The First Fish in South Africa

blog-Nov-12-2015-1-knysna-lagoon-zaGranny and I awoke to a spectacular morning here in Knysna, South Africa at our friends Craig and Coreta Smiths house.  It’s nice to be here for many reasons but the first that crosses my mind while in the Southern Hemisphere in November is that while the days are short and wintery in Victor, Idaho they are long and summery down here.  This brings a big smile to my face as I sip my coffee outside in shorts and t-shirt under sunrays at 6 AM.  Today Craig took us on Knysna Lagoon in search of Garrick (locally known as leerie) and the elusive spotted grunter.


blog-Nov-12-2015-2-flyfishing-with-craig-smithI mentioned yesterday that Craig and I met fishing in Egypt.  Craig is a well-travelled fly fisher and fished all over the world but admittedly doesn’t spend enough time fly fishing his home waters.  This being said, Craig has his own boat and knows where the fish live.  His targeted fish today was the queenfish-like leerie that can reach huge sizes that call for the 12-weight.


blog-Nov-12-2015-3-jeff-currier-flyfishing-south-africaMy rod of choice was the new 9-weight Winston Boron III Plus Jungle Rod.  Although not a jungle situation, I played around with the rod on the flats a couple weeks ago and loved it for the bonefish.  I rigged up Granny with my 7-weight, a Scientific Angler WF7F Bonefish Taper line and a Clouser.  The three of us chucked flies all morning on gorgeous looking water just in the lagoon between what they call the Heads but had no results.


blog-Nov-12-2015-4-flyfishing-in-south-africaBy noon we worked up an appetite and boated to the Knysna waterfront and met Coreta at a restaurant called Tapas.  Seafood is as fresh as can be here and very reasonably priced.  We crushed some lobsters and more calamari and a heap of slop chips.  And of course this is vacation so we washed the delicious meal down with a few Black Label South African beers.


blog-Nov-12-2015-5-abel-reel-winston-rodAfter lunch we went right back to our fishing and we still couldn’t buy a fish.  There are lots of shore anglers here and honestly we didn’t see the first person reel in a fish until about 4 PM.  It was exciting enough that Craig drove us by for a look and to my surprise it was a bluefish which here they strangely call them elf.


blog-Nov-12-2015-6-flyfishing-for-garrickAs you guessed we didn’t give up casting till the bitter end.  Craig has a friend that recommended one last spot to try for leerie.  By now the wind was howling and the temperature had dropped to the low 60s.  The three of us were underdressed.  As we pulled up to the spot we saw some feeding fish boiling.  I got my Clouser on them fast and hooked up to my first leerie and ended up with three of the feisty hard fighters.  They were by no means of size worth mentioning but for us it was a good tug and a new species to add on my species list.


blog-Nov-12-2015-7-black-label-beerDay two always causes me the worst jetlag.  Fishing allowed me to fight through the day but afterwards Craig took us to watch the sunset at Brenten Blue on the Sea.  I drank another Black Label and despite watching a whale it was a struggle to keep the eyes open.  From there we returned home and we just finished up an incredible meal that Coreta made for us and poured through two bottles of fine red wine.  I suspect tonight Granny and I shall sleep like rocks.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Arrival Day in Knysna, South Africa

blog-Nov-11-2015-1-flying-to-george-south-africaGranny and I have flown through a 48-hour time warp from the onset of winter in Victor, Idaho to the heart of spring down here on the bottom of the African continent in Knysna, South Africa.  We are staying the next four days in this area with my friend Craig Smith and his wife Coreta.  I met Craig while fishing in Egypt for Nile perch in 2008 then we fished there again in 2010.


blog-Nov-11-2015-2-george-south-africaAs you can imagine, jetlag after such a journey is huge.  South Africa is nine hours ahead of Idaho time and in a completely different hemisphere.  As always, we follow my rule of fighting jetlag by getting on schedule at our new location immediately.  This means that no matter how tired we are we stay awake till at least 9 PM.


