Pat’s Muskie Academy II – Episode 498

On this episode of the Fish’n Canada Show, we return to the upper French River with Angelo’s grandson Nik for his second semester of muskie fishing. Let’s call it “Muskie 202”.

Last time, Nik learned the art of casting big hardware for muskie—a daunting task that eventually paid off with his first ever hardcore big-bait Muskellunge.

For this shoot, Nik once again teamed up with Chaudiere guide and muskie expert Patrick Tryon. Pat is still as intense as ever and is still the ultimate technical angler. A perfect instructor. For this “202” course, Nik would learn the art of trolling for these giants—which is probably the number one tactic for producing muskie.

It was mid-August, a time when either all hell could break loose with the fish going crazy, or it could be lots of time simply burning gas.


Right out of the gate, Pat was in full teaching mode, telling Nik about the big glass rods, the difference between spinnerbaits and inline spinners, the virtues of high-quality deep diving crankbaits and so on.

Information like can certainly be daunting for a young mind, but even if a little info sticks, it can mean success for the future.

With all the technical aspects now in Nik’s fishing vault, all that was left to do was get to the trolling grounds and cover water. And lots of it.


Cover water they did. With miles upon miles, passes upon passes, all taking up time, the boys worked from the French River out and into Lake Nipissing. With all that water being covered, one would surely think a muskie or two would be taunted into smashing a 5-mph crazy-looking underwater object, right? Well, not so. Remember, this is muskie fishing—the fish of 10,000 casts and often 10-plus miles of trolling!

With no fish in the boat, the first half of the day ended up all about lessons. That’s usually a good thing, as it allows time for a student to absorb the insane quantity of information. It also builds a great sense of anticipation for when that first strike might finally occur.

The second half of the day was pretty much about Nik saying, “enough with this talking,” and then getting valuable nap time during the tedious pass-after-pass trolling.


As good luck would have it, Nik did get his first trolling muskie: a gorgeous Nipissing fish.

How’d they catch it? Pat resorted to one of the oldest muskie guide tricks in the book: He pulled out the good ol’ Believer. When all else fails, most experienced trollers will tell you that the Believer is the ultimate game-changer.

Again, congratulations to Nik for crossing another item off his muskie bucket list. And special thanks to Pat for continuing to be the ultimate teacher/guide.





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