Hardly, Strictly Musky 2015 – What a ride!

Where do I start, my mind is still running a million miles an hour and it’s been three days since it was over.  I guess I’ll start with a little primer for those of you who don’t know. Hardly, Strictly Musky is a fly fishing tournament put on by Towee Boats out of McMinnville Tennessee. It is an event where the best and most die-hard musky fly fisherman (and women) come to fish and have a good time. When your fishing for the fish of 10,000 casts you must have a good party afterwards to make it all worth it.

After my 12 hour drive, it all started off Thursday night with a check-in party at Foglight Foodhouse near Rock Island State Park. I meet up with Josh from Rock On Charters who I would be fishing with for the tournament. We had never met in person before so our team was Team Blind Date. Josh has a Towee with a 20hp jet so we could get through the skinny water. I was excited to get a chance to fish out of a Towee with someone who knows so much about musky fishing. Todd from Towee went over the rules and everyone enjoyed a meal, cold beer, and good conversation. I got to meet a lot of people who I had only known through social media and some new people as well.

dont be a asshole, Harldy Strictly Musky 2015
Todd welcoming everyone and laying out the rules.
Harldy Strictly Musky 2015, Kelly Galloup, Chris Willen, Blane Chocklett, pig farm ink
Lots of fishy people in this crowd
Harldy Strictly Musky 2015
Our team logo! Thanks Josh

All I can say about Friday and Saturday is that I have never cast so much in all my life. We spent somewhere around 24-25 hours on the water casting a 10wt fly rod with a fly that felt like a wet sock. I have never felt this beat up after fishing. Luckily, the Collins rivers is one of the nicest rivers I have ever been on. There is so much fishy looking water I could spend weeks fishing it all. I also loved fishing out of the Towee. It is perfect for fishing this kind of water. It is a boat that I will be looking into buying someday as I could use it in the lakes, rivers, and saltwater anywhere I go.

Harldy Strictly Musky 2015
Friday was a foggy morning on the Collins River
Harldy Strictly Musky 2015
Collins River Tennessee
Harldy Strictly Musky 2015
Many springs  and fishy looking rock ledges along the banks
Collins River springs
Collins River springs
Hardly Strictly Musky 2015
The MuskyonFly guys

A cold front moved through on Thursday evening so I’m blaming that on the fish not biting. Saturday brought on an early morning start to beat the rush to some better water. We had several boats in same stretch of river with us on Saturday but no one was seeing much for fish.

Hardly Strictly Musky 2015
Pre-dawn launch in the Towee on Saturday
Hardly Strictly Musky 2015, Towee boat, Collins River
I’ll take this view any day of the week

In the end there were 8 Musky caught by the 80+ people during the tournament and none of those fish were caught by me. Alan Broyhill pulled the only fish caught on Saturday and he made it count with a 49 1/2″ beast that took the win. Congrats to Alan and his crew!

Collins river musky, tennessee musky
49 1/2″ of Tennessee Musky

I enjoyed meeting so many great people and Collins River BBQ served some good food. Thanks to Todd and everyone at Towee Boats, Collins River BBQ, Flymen Fishing Company, Pig Farm Ink, and everyone else that made this event happen. Thanks to Josh and the rest of the Virginia musky crew, I had a good time and look forward to next year. Also check out RockOnCharters.net and  Muskyonfly.com for more from those guys! I’m bringing my A game next year! Watch out Tennessee!


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