blog-Nov-11-2015-3-knysna-south-africaAfter our arrival at around 10 AM in George, South Africa Craig picked us up and we drove for his home town of Knysna.  Upon arrival we met his wife Coreta and they showed us around their beautiful home on the Knysna Lagoon.




blog-Nov-11-2015-4-jeff-currier-&-craig-smithGranny and I were beaten from travel but Craig and Coreta kept us busy so dozing wasn’t an option.  We began the visit with lunch at one of their favorite lunch spots, East Head Cafe.  Craig and I pulverized mushroom burgers while the ladies ate fresh fish.  After lunch Craig and I fished shrimp patterns through some deep holes on the Knysna River with the incoming tide in hopes of catching anything but we had no luck.


blog-Nov-11-2015-5-knysna-elephant-parkJetlag hit hard and our bodies wanted to sleep after fishing at around 3 PM but Craig took us to Knysna Elephant Park and we walked with tigers (just kidding).  This place was amazing and we learned much about an animal we’ve been around much the last ten years.  As spectacular as it was, I was not at ease walking with these monsters.  While Granny was comfortable petting the huge animals I jumped in for a quick pic then got the heck back.


blog-Nov-11-2015-6-knysna-south-africaWe returned to Craig’s and met up with Coreta around 6 PM.  Continuing to help keep us awake, Coreta led the way to their friend’s house for an enjoyable cocktail hour overlooking the bay.  The place was gorgeous and we watched the sunset.  Craig and I drank a few South African Castle beers while the ladies sipped good South African wine.


blog-Nov-11-2015-7-knysna-south-africaI must say the highlight of the day was dinner.  Our wonderful hosts took us to their favorite restaurant on the picturesque little waterfront of Knysna named Cafe Mario.  Coreta recommended we get anything with calamari because Mario’s has the best squid imaginable.  They were right and I can honestly say it was the best calamari I’ve had in my life!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Intense Travel Week Ends in Africa

blog-Nov-10-2015-1-flying-to-africaI got home from a successful Keys trip late Tuesday night then had a couple days to fine tune a conservation speech about golden mahseer that I gave in San Francisco on Friday night for the Henry’s Fork Foundations Annual Fundraiser.  The talk was held at an amazing old yacht club near Fisherman’s Wharf practically under the Golden Gate Bridge.   The event and speech went very well and I got home late Saturday night.  Then all day Sunday was spent scrambling to pack for three weeks fishing in Africa.


blog-Nov-10-2015-2-granny-currier-africaGranny and I have been traveling since early Monday morning and land in Johannesburg, South Africa in about three hours at 6:28 PM November 10th.  It’s been a long haul but the end is near.  The plan is to overnight in Johannesburg then first thing tomorrow fly to George where we’ll meet up with South African friend Craig Smith.


blog-Nov-10-2015-3-fishing-in-africaWe’ll fish four venues this trip with our South African friends – three different ones in South Africa and the highlight of the trip will be in the small country of Lesotho with my good friends of Tourette Fight it in Africa.  If you read the blog than you know my friends of Tourette because I’ve been on their amazing trips for tigerfish in Tanzania and the flats of the Red Sea off Sudan many times.


Stay tuned for a very interesting set of blogs the next few weeks but as usual, internet is not always available.  I’ll post when I can and I assure you in the end the day by day accounts will all be here.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Never Underrate Florida Keys Bonefish

blog-Nov-2-2015-1-simms-photo-shootA common occurrence on any photo shoot is that on the last day you scramble to get pics you haven’t gotten yet.  The shorter the length of the shoot the longer the last day photo list is.  I’m in the Florida Keys on a two day shoot with Simms modeling new product.  Simms has some very cool stuff to release in the next few months especially in the world of footwear.  But as expected, the first half of today was modeling rather than fishing.


blog-Nov-2-2015-2-tarpon-fishingI knew what I was getting into beforehand.  I came down excited to see and try the new Simms products, enjoy the company of friends I haven’t seen in a while, the 80° heat and of course I crossed my fingers for a few hours of good flats fishing.  This afternoon the few hours of good fishing came to fruition.


