I get to meet some good fly anglers in the shop. A few of them may even fall into the great category. But many of these people have no interest in writing books, articles, or blogs. They simply go about their business, working and raising families. But after work and family, they fish as much as they can. They tie flies every night. And they just might fish and tie flies as good, or even better, than the guys who do write books, articles, and blogs. "Musky" Todd Deluccia is one of these anglers.
Todd is a quiet guy. He doesn't include the moniker "Musky" in front of his name when you meet him. I gave him that nickname. It fits. After all, Todd has landed 21 muskies this year with his fly rod, and he hooked and lost many more than that. I don't know of anyone else in Pennsylvania who can claim that feat with a fly rod. If you were shopping for materials beside Todd in the store, you probably wouldn't even guess that he ties flies as well as anyone I know; as well or better than many of those guys people pay to meet at the winter fly fishing shows.
When I asked Todd if I could tell a little of his story in my blog, he seemed surprised. He's not the kind of guy who seeks the spotlight, yet he is more than happy to share what he knows with others. I've watched Todd discuss fly tying with other customers, and he holds nothing back when he is asked a question, sharing techniques and patterns like each person is a long lost friend. I asked him if he would mind if I told my readers where he usually fishes for muskies, and he told me "sure, you can write whatever you want." But I'll keep that secret for Todd. Lets just say that there are many places in the East where muskies reside. Fish for them arount inlets and outlets of lakes and reserviors. Fish the bottom, warmer, ends of trout streams. Fish early. Fish late. Fish for them with giant, gaudy flies like those in these pictures. Be patient. Be persistent. Check out the web sites of your local state fish agencies to see where muskies are stocked. You will probably find some muskies too.
Its fall now, and many people are hunting, chasing steelhead, or throwing streamers for pre-spawn brown trout. But if you want to fish in solitude and maybe catch a fish of a lifetime, then the muskies are hungry now too. These pictures from Todd were taken in the last few weeks. And if you happen to meet "Musky" Todd Deluccia on the stream or in the shop, be thankful. You've met one of fly fishing's true, up-and-coming "greats."