Flyfishing Tip of the Month: Strip Underwater for Muskies and Pike

Photo by Brian Grossenbacher

When you're flyfishing for muskies and pike, a strip-strike is a must, because these wide-jawed fish often spit flies on a lift-up hookset. That's why many anglers who target these species keep their rod tips in the water during the retrieve. When a fish hits, the taut line helps set the hook into its bony mouth and may thwart any instinctive lifting of the rod. The method also works well for any fish with a mouth positioned under the head, such as bonefish and redfish. Even if your target doesn't require a strip-strike, such as a trout or bass, keeping the tip in the water when working a streamer will help you maintain better contact with the fly and detect subtle takes more easily.