For starters, Capt. Bruce found us tarpon.  But the few we saw were hugging bottom on a deep flat, very hard to see and had that “I’m not so hungry” attitudes convincing us to move on after less than an hour.


blog-Nov-2-2015-3-flyfishing-the-flatsNext we hit a favorite permit flat during the perfect incoming tide.  I took off wading and in the first fifteen minutes I saw seven and got one excellent shot.  The chance came as close as you can get to hook up.  Due to the circumstance of light wind and a heavy crab fly that could easily spook a permit on its splash, I led this fish about ten feet.  The big black-eyed fish saw my concoction sink and surged for it.  The permit tipped and tailed over my fly sending my heart to a flutter, but rather than pick it up, he stared for what seemed like an endless amount of time.  I felt the need to twitch my fly and unfortunately it sent the round fish fleeing.


blog-Nov-2-2015-4-flyfishing-permitThe other six permit I saw consisted of a two pack that disappeared before getting in range to cast and a three pack that were spooked before I had any chance.  And last a monster permit that was speeding as though spooked but I got my crab in front of him anyhow but he continued on by without a look.


We ended the day on a beautiful sand flat we could’ve waded it with bare feet.  Instead we did one last photo shoot of some new saltwater wading boots that will be ready for spring.  They’re awesome boots that will replace the OceanTeks.  While I was posing Bruce stayed back at the skiff and along came some bonefish and he nailed one.  That was it.  Brian and Connor hurried up the last few photos and turned me loose.


blog-Nov-2-2015-5-bonefishOver the next two hours we all walked the flat.  It stretched a long way and four of us fished with plenty of elbow room while Brian trailed along with the camera.  The clouds faded in and out.  The wind was light and the tide rushed on to the flat.  I saw several bonnethead sharks and some barracudas before my first bonefish.  He was a hefty one and with a passing cloud hindering my visibility he nearly got too close to me before I saw him.  But I lucked out and landed my fly four feet from him and up-current.  I got tight and like swinging a fly for a salmon my fly passed in front of him.  One strip and he was on and on went the classic bonefish fight with a deep run into the backing, followed by another to the backing then a short one before I corralled him.


blog-Nov-2-2015-6-key-west-bonefishingI picked up one more smaller bonefish for a total of five amongst the four of us.  This was the best bonefishing I’ve ever had in the Keys and the first time I’ve waded for them in Florida.  We ended the day with one last pole across a tarpon flat followed by a final shoot speeding along in Bruce’s skiff with the new Vapor jackets.  It’s been a very action packed wonderful two days here in the Keys. I reckon I’ll be sleeping on the flights home tomorrow!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing in Key West

blog-Nov-1b-2015-1-fatasy-fest-keywestEarly morning comes quick especially if you were up checking out Fantasy Fest on Halloween in Key West earlier this morning at 1 AM.  But, when you travel, whether in a foreign country or in a far-flung part of the USA, if you have the opportunity to take in an experience, you do so.  Fantasy Fest was a wild and must see event to say the least.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-2-Key-west-flThe beauty of late nights during fishing travel is that they easily get brushed aside because fishing in unique places is always adrenaline-charged.  I can’t ever remember being overtired from the front of a flats boat or dosing off while casting for some bad ass fish in a jungle.  Today and tomorrow I’m on a short notice trip as the fishing model for a Simms photography shoot down here in the Florida Keys.  I promise you, very little time will be spent sleeping but my body won’t accept that it’s tired until the flight home.


