Digital Camo Hat

Camo Hat still working

A couple impressive fish from a few Mangled Fly customers.  First is Bob H. who was fishing with world famous Muskie Guide Blane Chocklett and scores a dandy muskie on the fly.  Nice work Bob!  Bob wearing one of the old school Digital Camo Hats with the old hook logo.  Great to see the hat is doing you well!

Digital Camo Hat

Kean also sent in this impressive trout pic from his latest journey to Chile.  Kean who has always been a believer in the power of the Digital Camo Hat scores another impressive trout while wearing his lucky charm.  Great fish Kean!  Fish was caught on a circus peanut we tied for Kean, with a special blend of southern hemisphere colors.

circus peanut

muskie picture of the day

The Grind

Really enjoyed this short video because of the honest truth of it all.  I get the opportunity to guide and fish for muskie a few weeks a year.  This video really does capture most of the days, it’s a Grind.  But the belief that you need to have as angler that the next cast could be the one, is what I really do enjoy.

muskie tee shirt

Thinking about Muskie – Pic of the Day

muskie picture of the day

Shaking hands with Muskie – Picture of the Day

Shaking hands with the devil. #catchandrelease #seewhatsoutthere #underwater #muskieonthefly #sonargetdown

A photo posted by Mangledfly (@mangledfly) on

Scientific Anglers

SA Lines make Muskie possible

Scientific Anglers posts a release pic from one of the Muskie that graced our hands this fall

Scott fly rods

Review: Scott Tidal Muskie/Pike Special Rod

Chasing Muskies on the fly isn’t for everyone. Even the gear guys call it the “fish of 10,000 casts” (so, how many false casts is that?). But if it’s your thing, you’ll know pretty quickly. From the first eat, I fell in love. After a couple of years at it, I felt like I was putting the pieces together and wanted my own rig. As a huge fan of Scott fly rods, when the Tidal Muskie/Pike Special was announced, I knew I had my stick and placed my order. Yeah, I know, should have cast it first. But I own a bunch of Scott rods and there’s not a loser in the bunch.

Building on the very successful Tidal series, the Muskie model has a somewhat different taper, as well as an extended fighting butt (more on this later).  Scott doesn’t list a line weight rating, but Scott’s Midwest rep, Jerry Darkes, told me it was rated as a 10/11 weight.

First impressions were exactly what I’ve come to expect from Scott – tight wraps, their beautiful unsanded blank, and solid, but not flashy hardware. If you need bling, these guys aren’t your company. But let’s be real – if you need bling, you’re not fly fishing for Muskie.

Last weekend I got to get in my first real outing chasing ski’s with my new stick. This was my annual pilgrimage north with Capt. Jon Ray and my Dad. JR pulled us into this crazy pursuit a couple of years back and Dad and I both took to it right away (he boated a 40″ that first year). This year I was armed with my new stick, a fresh Scientific Anglers Mastery Wet Tip Express 350 grain sink tip line, and a STUNNING Abel Super 9/10N in Muskie graphics.

The first thing I noticed when casting is that this thing is a cannon – launching a big fly and a heavy line a long distance is no problem. Back cast, wait for the load, and WHAM! But more importantly for me was accuracy. I found I could sidearm under overhanging tree limbs, hit kill holes, and generally put the fly where I wanted it with tremendous ease. As I said to Jon – “this rod casts better than I do…”. The morning of the first day we encountered some pretty serious wind and the Tidal really helped. Just by tightening up my loops I was able to maintain the control I needed. Even backhand casts gave me the same feeling of power and accuracy.

The extended fighting butt is another huge advantage. I’ve heard experienced guides say that up to 50% of their fish came from figure-eights at the boat. But figure-eighting all day is physically exhausting. The extended fighting butt enabled me to add a two-hand grip that increased rod control and gave my casting hand a break. At a recent lecture by Muskie guru Blane Chocklett, I learned another use – casting. By locking the extended but to your forearm, you spread the load out, making it easier to throw heavy flies all day. Sure enough – it works!

On the afternoon of our first day, I got to test the fighting prowess of the Tidal Muskie. We’d just moved the boat up river to a new area. On my second cast I see the perfect eat. This big girl just engulfed my fly. A hard strip-set and it’s ON! The fight is an area where this rod shines. I had plenty of power to direct the fish, gain line, and generally control the fight. The rod flexes deep to the cork without a moan, groan, or complaint. A little deft network from JR and I’m on the board!

With my other Scott rods, particularly streamer rods, I’ve found one small issue. You have to tape the ferrules. It’s the same on my Scott Radian 907/4 which I use streamer fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. If you don’t tape the ferrules, they loosen, the rod casts like pooh, and you run a greater risk of breaking a rod. I find that if I wax the ferrules once, and then tape with every use, it’s all good. A minor drawback for an outstanding rod.

If you’re looking for a great Muskie rod at a moderate price, I highly recommend the Scott Tidal Muskie/Pike Special. A solid value on a great performing rod that’s made in the U.S.A.


Picture of the Day – Biggest Muskie for Jerome to date

Jerome S. who started this adventure 3 years ago, today achieved a new PB (personal best) muskie.  Great fish Jerome, nice job.  Any muskie on a fly is a great fish, but some are always a little more special.

