Last evening was spent on the waters of Lake Minnetonka searching for the elusive Muskie. Unsettled weather, the chance to throw giant top water bugs at fish that can remove you limbs, and the sensory stimulation of night fishing were secondary to why I embarked on this adventure. The primary reason is that I was able to spend some time with my friend Bill Sherck. Bill is a story teller for Minnesota Bound and Due North Outdoors television shows. He is a gatherer of stories from the past and present for the purpose of sharing. Sharing the experiences and excitement of the natural world with you and I. Bill understands that people and their stories provide us with a record of reality. Truth, that exploration and adventure are still alive and strong and that each and everyone of us have the ability to experience it ourselves. That people, along with their wisdom and passion can inspire the spirit to achieve the unthinkable. There are few like Bill in our local media and its always a pleasure to spend time with him.

 We launched the boat amidst the darkening skies at one of Lake Minnetonka’s many bays. The word, still remaining hush hush in the mouths of many Minnetonka muskie guides, was that the annual bite was on. This yearly feeding frenzy happens each year when water temps and other conditions are just right, similar to the beginning of a major hatch on a trout stream. The chance to hook up with a muskie on a fly would better now than at most times of the year. As we strung up the big rods with wire tippet and 4/0 popping bugs the anticipation was high. Top water for muskie is a gas. The visual on these large predators is frightening when one takes a swipe at your fly, and that makes it all the more exiting. Travis, a well regarded conventional tackle muskie guide and his clients were in one boat.  Bill and I with our fly rods were in the another.  We generally spent the night fishing different water but were in contact by phone for updates. On Bills first or second cast a nice muskie swirled on his fly, but didn’t take as it popped along a weed edge. The anticipation meter shot through the roof as we continued popping, chugging and skittering our flies on the surface. The evenings clouds had turned evil and off in the distance you could see the rain relentlessly pounding the horizon. The rain was closing in. I made the comment that “we cant out run the rain” and Bills eyes lit up. He looked at me and scoffed. The power of his boat as well as his navigational skills were able to keep us out of the drenching rains and swirling storms that engulfed much of the big lake for the entire night. We spent the next hour casting and talking and enjoying the moment. The phone rang. It was the other boat, no action yet. We told them our story about the one that got away and felt pretty confident. In between casting the big bugs we fished some smaller flies and caught a few of Minnetonka’s  abundant Largemouth bass. All on top water! Then it happened again. A large snout appeared by Bills fly, swirled, and was gone. I picked up my fly and cast in the same area. The great fish slashed again but did not grab. My heart skipped a beat but it was all over in a blink. We spent another 30 min. casting in the dark in an incredible place, and then the phone rang. Bill winced, he knew the other boat had gotten a fish. It was true! Travis’s boat had gotten one to the boat and landed this beautiful 51″ muskie. INCREDIBLE! What a night, what an experience. It didn’t happen for us on the fly on this night, but both boats ended with great stories.

Thanks Bill