bony mouths full of teeth.  There’s not a lot of soft spots to easily bury a hook.  Its essential to strip set immediately upon the fish taking the fly and you need to do it like you mean it.




You can do all the above correctly and then be tight on your musky.  But muskies throw one more hurdle at you.  Once they get ahold of your fly they often glide towards you.  They basically speed up to make the kill, but once they catch their prey, they get happy and just coast forward.  It doesn’t matter how hard you set the hook, when any fish comes at you its hard to stay tight.  Granny lost her musky.  I saw it well.  It was a heartbreaker.


GrannyGranny was tuned in after that.  I couldn’t have fished more attentively.  She raised another smaller musky and a big pike.  But it went from full on attacks, to follows, to swirls then nothing.  In fact, once the sun got high and the temperature warmed, the feed was off.  After exactly noon, despite casting our hearts out, we never saw another fish the entire rest of our float.


It was so obvious the bite was off that we knew to kick back and enjoy the day.  While we still made plenty of casts, this is one of those rivers you can pull in the oars and let the current do the work.  These are times when its so quiet its unnerving to some people.  In northern WI most the migratory birds are gone but the locals do chatter.  Most of todays chatter was from peeping nuthatches and the almost laughing sound of pileated woodpeckers.


WisconsinThough we didn’t get a nice musky to the net, today was a gem.  It was one of those fall days you never want to miss being trapped inside.  Tonight we’re camped on a point on our river.  While we could fish another stretch tomorrow, I have a different plan.  It will be my birthday and I’d like to try for a monster!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Howie

    I can relate to Granny’s fish all to well! Looks like a beautiful float.

  2. Jeff

    My last musky day today Howie. I’m gonna end the season big!

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!