Earlier today I mentioned our photographer is Brian Grossenbacher.  Brian and I have been friends for about ten years and did our only shoot together back when we met.  Our coordinator of this photo shoot is friend Connor Flanagan who is the Sports Marketing Manager for Simms.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-3-jeff-currier-&-capt-bruce-chardWe have guides as well (Capt. Bruce Chard, Capt. Steve Hancock and Capt. Mike Weinhofer).  I’m excited because Bruce happens to be a longtime friend.  Bruce and I met at a Sportsman’s Show in Puyallup, Washington nearly twenty years ago.  We hit it off and for years I travelled to the Keys to fish with him and he traveled to Idaho to fish with me.  Like most folks our age, we got busy.  Bruce got busy guiding and with his family while I branched out exploring destinations far beyond the Keys.  I can’t believe it but this is our first time fishing together in about eight years.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-4-fishing-wrecksThe first shoot of today caught me by surprise but I was excited.  Simms has some superb wet weather and harsh elements gear coming out and we tested it offshore.  Capt. Mike Weinhofer specializes in deep water wreck jigging and led the way and provided two boats.  Being a fly only guy I wasn’t in this first shoot yet I had the green light to fish hard and enjoy the morning from the second boat.


We left the Key West dock before 7 AM and traveled about twenty minutes to the reef.  I rode with Steve while Bruce and Connor went with Mike to pose for Brian while jigging live bait over shipwrecks.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-5-sonar-titan-big-water-max-450x450I learned of this being part of our itinerary late Thursday night and had just enough time to put together a deep water fly rig.  My deep water rig consists of my 12-weight Winston SX, my 11/12N Abel and Scientific Anglers new Sonar Titan Big Water Taper Max Sink 700 grain fly line with the 100lb core.  This line drops like a rock and with a huge weighted Clouser Minnow I can dredge down to around 80 feet deep (see last Decembers blog for testing this new line in the Seychelles).


blog-Nov-1b-2015-6-jeff-currier-flyfishing-barracudaThe first stop had us in an easy to handle 30 foot deep area so I not only dredged but I launched some reasonable casts.  My Clouser was an olive and white Ben Byng striped bass concoction.  I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of fish to expect because reefs hold numerous species but that’s what thrills me on every strip.  I let my fly sink to around 15 feet and stripped fast.  On my third cast I got a yank that reminded me I was fly fishing saltwater.  The fish stopped me dead and took off like scalded dog.  Then came the acrobatic jumps and soon after I landed this jagged toothed barracuda.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-7-spanish-mackerelSteve and I followed Capt. Mike to his usual haunts as they did their photo shoot.  Steve is mostly a flats guide for bonefish, tarpon and permit but he knows the deep water as well.  The Clouser went on to catch this Spanish mackerel and several blue runners.  The latter of these fish were enticed from 90 feet down.  One of the blue runners caused a heap of excitement when a large barracuda shot out from under the boat and bit him in half then another took the rest along with my fly.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-8-hogfish-bar-&-grillThe offshore shoot ended at noon.  We ate hogfish tacos at the Hogfish Bar and Grill.  After, Bruce and Steve grabbed their flats skiffs and we launched from Big Pine KeyBrian and I went with Bruce while Connor directed more photo set ups from Steve’s boat.  We didn’t get much fishing in the first couple hours, but Connor turned us loose for tarpon for the last of the afternoon.


I’ve fished with a lot of tarpon guides in my life and I can promise you I’ve learned the most from Bruce.  His instruction on how to cast, where to land your fly, how to strip your fly, is clear and concise and best of all, proven.  He knows the tarpon behavior on the flats like I know the rainbows of the Henry’s Fork.  I love fishing tarpon with him and we’ve caught our share together.  But when it comes to tarpon and when it comes to saltwater fly fishing in general, indeed it helps to know a lot, but it doesn’t always mean you’re going to score big.


blog-Nov-1b-2015-9-capt-bruce-chardAs soon as we began to pole across the flat the low western clouds blocked the setting sun.  Tarpon fishing on the flats is entirely about seeing them and when the clouds block the sun they take away the viewing window.  For two hours we had a total of five minutes of sun.  That being said, I got three close shots.  Two of my casts easily could have landed better but one was on the money.  This cast was to a tarpon Bruce estimated at 175lbs.  The monster fish swam to within five feet of the bow with the fly in his face but he wouldn’t eat.  Such a close encounter is a humbling experience that all anglers should enjoy at least once.


