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First Full Day Fly Fishing at Selwyn Lake Lodge

blog-June-24-2015-1-selwyn-lake-lodgeWe woke up to a stunningly beautiful morning here at Selwyn Lake Lodge.  The skies were a rich blue. Despite last nights late night of fishing and a few beers till 1 AM this morning, we were up and ready to start fishing and filming early.

 

Unfortunately, not far from here the skies aren’t so blue.  The forest fires expanded considerably down in southern Saskatchewan and Ron had to take care of numerous concerns from some of their other Adventure Destination lodges.  Ron wasn’t able to break loose until 10 AM.

 

blog-June-24-2015-2-selwyn-lake-canadaIf you’re wondering why we didn’t just take off in a boat fishing ourselves there’s a reason for this.  Selwyn Lake isn’t only so big you get lost easily, but there are numerous hidden submerged reefs.  It’s easy to wreck a boat or bust a prop off a motor.  Until we get a taste of this place, fishing on our own isn’t an option.

 

blog-June-24-2015-3-flyfishing-at-selwyn-lake-lodgeOnce out we had someone to help us find our way around, a new guide here, Brennan Kruger.  I quickly caught on that Brennan not only knows a ton about fishing but he’s also a good fly fisher.  With Brennan we were able to take two boats and we headed off in what was now overcast from clouds and smoke.

 

blog-June-24-2015-4-warpath-fliesThe first stop we made was at the mouth of a small pike fishing bay twenty minutes from the lodge.  The plan is to attack the pike until we have our film complete.  But as RA and Austin got their camera gear ready to film I made few blind casts with my pike fly.  We were drifting in deep water but my Warpath jig fly was heavy and I let it sink.  On my first strip I hooked and landed a lake trout.

 

blog-June-24-2015-5-ron-stirker-adventure-destinationsThat laker changed the crews train of thought.  Indeed we’re here to make a pike film but RA and Austin would also like to make a nice promo film for Adventure Destinations.  Filming a few lakers would be nice touch.  For about two hours until the wind became too strong, Ron and I dredged for lake trout with my 300 grain sinking line.

 

blog-June-24-2015-6-flyfishing-for-laketroutWe picked up about ten small lake trout on the fly.  But an exciting event happened worth mentioning.  As I was landing a standard 18” laker and he was thrashing on the surface a huge lake trout came to investigate.  My childhood bait fishing instincts kicked in and I let my small hooked laker back down.  The (what I’d estimate to be 36” laker) massive char swirled excitedly around my fish several times as if to eat him but soon became suspect and took off to the deep.

 

blog-June-24-2015-7-flyfishing-with-brennan-krugerThe open lake where the lakers thrive became too windy to reasonably continue fishing there.  We focused back to pike fishing and Brennan led us to some sheltered bays.  The pike love these kinds of places because there are plenty of baitfish and weeds to ambush them from.

 

blog-June-24-2015-8-jeff-currier-flyfishing-the-northwest-territoriesFor two hours we dealt with heavy wind, broad siding gusts and rain.  But like with a lot of fish, the stormy weather brought on the bite.  Ron and I landed about twenty-five pike including four nice ones over 35”.  Although the fishing was insane, it was hard for RA and Austin to film with all the rain.

 

We headed back to the lodge at 5 for a rest and dinner.  The clouds and smoke lifted and by 8 PM it was gorgeous out.  The five of us headed back out to film some pike fishing exactly where we were last night.

 

blog-June-24-2015-9-RA-beattie-outdoor-productionsAnyone who says pike aren’t smart is incorrect.  Last night we caught over fifty pike in this bay and tonight we caught about a dozen.  We had lots of follows but you could visually see the pike roll their eyes and turn away not to be seen again.  It was humbling to say the least.

 

blog-June-24-2015-10-midnight-sunsetRegardless of the slow fishing, tonight was perfect for enjoying the midnight sun.  If you’ve never experienced being this far north in June you must.  All of us that trout fish have experienced epic hatches at sunset that we wish would never end.  The midnight sun sunset lasts about four hours thus giving you that never ending feeling!

