I am a person who understands his capabilities. When it comes to fly fishing there are many of you in the club who are far better fly fishers than I. One quality that I do have in my favor is stubborness. No matter how bad my fishing may be going I'll still pack up my gear and head back out hoping for better results.
This fall has been a perfect example of that. While I had a very good spring and summer fishing primarily for trout and bass the fall season has been tough. I've picked up a few fish here and there but overall the results have been a bit disappointing. Although as the saying goes 'a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work'.
So yesterday my perseverance led me to Woodcock Lake up near Meadville PA. Rich had been nice enough to show me the lake last fall when we went up to camp for some steelhead fishing. I'd had it on my radar ever since and finally was on the water in my kayak in pursuit of some smallmouths.
I like to fish a tandem rig for bass which on this day consisted of a Clousser Minnow being trailed by a purple Wooly Bugger. After catching and releasing a small Sauger early on my hopes were raised for a good day of fishing.
Then I felt that tug we all hope for a heavy pull back on the line. Setting the hook I knew something big was on the other end. Then when he broke the water I was shocked to see my smallmouth was instead a muskie!
I have never caught a muskie, not on conventional gear or fly gear. Now I had the chance to break through but I'd brought a knife to a gun fight. I was using my 5wt rod with 6lb tippet. Fortunately the fly fishing gods were smiling on me, the fish had the Clousser in the groove between teeth and after one heck of a tussle I managed to get him up against the kayak.
My next problem was he didn't fit in the net! Thank goodness for my fish grabber. I grabbed him, snapped several photos, measured him and released him back into the lake.
It was one of those events I'll remember until the end of my days. My 1st muskie on the fly.