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Interview with Larry Mann, owner, Hayward Fly Fishing Company.
Both you and your wife are former fishing guides in CO. Who usually catches the bigger fish? Hard question, but I'd say Wendy catches the most and biggest fish, because she gets to fish and I am relegated to rowing the boat in an attempt to keep the Princess happy.
Musky are known to be hard to catch on a flyrod – how tough are they? One of the big myths of musky fishing is that they are so hard to catch. While they are more difficult than bluegills or bass, they are not as tough to catch as most people think, especially in the rivers, which is where we guide for the muskies and bass. River muskies are limited in their choices of holding water, unlike lake muskies. River muskies tend to behave like very large brown trout. Reading the water in the rivers gives us an advantage over lake fishermen. We can isolate good holding water and fish it accordingly. Our own statistics bear out that we are much more efficient at catching muskies in the rivers than the statewide success rate for lake fishermen.
What the most misunderstood thing about Wisconsin fishing? The most misunderstood thing about Wisconsin fishing is that there is SO much of it. The most common question we get in the shop is "Where do you fly fish around here?" Within an hour of our shop, we can (depending upon the season) be fishing for trout, musky, bass--both smallmouth and largemouth, steelhead, salmon, lake run browns, bluegill, crappie, walleye, carp, etc. The fishing in Wisconsin is so much more diverse than other, more recognized fly fishing states, such as CO, MT, UT, WY etc. We use the following question a lot in describing our fishing--"What do you want to catch today?"
Your shop gives a lot of classes. What are the keys to getting people excited about fishing? The keys to getting people excited about fly fishing include a non-intimidating teaching style and education about the diverse fishing opportunities available to everyone. There is an assumption from almost everyone in the class that boats, waders, vests etc. are needed in order to go fishing. When they learn that a few flies and basic equipment and a trip to the end of the dock will get you in the game, everyone is excited.
What’s the strangest request you have heard at your shop? We get bait fishing questions every day even though our shop is clearly marked as a "Fly Shop". People are always coming in wanting minnows, worms, waxies, etc. and are usually shocked to learn that we truly are a fly shop.
Hayward Fly Fishing Company
15849 West 2nd Street
Hayward, WI 54843
Phone: 888-325-2929 or 715-634-8149