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing at Selwyn Lake Lodge

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Austin Trayser Photo

We all bounced from bed with excitement this morning.  The fishing and relaxing at Otter Lake was nice but the eagerness to get to the big pike has been killing us.  The fires continue to get worse but our weather was excellent so after breakfast we loaded the Beaver and began the journey through the smoke to the far north.

 

blog-June-23-2015-2-fishing-saskatchewanFlying over northern Saskatchewan never fails to amaze me.  There are so many lakes and rivers that you couldn’t fish half of them in a lifetime.  Much of the water you see in this photo has never been fished and this is just one click of the camera!

 

blog-June-23-2015-3-stony-rapids-saskatchewanWe flew for two hours and twenty minutes before landing at Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan for refueling.  The Beaver holds 569lbs of fuel and can fly for 3 hours, not quite enough to make it to Selwyn Lake Lodge.  Stony Rapids is as far north as you can drive in Saskatchewan although most wouldn’t consider the last 500 Kilometers a road at all.

 

blog-June-23-2015-4-stony-rapids-saskatchewanStony Rapids is so difficult to get to that the prices for food are off the chart.  A gallon of milk cost you $12.79.  That’s $10.32 in US dollars!  Nevertheless Stony was our last stop in civilization and RA treated us all too some high dollar ice cream cookie sandwiches.

 

blog-June-23-2015-5-selwyn-lake-lodgeIt was another 40 minutes in the air before we landed on Selwyn Lake and parked the Beaver at the dock of Selwyn Lake Lodge.  We were warmly greeted by staff and loaded our gear into a trailer attached to a four wheeler and led to our rooms.

 

The lodge is stunning.  The beautiful place overlooks Selwyn Lake.  The view is a small portion of the huge lake that has hundreds of islands and from what I understand millions of pike and lake trout.  The south part of Selwyn Lake is in Saskatchewan and the north part is in Northwest Territories.

 

blog-June-23-2015-6-flyfishing-the-northwest-territoriesWe kicked around the lodge for few hours to unpack.  Then we purchased our fishing licenses for the Northwest Territories and had lunch.  Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to fish the Northwest Territories.  I was always reading articles about huge pike as a boy.  I was incredibly stoked filling out that license.

 

blog-June-23-2015-7-austin-trayser-flyfishingIt took awhile but we finally hit the water around 5 PM.  Ron had a ton of unexpected things coming up with all the fires down south.  The good news is that the sunset is at around 11 PM and we have twenty-four hours of daylight.  Once Ron was ready we went straight to the east side of the lake and up one of Selwyn Lakes many fingers.  The very first stop Austin sight cast to a huge pike and a lake trout intercepted the fly right from under the pikes nose!

 

blog-June-23-2015-8-flyfishing-for-lake-troutThe four of us screamed like kids with all the excitement.  We all consider pike to be the badass fish up here and expect them to steal a fly from a lake trout not the other way around.  Austin’s laker was putting up a decent fight then suddenly went absolutely ballistic.  It turns out the pike wasn’t that thrilled with the laker taking the fly before him and now he was trying to eat the laker.  Austin hoisted the pretty char in just in time to save his life but not without some serious chew marks on his sides.

 

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Austin Trayser Photo

We ended the night in the far back of the bay where a creek came in.  I was tossing my 9-weight Winston with a Scientific Angler Titan Taper floater.  I packed lots of big bright flies for this trip but one of the guides suggested a smaller dark fly so I put on an old favorite that’s black and gold.  All I can say is we have a splendid week ahead of us.

 

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Austin Trayser Photo

I kid you knot, in a mere two hours of fishing we caught about 50 pike, many of which were easily three feet long.  None were monsters by Selwyn Lake standards but they will come.  Its 1 AM now and I’m losing track of time because it’s still light out.  I have to be careful early in the trip not to stay up all the time then hit the wall towards the end.  Stay tuned. . . .

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing on Otter Lake in Saskatchewan

blog-June-22-2015-1-flyfishing-saskatchewanIt was another beautiful day at Otter Lake in Missinipe, Saskatchewan.  When I sip coffee on Ron’s porch around 7 AM it’s nearly 70° and mid day is upwards of that.  The only bad thing we have in northern Saskatchewan right now is smoke from numerous lightening started forest fires.

