Blog

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

A Relaxing Return to the Nunya

September 16 & 17, 2014

 

blog-Sept-16-2014-1-mooseGranny and I plan to have a nice relaxing fishing fall.  This week was back to the Nunya starting with a filling dinner at the local pub, a few of their home brews then a good night sleep in the back of the Exploder.  We were up early and pushed off our blue boat next to a few curious Bull Moose in extremely warm sun for September.

 

blog-Sept-16-2014-2-fall-in-idahoThe water level on the often mighty Nunya was scary low.  We had a wet summer so why it’s so low is of mystery.  The river was so skinny even our high riding boat hit bottom frequently, undoubtedly scaring the fish we hoped to catch before we got to them.  Furthermore, this always slow moving river was like a lake in many areas.  With Tuesday’s high sun and no wind it was extremely difficult to fool resident lunkers before they spooked.

 

September 16, 2014

 

blog-Sept-16-2014-3-granny-currier-fly-fishingThe float began without a cast – very un-Currier like.  Granny and I sipped our coffees and drifted.  The silent drift allowed us to jump a few more moose, several mule deer, sleeping coyotes, eagles, a great horned owl, a rabbit and a porcupine.  The animals were extremely active so as the last sip of coffee went down I got Granny casting.

 

blog-Sept-16-2014-4-granny-currier-with-cutthroat-troutTo our amazement the fish weren’t active like the rest of the animals.  On Tuesday we caught only about a dozen fish, and most of them small for the Nunya.  The fish of the day was this cutthroat Granny fooled on a brown drake.

 

blog-Sept-16-2014-5-granny-currier-living-largeWhen fishing is slow Granny and I are pros at kicking back and taking it in.  We love the wildlife and also the fall.  Our foliage is at its peak.  The cottonwoods are on the verge of exploding in gold and all mountainsides glow in orange from the aspens with dashes of reds and yellows from various smaller shrubbery.  I must say, we did more drifting while sipping cold ones and looking above the waterline than fishing.

 

blog-Sept-16-2014-6-granny-currierAs always on the Nunya, our camp was remote, quiet and the views spectacular.  The temperature remained warm for an hour after sunset and there wasn’t an ounce of wind.  Granny prepared a marvelous Thai chicken dinner as we took in the sounds along with a bottle of fine red.

 

September 17, 2014

 

As always when backcountry camping, I slept light.  Someone should always be on guard for an unwanted visitor in the night.  Last night a frightening bull (cow) blew his horn repeatedly as loud as he could a few hundred yards from our camp.  He undoubtedly saw our tent on his turf and wanted it gone.  I never got up to see him as to avoid any sort of confrontation, but he threatened for an hour before he left.

 

blog-Sept-17-2014-7-sunriseThere were plenty of coyotes howling, owls hooting and I heard what I assume was a moose crossing the river in front of camp.  Just like during the day, the animals were on the move all night.  Then the real surprise came at 5 AM with flashes of lightening and distant thunder.  All weather reports I read called for back to back bluebird days in Nunya country.  Lucky for us the rain never reached before it was time to get moving.

 

blog-Sept-17-2014-8-porcupineWhen I finally popped out from the tent my attention was grabbed by a porcupine sniffing our dry bags.  No harm done there but if he found our food it could have been different. Before bed I wisely put our cooler and dry food container in the boat and anchored it a good twenty feet out in a side slough.  Luckily the porcupine nor anything else made a midnight swim.

 

blog-Sept-17-2014-9-jeff-currier-staying-dry-in-simmsWe had another nice coffee drinking drift in hopes to see something really special like a mountain lion.  There’s numerous lions along the Nunya but you must be lucky.  Several years back Granny and I watched a bobcat family hunt the cliffs above the river, but no kitties today.  The first storm of the day hit us just as we got ready to fish.

