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Fly Fishing Articles

Title: Fly Fishing for Tiger Muskie

Date of Article: 2008-03-08

Article: Tiger Muskie:

The Tiger Muskie is a hybrid of Northern Pike and Muskie. Tiger Muskie have a long snout filled with teeth, dark tiger stripes on a light body making identification easy.

Tiger muskies are big, hungry predators that may grow to 30 pounds or more.

Where and How to Fish:

Muskies are called “the fish of 10,000 casts.”

Muskie are territorial; they stay within a relatively small area which they patrol. Muskie hide on the edge of structure where they can ambush prey. Points flanked by weeds or brush are prime locations. Logs or trees that extend into the water are also important.

In the spring, when pan fish spawn in shallow water, muskie can be found nearby, often just a few feet from shore. During the summer and fall muskie are more likely to be found on the open-water side of structure that extends out into the lake

Anything that simulates a minnow will catch muskie, As a general rule, big, flashy flies with lots of action are best.

Mayfield Lake, SW Washington - Tiger Muskie a relatively recent addition to Washington’s freshwater sport fishery is the tiger muskie, a northern pike-muskellunge cross first introduced in Mayfield Lake to help curb a serious rough-fish problem and provide a trophy fishery. The success of the Mayfield program led to the planting of tiger muskies in Clark County’s Merwin Reservoir, Ferry County’s Curlew Lake, Grant County’s Evergreen Reservoir and Red Rock Lake, King County’s Green Lake, Pierce County’s Tapps Lake, Spokane County's Newman Lake, and Whatcom County’s Fazon Lake (to date). Tiger muskies are big, hungry predators that may grow to 30 pounds or more. The best way to catch them is with large plugs or bucktail spinners fished during the warm summer months.

If fishing is your pleasure, Mayfield Lake provides a premiere recreation spot. Anglers especially appreciate the many types of fish found here. Chinook, coho, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, yellow perch and smallmouth bass are popular catches. Fishing is open year-round at Mayfield Lake. Mayfield is stocked with rainbow trout and coho salmon.

The second Tiger Musky Fishing Tournament hosted by Lake Mayfield Marina and Resort in Mossyrock, WA took place Sept 15-16 2007. Four fish were taken during the 2007 Tournament.

The First Place Prize went to the father-son team of Frank and Mike Haw for a musky measuring 42.75 inches.

Flies: Bait Fish Flies like Lefty's Deceiver, Big Woolly Buggers, say size #2, Bunny streamer #2's, and large bucktails and streamers. Fly anglers fishing for bass using popping bug have taken Tiger Muskies.

Lefty's Deceiver

HOOK: Gamakatsu Model B10S 2/0-6

THREAD: Flourescent red single-strand floss

TAIL: White hackle fibers with pearl Accent Flash

BODY: Thread (floss)

UNDERWING: White bucktail

OVERWING: Red bucktail

THROAT: Red Accent Flash

EYES: White paint, with black pupils

Tiger Muskie Flies

  • Bill's Baby Spook-A-Like-Perch Fly
  • Bill's B.P. Musky Fly-Perch
  • Bill's B.P. Musky Fly-Black-Red
  • Bill's Mr. Gills - Perch Fly
  • Bill's Figure8Sucker Perch Fly
  • Bill's B.P. Musky Fly-Chartreuse
  • Mike's Gold Varient Fly
  • Mike's Black Flash Fly
  • Uses: One of the most famous American flies (it's been honored with its own postage stamp), Lefty's Deceiver is used primarily in saltwater. However, it is a general-purpose baitfish pattern and can be used in freshwater, too, especially in smaller sizes. When tying the fly for freshwater, save a few bucks and don't use the stainless steel hook.

    Variations: There are many color variations, mostly in the wing colors: green over white; red over yellow; all white; blue over white. But in all cases, use the red Accent Flash and paint the eyes. The red imitates gills, and predatory fish focus on the gills and eyes when they attack baitfish.

    How to Fish: Use a sinking or sink-tip line.

    Handling Fish: Don't handle the fish! A tiger muskie will gladly take your finger completely off, and he has razor-sharp teeth to make that an easy task. The fish's gill plate is also sharp, and can slice your hand.

    Submitted By: Jeff Layton

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