 

The fires are starting to cause havoc up here.  The smoke is obviously a nuisance but some of the lodges and fly in camps are in danger of burning down.  Ron was planning to take us out on Otter Lake today fishing but instead he was called on to fly fire fighters and fire fighting supplies into the burning regions.  Ron assures us they won’t call on him starting tomorrow so we can go to Selwyn Lake, but man, if the fires flare up more – it’s certainly a worry of mine.

 

blog-June-22-2015-2-flyfishing-for-walleyeLuckily his friend and fellow bush pilot Odie offered to take us out this afternoon while Ron was off helping with the fires.  Me, RA and Austin are no doubt enjoying some relaxation time here in Missinipe but we’re also here to fish.  Odie’s offer was very much appreciated.

 

blog-June-22-2015-3-flyfishing-for-walleyeOtter Lake is the only place we have access to walleyes this trip so with all the great pike fishing we have ahead of us we decided to focus on fly fishing for walleye.  A lot of folks ask me if you can fly fish for walleye during my warmwater talks during show season.  The answer is absolutely.  Realize they aren’t easy but there are a couple helpful facts to know.

 

blog-June-22-2015-4-winston-fly-rodsMost important is that your fly must be down near the bottom.  I fish walleye with my 6-weight Winston and a Uniform Sink Type 5 line.  My leader is 12 ft of straight 0X Flouro and I fish a heavy fly.  My favorite walleye fly these days is a red and white Clouser minnow.  And even though walleye have sharp teeth I find they’re too finicky for wire.

 

blog-June-22-2015-5-flyfishing-for-walleyeWalleye are most active in low light conditions.  The absolute best time to target them is from sunset till pitch dark.  This is the time of day when they hunt in the shallows.  If you hit them right you’ll find them in less than six feet of water and a floating or intermediate line will put your heavy fly in the zone.  Up here in northern Saskatchewan in June there’s not enough darkness at anytime of day so we fish the walleyes whenever.

 

blog-June-22-2015-6-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-walleyeSo, I wrote like I know how to catch walleyes on fly but the end result today was a mere two walleyes.  The first one I caught was a nice 17” fish that will be fish n chips tonight.  The second was smaller and I let him go.  RA and Austin never saw a walleye in their boat.  We did however catch twenty pike a piece, but not one was larger than 25”.

 

blog-June-22-2015-7-flyfishing-otter-lake-saskatchewanThe walleye on the fly can be excellent fun – but they’re walleyes.  What I didn’t mention is that they can be moodier than a brown trout and finickier than a Henry’s Fork rainbow.  I could blame today on a big storm that hit us but my main excuse, and its true, the mini pike of Otter Lake kept stealing my walleye flies because I don’t fish for walleye with wire.

 

We’re flying further north in the morning for big pike on Selwyn Lake.  Stay tuned for what should be an amazing adventure!

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Relaxed in Missinipe, Saskatchewan

blog-June-21-2015-1-saskatchewanIt will be getting dark earlier tonight – probably about midnight here in northern Saskatchewan.  I think we can live with that but it’s still sad that days get shorter starting the first day of summer.  In a few days we’ll be further north at Selwyn Lake at the top of Saskatchewan and bottom of the Northwest Territories.  Though the days are officially getting shorter we’ll be so far north it won’t get dark at all.

 

blog-June-21-2015-2-missinipe-saskatchewanI had a seriously needed relaxing day in Missinipe today.  I slept in.  For me that meant till 7 AM.  Then I sat out on the porch with our host Ron and we drank coffee and shot the bull about planes for an hour.  Once RA and Austin got up it was time for Ron to do some errands that included shuttling supplies to a fly in Lodge called Twin Falls.  Ron invited us along for the seaplane ride.

 

blog-June-21-2015-3-beaver-float-planeThe plane is a classic old De Havilland Beaver built in 1962.  They stopped building Beavers in 1967.  Of the 1600 that were built, 1300 are still in circulation.  They are durable as all get out and I get excited every time I get on one.  Not only are the cool but they mean I’m fishing off the grid.  We’ll have this plane with us until June 30th!

 

blog-June-21-2015-4-twin-falls-lodge-saskatchewanTwin Falls Lodge is a beautiful place nestled between two rapids connecting a couple of lakes.  The area is loaded with pike and evidently at night you can catch walleyes off the dock nearly every cast.  As we were unloading our supply delivery we learned that their generator was out so Ron ended up helping to solve the problem.  Although we’re anxious to fish it was a spectacular place for RA, Austin and I to hang out for a few hours.

 

blog-June-21-2015-5-twin-falls-lodgeIt turned out the generator problem wasn’t fixable so we had a nice lunch at the lodge then returned to Missinipe to get a new generator.  Ron and the Thompson’s Camps staff moved in to help and an hour later Ron flew off back to Twin Falls Lodge to deliver the new one and help get it started.  Twin has twenty anglers coming in tomorrow so there’s no screwing around.

 

blog-June-21-2015-6-ruffles-potato-chipsAs for fishing, today wasn’t planned to be much of a fishing day.  Ron had flying errands to do anyway and we only hoped to get out for a few hours tonight.  We relaxed at Ron’s house.  I worked on the blog and took some pics and sorted my gear.  RA slept and Austin tied up some bugs.  One of the most interesting parts of the day was the discovery of a new Ruffles chip flavor called flame grilled steak.  The chips taste exactly like steak bites and I’m not so sure about them at this point in the trip.

 

blog-June-21-2015-7-crushing-the-pikeWe in fact made it out tonight for an hour around Thompson’s Camps.  We headed back into the weedy bay behind town and CRUSHED the small northerns.  The biggest was a mere 30” so we’ll call it a warm up for the days to come.  I tell you, I think where we’re headed is the best pike fishing in North America.

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

An Unexpected Return to Otter Lake in Saskatchewan

blog-JUne-20-2015-1-flyfishing-saskatchewanThis trip to Canada caught a few by surprise.  The reason is that I haven’t known much about the trip myself.  Back in about March, right about when I was headed to the Middle East for five weeks, friend RA Beattie shot me an email and told me to block off June 20 to July 1 for a pike trip.  For the love of pike, without any hesitation I said I’d be ready.

 

blog-June-20-2015-2-ra-beattie-astin-trayserIn case you don’t know, RA has been making fly fishing films for ten years.  Many of you saw the FT3 movie last winter that ended with a segment on carp – that was the work of RA.  His stuff is excellent and the opportunity to be in a Beattie film for pike in northern Saskatchewan was a no brainer.

 

Along helping RA with this film is Austin Trayser.  Austin filmed Mike Dawes and I last year at Blackfoot Reservoir for the carp segment that went in the FT3.  He did a terrific job and also provided the killer photos that went with that blog.

 

blog-June-20-2015-3-saskatoon-saskatchewanRA and Austin rolled into the hotel here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan around 2 AM.  I was long asleep.  I awoke at around 6 AM to an absolute downpour.  I slipped down to Denny’s and got some food then returned to the room for one last shot at email and etc.  The fellas got up at 9 and I met up with them back over to Denny’s to learn the details about the trip.

 

blog-June-20-2015-4-adventure-destinationsAt breakfast the last and most important character of the next two weeks came to meet us, Ron Striker.  Ron is a bush pilot of eleven years and Chief Operating Officer for Adventure Destinations.  Adventure Destinations offers trips to the most incredible pike locations in Canada.  Ron will be hosting us for the entire trip which will be until July 2.  The schedule of the trip goes something like this (weather dependant):

 

Today we drove five hours north to Thompson’s Camps on Otter Lake in Missinipe, Saskatchewan where we’ll hang till Tuesday doing trip prep and fish Otter Lake.

Tuesday June 23, we’ll start working our way north by sea plane.  Our main destination will be Selwyn Lake that borders the Northwest Territories but we plan to stop at a few other lakes along the way.  We’ll fish that area through June 30th.

 

blog-June-20-2015-5-thompson's-camps-saskatchewanThe funny thing about today is that we ended up at Thompson’s Camps on Otter Lake, the exact place I stayed and fished for a day on that 2010 trip I mentioned yesterday.  On Otter Lake I had superb “walleye on the fly” fishing and I suspect in the next couple days I’ll land a few more.

