It was late October, but the northern Wisconsin weather felt more like mid-winter. Frozen water bottles rolled around the bottom of the boat, and we had to windmill our arms every dozen casts to keep blood flowing to our digits. Jeff was catching a few pike but zero muskies on his bucktail, while I was moving a few muskies on my flies and generally getting one of them to eat. It was clear that fish were keying onto large, slow, neutrally buoyant offerings—precisely the definition of a muskie fly. After watching me boat two mid-40-pound fish, my brother finally asked if he could try a fly. I rummaged through my selection until I found a black-and-purple behemoth I call Large Marge, the biggest muskie fly I’ve ever tied. To make it castable with his baitcaster, we crimped eight large split shot about a foot above the eyelet. Twenty minutes later, he fired it into the mouth of a feeder creek, where a Subaru-sized piece of water heaved just under his fly. He didn’t catch that fish—just a case of shaky knees—but it made me wonder what would have happened if he’d been throwing flies the whole time.