Winter just ended ushering in the spring season and its bountiful fishing opportunities. For most fly fishermen, winter is usually a time for replenishing empty fly boxes and developing a new fleet of destroyers for your upcoming season. For me, my winter featured a below average amount of fly tying, even for me. I admittedly don't tie a whole lot. My carp and trout boxes went undisturbed and the empty spaces remained unfilled. Every time I sat down to tie a fly, my mind began to wonder to a few flies hanging above me. I knew deep down I really needed to tie dozens of flies for spring stockers, dry flies for the wild trout up north, and a ton of egg/damsel patterns for carp. However, I could never bring myself to tie any of them. I often sat down and put a size 18 hook in the vice. After several minutes, and a few laughs, I'd take the microscopic hook out of the vice and replace it with a 6/0 monstrosity. Basically, all I could tie were large articulated streamers for the musky I have never even attempted to fish for, let alone catch.
Why may you ask?
I went through a month long stage last year where I was convinced I was going to catch a musky. I spent a few hundred dollars on hooks, lines, fluorocarbon, pliers, jaw spreaders, a huge net, and I never went. At the most recent Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey, I ran into Blane Chocklett and his infamous T-Bone musky fly. Needless to say, a fly caught my interest and reignited that stage from the previous year. A whole lot more money was spent, and I started trying to replicate that fly ingrained in my mind. The fever gained momentum as I realized I wasn't alone. Instagram and Facebook seemed to be full of fly tyers replicating the very same flies. I became convinced that maybe this was my year. Not only in catching a musky, but actually going musky fishing.
A fly tying side effect emerged. I can only describe it through the lens of someone else's point of view. In Feeding Time, Scott Sanchez once said, "streamer patterns/saltwater flies are probably the most fun ya know? Its like you tie on a size 16 blue wing olive, you tie up the fly and throw it in your box and look at it the next time you go fishing. You tie a double bunny or a conehead the barbarian you got this little critter thats got eyes, you can talk to, you can pet it". My musky flies seemed to be beckoning me every time I walked into my room. I found myself spontaneously holding them, petting them, and grooming them. Needless to say, I developed a sickness that will only be cured by a musky in my hands with one of my flies hanging from its mouth.
I think I need to catch a musky this spring.