4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Chasing Musky on the Fly

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Charlie Murphy with a brute of a Musky. Photo By Blain Chocklett

Today’s guest post was provided by Charlie Murphy, a long time member of Gink & Gasoline and musky devotee.

For those of you who don’t know Charlie, he’s as laid back as they come, he eats, sleeps and breaths fishing 365 days a year, and he’s always got your back when you need him. Another thing we love about Charlie is he’s constantly finding ways to add humor into every situation. All these qualities make Charlie a great travel and fishing partner and if you ever have the chance to fish with him, we highly recommend it. That’s enough introduction, read below Charlie’s humorous but true correlation between the old school movie The Karate Kid, the character Mr. Miyagi, and fly fishing for musky.

“Focus Danielson” by Charlie Murphy


Why is the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi so important to musky fisherman? Mr. Miyagi loved two things, fishing and Karate, both of which require constant focus. Mr. Miyagi was a descendent from Shimpo Miyagi, who was very fond of his fishing rod and sake beverages. One day in 1625 while fishing and very drunk, he passed out on his fishing boat off the coast of Okinawa and ended up on the beaches of China. Then years later, Shimpo returned to Okinawa with his wife, and passed on the secrets of Miyagi family Karate to his two kids. When Mr. Miyagi took Daniel LaRusso under his wing in the move Karate Kid, to teach him the ways of the martial arts, the first lesson and secret he taught Daniel was “focus”.

So back at the question at hand….Why? Mr. Miyagi started with t focus as the starting block to provide a strong foundation for Daniel to build upon his martial arts skills. Mr. Miyagi knew that proper focus was critical for performing at one’s greatest potential not only in martial arts, but in all facets of life. Take for instance in fishing, where focus is detrimentally important in the outcome of all fishing trips. Especially when it comes to the long exhausting attention span required to chase musky on the fly.


A nice musky taken on the fly. Use it for inspiration. Photo by Blain Chocklett

Before you decide to head out on the water after the Esox, ask yourself these four questions.

1. Do I really, really have a burning desire to catch a musky on the fly (if yes, proceed to the next question; if no, proceed to the nearest brook trout stream)?

2. Am I willing to give up on all other fishing pursuits until I succeed in this challenge?

3. Am I willing to spend eight or more hours on the water fishing, possibly never to see any sign of a musky?

4. Can I tolerate the mental and physical grind of cast, retrieve, figure 8, and repeat, from the first cast of the day to the very last cast?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, it may not be ready for tackling musky on the fly. I’m in no way trying to be negative, I’m just trying to educate musky newcomers on what they should expect if they decide to embark on the Esox journey. When anglers know what the challenges are going in and they prepare themselves accordingly, there’s a much better chance for success.


This ones for all fly fisherman out there that have an overly inflated ego.

If you’re looking for a great musky fly fishing guide, we recommend Blain Chocklett at New Angle Fishing.

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Charlie Murphy
Gink & Gasoline
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11 thoughts on “4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Chasing Musky on the Fly

  1. The last photo is is freakin awesome! I printed it out and will be hanging it all over the place, including at work. I would love to chase musky one day. The thought of chucking half a chicken with a 10wt is just plain outrageous and fun. I’ve watched several videos and movies, and even though this fish is known as “the fish of 10,000 casts, that cast when when you did finally get that ferocious attack on your fly would make everything else worth it by far. It’s on my list…. Just gotta save up and make some time for it, but I’ll get it done one day for sure.

  2. Justin, that’s the type of excitement and attitude u need to take with u on the stream to chase musky. Just don’t let them get u down. Even the best including myself get skunked more often than not. I consider seeing a fish a success. Ill take u out and out u in fish anytime. Be sure to check out Blane chockletts web site for info on the how to.

    • Thanks a bunch Charlie! The way I see it, if you cant get excited about something like chasing musky on the fly, then you’d better check your pulse. I’ll have to take you up on that one day! I’ll be checking out Blane’s site in the mean time.

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