'Muskie On The Fly' a book worth exploring

  • 'Muskie on the Fly' book by Robert Tomes; courtesy of Mike Jackson

    'Muskie on the Fly' book by Robert Tomes; courtesy of Mike Jackson

Published11/19/2008 2:53 PM

I caught my first Wisconsin muskie when I was about 11.

I subsequently hunted these beasts with my father and other more experienced adults.


Every outing on a Hayward-area lake was like a Zane Grey tale. Every fish left its indelible mark.

My comments are based strictly on opinion as I slide a bit off the beaten path of traditional muskie fishing.

I get a chance to read a lot of outdoor-type books and periodicals. Some of them are pretty good, while the majority of the books are nothing more than an extension of the author's ego wrapped in a quest to get his thoughts into print.

Please don't get me wrong: Anyone who makes the effort to sit down and write material for their book deserves at least one attaboy.

Unfortunately, some of the books I've examined contain low quality photos, and to be frank, the information is often quite boring.

That's not the case with a new book by Chicagoan Robert Tomes called "Muskie on The Fly." It's evident that he gave a great deal of thought to not make his book a technical journal about the science of muskies.

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With that said, I usually don't like writing about products one could consider for holiday presents.

Here's where I'll make an exception.

Tomes was a recent guest on my outdoors radio talk show. He is addicted to fly fishing for muskies, and that's what this book is about.

Robert's writing style is easy to digest and very interesting as well, and the photographs aren't just good, they're exceptional.

I'm on my second reading of this gem because the first session zipped by and I was sure I missed absorbing some valuable information.

I plan to use some of Robert's suggestions not only for fly fishing for muskies but for smallmouth bass as well.

Tomes writes that the thrill of muskie fishing with a fly rod is not about catching that all-important monster but rather catching a muskie of any size and experiencing the "electric shock" thrill of the battle on a wispy rod.

I am aware that many of you have stayed away from ever picking up a fly rod simply because you may have felt it wasn't your cup of tea. Perhaps you thought this part of the angling scenario was too difficult to master.


I hope I can change your minds.

For those of you who are satisfied going after walleyes and bass with conventional tackle and have never considered hunting muskies here in Illinois or those Northwoods lakes in Wisconsin and Ontario, the adrenaline rush from an encounter with a muskie is something one will surely remember for decades.

Tomes preaches a different mantra. He's as committed to "de-snobbing" fly fishing as I am, as well as convincing a novice fly caster that thrills are not limited to just a largemouth bass attacking a surface plug and then taking to the air.

If for no other reason than curiosity, buy this book for yourself. You will not be sorry.

"Muskie on The Fly" - $59.95 from Wild River Press - is available at most major book stores in the area.


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