|Notice the heads for weight, bulk in the body, and the long feathers and tinsel for size.|
Conventional anglers this time of year make some changes to their lure selections. First thing they do is go BIG. Seriously big, one pound bulldawgs, big double 12 showgirls, the big baits are known to trigger fish so that what's they throw. The second thing that most anglers do is to start tossing subsurface glide baits. Big slow moving baits that stay down and usually have some sort of wobble that says "Eat Me" when they aren't moving. Think Phantoms and Hellhounds many times with a small soft plastic to make them even more irresistible to the fish of 10,000 casts.
So what can we take away from this information to help us when we're chucking a pile of feathers at this amazing fish? First thing is you have to throw your big patterns. For me this means fly patterns that require the use of a 12 weight rod and reel. Another thing you need to consider is that it's time to start using intermediate or full sink fly lines. I like the Depth Charge from Orvis, my buddies seem to gravitate towards the Pike and Musky lines offered by Rio. Regardless of your brand preference you need to make the switch to help get these big flies deeper in the water column.
|Acrylic heads or hoods add weight.|
The way that I choose my fall fly patterns is to break the fly into 3 sections mentally. First it needs to have some kind of weight in the head that helps the fly dive or swing from side to side on the retrieve. Second, it needs to have some serious bulk just behind the head so that it moves water and causes the fly to do that pulsing thing I mentioned earlier. The final 3rd of the fly needs to be large amounts of flowing material that helps to not only make the fly look big, but that will add movement when the fly is stripped, stopped, or changes direction.
For those of you that have stuck around this long let me give you a few patterns to check out. Try throwing the Montauk Monster, Bergeson's Demon, or my favorite fall pattern the Muskie Killer. Each of these flies work great in the fall because they are big, fish slow, and have lots of movement. Toss a couple of these in your fly box and you're guaranteed to see a fish. I said see a fish, not catch a fish. After all we're still talking muskies.
|One of Madison's finest being released to fight another day.|