The Muskellunge, aka Musky
By: Philip Short
Over the last while, as many of you know, our world has been stricken by a global pandemic. Many people have been terribly ill due to this. Even those of us who were not directly affected by the virus are affected indirectly. We deal with limitations to do the activities we normally pursue for pleasure and entertainment. One of my pleasures is sport fishing for the Mystery Monster known as The Musky or Muskellunge.
Fortunately for those of us who are into sport fishing our activity is one of the only ones that has been virtually unaffected.
Sport Fishing Quebec and Ontario
In Quebec and Ontario, we are fortunate to have a variety of different species of fish to purse.
If you are following government fishing regulations knock yourself out, though the most recognized and largest predator fish in the region is the muskellunge, aka musky. This fish is among the biggest predator freshwater fish in North America and is renowned for the sport fishing opportunities it brings. Specimens between 20-30 lbs are common and up to 50-60 lbs are possible in the waters in Quebec and Ontario.
The fishing season ranges from mid June to early December. I encourage you to please check local regulations. Luckily for those of us in the Montreal region we have some of the top musky waters in North America literally surrounding us. From rivers the size of which you can throw a stone across to the St Laurence and Ottawa river systems. Some of the most renowned musky fishing guides even work out of the Montreal region.
These fishing opportunities all lie within 2 hours max of Montreal. Though the main reason most fishermen do not specialize, or target musky is due to their difficulty to catch and equipment required. Musky are known as the fish of 10000 casts, which in many cases is not far from the truth. No one is born a top musky fisherman; it takes thousands of hours on the water to really master the challenge these fish bring.
Get your kids into sport fishing with this fun 1000 piece puzzle!
As far as equipment goes, I will tell you first that to really to able to target these fish effectively it is much better to have some kind of boat or water craft. Whether it is a kayak or canoe or a full blown bass boat it will give you the upper hand. There are a few places to effectively musky fish from shore though so don’t be discouraged if using a boat is completely out of the question.
For fly fishing equipment I suggest a 10-ft fly rod with a reel to match it. I would recommend an intermediate line and/or a type 5-7 sinking line. These fish do have large teeth which can cut normal fishing line. I recommend using some kind of wire leader or heavy fluorocarbon. As for flies any large streamer with good volume and profile would work. I suggest they be at least 8 inches long.
This can be hard to cast but with practice it becomes easier. Tennis elbow is very common! I suggest you carry a mouth opener with long nose pliers to remove the hooks. A large net is important due to the fact that it allows you to leave the fish in the water as you work to remove the hooks and take a picture.
A stripping basket will help a lot to collect your fly line, so you wont tangle up too much.
About The Author
Philip short is an avid fly fisherman who grew up fly fishing southern Quebec and north east USA for mainly trout and salmon. He recently realized the great opportunities that toothy critters such as pike and musky offer in this region. Philip short has been a fly fishing guide for nearly a decade. He doesn’t normally guide anymore but is very willing to help novice and advanced fly fishermen alike in locations techniques and equipment require to enhance their time on the water. Philip short can be contacted at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any more questions or want more information please contact Philip at 514-434-9979.