 

blog-June-20-2015-6-forest-fire-saskatchewanFortunately the weather improved dramatically as we drove north.  The only bad part is that up north it’s been so dry that there are numerous forest fires and just like bad weather, smoke can hinder flying considerably.  The smoke is something Ron will monitor the next few days and I guess we’ll all just cross our fingers.  For now its beers on Ron’s cabin porch with a few of the other pilots and the guides of Thompson’s Camps – life is good!

 

A special thanks to RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and Adventure Destinations for bringing me along on this incredible adventure to Saskatchewan!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Arrival to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

blog-June-19-2015-1-jackson-hole-airportI was home a mere thirty hours from Michigan before catching an early flight for Denver then another to Calgary and on to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  For the next two weeks I’ll be the angler for a segment in an RA Beattie Outdoor film.  From what I understand we’ll be traveling with a bush plane pilot through numerous lakes and drainages in the far north of Canada fly fishing for pike and lake trout.

 

blog-June-20-2015-2-saskatoon-saskatchewanUnless we stop over at some lodges and outposts I’ll likely lose contact with the world.  My computer is with me and my day by day accounts will post as possible.  To give you an idea what this trip will be like check out my last trip here in 2010.  In spite of of the pouring rain outside my hotel here in Saskatoon, this should be an amazing trip.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Visit to the Scientific Anglers Factory

blog-June-16-2015-1-scientific-anglers-fly-linesAs you know from the blog I’m in Midland, Michigan visiting with my friend Brad Befus and the folks from Scientific Anglers (SA).  The trip started with a few days fishing then today we put down the rods for the annual sales meeting.  There were thirty-eight of us ranging from SA employees to representatives from the US, Canada and Europe.  We went through our fantastic new products line and more.  When the meeting ended I got a tour of the Scientific Anglers factory.

 

blog-June-16-2015-2-scientific-angler-fly-linesA life of fly fishing has definitely led me to wondering how fly lines are made more than once.  To me fly lines are the most important part of my equipment because it’s the line that takes my fly to the fish.  Usually my line floats because I love to dry fly fish but there are times when I need to get down a few inches, a few feet and I often find myself dredging deep in oceans and lakes.  If the line doesn’t get me to where the fish are I usually go home without a story.

 

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I can’t tell you much more than fly line making was a fascinating process to see.  I viewed various fly line cores through the microscope and saw the room and tools used for testing new fly lines.  Every new fly line idea must pass numerous tests of not only casting performance but also the lines durability against temperature, weather and wear and tear from casting, stripping and overall abrasion.

 

blog-June-16-2015-4-making-fly-linesI also witnessed the process of making a production fly line.  Above you can see a mixture of goo that will be the outside coating of a standard green colored Scientific Angler fly line.  The concoction looks more like icing for a cake.  Inside the mixture is this special powder that makes a fly line float.  Just like you see the float powder here, next to this was a bucket of tungsten powder to make sinking fly lines.

 

blog-June-16-2016-5-jeff-currier-at-scientific-anglersWhile there I picked up a few new fly lines for a pike and lake trout trip to Canada that starts later this week.  The strongest connections for me are loops so I actually learned how to make the loops that Scientific Angler Fly Lines come with.  Here you can see me getting ready to put my fly line into the loop welding machine.

 

blog-June-16-2015-6-scientific-angler-linesThe machinery for making loops is only one of many that go into manufacturing a fly line.  It’s an amazing process where everything must be precise so the end result is that anglers like you and I have a good quality fly line to take our flies to the fish.  I have a long way to go to understand what the technicians at Scientific Anglers know but my first loops look good.

 

blog-June-16-2015-7-flyfishing-for-pikeWe have a few more meetings in the morning then I’ll be headed home.  Thursday I’ll be unpacking and packing at the same time.  Friday I’m off to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I’ll meet RA Beattie Outdoor Productions and soon after head for the backcountry of Canada to film for huge pike and lake trout.  More on this trip soon. . . . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

An Acceptable Reason to Miss the Ranch Opener

blog-June-15-2015-1-traverse-city-miAlthough I’m in Michigan having fun fishing with my friends and will soon get the privilege to see the Scientific Anglers fly line factory, I’m missing one of my favorite events in fishing, the opener of the Railroad Ranch at Harriman’s on the Henry’s Fork.  This is a monumental fly fishing event which people come from around the world to experience and one I’ve not missed in probably twenty years.  Last night was the famous Trout Hunter Ranch Opener party and today is the actual opening day of fishing.

