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On a Day when I wasn’t Supposed to be Fishing!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASure, lake trout get much bigger than this – but pretty cool when I wasn’t even supposed to be fishing today.  The 27 incher was an incredible fight on my 6-weight Winston and old Ross Arius Reel.  The mackinaw are close to shore at the moment because of the recently cooled water temps.  I was using my Scientific Anglers Stillwater line and hand crawling two Vladi Nymphs on 0X Flouro.

 

blog-Oct-22-2014-2-flyfishing-for-mackinawCheck out the new fly rod species section on my website.  Not only will this section list all the species I’ve taken in fresh and salt water, but eventually you will be able to click on each fish and find tips on how to catch them.  This will take years to complete but lake trout is up and running.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Muskegon Chinook Run

blog-Oct-17-2014-1-chinook-salmonThe minute I finished up my PowerPoint presentation for the Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited Thursday night, Terry Wittorp, Kevin Thompson, several other club members and I headed for the Muskegon River.  The Muskegon is one of Michigan’s tributaries to Lake Michigan and has excellent runs of steelhead, brown trout and Chinook salmon.  It was time to add a Chinook to my life list.

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-1-muskegon-riverEarly Friday morning nine of us launched three drift boats just below the dam.  I hopped in with Terry and Kevin and off we went into some of the prettiest fall colors you can imagine.  Like at home, the weather is unseasonably warm here and today skies were cloudy but around 60°.

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-3-egg-sucking-leechI was chucking my 7-weight Winston with two streamers.  On the bottom I had a Clouser and up top a purple egg sucking leech.  After an hour of no action, Kevin suggested we pull over and nymph one of his favorite runs.

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-4-flyfishing-the-muskegon-riverKevin was rigged with two weighted nymphs and he drifted them under a leaning oak with its leaves absolutely glowing.  He quickly hooked up to an infuriated Chinook that jumped and ripped him downstream deep into his backing.  Terry climbed out with the massive net while I took the rowers seat just in case we needed to chase.

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-5-kevin-thompson-chinook-salmonA five minute battle then a rodeo net job took place.  It’s easy to understand the difficulty of netting this fish – he’s huge!  While many of the Chinooks are in their last days of life, this one was fresh out of the big lake.

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-6-flyfishing-michiganFishing was slow after Kevin stuck his salmon.  At 2 PM we pulled off for an epic cookout lunch and at least five bottles of fine wine handpicked by Terry to match all the lunch courses.  I quickly realized that like the end of the year party with my friends (next weekend by the way), eating and drinking was our priority – my favorite kind of trip!

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-7-flyfishing-for-chinookWe didn’t finish the lunch party until 4 PM and we had some serious ground to cover in the boats before dark.  We took turns rowing and tossing streamers and for a brief hour or so we caught a handful of brown trout.  About halfway to the take out we got into another of Kevin’s hot salmon spots.  It was getting dark but he knew the trough that they likely rested in.  I tossed a cast with his nymph rig and hooked and landed a small Chinook – cross this species off the list!  The guys went on to land several more including this beaut that Terry caught.

 

blog-Oct-17-2014-8-flyfishing-in-michiganWe fished both yesterday and today.  I caught my one Chinook and several brown trout on the streamer.  Today was in fact my birthday and while you’d expect to hear I fished till I dropped, it was quite the opposite.  I slugged a couple brews, sipped some of Terry’s wine, ate uncontrollably, smoked a stogie and rowed for most of the day.  All the time I couldn’t take my eyes off the incredible scenery.  And might I add, I loved every minute of it.

 

blog-Oct-18-2014-jeff-currier-in-michiganI’m on the way back to Idaho bright and early tomorrow.  My slate is full with artwork, yard work and preparations for arapaima fishing in Guyana.  I expect to get caught up and spend next weekend over in Thermopolis with my old fly shop crew.  It’s another end of the year party!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Speaking Tour Begins

blog-Oct-14-2014-1-flyfishing-speakerThe official end to summer hits me when I head out of town to do my first speaking engagement of the winter season.  That’s today.  I’m packed and ready to head to the Idaho Falls airport and head for two gigs.

 

Tomorrow night I speak to St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers Club in South Bend, Indiana.  I’ll kick it off by decking out a Cliff Fly Box during cocktail hour that I’ll donate for their fundraiser.  Then I’ll present my all new “Fly Fishing through Midlife Heaven” PowerPoint presentation.

 

blog-Oct-14-2014-2-jeff-currier-flybox-artThen on Thursday night I’ll be speaking up in Kalamazoo, Michigan to the Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  Only they’ll be getting the all new “Trout Bumming the World”.  This includes many great destinations from Australia to Mongolia and it will be the public’s first look at my adventures in Bhutan back in May and Iceland in August.

