How can one explain the reason why some fly anglers get the itch to go out in very cold weather early in the morning to cast extreme heavy flies on 12 weight rods, hoping to catch the attention of a fish that last evolved during the prehistoric times, only to come way often with nothing but a sore arm and shoulder? Muskie Madness is what it is called, it is a disease of the mind that plagues a few anglers every single year and it is insatiable. For over the past two years I have had this disease; I have driven thousands of miles, spent thousands of dollars, experienced damn near hypothermia, while slowly damaging my entire right arm and shoulder, only to get skunked every single time that I have went out to fish for these fish. This is by definition insanity!
I should stop, no really I should stop, fishing for musky has become such an addiction that any other fishing has never compared to my obsession with musky fishing. Why has it become such an addiction to me? Why do I keep torturing myself? Why do I keep spending money on a fish that obviously I might never catch? Why, oh God, why?
Realistically I can give you a couple lame excuses; I live in the middle of Georgia where there are no musky, musky do not live in ugly places, it gives me a reason to go home to Virginia, explore the waters of North Carolina and Tennessee, and blah, blah, blah… so on and so forth. You get the drift. However, honestly, it is the pure adrenaline rush of seeing such a river monster just suddenly appear right behind your fly, it’s like they are Klingon Destroyer ships de-cloaking right behind your fly. Pure primal instincts immediately sending your body into overdrive, while your mind screams in its best 80’s action flick voice “Eat the Fly Mother Fucker!” Then just as they appear they disappear, or they take broad lunge at your fly then disappear. What ensues next can best be described as the scene out of Happy Gilmore, the one where Happy starts yelling profanities at his golf ball, breaks his golf club, and throws his golf bag into a pond. Such a good movie!
Do you know how crushing it is to have such an anticlimactic event happen to you, with that much adrenaline flowing? The best way I can describe it is if you were a man proposing to his girlfriend; to being that nervous, that sure she would say yes… only to have her say no. Or another way is watching your favorite football team playing your biggest rival team, to be in overtime, to having the game all come down to an easy kick, only to watch the kicker miss the kick wide right. Insanity! Musky fishing is just pure, gut wrenching insanity, but I freaking love every second of it.
On my last musky fishing trip I went with Blue Ridge Musky’s co-owner Cap. Brent Perkey, I have known Brent for years now. I have went on several trips with him, and I can tell you, without a doubt, that he knows how to fish for these beasts. He is on the James River almost every day during the Fall, Winter, and Spring guiding and/or fishing for these fish. During the past several summers he has also went to Alaska and guides for monster pike. In essence Brent knows where musky are, and he knows what they like to hit the most. Why? Well that is his job to know, he does his due diligence by being on the front lines every day, and he doesn’t disappoint.
Anyways, on my last musky fishing trip with Brent I had nine follows in one day, nine! Before we got started Brent looked at several of my flies and decided on a Pink and White T-Bone Bufford, a fly that I thought was not a very good tie. But he insisted that I use it. That fly got six muskies to follow it. By the end of the day I was manically screaming “Eat the Pink!” The other 3 follows came from one very large Chubracabra T-Bone (18 inches long) and a brown Bufford T-Bone.
Luckily for me Brent isn’t easily offended and has quite the sense of humor, because by the end of the day I said about every curse word I knew and I was starting to invent new ones. But I wasn’t broken hearted because Brent was there to keep my spirits high after every musky follow ended badly. Even by the end of that fishless day I didn’t want to go to the closest bar and drown my sorrows with beer (even though I still did). Being with a guide that knows the risk of getting skunked while musky fishing, one that make sure his clients keep casting, and wanting to hunt for these fish is a such a blessing.
Musky… the fish of one thousand casts… the fish of ten thousands casts… wolves of the river… the bastard fish that refused to just “Eat the Pink!” Insanity? Yes! However I will keep hunting them until I catch one these prehistoric fish, afterwards I am going to have a lot of Bourbon and Beer. Maybe an ice cream, maybe I will drink some Baileys from a shoe, who knows. But I know musky will always haunt my dreams until I catch one.
If you would like to contact Brent and make a reservation with him or his partner Sam, their website is www.blueridgemusky.com, they will make sure to take care of you.