 

blog-Sept-17-2014-10-rainbow-troutStorm number one was minor.  It blew and rained light for about fifteen minutes.  Then the sun came out and it was as humid as it gets around here and hotter than the hottest day in August.  Fishing remained mediocre at best until I dragged the boat into a reliable channel I keep in my repertoire.  Granny hoisted in five nice fish in a short time.  One was this muscular specimen of a rainbow that gave Granny and my 6-weight Boron III X a run for their money!

 

blog-Sept-17-2014-11-granny-currierWe caught a few more fish.  Granny turned it on for about an hour.  Then the storms returned and never let up again for the remainder of the day.  We had several epic jungle-like downpours.  The rain came down so hard it was a laugher!

 

blog-Sept-17-2014-12-jeff-currier-learning-to-relaxGranny and I are going to keep chillin on her days off for the remainder of the fall.  I’ve played hard this year so I can use the rest and Granny likes to chill regardless whenever she can.  Next on the agenda for me is fishing on Blackfoot Reservoir Friday and Saturday.  I’ll be doing a carp flick with Mike Dawes and RA Beattie.  More on this to come.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Streamer Tactic that Catches More Fish

blog-Sept-12-2014-1-jeff-currier-streamer-fishingI didn’t expect to see the South Fork of the Snake again until at least mid-November.  I had my fill there with the One Fly.  And the way the water level has been fluctuating and the crowds enjoying the last of summer, why bother before November.  But then the phone rang on Thursday.  On the other end was my good friend Paul Bruun, the sports writer for the Jackson Hole News.

 

blog-Sept-12-2014-2-paul-bruun-on-the-southforkPaul has been wanting to do a story about my unusual streamer fishing tactics.  He’s seen my multiple fly rig work its magic for years during our fall fishing exploits.  He even saw my single streamer tricks mop up the 2013 One Fly.  The technique which I learned from competing in the World Championships is not a secret.  I’ve given tidbits on the blog but never a thorough run down.

 

blog-Sept-12-2014-3-jeff-currier-on-the-southforkThe thorough rundown will now come from Paul who is a far better writer than I.  The article will be out on Wednesday in the Jackson Hole News.  You should be able to track it on the web but for sure I’ll have it on the site shortly after it hits.  We had a great afternoon of streamer fishing!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Relaxation After the Jackson Hole One Fly

September 9 & 10, 2014

 

blog-Sept-10-2014-1-flyfishing-in-montanaAfter a heavy week casting streamers from a boat for the Jackson Hole One Fly, the last thing I wanted to do on Granny’s days off was throw streamers from a boat.  What my body needed was rest, relaxation, some easy going wade fishing and a campfire at night.  I wanted my hard working wife to catch some fish while I napped in the tall grass along the banks of a beautiful un-fished river.

 

blog-Sept-9-2014-2-fall-in-idahoOur drive to this special location where we haven’t been in years was as enjoyable as the fishing.  The leaves are changing fast now.  It seems like just yesterday I was mentioning the leaves popping on the Aspen trees coming home from a May carp trip.  Today’s scenery was special to say the least.

 

Upon arrival the air was crisp.  Not cold, I’m still in shorts but up top I wore a sweater.  And when it came time to fish the evening both Granny and I wore our Simms waders.

 

blog-Sept-9-2014-3-flyfishing-for-brook-troutWe didn’t know what to expect as for the fishing.  When Granny hooked and landed a fiery brown on a Chernobyl on about her fifth cast we were stoked.  This was exactly what I dreamed of.  She went on to land two more of these brown trout and also a 12” brook trout that we even less expected.

 

blog-Sept-9-2014-4-full-moonOur campfire kept us warm under the full moon last night as we listened to playoff caliber baseball through my XM radio.  What a game between the Royals and Detroit.  We didn’t realize exactly how warm the fire kept us until we got up this morning.  Waiting for the coffee to brew before sunrise required a lot of layers and jumping around.  The frost was thick but man was it beautiful.