I’ve been in the Keys a mere 24 hours and only have 24 hours before we turn around and go home.  Yes, this is a short one but what a great day.  This morning’s fishing was lots of fun and tonight, even though the sun and tarpon wouldn’t cooperate, it was a blast to catch up with Bruce and Brian.  I suspect we’ll make it happen tomorrow.  Stay tuned. . . .


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Key West, Halloween & Fantasy Fest

blog-Nov-1a-2015-1-Key-WestOne of the many perks of being on the Simms Fishing Products pro staff is being one of the first to fish the newest of Simms long array of products.  Tonight pro photographer Brian Grossenbacher and I landed in Key West, Florida.  We are here the courtesy of Simms.  My job is to fish and Brian’s is to get photos of the new Simms gear in action.


blog-Nov-1a-2015-2-fantasy-fest-key-westWe got off the plane then met up with the rest of the crew and instead of a boring night at a hotel room we went to the heart of Key West madness.  Tonight is Halloween and furthermore – the famous Fantasy Fest.  I can’t post most of the pictures I shot tonight!


Fishing starts later today.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Florida Keys here I Come

blog-Oct-31-2015-florida-keysWith a trip to San Francisco this Friday November 6th to be the keynote speaker for the Henry’s Fork Foundation Reception Dinner then to Africa for three weeks on Monday November 9th, squeezing in two days of fishing in the Florida Keys tomorrow and Monday didn’t seem logical.  But then it seemed less logical not to go.  This is a fully sponsored Simms fishing photo shoot that includes a half day of reef dredging with the 700-grain and a day and a half on the flats with my long time buddy Capt. Bruce Chard whom I haven’t visited in years.  What was I thinking – of course I’m going!


This was a last minute trip.  These are always the best!  A special thanks to Simms for inviting me along.  Stay tuned for what I hope is a great fishing adventure!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Annual Thermopolis Trip with the Boyz

blog-Oct-25-2015-1-grand-teton-national-parkFall is the time for get togethers with my friends whom are guides, fly shop employees, fly fishing instructors and those who are just too dang busy to spend time with in the summertime.  Fall is the time when fly fishing people do less working and more fishing.  These last two days was the end of the year party with my old fly shop staff.  Even though I’ve been out of the fly shop and guiding biz exactly six years almost to the day, I’m happy to say they still bring me along.


blog-Oct-25-2015-2-scott-smith-fishing“They” is now Grand Teton Fly Fishing and its Scott Smith who is the main owner and founder of Grand Teton Fly Fishing.  Scott worked his way from fly shop employee to casting instructor to guide and eventually to be my head guide by the time I left.  It was an amazing process to build the company and acquire some of the best fishing permitted water in North Western Wyoming.  Now four years in Scott has it under control.  For the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park fishing trips, Grand Teton Fly Fishing is who I recommend.


October 25 – Day 1


blog-Oct-25-2015-3-togwotee-passSunday morning six of us met at 9 AM in Jackson and carpooled four hours to Thermopolis, Wyoming where the Wind River becomes the Bighorn River.  Minus a couple stops along the way to take in the incredible October scenery, we arrived directly at a boat ramp and pushed off the boats before 2 PM.


blog-Oct-25-2015-4-josh-gallivan-fishingEveryone was stoked to be fishing together and there was a lot of goofing off and fun times in order as we put the boats in.  But we were quick to snap into seriousness when we noticed big rising trout in all the likely spots on each bank.  Josh Gallivan (Sicket) went into action and on the first cast hooked and landed this proper brown trout on a size 20 purple Comparadun.


blog-Oct-25-2015-5-trico-flyOur weather was fantastic.  There wasn’t an ounce of wind and the temperature hovered in the low 60°s.  Most of the leaves have left the trees so it’s sort of weird having leafless trees but such nice weather.  The water temp of the Bighorn is warmer that it should be for October as well but fortunately it didn’t stop the tiny Baetis from hatching.  I grabbed a size 20 Trico and tied it on without readers – something not many 50 somethings can do.  Though not a perfect representation of the Baetis its small size was what was needed and the Trico went on to catch its fair share.