Irons in the Fire

scott muskie rod

Working on a new clip for the Scott Rod Muskie Stick, Erik Rambo captured some very cool imagery here is a cropped out  pic (below) to keep you guessing but again with about 4 projects going on at once, some good stuff is almost on the way.  Another teaser but had to share, continue to check back as the next few weeks.  I would say 2-3 would should be able to release some new footage, and if you like the predator stuff this video will be to your liking.

muskie on a fly


Muskie on the Fly, a bucket-list fish

Guest Writer : Jerome Seid

Writing about his Musky Adventure that we took this September. Enjoy.

Jerome’s first Musky on a Fly

Getting the Muskie Off My Back

Not that I needed to drive so far to find the damned fish. But it seemed like a great way to put myself in a position to accomplish that which I had been unable to do for several years – hook and land a muskie on the fly. Sure I had gone out with other guides on Lake St Clair several times. The reputation as a world class muskie fishery kept me coming back. Yet each time I tried, the conditions weren’t right, my double haul deteriorated into only a single and the wind and temps wouldn’t cooperate. Needless to say I was becoming quite frustrated at the prospect of not hooking and landing one of those toothy creatures. Once I even fooled myself into thinking that the resistance I felt after a great cast with my over-lined 8 weight Sage stick was a strike – never saw it but it made me believe a bit more. So when JR came up with some hare-brained idea to hit the river for a couple of days for muskie, I couldn’t refuse. I had to do this – it was on my fishing “bucket list’ and I knew it must be done.
The mid-September morning started out with a mist eerily shrouding the launch site – making it difficult to see but a bluebird sky was in the forecast. The tannin stained water moved slowly, almost oozing, and the center trough looked deep and menacing – I could only imagine the mayhem lurking beneath the surface. As we slowly made our way down (or was it up) stream, I could barely conceal my excitement. The thought of stalking such fish in such a remote and tranquil place was overwhelming. Maybe 50 – 60 feet wide at some points, the edges held weeds and steep drop-offs – no way was I going to wade into that. The banks were swampy looking – no place to stand easily. Lots of small baitfish were visible in the shallows and the sandhill cranes were busy along the shore –a good sign if you ask me. So we slowly drifted, using the silent trolling motor casting from the boat deck, taking turns. They say that muskie are fish of 10,000 casts, and that may be an underestimate! Throwing large 6 inch streamers over and over again was starting to wear me down, but we kept at it. Beaver dams the size of small cars, weeds, river elbows – any ambush point – we hit – over and over again. I can’t recall how many miles we covered that first day. Then, JR had one hit and hooked – Sure enough, I was looking the other way when it happened –isn’t that always the case – but it was still the first step toward our, that is my goal. The fight wasn’t what we’d expected, but the fish was gorgeous – we spent several minutes taking photos, video and even an underwater release. My photography skills need to be honed a bit, I’ll admit but I think some of the shots were decent. Okay, my turn, I thought. Cast #5,285, cast #5286, cast #5287…. Where is that bastard? Okay – Have a snack, smoke a cigar, settle down now, it’ll happen.
JR gets into another slashing fish – nicer than the first one – more video and still shots. By this time it was getting late, and we had little idea how long it would take us to motor back to the launch site. With a few stops at some of the previous holes that we had fished on the way down and marked on the GPS, it didn’t take long for us to cover the distance. Hell, there was no one else on the whole river for those many miles. We even tried some video footage as we sped upstream (or was it downstream?). Then I am feeling a tug – not quite the explosion I was waiting for – northern pike – Hell, at this point I’ll take anything. 3 or 4 Northerns later as the sun was setting, I’m disappointed, wondering if I’m destined not to have my muskie today or any day. Now I was feeling the pressure to get it done the next day.
We sat at the local restaurant that night reliving the day’s experience, planning our next day – feeling exhausted but exhilarated. I had to console my partner – he had hoped it would have been my first that
day, but he quickly got over it as we enjoyed the photos and video that evening back in the room. It didn’t take long for either of us to pass out in front of the football game on TV.
Monday started out rainy and cooler – we put on waders and rain gear to provide extra warmth – glad I did – September in that part of the state can get cold – we joked how we could be standing in snow in 2 weeks up there. But the gray skies made the visibility better – I had vowed to fish hard and deliberate that day. I couldn’t match my partner’s casts for distance, but I soon learned that the distance didn’t matter. Within the first hour as I was stripping that yellow streamer from the weed edge through the deepest part of the river, not 10 feet from the boat, I saw the fish come up from the depths , look at my offering, and turn – first away (keep stripping, keep stripping!) then back and accelerate towards it. Thwack! I yanked at the fly line and felt the fish shake its head and the hook was home. It didn’t take long to get the bastard to the net – photo stills and an underwater video of the release completed the deal. I was done – the rest was gravy. We had many additional opportunities that day followed, both of us with swings and misses – even strikes on large poppers along the banks. These monsters truly required work and JR and I both felt that we had done our fair share over those two days. My shoulders and elbows were paying the price, but I had gotten the fish I had been dreaming of for years, on my terms, on the fly, on a river of immense beauty and solitude. What more could I ask for? I had gotten that muskie off my back.


Check out the short musky_clip for additional highlights!