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Old 01-22-2011, 09:53 PM
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Default Mooneyes?

I was fishing for trout on the Root River in Southeast Minnesota, and hooked into an odd-looking silver fish. It hit a nymph fished in a riffle and fought like a champ, doing acrobatics that'd make a smallmouth bass take notice. Subsequent identification told me I caught a mooneye. It was a lot of fun, and the state record was caught not too far from there. I've been toying with the idea of taking a trip specifically for mooneye this spring.

Nobody I've talked to has any idea how to target this species. Does anyone in these parts have any tips for mooneye on the flyrod?
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

I actually do. I fly fish for them and in fact hold the IGFA all takcle world record for them. They will hit dry flys, Here we get hatches of tiny white Mayflies. They love them. I tie a small white mayfly imitation and a small white nymph tandem. We don't have Trout in the river so when I see small little swirls and the little Mayflies vanish, it's Mooneye time. They are hard on leaders though, as they have a bunch of really sharp teeth on their tongues. I don't know how big they get where you are but it is still a breakable record. I let one go about a year before I got the record, that beats my record like a red headed stepchild. I'll take a photo and post it of the flies.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

Hey I goggled them up. Found out they get to about a foot and a half. Eat insects on up
to mice. Maybe if you want a bigger one you might have to tie a bigger fly on. Match the
hatch and go with some small field mice flies.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

@robbyjoe: Here in Minnesota, the state record is 1 lb, 15 oz. So I don't think they'll be taking down mice.

@Diver Dan: Lake of the Woods? Ever try 'em in the south part of the state?

I'm most curious as to where to find 'em in current. Will they hang out in the same places as trout? Anywhere with current? Muddy flats? Where should I look?

Ever try smoking 'em? I hear they taste great.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

If you get one in the 18" zone you will bust every record around. In fact a 16" fish will pretty much do it. They are a pretty predatory fish so one may decide to take a mouse, but I would not count on a ton of action using one. You can get them on flies other the little dries and nymphs, but finding them is the hardest part. During hatches, you can see them working the surface, and generally what they are working it for. Here the Mooneye favorite food for this is the tiny white Mayflies we have hatch all summer long. Most often in the evenings. I generally try to match those. When they are really going to town on the surface, I have had people tell me they have even hit cigarette butts. They fight like a little Tarpon. They run and jump, just a bunch of fun. You almost never get them in still water, and they seem to like bigger deep rivers. I broke the record in the Rainy River, and if you look at my photos where I'm in the river, it is really big. By the way, I took the record from a Canadian on the other side of the Rainy. If you really get into them, be sure to check your tippet a lot, because they are really hard on them. Notice the teeth on the tongue of my mount. Fishing for them from a boat or float tube helps because the seem to like the middle of the river better than the shore areas. A dead drift is not real important as I have had them hit when I am at the end of a drift and the fly starts to skate. I am pretty sure you could catch them on a small skating fly like a tiny bomber or polywog. Here are some of the flies I use. I hope this helps you get started on them.
Dan

P.S. I don't take they are pretty good smoked as much of an endorsement. I think somebody good at smoking can make a tennis shoe come out good. I've let all but 2 go. This one and another, bigger that the old record, for my local taxidermist's shop. I caught them less than a week apart.

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

Wow, you've inspired me! I'm definitely going to go try for 'em over in the Root River this spring. That paragraph you wrote includes more knowledge on catching mooneye than is available on the entire internet Thanks!

Great fish, btw!
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

Your Welcome. Good luck and if you have any more questions, just let me know.'
Dan
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

This is great stuff and very interesting-- until this thread i'd never even heard of a mooneye.

Good luck to all you mooneye chasers (moonies?) out there!
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
This is great stuff and very interesting-- until this thread i'd never even heard of a mooneye.

Good luck to all you mooneye chasers (moonies?) out there!
Same here.

Careful out there though, looks like they're protected in some places- Mooneye Fact Sheet - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Mooneyes?

I am with Mark, I have never heard of a Mooneye before.

Frank
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