 

blog-June-15-2015-2-erik-johnson-in-michiganBut I made the best of things and returned right back to Lake Michigan by Traverse City.  This time I was with Customer Service and Pro Guide Desk Manager of Scientific Anglers, Erick Johnson and West Coast representative Garry Sandstrom.  Once again, we left Midland in a heavy downpour.  Fishing conditions were looking worse than yesterdays.  Luckily, as we traveled north the rain subsided and all we had to deal with was more fog.

 

blog-June-15-2015-3-flyfishing-miErick is local here in Michigan.  I planned on getting some rest on the two hour drive but instead it was a full on tour of the state.  Erick is full of interesting facts and furthermore, knows Traverse City from living there once.  He picked us up lunch from a sneaky side street fish place.  We got scrumptious packs of smoked whitefish and lake trout and spiced that up with a bag of Uncle Rays barbeque chips – honestly, these chips may have been the best I’ve ever had!

 

By the time we hit the water it was afternoon and conditions deteriorated.  Like yesterday we had clouds overhead and couldn’t see fish well at all.  Furthermore, I learned that this is a popular place among fly fishers, there were six others stalking the flats making it even harder.

 

blog-June-15-2015-4-flyfishing-lake-michiganConditions and other angler traffic pushed me to the far edge of the flat and out from the shelter of a flooded island.  At first rogue waves and wind seemed like too much to deal with but as I waded along slowly I spotted a carp.  That one carp turned to several and in seconds I was ripping line of my Ross and smacking my fly straight into the wind.

 

The largest carp of the school ate my fly immediately.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked.  I strip set then lifted and the carp shook his head but wasn’t yet scared enough to run.  To my dismay my fly pulled out as fast as it went in and the school spooked off.

 

I was ticked but there were carp here.  Despite shivering from the cold temperature of Lake Michigan I staked out a spot and patiently waited.  About every five minutes a carp or two wandered in my casting range.  Each time one looked until finally the “right” fish came.  I dropped my fly right in ones lane and he sucked up the same crayfish fly I used on the drum yesterday and this guy took off.

 

blog-June-15-2015-5-jeff-currier-carp-fishing-lake-michiganI like my 6-weight Winston III X for carp but I was uneasy at first on this one.  Fish fight differently at different locations and it made sense to me that a Lake Michigan carp would be the strongest.  This one made a fierce run twenty feet into my backing but before it got too crazy, I put the strength of my 0X Flouro to work and clamped down my drag so hard I cartwheeled the golden colored fish.  Five minutes later I had my first Great Lakes carp!

 

I landed that carp at around 5 PM.  During the photo session the wind picked up and we couldn’t see anything anymore.  Erick and I were also soaked because some waves came over the top of our waders while photographing.  We headed for the truck and called it a day.

 

blog-June-15-2015-6-the-adams-flyThe drive home was as entertaining as the drive up.  We started it with exotic coffees from a cool place in downtown Traverse City.  Then we sampled some beer and headed back south.  At dusk we visited the Mayfield Pond where the Adams fly was tested and passed through Kingsley where the inventor was from.  A little fly fishing history can be a cool thing!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Flats of Lake Michigan

blog-June-14-2015-1-bass-flyToday I fished with customer service manager of Scientific Anglers, Phil Cook, and again with old friend Brad Befus.  Fishing conditions went from bad yesterday to worse because it rained all night and on and off throughout the day.  Hopefully I’m getting all the “Monsoon Currier” out of my system before leaving for Canada next week.

 

blog-June-14-2015-2-mission-point-miDue to these nasty conditions, most rivers are high and blown out.  Clear and fishable waters are hard to find at the moment which put us either back to the Au Sable where we floated yesterday or on a long drive north to the carp flats of Lake Michigan near Traverse City.  Who could pass up the unique idea of flats fishing one of the Great Lakes?

 

blog-June-14-2015-3-flyfishing-for-carp-on-lake-miIt was more than a two hour drive from Midland, Michigan to the pretty area of Traverse City.  This is an area where Lake Michigan takes on some neat character with bays and fingers and miles of shallow water.  The region was green like a jungle from all the rain and pretty houses and vineyards border both sides of the road.  Puffy white clouds that looked like they belong over saltwater were floating low in every direction.

