Welcome back to our musky fly fishing primer! So far, we’ve taken a look at the rod models you’ll need to target these large predators and also the types of flies that are effective. Today, we’ll round things out by discovering what types of spots on the water are ideal for musky on the fly.
Recognizing key behavior patterns in musky will help get you started on the right track when it comes to locating them on the fly. Seasonal patterns will play a role here. For instance, spring and early fall generally see more action due to musky’s higher metabolism and aggressive nature in warmer water. After the spring spawn, muskies tend to situate in shallower, warmer water. For this reason, it’s smart to focus your efforts on shallow bays, creek mouths, and emerging weeds.
Then, once summer sets in, musky spend time in both shallow and more open water, especially areas with isolated structure, such as rock bars or weed beds.
Once the water starts to cool again in the fall, it’s time to move back to shallower structure, with special attention appointed to steep breaks near the shoreline.
No matter the season, though, you’ll increase your odds of catching musky if you cover as many different types of structure as possible with a fly. Ideal spots for musky will tend to relate to some type of key structure. The edges of major weed beds, drop-offs with a current, as well as openings in or between weed beds that act like a natural funnel for baitfish, are all great places to look. Also, great musky lakes will most likely be riddled with areas consisting of small rock or cement piles where baitfish love to hide and musky love to stalk.
Musky love to ambush prey, using structure as concealment. This should give you a good idea of where to start. By keeping their seasonal behavior changes in mind when you seek the right kind of structure to target, you’ll increase your chances of landing a big toothy beast any time of the year.