Bill Sherer, owner of the We Tie It fly shop, takes us to the Musky capital of the world and the 2nd state in the US with the most lakes. Today, we’re fly fishing Wisconsin. There’s a whole different game in catching these fish that are monstrous in size and Bill shares some tactics to get more opportunities in landing them. They are called “Fish of 10 Thousand Casts” for a reason and we find out why. We talk about the recommended gear for muskies, which flies are the most effective, and the best times to go after them.


Click below and listen to the Podcast about Fly Fishing Wisconsin with Bill Sherer:

apple podcasts

google podcast

Find the show:  Apple | Spotify | Overcast

Subscribe on Android

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe on Spotify Podcasts

Subscribe via RSS

(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


Sponsors and Podcast Updates


fly fishing wisconsin

Fly Fishing Wisconsin Show Notes with Bill Sherer

04:30 – Russ Miller from Umpqua Feather Merchants was on the podcast at WFS 303

05:10 – Bill states that “Walmart does more business in a day than what the fly fishing industry as a whole does in a year”

08:00 – The first fish that Bill caught was a brook trout when he was about 8 years

08:30 – Bill’s parents owned a boys and girls summer camp – he used to sell worms to the campers

09:25 – Bill became an engineer and got into a school bus business where he was the chief of maintenance for about 20 years – he eventually quit after getting stressed with it

10:50 – Bill opened a fly shop just before the movie, A River Runs Through It came out

fly fishing wisconsin

14:30 – Fishing season starts at mid-May in North Wisconsin when bugs starts hatching and the water has warmed up enough


15:30 – Tim Landwehr is also at the Northeast part of Wisconsin – Tim was on the podcast at WFS 273

16:30 – Hendricksons are the first major hatch of the year, followed by mother’s day caddis, sulfurs, brown drakes, etc.

18:30 – Bill does some zoom fly tying classes in winter when the fishing is off

20:25 – Tim Flagler was on the podcast at WFS 279

25:30 – Wisconsin is the musky capital of the world

29:25 – Walleyes are having a difficult time to produce in Wisconsin lakes – these fish are declining because of water temperature changes and global warning

38:30 – Use a fly that looks like a bluegill and not bigger than 6 inches

39:50 – One of the most effective flies for muskies is the Big Green

fly fishing wisconsin

41:00 – Bill recommends the Cortland Ghost Tip fly line but only for spring time – but in September, Bill recommends a Compact Intermediate fly line

43:25 – Bill casts behind the fish’s tail and animates the fly a little to get the fish’s attention

53:40 – The biggest musky they landed was close to 40 pounds and it wasn’t hooked – the fly was way inside that fish’s throat

57:00 – Bill talks about 75-80 feet casting distances of open lake fishing

59:30 – Wisconsin’s got thousands of lakes – within a half hour around Bill, there’s about 5000 lakes

1:00:25 – Bill builds and sells Northwoods Inflatables Pontoon Raft – 2 man and 3 man

fly fishing wisconsinfly fishing wisconsin

1:01:42 – Wisconsin’s got a DNR website where you can look up whatever lake you want and it’ll tell you all about it – access, fish population, etc.

1:05:00 – Bill recommends Chippewa Rods

fly fishing wisconsin

1:06:15 – We talk about conservation and Trout Unlimited

1:07:55 – Bill used to play basketball in the University of Wisconsin – he was a power forward with The Badgers and used to play with Carl Pickens and Danny Lure


Top 3 Tips from Bill Sherer

  1. Persistence pays off – they call musky “the fish of 10 thousand casts”
  2. Practice casting – get a 10 wt rod if you’re going to fish the entire season
  3. If you have the ability, get a 1 pc rod – if not, get a 2 pc rod but don’t get a 4 pc


You can find Bill on Instagram @wetieit

Website at We Tie It


fly fishing wisconsin


Resources Noted in the Show

Department of Natural Resources – Wisconsin


Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 273 – Sight Fishing for Smallmouth Bass with Tim Landwehr from Tight Lines Fly Fishing


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


fly fishing wisconsin

Fly Fishing Wisconsin Conclusion with Bill Sherer

Bill and I talked about musky fly fishing in Wisconsin. I am amazed at how different the approach is to catching these fish. I learned a lot for sure. Although I’m not sure if I’m prepared for muskies, this is definitely going on the bucket list. Hopefully, I could try fishing them with Bill down the line. Have you ever tried fishing for muskies? Let me know in the comments about your experience.