I stopped into Atlantic Outfitters yesterday for some supplies and mentioned to John Thompson, the owner, that I’m getting ready for my northern pike outing next month. He pulled this from his tying table, a creation from one of his weekly tying classes, and gave it to me to test for results. Looks to be pike nasty, maybe even muskie nasty, so we’ll see what goes down.
We’ve got our own pike fishing trip coming up in May. While I’m more apt to fish a Puglisi pattern or an Eat-Me, I’ll always dedicate time working some dead rabbit. I’m haunted by the memories from Aught Two, when our man Crispin worked the vise one night, then used his white rabbit-strip creation to entice this 52″ muskie out from under a felled tree.
The place on the river has been in the family since the 1840s. As good as my brothers and I think we are, being the only ones who really fly fish the area, the best angler in our family’s time had to be Great Great Uncle Frank. We have pictures of him handling several large muskie, stringers of smallmouth, and a human-sized wahoo from Florida, where he also fished. He used bait casters and oiled silk and catgut and wooden lures and plugs.
Another Uncle described him as a water genius. In his later days he became legally blind but he still took out the skiff every day and tended to his minnow traps and fished. He’d find his way by shadows based on time of day and the sounds the rapids and current made in different stretches of the river. Makes the thought of using a fish finder seem a little bit like cheating.