Waneta Lake 11/14
Guided Mark I. for a full day of musky on the fly. We started at around 9 am with cold air temperatures; it was probably around 39 degrees at best. Water temperatures on the lake are in the mid-40s. The lake level is low. Boats can get out here from the state launch, but it’s very shallow. We saw some signs of a beaver dam being created. If that goes across the channel, anglers will be screwed.
We had very good musky conditions to start – wind combined with overcast skies. We also had the lake to ourselves for the first 4 hours or so of our trip. Like our last Otisco Lake trip, Mark struck gold early and hooked and landed a musky on the fly within his first hour of fishing! And similarly to our Otisco Lake trip, we were unable to get any other hits or follows. Conditions did change a lot towards the last half of our trip and the skies cleared and winds diminished. Mark tossed gear for maybe two hours total at most and didn’t get any action there either. All in all, still a great day – anytime you catch a musky on a fly, you’re doing great.
Plenty of waterfowl were on the water. We also heard a loon. Some leaves were in the water, but it wasn’t too bad (nothing like Seneca was yesterday, that’s for sure!)
Mark with a fish on his 10 weight Temple Forks flyrod
32" Pure-strain musky on the fly
Mark doing a figure-8
If you enjoy musky fishing but don’t do a “figure-8” or “turn an L,” you’re not catching as many fish as you could. Out of around 8 muskies that Mark has caught fly-fishing, two came on a figure-8. That’s 25%! Muskies aren’t afraid of much of anything and will linger under a boat or chase a lure just about into a rod tip. My old fishing buddy Phil showed me a bit of how to do this stuff in the early 2000s and then I got a real “professional demonstration” in person back on 10/19/2008 (see the report!) when one of my fishing buddies at the time, Jarrod, brought his friend Kevin out on my boat. Kevin was a musky fanatic from Wisconsin and gave us a good lesson on musky fishing that day. He’s been a well-published researcher for years and spent some time on the upper Niagara River studying muskies.
A lot of credit has to go to Mark! His gear is always in top-notch condition and despite the trying conditions, he’s always alert and focused. A lot of guys miss hits and don’t even see fish chasing their baits due to being distracted. I don’t have to worry about that with Mark, and that’s why it’s rarely, if ever a matter of “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” The fish hits and more often than not, I’m slipping the net under it in short order.