 

Both shows were fun to put together and are guaranteed to blow everyone’s in attendance mind!  If you’re in the area be sure to check out the links above for details on how to attend.

 

blog-Oct-14-2014-3-flyfishing-in-mongoliaAlways keep me in mind if you have an event in need of a fly fishing speaker.  On my website you can see my 2015 schedule, my updated presentation list and booking instructions.

 

And when in Michigan you must fish.  After the work is done I’ll be heading north for a couple days of steelhead and salmon fishing with friends – can’t wait!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Belize by Jim Klug

 

blog-Oct-12-2014-1-flyfishing-belizeI received a heavyweight package in the mail today from my friend Jim Klug.  In the carefully wrapped bundle was Jim’s new book, Fly Fishing Belize.  If only I’d walked to the post office instead of riding my bike.  This book is so full of information and Jim’s own stunning photography that pedaling home with the masterpiece nearly sent me over the handle bars several times.

 

Once home I grabbed a seat on the porch expecting to make a quick glance.  Instead I was so impressed I browsed every page taking more than two hours.  I’ve seen a lot of fly fishing books hit the streets in recent years but none as captivating as this.

 

blog-Oct-12-2014-2-flyfishing-for-permitFly Fishing Belize provides an in-depth look at all the country has to offer anglers, information on the fish and fisheries, fishing advice, maps, history and writings from several long time anglers to Belize including Lefty Kreh.   All held together with Jims amazing photography of the fish and the fishing, landscapes, people, flies, tackle and the list goes on.  This book speaks to those who have been to Belize and will send those who haven’t into a tail spin doing anything they can to make the trip happen.

 

blog-Oct-12-2014-3-jim-klug-belizeWith Christmas around the corner and saltwater fly fishing season just kicking off I wanted to showcase Jim’s new book on today’s blog.  The book is a must-have for both saltwater flats anglers and non-anglers who truly appreciate the scenic beauty of this Caribbean country.  Fly Fishing Belize is hot off the press and now available at Jim Klug Outdoor Photography.

 

Jim Klug is the founder and Director of Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, an incredible photographer and the mastermind behind Confluence Films stunning cinematic fly fishing adventure films.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

More Lake Trout Needed!

blog-Oct-10-2014-1-jenny-lakeFly fishing Jenny Lake in October is do dang special with the Tetons before your eyes on every cast that a trip to Jackson Hole for a few errands turned into a full afternoon and evening skipping out on work. . . . Again!

blog-Oct-10-2014-2-flyfishing-with-trey-scharpToday I went with my pal Trey Scharp.  Trey is so busy guiding and running the Flat Creek Ranch all summer we rarely fish together these days.  Fishing was fantastic but we took some time to relax and visit between sessions.

blog-Oct-10-2014-3-flyfishing-for-lake-troutThe lakers from Wednesday have long been devoured so I gathered a few more.  One was as fat as they come!

blog-Oct-10-2014-4-lake-trout-tacosGranny’s special lake trout fish tacos!

blog-Oct-10-2014-5-lake-trout-artBe sure to check out the new part of my website on fly fishing for lake trout.  Its going to take some time but I’ll be adding my views, experience and techniques for most fish species in the near future.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Indian Summer Lake Trout Fishing On Jenny Lake

I struggle with self-employment in October.  This is the best time of year to fly fish my home waters.  Furthermore, this week we’re having one of the nicest Indian summer weeks of all time with temps in the 70°s.  Today I said screw work and headed to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park with Josh Gallivan and his photographer pal Ryan Sheets (enjoy Ryan’s photo below and be sure to check out his website!).

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Most fly fishers hate lake fishing for a lot of reasons but I think it’s because of wind.  I like at least some wind otherwise the fish are far too spooky.  But today was the average anglers dream.  We didn’t have one ounce of wind the entire day.  Jenny Lake was absolute glass.

 

blog-Oct-8-2014-2-flyfishing-for-lake-troutWe could have fished from Josh’s boat but its lake trout on the fly season.  I prefer to fish fall run lakers from shore.  This time of year the fish are in close.  We slipped into one of my favorite areas and sure enough there were lakers patrolling the shoreline. We could see them plain as day with the undisturbed surface.  And sure enough, they were extremely spooky.

