Wisconsin angler catches world-record musky
HAYWARD - An avid fly fisherman and fishing guide is the latest Wisconsin world record holder for the monster musky he landed on the Chippewa River with a fly rod.
The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum notified Brad Bohen of Hayward last week that the 51.25-inch musky he caught Oct. 16, 2008, was indeed a world fly rod record for a released fish on a 36-pound tippet, according to Emmett Brown, the Hall's executive director.
"I've never been a record chaser by nature, but I must admit that I am tickled to be in this position," Bohen says. "I give all the credit to Tom Greenup for his wonderful guiding and oarsmanship that day as well as good fishing buddy Derek Kuehl, who had invited me along on the trip after having a fellow angler cancel out."
Bohen, who would say only that he caught his musky below the Winter dam but above Lake Holcombe, says that the real story of that day was that not only did he catch a magnificent fish, but within moments, "Derek also hung into a record class beast of his own (fish measured 45 inches) and we proceeded to execute an almost unheard of musky double on a fly!"
Bohen, who guides and currently caretakes at the Winneboujou Club on the Brule River, joins a sizeable and storied group of Wisconsin anglers who have hauled in record fish. Four world records were set in the Hayward area in the late 1940s, including the 69-pound 11-ounce monster Louis Spray pulled from the Chippewa Flowage in 1949.
In more recent years, Wisconsin fly fishermen have also added to the record haul, including three new fly fishing catch and release musky records set in 2008 in addition to Bohen's. Bill Flader set a new record for 14-pound tippet with the 40-inch musky he pulled from the Chippewa River in Sawyer County; Tom Peterson set two new records, for the 43-inch musky he pulled from North Twin Lake in Vilas County on 50-pound tippet and the 41-inch musky he landed on Kentuck Lake in Forest/Vilas counties to set a record in the "unlimited tippet" category.
Wisconsin also owns a corner of a fifth fly fishing musky record set in 2008: Tom Peterson pulled a 46-inch musky from Smokey Lake, which is mostly in Michigan's Iron County but also touches Vilas County.