blog-Oct-25-2015-6-bighorn-riverDay 1 was productive as long as you could see a tiny fly.  If your eyesight was at all hampered the going got tough.  While Scott, Sicket and I had a respectable afternoon of dry fly fishing the other guys didn’t do as well.  But they stayed more with big ants, streamers and nymphs and the trout just weren’t into those flies.


blog-Oct-25-2015-7-jeff-currier-shooting-poolWe overnighted in Thermopolis and Scott treated the crew to an evening of dinner and beers at the Safari Club.  The Safari Club is a unique hotel and bar that suites multiple day fishing trips to Thermopolis perfectly.  We had a great dinner and I was able to find my long lost billiard skills for a few games.


October 26 – Day 2


blog-Oct-26-2015-8-bighorn-riverThis morning charged in fast but luckily it doesn’t get light till almost 8.  Ben Brennan and I got an early breakfast and watched the rest of the group limp in for coffee around 9.  I guess some of the guys didn’t spend last weekend celebrating someone’s 50th so they took it a little further than normal last night.  Like every day this October, temps were unseasonably warm early in the day but there were a few threatening clouds drifting in.


blog-Oct-26-2015-9-thermopolis-wyWe floated the least fished part of the Wyoming Bighorn today.  The stretch doesn’t see the pressure of the rest of the river due to two diversion dams.  Both dams have taken their share of drift boats over the years due to rogue waves, hidden sharp boulders and the actual waterfall like drops in both.  This time of year the level of the Bighorn is so low you can’t float over the diversions and need a few crazy guides to wade and drag the boats.  This part was not a problem for our crew.


blog-Oct-26-2015-10-flyfishing-wyDealing with less boat traffic wasn’t the only reason we chose this stretch today.  We were looking for some less pressured fish that would be easy to catch.  We caught them yesterday but it took patience and small dries.  We wanted to do some streamer fishing with hopes of tagging a few big browns.  Our choice paid dividends and not only did we stick a few browns on streamers but the risers ate the big summer Chernobyl ant patterns as well.  Fishing was on!


blog-Oct-26-2015-11-wind-riverThe best fish of the trip came on my last cast.  I’d been going back and forth from dry to streamer hitting all the mid river troughs where big browns hold in October.  I smacked my double streamer rig down and let it swing (a good technique in fall).  On the first strip I got a yank and downstream without a jump went what I quickly guessed to be an oversized brown.  At the same time Scott hooked up as well and his leaped and it was a rainbow.  All this happened as the takeout ramp came into sight.


blog-Oct-26-2015-12-jeff-currier-scott-smithScott and I battled while Sicket steered and gradually beached the boat by the ramp.  Then he netted Scotts rainbow and seconds later my brown.  The net had over 5lbs of trout – 2/3rd brown trout and 1/3rd rainbow.  What a way to end a trip!


That’s likely my last trout for a while.  My travels start Friday with a short trip to the Florida Keys for a Simms shoot.  Then one night to San Francisco to speak at the Henry’s Fork Foundation Banquet then off to Africa.  Stay tuned. . . .


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Turning 50 on the Henry’s Fork

Twas a late blurry night at the TroutHunter on the banks of the Henry’s Fork celebrating my 50th.  I wasn’t alone.  More than twenty held it down till the bitter end of 2 AM.  You would suspect a quiet morning today but instead we got up because of a drastic change in weather.  The temps came down and it was raining.  These are ideal conditions for blanket Blue-Winged Olive hatches in October.


blog-Oct-18-2015-2-flyfishing-henrys-forkI won’t lie and tell you we jumped from bed.  But everyone was at breakfast by 8 and after heaps of coffee for some and mimosas for others, we wadered up under the awning in front of TroutHunter to hide from the rain.  By 10 AM we found ourselves walking into the Ranch much earlier than yesterday.  There were less of us.  Several friends had to fly or drive long distances to return home for work tomorrow and shockingly some went home to bed.


blog-Oct-18-2015-3-jeff-currierThose here were ready for action.  I felt especially ready.  I always catch a fish on my birthday and today I had high hopes for a lunker Ranch rainbow.  How cool would that be – catch a donkey on my 50th?  But things would start slow and things would end slow.


blog-Oct-18-2015-4-fishing-the-henrys-forkThe dream hatch never happened.  Seriously, today’s weather normally brings on the bugs.  They came, but they came at around 4 PM and lasted only an hour.  And it wasn’t the “blanket hatch”.  Prior to the hatch there were some sporadic feeding fish and I had my chances.  I cast intensely at three pigs.  The first, a mover, I chased up and down a 100yd stretch of river through coots and weeds for an hour.  He was in a mere foot or less of water so he had to move to find his food.  These shallow water cruisers are the toughest of all.  I’m not sure I ever drifted my fly over him before he finally quit.  Defeated, I returned to the bank.


blog-Oct-18-2015-5-derek-mitchellOn the bank I relaxed with Mike LaSota (Mike fished Dubai and Sudan with me in April), Derek Mitchell (friend of 25 years and many trips together) and Mark Johnston (friend from Iowa).  All arrived Thursday and have been hanging through this fun event.  The rain dropped and the Ranch light was surreal.  Derek, Mark and I sipped a beer and smoked the last cigars of the trip.


blog-Oct-18-2015-6-birthday-fishMy second chance was at a brute nestled in a weedy nook.  The only way I could get my fly to him was to drift it over a smaller rainbow (we call these small trout bodyguards) first.  The bodyguard ate my fly on the first cast.  I held back the hook set but naturally I stuck him anyhow and he jumped and ran spooking the big fella.  At least I got that birthday fish.


blog-Oct-18-2015-7-rising-rainbowThe last fish was the biggest and nine times out of ten, a Henry’s Fork rainbow feeding like this is a guarantee.  But not today.  I’ll blame the wild week and utter exhaustion.  I’m not 100% sure but it appeared the giant sipped my fly twice and my set was off both times because I was looking at a natural BWO instead of my fly.  Oh these fifty year old eyes are starting already!


blog-Oct-18-2015-8-jeff-currier-on-the-ranchAt 5:30 there were still some fish up.  But I had one more thing on my birthday agenda – be sitting at the TroutHunter bar for first pitch of Game 2 Cubs vs Mets.  I reeled it in and marched for TroutHunter and had a beer in hand and a basket of scrumptious chicken wings with Granny for first pitch.  Unfortunately, like me failing to get a monster on the Ranch, the Cubs would fail to take the game in New York adding a bit of stress for Tuesday at Wrigley.  Where were the birthday gods today?


blog-Oct-18-2015-9-henrys-forkThe last four days have been some of the most enjoyable of the year.  Yes if you read the day by day accounts the fishing has been tough – no doubt about it.  But surviving half a century and celebrating it with such great friends is irreplaceable.  I’d go fishless ever birthday to hang with these guys in such a magnificent place.


blog-Oct-18-2015-10-henrys-forkA special thanks goes out to the TroutHunter for taking such good care of me and my friends here on the Henry’s Fork.  You couldn’t ask for a better venue when you have a large group all celebrating.


Believe it or not we hit it again tonight.  We’re addicted to hanging out and talking about old times and making new ones.  In the morning everyone returns home except my college buddies.  They’re fishing Box Canyon.  I’ll take Granny back to Victor so she can head back to work.  I’ll catch up in my office then I suspect there will be even one more night in Victor before I start resting up for the 60th.


blog-Oct-18-2015-11-jeffcurrierhenrys-forkTime to kick off the second half. . . . 100 years here I come!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Party Time on the Henry’s Fork

blog-Oct-17-2015-1-jeff-currier-birthdayWe stayed up late again last night but it didn’t slow us down an iota.  Nine of us sucked down coffees at 6 AM while organizing our gear for the next part of our trip.  We were headed for the Ranch on the Henry’s Fork to celebrate my 50th all weekend.


blog-Oct-17-2015-2aAt 8 AM we left the house and after a quick photo stop at the famous Pillsbury silo we arrived at the Last Chance parking lot before 10.  Several more pals were here including Scott Sanchez, Sammy Vigneri, Derek Mitchell and Greg Gaddis, all whom I worked with in the fly shop back in 80’s.   If you added these guys with my college pals and local friends there were fifteen of us at this point.  I’m a lucky guy to have so many great friends to come celebrate with me.


blog-Oct-17-2015-3-jeff-currier-fish-artThere was no doubt fishing was secondary to catching up amongst friends.  I’ve seen most of these guys within the last five years but many of them haven’t seen each other in over twenty years.  Naturally the beers and chatter was flowing and I started drawing trout in the dust of cars in my new Cubs shirt the guys gave me.  It took us almost till noon to get wadered up and ready to begin the walk into the Ranch.


blog-Oct-17-2015-4-tricoFor the third day straight the weather was insanely summery.  Today the temps touched the low 70°s.  There was no wind and there were few bugs on the water.  Evidently while we were assembling in the Last Chance parking lot in the morning some Trico’s trickled off and a few big fish rose.  In fact when we first went out I came across two different big fish.  I managed to fool each with a micro size 22 Parachute Adams but I’m sorry to say I missed both.  The second was a true monster and when he blew up his spook-splash nearly sprayed me!


blog-Oct-17-2015-5-fall-on-henrys-forkThe slow fishing but exceptionally nice weather led us all too frequent stops along the grassy banks of the Ranch for beer and cigar breaks.  In a sick way lousy fishing was what I was hoping for.  This weekend is really about visiting with my best friends whom I don’t see enough these days.  This is me and Howie my college roommate.


blog-Oct-17-2015-6-henrysforkOn occasion we’d find that random riser.  All of the ones I found were by Ranch standards too small to bother with.  But I finally gave in and plucked a few little guys off just for fun.  Honestly, the small ones are tough also and after missing the big dudes earlier the practice won’t hurt a bit.


blog-Oct-17-2015-7-jeff-currier-50th-birthdayOver the years, especially on my annual “Henry’s Fork Marathon” (today was this years), there have been many times where a dozen of us settled in a nice spot for beers, cigars and good stories.  Today may qualify as the finest bank party of all.  We sat in one place for over two hours and carried on reminiscing about the good times we’ve had together.  Incredibly, a big fish rose a few times in front of us and not one of us got up to try for him.  As strange as this may sound, no one wanted to miss a minute amongst the best of friends.


blog-Oct-17-2015-8-henrys-fork-sunsetEveryone cast to a few more fish throughout the afternoon and evening.  A few clouds rolled in at sunset making for the usual spectacular Henry’s Fork sunset.  We’re finally expecting some weather to arrive and perhaps tomorrows fishing will give us excellent hatches and hungry monster rainbows.


blog-Oct-17-2015-9-trout-hunter-bar-and-grillI cranked up the Cubs Game One playoff with the Mets at the parking lot while waiting for the true diehards to return.  From there we headed up to the TroutHunter.  If you ever want to have a fishing party I highly recommend doing it at TroutHunter.  It’s conveniently located on the Henry’s Fork and has everything you could need.


blog-Oct-18-2015-10-jeff-currier-at-trout-hunterWe rented eleven TroutHunter rooms, ate like kings and they kept the bar open for us way longer than we needed to be there.  But I’m glad they did because this weekend will go by fast and this way less time will be wasted sleeping.  When the clock struck 12 I officially turned 50.  I think we were winding down about then but naturally the official birthday date energized us back up.  We’ll see how fishing later today goes.  The Henry’s Fork Ranch requires you’re game face and I’m not so sure many of us will have that in a few hours!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing