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Trout Fishing in Wisconsin

We took it a heck of a lot easier last night here in the Wisconsin Driftless Area.  I recon we were all asleep at 11 PM.  Sunday night took its toll on this group of 50+ dudes.  After yet another giganticus meal of a breakfast we all drove an hour to new waters.  The main river in the area is Timber Coulee Creek but Mark took me to a sneaky little tributary.

 

It was mostly clear, cold and windy.  We were bundled up to the hilt.  Thank god I packed several layers of Simms before I left home.  Regardless of the cold, Mark made his way up to the second good run and laid into a beautiful 13” brown trout.

 

I mentioned this yesterday.  The fish here don’t average nearly the size they do back home.  But they’re wild and you don’t have to look up to see if you’ll be sharing your pool with someone else at any minute.  The Driftless Area of Wisconsin is remarkably untouched and as you can see here, even the small browns are like a piece of stunning jewelry.

 

I wouldn’t have expected it but a hatch of March Browns began at 10 AM.  By 11 the captivating looking mayflies were thick and the trout started rising.  The trout were easy to fool with my size 16 Parachute Adams.  But only if you made a good cast followed by a perfect no drag presentation.  Again, these trout may be small but they are wild and know how to survive.

 

Around noon Mark had to leave for home in Iowa.  Man how these visits pass quickly.  We said our goodbyes then I decided to fish my butt off as if competing in the World Championships on some remote European trout stream.  I worked slowly.  I sat and observed.  I crawled.  And I caught more than thirty gorgeous little brown trout.

 

I don’t wade fish a trout stream on my own enough these days.  I don’t trout fish enough these days.  It seems my travels have me on distant waters most of the time.  Furthermore, when I am home chasing trout I get caught up in the float fishing.  Wading a stream has become much less a part of our trout fishing culture these days.  I think I’m gonna bring it back for me.  Today was no less than exceptionally enjoyable.

 

I fished my way up to a bridge arriving at sunset where Mark arranged for my other buddies to pick me up.  I fished nine straight hours mostly by myself crawling nearly the entire way in order not to spook these wily wild browns.  My back and hips were killing me but the pain makes me smile because it means I fished hard.

 

Today was trout fishing the way it’s supposed to be.  I released the last fish just below the bridge and gave a salute to the Wisconsin Driftless Area.  I’ll be making sure to return here soon.

 

Tonight me and the boys are at a different house that we rented for the night.  It’s cold as hell outside yet the barbeque is loaded with chicken and beef.  We’re eating and drinking like its freshman year at Northland.  We’ll never learn but we’ll never stop living life to the fullest.

 

 

Tomorrow it’s the long trip home.  I’m happy though.  This time its home for a couple weeks and I won’t be preparing for the next show.  This winter show season is over and it’s all fishing in my future.  I hope to get a couple more spring trout fishing days in then in April I’ll head back to the Indian Ocean salt to fish with my South African friends.  Get ready to read about the first insane adventure for 2017!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Wisconsin Driftless Area

Morning came early today in the Wisconsin Driftless Area with my college friends.  Most of us haven’t seen each other since my 50th on the Henry’s Fork back in 2015 so we got a little excited last night.  So excited we stayed up until 4 AM playing cards and catching up.  It was a heck of a good time but this bunch of old guys were feeling it today.  Nonetheless we’ve been down this road together and after a breakfast to die for we headed out on one of the most little-known trout fishing regions in the USA.

 

The Driftless is an area that encompasses North East Iowa, South East Minnesota and mostly South Western Wisconsin.  I lived in Wisconsin for four years and return to fish almost every year yet I’ve never fished the Driftless.  The secret of the region is that its home to some excellent, overlooked trout fishing.  My friends fish here often and have been inviting me for years.  With speaking in MN over the weekend this was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.

 

We’re somewhere an hour south of La Crosse, WI staying in a house my boys rent often for fishing here.  Due to the number of us we split up in groups.  I went with Mark Rieser and Dave Kittaka both of whom have fished with me back in Idaho several times.  Mark lives in Iowa and fishes here often.  Dave came up from his home in Indiana.  We drove a short ways and must have crossed four different tiny rivers.

 

Normally there would still be snow on the ground but Wisconsin’s winter has been mild.  The leaves haven’t popped on the trees yet and the grasses are still dead.  Things look more like late November than springtime.  But when we stopped to rig up the sounds of singing birds brought the place to life.  No doubt it was spring.

 

Mark led the way down to the river and went into action.  As I always do in a new fishing place, I kicked back and observed to begin my day.  Mark was chucking two small nymphs below an indicator.  He was fishing at the base of a riffle dumping into a deep hole.

 

It didn’t take long.  Marks indicator dove and he set the hook.  I didn’t know whether to expect a huge Wyoming size brown or a brook trout.  In came a handsome little brownie that reminded me of fishing on a European trout stream.  I love fish like this and after the photo I went to work.

 

I was using a new Winston today.  I was fishing the 9’ 4-weight Air.  This is the ultimate dry fly rod so rather than nymph I opted to toss a dry fly.  I’m rusty so I tied on something I can see – a size 16 Parachute Adams.  This time of year, no matter where you fish there are blue-winged olives and March browns.  The Adams covered that and sure enough, in the first fishy looking lie I landed a brown of my own.

 

The brown trout here are mostly small but all wild and gorgeous.  Mark and the others that fish here have indeed taken a few 20” beasts over the years, but in general, the trout here run 10 to 12 inches.  The small size doesn’t bother me at all because there were no other anglers on the stretch we were fishing – a situation so uncommon these days out west on my waters.

 

Me and the fellas moved slow today.  We were undoubtedly hurting from our craziness last night.  But catching fish wasn’t what this was all about.  We took turns watching each other fish.  We drank a couple beers and smoked cigars.  Life was good.

 

We fished till 7 PM which is about an hour before pitch dark.  It was an unseasonably warm day which I’ll take with a smile.  But when the sun set the chill took over.  I took some photos like this one of Dave on the last pool.  Then we headed for the house.

 

 

At the house, yet another college friend arrived, Brian Ezman.  I haven’t seen Brian since May of 1987 the day I graduated from Northland College up in Ashland.  Brian and I were partners in a five-week outdoor skills class where we paddled canoes straight through the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and the Quetico of Ontario.  It was an incredible test of survival skills that neither of us will ever forget.

 

We ended the brilliant day with an insane feast of smoked beef brisket brought by Brian.  Brian works with the WI DNR but also has his own catering business with access to the finest of foods.  Let’s just say, it doesn’t get any better than this!

 

We’re fishing again tomorrow.  A different river about an hour drive away.  Should be another special day for sure so be ready for some new pics and stories.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Great Waters Flyfishing Expo Ends My Show Season

Yesterday the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in St Paul, Minnesota wrapped up the winter show season for me.  2017 will go down as one of the busiest.  I had a terrific time entertaining and visiting with the folks that come to the shows to learn but also all the amazing fellow speakers I had the pleasure to work with.  Here in MN I worked with George Daniel.  Not only is George a pal from Fly Fishing Team USA but he puts on some helpful seminars on nymph and streamer fishing.

 

After the show, old college buddies Andy Thompson and Mike Neuman picked me up and we are presently somewhere in the Driftless area of Wisconsin.  It took us four hours to get here and we are now with five other college friends having a rowdy, entertaining fun as heck time.  Tomorrow starts two days of fly fishing this “off the radar” region.  Stay tuned!!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo 2017

This weekend I speak at my last Fly Fishing Show of the season.  Really?  Winter zipped by that fast?  Indeed it did and I’m ending with a bang with my first ever appearance at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota March 17-19.

 

I’ve known of this show for many years and from what I understand if you live in range, you don’t want to miss it!  What’s special about speaking in MN is that this is my old stomping grounds from back in the 80’s.  Therefore, afterwards I’ll be chucking flies with my college buddies in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.

 

Fellow speakers are friends George Daniel and Dave Whitlock and more.

Here’s my schedule for the weekend

Friday

For me this is my arrival day and although I won’t be giving any presentations I plan to be doing art at my booth the minute I get off the plane which means from around 3PM till 7PM show closing.

Saturday

10:45 – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

12:00 – Hutton Arena – “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum”

2:30 – Room A – “Saltwater Fly Fishing – Bonefish to Billfish”

Sunday

10:30 – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

11:45 – Hutton Arena – “Fly Fishing in Warmwater – Bass, Pike, Carp and More”

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Art Projects Keep Me Focused

When I go quiet I’m either on a foreign country expedition or focused on a writing or art project while home for the first time in a while.  Well, this time it’s the latter which meant a pleasurable week at home with the Sharpies and pastels and some amusing pet deer!

 

I drew on several fly boxes including a Beast Jr. Cliff Box.  I had to make time for this one as I was hunkered down preparing my taxes for my tax man.  Tailing redfish on the South Carolina flats.

 

The big project which flat out put me in lock down mode was this commission piece for Paul Hamilton of Alberta, Canada.  Paul caught this monster on the Bow River and it measured an incredible 27”.  I created him in pastels exactly to size and literally dot for dot.  The final piece is 36” x 20” and it may well be my best brown trout art yet!

 

It’s back on the road this week at the Great Lakes Fly Fishing Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Schedule to post on Wednesday.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

California Speaking Tour has been a Blast!

I’m deep into the California speaking tour.  I spoke to Tracy Fly Fishers last week then at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show over the weekend.  Both were excellent with high attendance for the show and all my presentations.  Here’s a shot of me teaching the Double Haul on the outside casting pond.

