Kieth Kaneko of Angling on the Fly Travel Service writes in his Fish Blog about his time in Musky Country at: http://anglingonthefly.blogspot.com/2011/06/mid-week-trip-report-musky-country.html
To say I had a memorable fly fishing adventure starting on Friday with the Fly Fishing Film Festival, catching the two biggest muskies of my life, and ending with the fellowship of your kind assistance in portaging my canoe and gear out to my truck; is an understatement!
I need to take some time to recover from those three intensely-lived, in-the-moment, can-see-to-no-can-see, days of musky fly fishing. And then I will write down the full details of the incredible drama that began with the take by that huge river musky of Luckys Hang Time fly pattern in the fast bark-stained water, lighting bolts and all. Even now, after having taken some time to reflect, it truly is the high point of my time with a fly rod that now stretches out over 60 years.
Thank you can not express the great joy and satisfaction I feel today, all because of two fish. As you would say, Brad, It is just a fish, but it takes hold your soul and holds on. There is nothing like it. Nothing like it!
John Noreika- Verona, WI
Brad's a full-on river guide in Northern Wisconsin, and has developed some fabulous fly patterns for warm water predators and bass. He's also very well known, and I believe, someone who will be around in the fishing industry for years to come. Brad's commitment to hunting; finding and fooling big fish, has become legendary. I can't recommend Brad highly enough.
Bob White - Painter, Writer, Guide, Legend…
Inaugural Inductee Legendary Artist - Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
1990 Fly Rod & Reel - Guide of the Year
I had the great pleasure of sharing the boat on my first ever Muskie Trip with Brad Bohen. He upheld his reputation as one of the most knowledgeable guides for Muskie on the Fly in the great Northwoods. Within minutes we were hooked up on our first fish and the action was non-stop. For those who understand Muskie on the fly, that's the exception not the rule. Beyond his knowledge Brad works hard to help his anglers understand the scientific aspect of the species, provides perfect flies for these monsters and he works harder to provide an outstanding experience than most guides I know. Being a guide myself with years behind the oars, I understand and appreciate Brad's dedication, enthusiasm and knowledge. I would recommend him to anyone chasing the freshwater equivalent of a permit on the fly.
Jay Seaman - Owner/Guide - Tight Lines Fly Fishing - Jonesbourough, TN -- www.TightLinesFlyFish.com
I had the distinct pleasure of spending a day on the Chippewa River with Brad in October of 2008. My fishing partner, Tom Quinn, and I had a truly great day, not because we caught so many muskies, although we did catch several, but because of the knowledge and experience that Brad shared. I have had the pleasure of fly fishing muskies on rivers and lakes in the Hayward area for a number of years, and I can honestly say I learned more in a day with Brad than all of my previous trips combined. His willingness to share his knowledge and experience gained over years on the water is pretty unique in the business. I look forward to getting back on the river with Brad in 2009!
Mark Lenss, Minneapolis, MN
I had the pleasure to spend the day with Brad Bohen, aka, the Afton Angler. Brad has been a guide or has fished the Brule for the last 27 years. It was a real pleasure to hear him talk about the river and it's history. Brad showed me the steelhead portion of the river from its pocket water, which makes up most of the steelhead section, to it's lower swing water. Having a day to talk to Brad is a great treat because somewhere during the day you realize he is a complete fly fisher. Not only does he fish for trout and steelhead on the Brule, he is a serious Muskie guide; and, he travels from MI to CA/PNW every year to fish some of the best fly water in the world. Brad is not a "one river wonder" but a renaissance angler who adapts and learns from not only his home waters but other waters and anglers as well.