 

blog-June-14-2015-4-brad-befus-smallmouth-fishingWhen we started the fishing conditions were glassy calm and foggy, so foggy we waded out into the obis.  The light for spotting fish was terrible and Phil, Brad and I were hoping to see carp tails.  Although we didn’t run into the tails we hoped for, Brad and I miraculously found a school of cruising smallmouth bass.  The bass were milling around a rock traveling between us.  We each caught one of the nice fish.  Brad took his underneath and mine munched a Chernobyl like dry fly.

 

blog-June-14-2015-5-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-drumNot long after we released our smallies another warmwater species that I haven’t caught in years meandered between us.  It was the unusual freshwater drum.  It took Brad and I both a minute to identify him in the bad light.  It also didn’t help that neither of us are used to seeing them feeding.  All freshwater drum I’ve caught came blind in murky water.  I tossed a carp crayfish his way and let it sink on his nose.  He by no means crushed my fly but rather waddled behind it and as my leader entered the tip of my rod he ate.

 

blog-June-14-2015-6-smallmouth-fishing-on-lake-michiganPhil had to leave early.  Brad and I fished till 7 PM.  Conditions remained calm but the clouds stayed overhead and spotting fish was nearly impossible.  We both hunted for more smallies.  While I got a few casts at a spotted gar Brad landed one more smallie in the fog.

 

blog-June-14-2015-6-jeff-currier-and-brad-befusToday was a unique experience.  When I studied in Wisconsin thirty years ago the word “flats” on the Great Lakes didn’t exist nor were anglers chasing carp on purpose, let alone using fly rods here.  I enjoyed the day so much that I’d rate this as a must do for anyone who loves to fly fish.  It was so cool that because of the weather and blown out rivers throughout Michigan right now, I may in fact find myself here again tomorrow.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Smallie Fishing the Au Sable River in MI

blog-June-13-2015-1-scientific-anglers-flylinesIt was a short visit home and another long trip across country yesterday and I’m presently in Midland, Michigan as a guest of Scientific Anglers (SA).  As you know I fish Scientific Angler fly lines and tippet exclusively and have the good fortune of helping to develop and test new products that aid us all catch more fish.  For the next few days I’ll get to meet and actually fish with some of the SA employees, see how fly lines are made and catch up on a long array of new products SA is introducing for the 2016 season.

 

blog-June-13-2015-2-andrew-bosway-saToday I fished the Au Sable River up north for smallmouth bass with head fly line designer Andrew Bosway.  The Au Sable River is famous for its brown trout fishing but little do most fly fishers know the beautiful river is also home to many other fun species including smallies.

 

blog-June-13-2015-3-au-sable-riverIt’s been a great month for me and smallies with the Ririe Bass Tourney on May 27 followed by ten days I NH.  No doubt, my bass skills are tuned to the hilt.  We pushed off for our float trip at mid day in extremely high water from 3” of rain that doused the area yesterday.  Nonetheless, the pretty river was clear and ready to fish.

 

blog-June-13-2015-4-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-smallmouthThe first thing I noticed about the Au Sable is the amount of structure along the bottom.  I’ve seen rivers with lots of trees in the water but this place is unreal.  I fished an intermediate sink with two flies and made sure to be careful to run the flies high and clear from submerged logs.  Andrew and I were quick to lay into a heap of smallish smallies.

 

blog-June-13-2015-5-brad-and-tyler-befusAlong with us in another boat were my longtime friends Brad and Tyler Befus.  Brad and I go back more than twenty years and Tyler, his son, is now seventeen.  Neither of them had floated this stretch of the Au Sable so they followed behind and touched up a bunch of small size smallmouth bass as well.

 

blog-June-13-2015-6-smallmouth-bassThe end result of the day was a heap of gorgeous little smallmouth bass, a few rock bass and two rainbow trout.  I got one cast to small pike but I could see his belly was full and he showed no interest in my fly.  It was a nice relaxing day on the water – exactly what the Dr ordered after all the travel this week.  Looking forward to more neat Michigan fishing for tomorrow.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing