Stalking Tiger Muskie on the Fly

Tyler working tight structure with a fly.
Taking the fish of 10,000 casts is no little feat, but to be able to land one of these illusive fish on the fly is a real treat. Over the last few weeks while the rivers have been blown out I have been stalking this fish at some of the reservoirs along the front range of Colorado. Here are some things that I have learned about these fish…

Two Tigers in super shallow water…Sweet!

1. The better the structure the more likely you are to find fish hanging out in it, not near it but right in the deepest darkest part of it. They are often so tight they can look like structure themselves.
2. Tiger’s are even more like a muskie than Muskie are; meaning they are very specific as to when and what they feed on. This means that it really has to all come together…
3. Fly Selection….Who knows! The follows that I have had have been on very sparse smaller patterns, but others have taken fish on large crayfish like the Geezus Lizzard in the 3-4 inch range and huge muskie patters that are 12″ long. The important thing is to fish what you are confident in.
4. Pike are killer trainer fish. Get to know the pike in your area, they are more willing and eager to take your offering and are more abundant than their picky cousin. Gain confidence in your gear and flies and then take that to the bank!
5. Learn where a few muskie live (most fish patrol a specific shoreline) and target them during the worst weather that you have seen. It might not be fun for you but remember the fish dont care about some heavy cloud cover and a little rain.
6. Dont be stubborn. If this means listening to your buddy who has caught one and actually taking his advise or picking up conventional gear to “find” a fish, DO IT. There are no frowned upon methods.
7. Put in your time, this is the hardest one. These fish begin to mess with your mind, with a job and a life getting enough time on the water can be the hardest part.
8. Once you catch one make sure everyone knows about it. My good buddy wears a shirt that reads “You may be smart, but Ive caught a Musky”
9. Good Luck!!!