Otisco Lake 11/3


What a crazy day – very reminiscent of my Waneta Lake trip late last fall. After my unsuccessful (for musky on the fly) guide trip with Ed last week, I managed to land my first and second (both small fish) on the fly. I told Ed that I thought the summer would be the best time to get a flyrod Tiger. I also like May for easier Tiger fishing. But Ed had and still has musky fever and called me yesterday. He wanted to go today at 9 am and try his hand again. Later he called me again and told me his buddy Linn would be joining him, casting gear. I guided Linn earlier in the year for lakers.

I’d be lying if I said I liked the conditions we’d be dealing with. High sun, bluebird skies and on top of that, a late start. But a lot of musky fishermen would tell you that the best time to go is ANYTIME you can. All it takes is one fish to make your day or year or perhaps fishing lifetime.

We covered a lot of water today. I tied some large musky Clousers and had Ed throwing those. Linn expertly casted plugs and bucktails. I had him doing figure 8s. Nada. We fished north and south and places in between with no hits. Ed had a hit on a fly, but didn’t think it was a musky. Bass anyone?

One thing that made a great impression on us, was that we saw three mature Bald Eagles all flying at the same time around the north end of the lake. Sheer majestic beauty.

We were at our last area and getting ready to leave. Ed put down his fly-rod and was sitting in his seat ready to go home. Maybe next time we’ll finally nail one. I looked over at Linn and he had a fish on. “You got one?” “Yes” He didn’t seem too excited. Probably a bass. I didn’t see much of a bend in the Fenwick HMX musky rod. “Put the screws to him” I told him. Linn did and the rod took a deeper bend and bucked a few times. The fish wasn’t coming up easily, that’s for sure. After a minute or two we got a glimpse of the fish. Holy $hit! It was a BEAST! This is where the teamwork kicked in! I tried to net it (and yes my new Musky net has just been ordered – over $150 for a flippin’ net!) I could only get about 1/2 the fish in the net and the hooks appeared to be getting caught in the net. One crazy surge and this fish would be history! But Ed didn’t just stand around. He grabbed the musky’s peduncle and lower body and pushed (helped slide) the fish into the net. We got her! I measured the fish at 46″. It was a record class fish or at least looked like one. We don’t know how heavy – Ed thought maybe 27lbs or better. Who knows? We’ll never know. Most importantly, we took a quick few photos and let the fish go. It took off quickly – no reviving needed. Afterwards we all sat down and enjoyed the moment. Linn told me that the fish had hit lightly and he figured it was a bass for awhile. Wow! Musky fishing is about highs and lows. Perseverance and occasional tremendous rewards!

The photos came out great and I’m awaiting them. They’ll go up as soon as possible. Water temps were 53. Lake level is low. We were the only boat out fishing.