 

On top of the speaking I busted out some mean artwork.  I drew on a banjo for David Blackburn of Kootenai Angler two years ago.  This weekend I did it again only this time I went with a saltwater look.  Here’s finishing up the bonefish on top.

Next was to sketch in the tarpon.

Here’s the completion.  It took me all night at the hotel bar!

I was stoked the way it came out as was Dave!

Granny and I have been chilling out in the boonies of California.  We are just leaving Kernville and I’m speaking in to Kern River Fly Fishers tonight and Fresno Fly Fishers tomorrow.  Then it’s a long drive home but home sweet home it will be.  Looking forward to it!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Another California Fly Fishing Tour Begins

No rest for the wicked.  I barely get in the door at home on Mondays before leaving again on Wednesdays.  I like it though because I love my job.  While tomorrow night some of my California friends will catch my “Warmwater Fly Fishing” presentation at Tracy Fly Fishers here in California, those who don’t can catch me this weekend at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show and next week in Bakersfield or Fresno.

 

As always, I’ll be giving several PowerPoint presentations (schedule below) and demoing on the Fly Casting Pond.  And of course, I’ll have plenty of my famous coffee mugs and beer steins as well as every color Sharpie you can imagine and boxes to draw on.  Feel free to bring your own box, computer or whatever.  Hope to see you there!

 

Here’s my presentation schedule for the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show:

Friday

1:00 – Autograph Booth

2:00 – Release Room – “Tricks & Tactics for Fly Fishing the World’s Best Flats”

4:15 – Inside Pond – “Fly Casting 101”

Saturday

11:15 – Outside Pond – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

1:00 – Autograph Booth

3:00 – “Fly Fishing for Carp – A 20lb Fish near Home”

Sunday

11:00 – Autograph Booth

12:45 – Inside Pond – “Fly Casting 101”

3:00 – “Streamer Tricks for More and Larger Trout”

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Winter Continues to Steam On By

Exhausted would be an understatement as I make my way home from Indianapolis this morning.  But you know I love it.  I just got done speaking and sketching on fly boxes for three days at the Indianapolis Boat, Travel and Sport Show.  The show was fantastic and I had a great time teaching and entertaining, but big shows (this one dwarfs the usual fly fishing shows) drain you.

 

Then this morning I checked out of my hotel at 4 AM, had an hour drive through pea soup fog, returned a rental car then caught my 6 AM flight from Indi towards Idaho.  I rarely put myself in such travel hell but with little time at home lately the early flight might allow me time for a ski this afternoon.

 

Next in line is a ten-day California tour.  It begins Thursday night speaking to Tracy Fly Fishers where I’ll present “Fly Fishing Warmwater – Bass, Pike, Carp and More” followed by Friday through Sunday at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show (I’ll post my Pleasanton Show seminar schedule Wednesday).  Then I’ll relax Monday and Tuesday and return to the stage in Bakersfield for a Carp talk then Fresno for Streamer Tactics.

 

Normally on this CA tour I head out on the Delta for a day of striped bass fishing with my friend Ben Byng.  Not this year.  The rains have doomed most fishing opportunities for this trip.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Indianapolis Sports Show Feb 17-19, 2017

Here we go again!  It’s time for the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show.  I did this show last winter and thoroughly enjoyed.  If you’re in the area swing by and catch one of my presentations!

 

Here are my seminar times for this weekend.  Click on the presentation titles for full details:

Friday

4:00 – “Warmwater Fly Fishing – Bass, Pike and More”

Saturday

12:00 – “Trout Bumming the World”

3:00 – “Fly Fishing Jackson Hole”

Sunday 

12:00 – “Fly Fishing Tails from Africa”

3:00 – “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum”

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Frigig Cold & Wind Shorten Last Day on the Ice

Wind shook the Chippewa Retreat Lodge starting in the wee hours.  By the time I got up to meet the guys for ice fishing, everyone but two of the guides, Joe and James, bagged the idea of fishing.  I layered up and off we went.

 

We didn’t go far from the lodge and it wasn’t to a lake.  We fished a wide section of the river.  Ice conditions were poor with thin ice and slush on top.  We walked with caution but safely got in six tip ups and over a two hour period managed to land five pike.

 

The wind can be not only cold but just plain annoying.  We packed it in around 11 AM.  It was a great weekend of ice fishing in Wisconsin and there was no need for a full day today.  We spent the rest of the day playing pool and dice and just flat out had a great time.  And of course, George took us to dinner one last time.  We ate at the White Oak Grill next to Chippewa Retreat and had one last epic feast!

 

I’m flying home today then back in a plane for work this weekend.  I’ll be speaking at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show.  I’ll post my speaking schedule on Thursday.  Hope to see some of you there!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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