That’s how he was tagged eons ago by the first Ojibwa native that tangled with him. Loosely translated, maashkinoozhe means “ugly pike”. The French came along later and called him masquinongé which, for all we know, means “giant fish that kicked our asses.”

Personally, I think “ugly” is a bit unfair.  After several hundred casts with a 10-weight, a sinking line, and a fly the size of a tandem bratwurst, my first maashkinoozhe was one of the more beautful things I’d seen in a great while.

I’d heard all of the masochistic hyperbole describing musky fishing: smarter than permit, the fish of a thousand casts, roosterfish of the north, and so on. With all that in mind, I arrived in Wisconsin with what I thought was the proper mindset. I was emotionally prepared to not catch one and primed to celebrate if I did. Here’s a brief recount of how it all went down:

Day One:
Came out of the gate way too fast and my focus and casting arm were totally trashed at 2:30pm when the first musky rolled on my fly three feet from the boat. My slack-jawed reaction and deadfish hookset went unrewarded.

Day Two:
Caught my first musky on about the fourth cast. Caught another one two hours later. Learned where not to cast. Got looks from a bunch of fish and at day’s end felt like I really had the musky thing dialed in.

Day Three:
Eight hours. Several hundred casts. Nary a got-dang sniff.

Muskies are stealthy and thuggish and that’s why I now love them dearly. I’ll go back, and when I do, I’ll sign up again with Brad Bohen, Brian “Lucky” Porter and the Musky Tribe. They’ve got a great thing happening up in the North Woods, and if you’re feeling especially randy and confident about your fishing skills, then it’s a great place to go for a proper and comprehensive piscatorial beatdown.

Click here to see the entire shoot.

Musky ordinance

Brad Bohen, Lucky Porter, and Penny

Nice light, long shot, big fly

Starter musky

Not sure what this means, but I’ve got a guess

Sweetness amidst violence

Joe Golcz with his first musky, on his first musky trip…ever…

Punkasaurus Rex

They like orange

After hours in the Musky Lab

11 Responses to “Maashkinoozhe”

  1. Tom Ham says:

    what a great post! love the pics. i’m normally a trout guy but really want to get after some muskie! keep up the great work!

  2. Tosh says:

    They’re a blast, Tom. Hard work, but well worth the effort.

  3. Charlie says:

    Great pics – and great fish. I’m heading up next weekend and hopefully we have some good looks like it sounds like you had.

  4. Tosh says:

    Good luck Charlie, take some Advil with you!

  5. […] if you’re a musky fan or just want to see some amazing fly fishing photography check out Tosh’s Blog here LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  6. […] reportage photo sur la pêche du Musky à la mouche par le photographe Tosh […]

  7. Mark Coleman says:

    I know this is a fishing post but damn that’s a good looking setter.

  8. Eric Cohen says:

    Tosh, Great post, and awesome pics, i especially like the ones with the Towee skiff, I recently purchased that very boat!

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