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Fall 1910 Musky Land Update

Fall Musky 2021 is open and we’re booking trips! Very limited days available.

Gavin here–

Musky Land is open across the famous south eastern “Musky Mile” on the French Broad. Mornings are lowering into crisp, cool air throughout the early afternoons. The sun is drawing back from it’s hottest peaks of summer and dipping into daily highs of temperate mid 70s.

I’m back out on the water, spending a lot of time locating fish for trips. In the last couple weeks, I’ve seen a lot of action on our fly. We’ve had big follows, eats, and it makes the case that it’s officially the start to fall 2021 muskie season!

At this time of year, we’re always waiting on the water temperatures to drop as we close in October. Since we’ve been getting consistent rains on the headwaters of the French Broad River, right out the back door of our shop, the lower river of is cooling quickly and that means happy musky. The time is now to get your dates on the book!

We continuously have cool mornings scheduled in the forecast and that’s what it takes to finally jolt fall into play for our weather and musky. These fish are ready to turn the feed bag on. 

What makes the fall a unique time on the French Broad is the sheer activity going on in the river for all fish present in the system. Some fish are spawning, some are maturing, some are a few inches big and others getting hefty. Musky are active coming out of summer’s heat and looking to eat all sizes of flies. 

The average day on the Musky Mile starts at around 6:30 AM and lasts 10 hours, but dependent on the day’s conditions and angler’s energy, we regularly have trips go into 12 to 14 hours depending on what the guide sees fit for the angler.

Half way through, you can expect an hour for lunch. ***Started in 2020, lunch is no longer provided by HWO and all clients are asked to bring their own food and drink.*** At the end of your float, you’ll be at your vehicle at the take-out — easy!

During the day, you’ll be casting fly rods between 10 and 12 weight, while running heavier 350 to 550 grain full sinking lines, and using 7 inch to 15 inch flies. It is physically demanding and does put heavy strain on wrists, hands and shoulders. You’ll be standing and casting upwards of 20 to as long as 60 feet. (See this video on how to cast a fly on a single handed fly rod)

To compare, if you’ve ever fished red fish, tarpon, bone fish or any larger predatory fish on the fly while stripping in flies — can be a similar experience. This trip is ideal for intermediate to experienced anglers and can be difficult to do for beginners, but not impossible!

For all new clients, we require a 2-day minimum booking slot. 

Known as “the fish of 10,000 casts,” our strain is one of the most southern in the United States. Luckily, for someone interested in the pursuit of these apex predators, we have a healthy and expanding fishery of muskies. We annually  stock fingerling musky throughout the sections of the Musky Mile and have been doing so since 1970. We have big, old fish here. 

October through May are considered the best times to pursue these northern pike relatives, which grow as large as 50-plus inches in our waters. As we hit the river, your guide will describe the ins-and-outs of musky fishing the French Broad River, provide casting instruction, walk you through the figure-8, focus your efforts on productive spots musky live, while including the unique strategies used to trigger follows and strikes. 

This fish is one of the hardest and we work even harder to get them to the boat! Remember, it’s 100% effort out there, no less. 

See you soon,

Gavin Griffin
Headwaters Outfitters Musky Guide

Fishing Guide, Gavin Griffin

(Use arrows left and right to learn more)

Musky land guide

FLY FISHING GUIDE, Gavin Griffin is a full time guide since 2017 with Headwaters. Previously located and fishing between Colorado and Idaho, he’s fished over 200 rivers in the United States. He now brings his lifelong angling knowledge to his clients here on the French Broad River. Pursuing musky has been all-in effort and Gavin is proud to bring a truly unique experience to the South East.

Ready to chase southern musky on the fly?

Gavin Griffin with a musky
Gavin Griffin with a musky


Fly fishing musky in the south is the next frontier for musky fishing. You don’t need to freeze up north to catch these cold water fish; they’re right here in temperate and beautiful Western North Carolina.

We’re on the 3rd oldest river in the world and have muskie waiting to be caught. Hiring a HWO fishing guide for musky on the French Broad River gives you access to the 30-plus miles of river to hunt big southern musky.


RODS: 10-12 Weight

LINE: 350-550 Grain Intermediate, Full-Sink Cortland® and Scientific Angler® fly fishing lines

FLY SELECTION: 7-9 inch flies are regularly thrown, up to 14 inch flies could see the water


Inflatable, non-motorized Outcast PAC-1300 | Stable, Discreet & Comfortable with hard-decking to stand on


Full Day Musky Float: $600  / 1-2 Anglers

  • A licensed, knowledgeable fishing guide who can assist you with casting, locating fish, and whatever questions you may have.
  • Fly Fishing equipment- Rod, Reel, Fly Line, Leaders, Tippet, Flies

*** Please request conventional gear in advance — our guide’s default gear on the boat is for fly fishing

  • A North Carolina Fishing License  (you can purchase both ahead of time by visiting
  • A ride to and from the water you’ll be fishing is no longer provided. Your guide will figure out shuttling with you prior to the trip.
  • Lunch, beverages and snacks will not be provided by your guide. Please be ready to provide yourselves lunch, beverages and snacks.

Hire THE Guide:

Contact Headwaters Outfitters musky guide, Gavin Griffin, directly at or by cell at (814)-227-8876

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