Nick Pionessa hoists a big Niagara smallmouth
I kicked the New York muskie season off this past Saturday with Nick Pionessa, manager of the Oak Orchard Fly Shop. We had good conditions for most of the morning until a persistent west wind put a damper on things. I prefer smaller flies at the beginning of the season as compared with mid summer or fall. I have had more success getting muskie to commit to five or six inch flies in this post spawn period. Nick and I each had a muskie follow along with a few other sightings. While there were no muskie hookups, the encounters kept things interesting. Had the winds not picked up I think we would have eventually hooked one. The smallmouth also kept things interesting. Some aggressive bass attacked our muskie flies. And after the wind put us off the muskie game, we did quite well with smallmouth on scaled down baitfish patterns. A good start to what I hope is a very successful muskie year. This week it is off to the southern tier to fish a small muskie river.