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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 03-29-2014, 06:20 PM
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Default Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

hello and Welcome!! To another stupidly formed quest of mine. Backstory, there is a lake about 25-30 minutes northwest of me, they stock it with muskie and I own a 10 and 11wt rods. So hey why not!! I have zero background with fishing for these toothy fish, so its been a lot of reading and watching videos. My goals for this lake are poor ( or so I thought ) as they stock 12-14 fish in the fall, one per acre of lake. In the spring they do a shock sampling of them and the biggest they have caught yet was 52" and 47 pounds. However, no one has ever seen one outside of the conservation department workers.

So its spring, the air is slowly warming the air and water and according to reports, the crappie are starting to spawn. Why this is key is because the lake they stock muskie in, is LITTERED with crappie in the 6-9" range. I went to the lake today and it was very low and all the crappie beds and xmas trees were out of the water, mostly, and signs up saying "please do not release crappie of any size ". Obviously they need some to be eaten.

With this knowledge, I tied some big flies, a few that looked to me like crappie and then 1 or 2 in some craziness. After rigging the rods up, it was time to fish.

Click the image to open in full size.

I went to the dam, which is where I've heard from friends who has seen the muskie crusing along it in the summer time. Since the lake was so low I could see why. Holy sweet structure!! I started hucking this massive crappie fly about and freezng my fingers. Weather is overcast, ~10mph wind and about 44*. So perfect for muskie. I threw that fly up and down with no results. I moved down the dam, moved into a cove, then moved along a rock cut out bank with many dead trees sticking up.

About this time I decided well, Im not going to catch one, so I might as well cast my other fly and see if it does in the water what I want it to. I strat pulling line off the 11wt, all stiff from the cold. I make a TERRIBLE cast down the bank and start to strip it back in. As Im getting ready to pull the fly out of the water, a greenish brown log with a flat duck billed face is following it. HOLY ****!!!!! I actually got a fish to follow!! This wasn't a big fish, probably 30-36", which is a perfect size for me. I tried to entice it some more, but no dice. Shortly after that excitement and a few more casts to nothing, I was cold and called it quits. So for my first intentional muskie outing for 2 hours, I netted 1 follow! HA ZAH!! The weather is going to warm up quiet a bit the next several days, so I will go back in two weeks and give it a whirl again. Hopefully with some better results.

Here is the fly who delivered a follow

Click the image to open in full size.

Its about 6-7" long and has probably 50-60 strands of flash in it. Stay tuned for updates!!
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

Nice, better than my day raking the yard.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

Very nice! The crappies I caught today were about the size of your flies :P

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

That was the intent

There are also all kinds of crazy bass stories surrounding this lake. People catching 5lbers are pretty common, 7 lb is every now and then, and there are even rumors of 10+ lbs, SO maybe even if I don't get any muskie action with these flies, theres a really good chance for some big ole bass too. This quest will be the one chapter of my anglng adventures where Im not worried of being skunked.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

A musky follow is a pretty good day. You located at least one on your first trip.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

That's how I feel. A follow was way better then I expected.

There is also lake kinkaid in Illinois, its right at an hour away from my driveway. its is one of the btter muskie spots in the lower Midwest, but you NEED a boat to fish it. luckily a fly fishing buddy of mine who happens to own a boat is also very keen on fishing Kinkaid for muskie. So im surer we'll get in a trip with each other at some point.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

STL GEOFF Congrats! did you tie those flies? I have a similar reservoir set up here in Ohio. I can tell you that the follow will soon turn into a hit which will destroy any and all reasoning and will lead you down the path of darkness.....
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

Yes I did tie those flies. I went out mostly to test the flies and see how they swam, if they acted how I wanted them too. Well the follow tells me they did pretty dang well.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

Those look awesome and the fact you had success like that makes it even better. I see a tying session in my future!
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Zero 2 Hero?? A 2014 Muskie Conquest

Getting a follow on your first trip out is awesome, congrats!

Larry
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