David Dornblaser - Owner -- www.UpperMidwestFlyFishing.com
In addition to being an all around great guy to hang out with on the water, or anywhere else for that matter (he is enthusiastic, extremely well-educated, worldly and experienced in a diverse range of subjects), Brad is an excellent fishing guide. In fact, I would venture to say that he is the best teaching guide I have ever encountered in over ten years of fishing with guides in the U.S. and other countries. Time spent with the Afton Angler is time well spent, and highly recommended for anyone looking to take their fishing to the next level. Whether you are interested in advancing from the novice stage, refining your technique, targeting new species, acquiring new knowledge or even transcending it all to making fishing a way of life, he is the one to turn to. Musky fishing is not for the faint of heart. It requires patience, focus and hard work. Brad makes it fun and gives you an experience that will inform your approach to fishing in all situations.
James Hirsch - NYC, USA
You both were very professional and a pleasure to hang out with. Your love for the river showed. I've guided for many years and been guided many times, and I know what it takes to be good at it. You were both excellent. Thank You!
Jim Bartelt - Madison, WI -- www.SpringCreekSpecialties.com
"When it comes to professional fly fishing guides, Wisconsin's Brad Bohen is one of the best in the business. Whether you're a tributary steelheader, spring creek trout nut, or muskie hunter, his intimate knowledge and understanding of his home waters is unparalleled and uncanny. It's been a real privilege and honor to share a drift boat with my friend Brad over many North Country seasons and my only hope is that it's true what they say about fishing time not being deducted from your life...just so we can fish more!"
Robert Tomes - Author "Musky on the Fly" and frequent contributor to Fly Fish America, Fish and Fly and many other fly fishing periodicals
After hiring and listening to professional fly fishing speakers with local - national - and international level reputations, for over two decades - let me just say that Brad Bohen is one of the most enjoyable presenters I've worked with in years! Not only does he have the perfect blend of information, knowledge, sound technical advice and obvious experience..he has the rare ability to communicate these elements in an understandable, entertaining and informative way. As a bonus not only is his photography great - but you'll be impressed with the inspiring"heart" that he brings to the sport. Brad's philosophy and sensitivity to resources and recreation are what fly fishing is all about ! We can't wait to get him back !
John Beth - Badger Fly Fishers - Madison, WI
Continuing subscribers will remember our review not so long ago of a book on muskie fishing called Muskie on the Fly. The author is Robert S. Tomes, and we thought so much of his book that we now offer it for sale on our web site, www.angling report.com. Indeed, catching a muskie on the fly is a challenge that appears to have seized the imagination of quite a few fly fishermen, including subscriber William Flader, who checked in this past month with a report on a guide in Wisconsin who recently helped him catch a muskie on a fly. He writes:
Fly fishing for muskies isn't such a crazy and fruitless idea if you choose the Hayward area of northwest Wisconsin and you link up with one of the handful of guides there who specializes in fly fishing for these toothy, moody critters. A recent mid-November day with guide Tom Greenup yielded three small (24-inch) northern pike, a 20-inch walleye and a 40-inch muskie, all on eight-inch streamers using a 9 wt fast-action rod. A well-known muskie fanatic in the area caught two muskies the day before I went fishing, both in the 30-inch category. He says he saw larger ones. Two weeks earlier, two very experienced local fly anglers fishing with Tom Greenup boated huge muskies at the same time measuring 45 and 51 inches! Tom can provide visiting anglers fly gear and flies if needed, and lodging at his small resort. If the lower Chippewa River is Tom's choice on a given day, he has private launch andtake-out sites there. This greatly facilitates access to a stretch of river that is otherwise not easily floated. He fishes from a 14-foot Hyde drift boat, and he charges $350 per day for one or two anglers.
Joseph Meyer - Owner - One More Cast Fly Shop - Countryside, IL -- www.onemorecast.com
Brad Bohen is a skilled and enthusiastic angler and a passionate and articulate conservationist and public speaker. His program on the Brule River was terrific and brought rave reviews from my customers.
Mike Alwin - Owner - Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop - Lake Elmo, MN -- www.BobMitchellsFlyShop.com
On Primo Tail Predator Flies...
Brad has come up with a line of predator flies he uses for his clients with Musky and Smallmouth, that are seriously out of this world. I can honestly tell you in fifteen years of swinging this long stick at fish, I've never seen flies with this good of action.
Aaron Otto - Writer, Adventure Angler