 

blog-Oct-8-2014-3-jeff-currier-jenny-lakeWe arrived at 10 AM and for the next six hours we cast to cruising lake trout.  Actually, they were so spooky that we had to cast out when no fish were in sight then wait till we saw one.  It was tricky because sometimes you waited too long and got snagged on bottom.  When everything worked you could strip your streamer, or in my case, hand-twist my nymphs to them.  The method didn’t work every time but by the end of the day Josh and I landed about 25 fish.

 

blog-Oct-8-2014-4-flyfising-for-mackinawWhile all of our lakers were small as far as lake trout go, it was still great fun.  We’ll never know what the deal is, but we see hundreds of these tiny 18” lakers and a few that look to be around 25”.  Seeing and casting to a real trophy is rare.  That being said, Josh and I chased three different big ones that I’d estimate in that 12-15lb range (still small for Jenny).  They were awesome fish and evidently much smarter than we are.  We each caught their attention a couple times but to no avail.

 

blog-Oct-8-2014-5-lake-trout-fishingOne of the most interesting fish of the day was this very light colored lake trout.  When I saw him swimming I thought that I might be seeing some freak albino cutthroat or something.  But nope, he’s just a freaky pale laker that has somehow survived even though he stands out like a sore thumb to every eagle in Wyoming.

 

Granny and I have fresh lake trout for dinner tonight.  I rarely kill a fish but the lakers melt in your mouth and there’s plenty of them.  In fact they are so delicious I just might had back to Jenny again this week!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Playing Hooky on Kubswin Lake

blog-Sept-29-2014-1-flyfishing-for-brooktroutBecause of two massive art projects due soon, preparations for a speaking tour to the Midwest next week, baseball playoffs and a huge expedition to Guyana for arapaima at the end of the month, rather than putting hours into writing an essay, today’s blog must be short and sweet.

 

blog-Sept-29-2014-3-flyfishing-with-jeff-currierIn the face of heavy rain, sleet and snow I went to Kubswin Lake with friends Gary Eckman and Aaron Stiny.  Gary you know from the Jackson Hole One Fly.  Aaron is a friend that has long awaited a trip with me to Kubswin Lake.  All I can say is that although we landed a few gorgeous brown trout, the numerous stunningly colored humped-backed brook trout overshadowed the browns!  What an amazing day!

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Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Arizona Finally Meets Yellowstone Waters

September 22-25, 2014

 

blog-Sept-23-2014-1-cinda-howard-steve-berryIf you’ve ever fly fished in Arizona then surely you know Cinda Howard and Steve Berry.  Cinda is an expert of nearly twenty years on Arizona waters.  She worked at Orvis in Scottsdale for eight years, was president of Desert Fly Casters and is currently a board member of Zane Grey Trout Unlimited.  Cinda recently started Fly Fish Arizona, a guide service and fly fishing school that offers trout fishing (including the Apache trout) bass and one of my favorites, carp on the fly.

 

blog-Sept-23-2014-2-flyfishing-for-peacock-bassSteve Berry has worked in fly shops and been an Orvis fly fishing instructor for many years in Arizona.  Although he has a day job, he frequently helps Cinda with her fly fishing schools and guiding throughout Arizona. He’s also hosted and array of trips from Montana to Belize and joined me in the Amazon in 2011.

 

blog-Sept-23-2014-3-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-grass-carpI’ve been friends with Cinda and Steve for years.  We met at Sport Shows and I’ve given fly fishing presentations to their club Desert Fly Casters at least half a dozen times.  The way I know them best is from fly fishing for grass carp (white Amur) around the Phoenix area every time I pass through.  See 2010, 2011 and 2012.

 

All these years of friendship and Cinda nor Steve have ever made it up fishing with Granny and me.  The last three days they finally made the trip and I couldn’t wait to put them on some nice fish from my backyard.

 

blog-Sept-23-2014-4-flyfishing-with-steve-berryGranny and I have been scouting the last few weeks in order to turn Cinda and Steve on to the best of the best for fishing.  You remember two weeks ago Granny and I slayed fish on big dries.  Monday night we headed to the exact camp and first thing Tuesday morning we set out on a long walk.  The fishing started red hot.  Cinda hooked three chunky browns and landed one, and Steve wrestled with another right to the net before he got off.  Would you believe that would be it for the rest of the day?  Despite walking about five miles and combing every inch of water along the way?

 

blog-Sept-24-2014-5-granny-currier-flyfisingOur fishing disintegrated so badly that Wednesday morning we got up at the crack of dawn and drove hours to try Kubswin Lake.  Here the fish were hitting slightly better but unfortunately Granny and I did most of the catching.  Granny didn’t even wader up and made a few random casts between reading her book and caught this brown.  Fortunately right after Steve landed a nice brook trout.

 

blog-Sept-25-2014-6-cinda-howard-steve-berrry-in-idahoToday I treated our guests to a long float on the Renteria.  I chose twelve miles of slow water for two reasons:  First was so that we would see some moose.  Arizona isn’t moose country so Cinda was especially keen on my idea of finding some.  Second, the long float on the Renteria rarely gets hit, especially in September when the slow moving water makes it a nine our float with lots of downstream rowing.

 

blog-Sept-25-2014-7-mooseAll I can say is that it’s a good thing the moose were a priority.  I rowed us up close to eleven moose consisting of three bulls, four cows and four calves.  Toss in one great horned owl and some otters and it was a magnificent wildlife day.

 

blog-Sept-25-2014-8-cinda-howard-flyfishingWhat stunk for my Arizona friends, once again, was the fishing.  We landed ten small rainbows and brook trout.  Granted, in the morning we had an epic Trico hatch and some big fish were up.  We hooked a few but each fish managed to get away.  At 10 AM the wind cranked up and the Trico clouds blew away.  Casting got hard and my rowing even harder.  I’m not one to notice the pain but I am absolutely sore and tired from pushing down the river.  More likely, I just wanted Cinda and Steve to have great fishing and it didn’t pan out like expected.  If the fishing had been as planned there would be no pain!

 

Steve and Cinda return to Arizona tomorrow.  I’m hitting some yard work then back to work.  I’ve fished more than ever this year and now it’s time to buckle down.  Buckle down means finish a cool Atlantic salmon painting I’ve been layering the watercolor on for a few weeks, get ready to go speak in Indiana and Michigan mid-October and pack for an unreal upcoming trip.  You won’t believe what I’m hoping to catch in November!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Teaching Fly Fishing to Wounded Warriors

blog-Sept-21-2014-wounded-warriorsFor years I donated art to Project Healing Waters and Wounded Warriors for their fundraising events.  I’m sure the pieces sold and helped but once the art left me I never knew for sure how much it contributed.  Then last year I got the opportunity to give a day teaching fly fishing to wounded warriors in Jackson Hole that were brought in by Honoring Our Veterans.  The hands on experience was extremely enjoyable and definitely rewarding for the veterans.

 

Today Honoring Our Veterans brought in another group of wounded warriors and I and several guides from around Jackson spent the day teaching them to fly fish.  There were twenty of them from various locations around the US.  Several were avid bait casters anxious to take their new skills home to catch their first bass on the fly.  We were also preparing them for two full days of guided fishing on the Snake later this week.  Good news – they are ready – and I had a fine day and have a handful of new friends!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The One Thousand Dollar Carp Trip

September 19, 2014

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-1-fall-in-idahoIdaho is a spectacular place, especially in September.  And the last half of September is the best of the best.  This morning friend Mike Dawes and film maker/photographer Austin Trayser and I headed on the two hour jaunt for Blackfoot Reservoir into the most vibrantly colorful fall I can recollect.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-2-carp-fishingI stopped several times during the drive.  The first few times were for pics but then I caught up to Dawes and Austin.  Dawes was towing his tricked out flats boat (converted from a jet boat) and the axel on his trailer blew out.  Smoke from melted metal filled the air and grease spewed everywhere.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-3-flyfishing-for-carpWe were in Alpine, Wyoming, a friendly town and several locals were quick to offer help.  Only two miles down the road was a tire and trailer repair shop.  We made it there and soon we got the bad news that Dawes’s trailer wasn’t going anywhere.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-4-fly-fishing-for-carpWe needed to go fishing and although I often wade fish Blackfoot, the opportunity to pole a flats boat there was irresistible.  We needed a loaner trailer.  One of the employees, no more than 25, offered to loan us his dad’s trailer.  He took us to his dads paraphernalia filled warehouse and leather shop.  An old trailer was in there absolutely covered in an ancient yard sale.  “Take it” he said, “Just bring it back after fishing”.  What a nice guy.  He didn’t know us from Adam and loaned us his trailer.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-5-carp-flyfishingThe trailer looked small but the employee and his dad assured us it would be fine.  Back to the shop we went and after an ordeal getting our boat off Dawes’s trailer without the help floating it off on the lake, we proceeded to wench it up on the loaner.  Then there was a tremendous crackle pop and in a split second the loaner trailer collapsed and both tires blew out – disaster struck!

 

The dad wasn’t there but the kid took a big hit off his cigarette and calmly said our boat was heavier than he thought.  We felt terrible and expected to pay for it.  Instead, the kid said his dad wouldn’t be too ticked as long as he fixed it.  He said he could and still feeling wishy-washy about the damaged goods, we went on to the next idea to get our boat to Blackfoot.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-6-mirror-carp-tripOptions were slim.  I called a friend from Alpine that has a yard of trailers but no answer.  Dawes did the same with no luck.  Then came a dude.  We’re not sure who he was or what his deal is but after he heard our story he said, “Call Ernie”.  Next thing we knew we rented a U-Haul car trailer from Ernie and our boat was loaded.  After a four hour delay we were back on route to Blackfoot Reservoir.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-7-mike-dawesThe motive for our trip is to do a segment for an RA Beattie Outdoor Productions film.  RA, with the help of Austin, is making a movie about the rage of fly fishing for carp.  They have various segments from around the US with some standard common carp and a funny segment about the jumping carp of the Midwest.  What they needed now were some monster carp – monster mirror carp to be exact.  Dawes informed them that he and I could get it done.

 

Launch on Blackfoot was a celebration.  From Victor to the reservoir took us seven hours rather than the usual two.  The wind which had been blowing hard all day was diminishing and there was still good light to spot carp.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-8-turneffe-crab-flyWe tried a couple random spots without luck then poled quietly into a shallow bay.  The place was stacked with fish and wakes darted endlessly with the occasional glimmer of a tail.  I tied on a favorite carp fly, the Turneffe crab and went to work.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-9-jeff-currier-carp-fishingAs always these big carp weren’t easy to fool.  Dawes stealthfully poled us along, I cast at numerous carp in the murky water and Austin filmed.  Our persistence paid off and we landed two respectable mirrors of about 12lbs.  They were gorgeous fish and we got some super footage.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-10-blackfoot-reservoirIt’s sad but it gets dark at 7:30 now.  Once we couldn’t spot fish we packed it up. Then in the distance we spotted what looked to be carp backs skimming the surface.  It was too deep to pole but the light sunset breeze took us there.  Sure enough they were carp wallowing on top.  A common behavior most carp places but I’ve never seen it with the giants of Blackfoot.

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-11-jeff-currier-mike-dawesMy crab fly was too heavy for these monsters.  I switched to a small brown bugger.  Fly switches don’t happen as fast as they once did and when ready Dawes whispered he’s only 20 feet away.  I located him and gently landed my fly.  One strip and he was on.  Five minutes later we had this stunning beast and Austin filmed the wallowing, the take and the entire fight – mission accomplished!

 

blog-Sept-19-2014-12-milkyway-starsWe set up a spectacular car camping site on the lake.  Dawes cranked out some amazing brats and steaks.  We sipped a few Rainiers and gazed under the stars.  This amazing photo is the work of Austin.  It pays to have a professional photographer with you fishing!

 

 

September 20, 2014

 

blog-Sept-20-2014-13-blackfoot-reservoirRealistically, Austin and Beattie Productions filmed what they needed last night.  But we designated today as well.  Furthermore, the forecast was for calm conditions, a rare situation for Blackfoot that we weren’t about to pass up.  We got an early start after a remarkable sunrise.  Dawes poled me through the shallows where there were numerous muds but there were no players.

 

blog-Sept-20-2014-14-mike-dawes-carpingI’m terrible at poling a boat but in the calm conditions I insisted Dawes let me give it a go so he could fish.  After about ten minutes I was doing a decent job and Austin, who was on shore filming us, spotted a tail near shore we never would’ve seen.  Dawes dropped a bonefish bitter in the area.  It seemed like nothing was going to happen and as he lifted to recast he hooked up.  For the next ten minutes an amazing backing stealing battle ensued that ended with this 32lber – can you believe a 32lb fish on the fly in Idaho!!!

 

We fished until about 4 PM.  The carp were active and we always had targets to cast to.  But under such calm sunny conditions they were usually smarter than us.  We boated only another three fish but one was another 30lb +.  Then we returned to Alpine and returned the U-Haul trailer and Dawes got his repaired one back.  Let’s just say, his 32lb carp was one of the most expensive carp ever too swim!

 

blog-Sept-20-2014-15-flyfishing-for-carpUndoubtedly Austin got fantastic footage for the RA Beattie Outdoor Productions carp movie.  In addition, because Dawes and I were being filmed, Austin took all the fish pictures for today’s blog.  Be sure and check out his website to see more of his incredible work.  As for the movie, I’m not sure when it will be done or its title.  But I can assure you that when it’s ready I’ll offer it here on the site.

 

Tomorrow it’s back at it bright and early as I’ll be spending the day with wounded warriors as part of Jackson Hole’s Honoring Our Veterans.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing