A good day of muskie fishing is just seeing a fish, usually in the form of a follow. An epic day of muskie fishing is actually being able to hook one and bring it to hand. My good friend Rich Hohne from Simms Fishing, Joe Cermele of Field and Stream, Gabe Schubert, Russ Gontarek and I spent the better half of last week chasing these river ghosts all over the state of Minnesota. Joe came out from Field and Stream to film a muskie on the fly episode for his popular “Hook Shots” episodes on the Field and Stream web site. I had done an episode of Hook Shots a few years back with Joe for carp on the fly in Montana, which are a difficult prey, but nothing compared to muskie on the fly.
We had follows, yes, lots of follows including one goliath fish that could have possibly been the next state record, and that’s no bull. So yeah, the muskie fishing was good if you like to see fish and not catch them. But we did catch fish, plenty of fish, pike and smallies hand over fist which kept us entertained and our spirits high, but we were looking for Esox Masquinongy, the muskie. I knew all along it was going to come down to the wire, and at the bottom of the 9th inning Rich Hohne sealed the deal with a nice 42 inch muskie. There was no “follow” with this fish, there was only EAT. Thank you Mr. Muskie for eating and thank you Rich Hohne for a perfect strip set. Thanks to Joe Cermele as well for being patient with us and letting us drive him all over the state to find THE fish!! Thanks also to Gabe Schubert, the muskie whisperer, and Russ Gontarek for supplying us with his awesome Adipose drift boat and great sense of humor. Stay tuned, the episode should be out on the Field and Stream web site in about 3 weeks!