As I mentioned in an early post Mangled Fly Media had an opportunity to attend the 2016 Milwaukee Muskie Expo, we split a booth with good friend and great guide Brad Petzke from Rivers North. Brad and I brought to the booth a selection of flies, new muskie swag , and Brad’s New Bucktails. Make sure to go to the upcoming Midwest Fly Show and stop by Brad’s booth and pick thru his selection of Prime Bucktails. These tails which are 100% Northern Michigan Bucktails are perfect tails for tying big flies. Honestly some of the best bucktails that I have seen. Brad has a good selection of colors as well to choose from.
The Muskie Expo was an eye opener for sure. With the biggest selection of hardware for muskie that I’ve ever been around. Almost an overwhelming selection. The Milwaukee Muskie expo is geared toward hardware fisherman, with this being the first year they opened the doors to a few fly fisherman exhibitors. In attendance representing the fly angler were some pretty impressive names. Had the opportunity to see Larry Dahlberg (hunt for big fish) one of the pioneers of fly fishing for muskie / pike, and truly one of my heroes. Talked with Blane Chocklett as well, Blane is really leading the way currently on fly design for muskie with so many new products like the Chocklett Body Tubing , and Game Changer Shanks. Sat in on Blane’s presentation, and learned a few things, and was confirmed on a few things that I am doing it right. Blane is doing some amazing things with fly design, and guides some incredible water in the Virginia area.
Also got to spend some time with a few Midwest boyz that fish for muskie way more than I can Chris Willen one of the best guides in Wisconsin and Tennessee for muskie , Eli Berant , and brothers Matt and Eric Grajewski. Got to listen to their stories, pick up a few tips , see a few of their fly designs, and just hang with guys that have a true passion for the sport of Muskie fishing. With Muskie fishing really growing, especially the Michigan area, the future of Muskie anglers / innovators is bright. Fly companies have taken notice and are listening to the depend, as new rods, lines, and gear continue to hit the market. Chris and Eric G. do a wonderful job on the water they guide, look at their sites and if your interested in booking trips give them a call. Eli is always tying up some great bugs, give him a follow on Instagram or Facebook, to get some of the best patterns for chasing any Predator fish. Especially Muskie or Pike
With such a huge selection of Gear / Lures / and Muskie Stuff at this show two products that stood out for me that will be entering my boat this coming fall.
- Just EnCase – has a new 2016 Fly Locker. No images available on line yet. But this innovative fly locker will let your BIG flies rest on magnets. No more twisted tails and bent feathers. No more taking your flies out to dry. You have to be really addicted to muskie fishing to invest in this fly box, but for how long it takes me to tie a fly, think I’m going to invest in a new fly box.
- Always wanted one and now I found the one I want. Muskie Bumper the safest and easiest way to measure investment, but worthyour trophy catch. No more questions on where did I put the tape measure? Another bonus, is that Muskie Bumper allows me to put the new Mangled Fly Muskie Logo on the board. All I have to do is provide them with a logo.
Overall it was a great show, learned a couple things, was surrounded by people that truly love this sport/chase. I look forward to the upcoming season. I’ll be expanding my fall program slightly if your interested in dates send me an email on our contact page. Will also be exploring new waters, as I have R/D dates scheduled for late spring and early summer to fish a few new waters. I have learned a ton in the 5 years since I took this quest on, and know I have so much more to learn. Going to these shows helps to confirm some of my theories and thoughts, and also helps expand the mind to think outside the box. That is why I enjoy having so many friends in the industry fishing so many different ways.