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Best Fly Fishing of 2020

Best Fly Fishing of 2020

Best Fly Fishing of 2020
Best Fishing of 2020

Best Fly Fishing of 2020

I thought I would take a moment to reflect on a “best of fly fishing” collage from 2020 from our Instagram Feed. These are the highest liked images from 2020. If you’re not on Instagram or do not follow us via social media, here is a chance to see some of our best liked images. I thought I would go thru a couple of images and expand upon their meanings to us this year.

  • First Muskie – The top row muskie image was probably one of my best images of the year. Shooting underwater images is by far my favorite way to shoot photography, but the time, equipment prep, and special conditions add difficulty to making it work. While on our Northern Michigan Muskie adventure this past fall, everything fell into place. First and foremost we had a muskie eat our fly, then the water we were fishing was absolutely perfect for getting crisp images, and the sun was at a great angle. With shooting underwater there is a lot of luck involved and this image definitely fell into that category.
  • Sorry Brook Trout – The top row right side. Beautiful brown trout laying peacefully in my hand. This image was captured by Ann Miller as we were fishing together that day. We were fishing during the Sulphur hatch in May. One of the underrated hatches and a great time to be on the Upper Manistee as a dry fly angler. Ann made a great cast into a perfect seam next too an undercut bank. As the dry fly floated you just knew it was going to get eaten. Suddenly a brook trout smashed the dry fly, how did I know it was a brook trout? As we were fighting this little guy you could see it thrashing underneath the water trying to get away. Very classic brook trout behavior. As we brought the fish towards the side of the boat, a huge swirl devoured our brook trout. The 5wt rod suddenly buckled and we were not connected to a brook trout any longer. Mr. Brown trout had eaten our brook trout! Ann did a great job landing this beautiful brown on very light tippet. This is one of those stories I will not soon forget.
  • Middle Row Browns – Each of the brown trout picks in the middle row were caught on dry flies and really do represent some of my favorite hatches. The middle image is a short video we did of Ed McCoy and I getting a chance to fish Hendrickson’s. We had some great activity during high spring water. The far left is a slob of a brown trout that was caught during the day during the Hex Hatch. I love hunting these big fish with dry flies, so exciting watching them come up and slurp a big meal. Last but not least is an image of why you don’t need to always have your dry fly drifting perfect. I really like working with clients and twitching our dry flies in those likely spots. Having a brown trout blow up on your dry fly just like a bass does on a deer hair popper leaves you longing for more!
  • Kean Oh – Kean puts in his time and gets rewarded. The bottom right image is of Kean enjoying a day fishing with Ed McCoy hunting post spawn brown trout in November. Kean scored a great fish that had eluded Ed earlier in the year. One of the coolest things about big browns is how they hunt an area. Ed had a great chance at this fish during May and then did not see this fish again until November. Kean was rewarded with a great brown trout at the end of the year, summing up the best fly fishing of 2020.

Honorable Mention

Above are the best of fly fishing 2020 chosen by our followers on Instagram. Here are a few additional images chosen by the guides at Mangled Fly representing their favorite image of 2020.

Fall Steelhead Double Header
Double Header Fall Steelhead

Steve Pels with a father son double header. Not only to hook two at once but to land two is a true feet. Very special day and great image well done guys.

Best Fly Fishing of 2020
Kids First Steelhead

Jeff Topp with a young man’s first steelhead. Carson with a Birthday gift from his dad, landed his first steelhead. Is there a better gift?

Lake Trout on the Swing
Lake Trout on the Swing

Ed McCoy with a first in his guide career. A Lake trout on the swing, might sum up 2020 as a whole. Not what we were expecting, but roll with the punches and keep casting.

Huge Muskie caught on a Fly in MN

An absolute Monster caught on a fly.

Robert Hawkins knew the muskie was big when it hit his fly. It wasn’t until the fish, having come from straight on, turned broadside, though, that he realized just how large it was. Hawkins, who owns Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop, in Lake Elmo, Minn., and his two friends had been flyfishing on Mille Lacs Lake, a hundred miles north of Minneapolis, for four hours on Monday morning when the muskie chased and ate his bucktail streamer two feet from the surface. To read more go to ……..
http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes/exclusive-video-potential-world-record-57-inch-muskie-caught-in-minnesota?src=SOC&dom=fb#ooid=ZiNjlzeDo1QWwDpVwXYhcliQOU-S9LNn

Last Day Chasing Muskie

 sunrise on muskie waters

My 2013 Muskie chase has come to an end as of today, but had one of the best sun rises of the year.  Brings to mind the old sailors saying.  Red Sky in the morning, sailors take warning.  As the last day brought with it 20-30 mph winds that chased us off a little early.  Now back to my home waters and the steelhead chase begins in full swing.  It’s truly a mix bag of emotions though.  While Muskie absorb you in every way and almost eat at your sole, I do love my leaping, jumping, cartwheeling, quick-running, dime silver friends that I will be coming home too.  I will miss the muskie waters and look forward to the chase in 2014.  During the winter thoughts and patterns will be developed and new techniques will come to mind. If any of this muskie stuff interests you I am booking additional muskie fly fishing guide days in 2014.  Feel free to contact me direct at jray@mangledfly.com

Thank you to all that joined me this fall season!

 

First Tiger Muskie

Guided Chuck Hawkins to his first Tiger Muskie.  For those that don't know a Tiger Muksie is a hybrid between a Muskie and a Northern Pike.

Had a chance to guide Chuck Hawkins for a couple days, and we scored the first ever Tiger Muskie for both Chuck and myself.  For those that do not know I found this definition online at Wikipedia

The tiger muskie is the result of the true muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) and the northern pike (Esox lucius) interbreeding. The tiger muskie has some of the characteristics of both of these fish. The pattern of the tiger muskie is varying amounts of color with vertical dark stripes on a light background. The pattern on a tiger muskie very rarely is the same as a northern pike. The body is deeper than the body of either parent fish, but that is common in hybrid fish. The caudal fins are more rounded than the tails of true muskies. The tiger muskie has ten to sixteen pores on the lower part of its jaw.

Fly in the picture is one of my favorite sunny day streamer patterns for predator fish such as muskie, pike and now tiger muskie.  Fly is tied by Eli from Great Lakes Fly.  Called the Bingo.  If your a predator chaser you should get some, they work best for me personally when the sun is shining.  Here is a link to Eli’s site and other patterns.