The Best of Muskie Country

  • By: Brad Bohen
  • Photography by: Tosh Brown
Towee Boats - Guide tested skiffs.   

Click image for slideshow.

  • Best Place to Catch Your First Muskie
  • Best Place For A 50-Pounder
  • One River For Eternity
  • One Fly For Eternity
  • Must-Have Meal
  • Best Bar
  • Best Nightlife

Muskie Tribe

  • By: Brad Bohen
  • Photography by: Tosh Brown
brad_bohen_muskie_tribe.jpg 

Click image for slideshow.

I used to be a blissfully happy trout angler living a normal life in southwest Montana, catching dozens of fish a day on tiny dries or great big streamers. I had a job, a life, a routine. Now I’m a bachelor living in the Wisconsin northwoods, packing a fly box the size of a briefcase, and I’m happy when I boat a single fish in a long day on the water. My only routine is treating chronically slashed-up hands and healing my pride after it is trounced by what has become the focus of my life—the muskellunge.

So why did I give up trout and take on this highly predatory and confounding fish? The answer is this: The pull of my home state was too strong to ignore, and I wanted to rediscover myself, find my soul, on the water, while mastering what many considered an impossible task—regularly taking muskie with flies.

Presentation

  • Photography by: Tosh Brown
Tosh Brown Fmt

Blake Brown takes his shot at “cruising” carp near Spofford, Texas.

Blowing it Up

  • By: Robert S Tomes
  • Photography by: Tosh Brown
Blowing It Up    

Click image for slideshow.

Whether you realize it or not, modern fly-fishing is guided by an age-old code of conduct with specific rules that help you catch more fish and, in some cases, keep the peace. Among those rules: don’t spook the fish; don’t drag your fly; keep your tip up; let the fish run; and never, ever give away a friend’s secret spot.

That’s all true in the world of trout, but in the Midwest and its emerging world of muskie fly-fishing, anglers are smashing those rules by blending elements of conventional and saltwater techniques, including big flies and figure-eight retrieves, to take muskie, with regularity, on flies.

Wildlife Encounters

  • By: John Gierach
  • Photography by: Jeff Edvalds
  • , Cathy Beck
  • , Barry Beck
  • and Jim Klug
Grizzly Angler

You naturally think of bears first. Whether they’re seen from a safe distance or they’re uncomfortably close, you have a visceral response. “That thing could kill me,” is how you’d verbalize it, although the emotion itself predates language.

Winter North Vs. South

  • By: Greg Keeler
  • , Bruce Smithhammer
  • , MIles Nolte
  • and Will Rice
  • Photography by: Louis Cahill
  • , Will Rice
  • , Lucas Carroll
  • and Brian Grossenbacher
North Vs. South

Sink your toes in the sand or in the snow?

Risk sunburn or frostbite?

Cast for half-frozen trout or full-bore saltwater speedsters?

Our crack angling team makes a case for each.

2012 Kudo Awards

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • , Darrel Martin
  • , Buzz Bryson
  • and Zach Matthews
2012 Kudo Awards

In my opinion, the late Jack Charlton’s legacy is that he designed and built the two best fly reels ever made. Ever. We could debate that over a single malt, and I acknowledge there are exceptional fly reels other than the Mako—and its predecessor, the namesake Charlton reels—but I don’t know anyone who thinks he can trade up from a Charlton.

Carl Hiaasen 2012 Angler of the Year

  • By: Kirk Deeter
  • Photography by: Brian Smith
Carl Hiaasen

Miami Herald columnist and novelist Carl Hiaasen casts all hues of the writing spectrum as well as, if not better than, any American author. From “beach-read” novels and stinging political commentary to wildly popular books for young readers, Hiaasen shows an innate ability to command attention from, inform and entertain the broadest audiences.

Stir Crazy

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • Photography by: Greg Thomas
op1_1374_opt_lg.jpg

Being cooped up during winter does strange things to people, especially in the northern Rockies, where snow may hit the ground in September and remain through May. There’s sanity to be had if you strap sticks to your feet and chase powder days, or can escape to sandy beaches in southern climes, but the rest of us rot until spring brings assurance that we haven’t entered another ice age.

Fab 5 Fall Hatches

  • By: Skip Morris
  • , Greg Thomas
  • , Tom Keer
  • , Matt Supinski
  • and John Holt
  • Photography by: Louis Cahill
October Caddis Serendipity

I enjoy watching friends fish, but this debacle was too much and I was on the verge of losing it. My pal Dan Summerfield had just missed, like, 15 eats in a row.

“WTF,” I shouted from my perch above Idaho’s North Fork Clearwater River, mocking our dreadful societal sway toward slaphappy acronyms, as if I were texting instead of sharing an afternoon on the water with a friend. He answered, “This size 20 Baetis is so small I just can’t get a good set.”