 

blog-Sept-10-2014-5-frosty-simms-tackle-bagAs for the fishing – I think we caught the last hurrah for trout on big flies in Idaho.  The cold nights are taking their toll on the hoppers and soon the jumbo foam won’t work anymore.  We absolutely plastered lots of nice fish!

 

blog-Sept-10-2014-6-granny-currierI mostly watched as Granny (have I ever mentioned she’s an incredible angler?) caught what may have very well been every single trout in a particular run.  She caught at least twenty ranging from the pesky 8 inchers to browns and rainbows topping off at 17”.  Every fish leaped several times and screamed her downstream.  I couldn’t get my nap but staying up to watch her at work was plenty worth it.

 

blog-Sept-10-2014-6b-Yvonne-Granny-CurrierThe fishing was so good that despite an aching shoulder I got in the action as well.  Soon I was going up one side of the river and Granny on the other.  Our fishing was no less than exceptional.

 

blog-Sept-10-2014-7-brown-troutThat’s it for a few days.  I’m late on my bills.  My fishing rooms have spread to the living room, bathrooms and even the kitchen. I have art to get done and plenty of September baseball to enjoy. . . . even if it isn’t the Cubs.  Stay tuned for a big trip next week with Granny!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Jackson Hole One Fly Day 2

Sorry for the lack of photos but in the tourney it’s extremely hard to put down the fly rod to take pics!

 

blog-Sept-7-2014-1-jackson-hole-oneflyThe Good Times Team had a lot of work to do to jump from 18th place to contention in the 2014 Jackson Hole One Fly after Day 1.  Individually, I was in the top ten, where I was last year after Day 1.  The difference however, last year I had a stretch up in Teton Park where there are a lot of big trout.  This year I was on the heavily fished South Park to Pritchard where there are few.

 

blog-Sept-7-2014-2-guide-ben-wilkersonI had two choices.  Go with a small dry fly and try to rack up a couple hundred points by catching numerous small fish.  Or continue with the streamer, and though big fish are rare on my stretch, cross my fingers for the unusual monster.  I went with the streamer.  The guide/judge was Ben Wilkerson who went with the flow.

 

blog-Sept-7-2014-3-jim-fisherMy opponent, Jim Fisher whom I fished with on Heart Lake in 2011, was fishing a small dry fly.  Jim is an excellent angler and capable of catching 50 fish in a day.  Not wanting to destroy his dry fly water, I stayed in the back of the boat again all day.

 

The day started out with clear skies and cold temps.  At the 8:30 start time I was shivering in the shade.  Wouldn’t you know, we pushed off and I immediately rolled a large cutthroat.  Jim, knowing his dry fly wasn’t going to get much action till it warmed up, agreed to let us pull over and allow me attempt some more casts at this fish.  Despite shivering, I wet-waded up to my belly and worked for the fish for ten minutes.  I tweaked my strip, jigged my fly, dead drifted it but could get him to eat my fly.

 

blog-Sept-7-2014-4-jackson-hole-one-flyDuring the next four hours the opposite of what we expected to happen, happened.  Jim could hardly budge a fish on his dry fly.  My streamer on the other hand, caught small fish after small fish.  Normally little guys chase but don’t eat a streamer.  And when the do try to eat it the fly is too big for their mouths.  Not today – I landed 37.  The problem however, my biggest was only 14”.  The lack of large trout was so bad that I measured three 12” fish simply to get 10 points instead of 2 points.  Jim landed sixteen and not one was measurable!

 

A big storm rolled in at 3 PM.  Strong wind, heavy rain and hail blasted us during the last hour.  Many boats reeled it in fearing lightening.  Like fools, we took our chances (even though I’ve had my close calls) and fished through it.  Each of us racked up a couple more small cutties.

 

blog-Sept-7-2014-5-cutthroat-troutI ended up with a sad 219 points for the day.  Poor Jim was worse with only 65 points.  The rest of my team went like this:  Gary fished a Chernobyl on the South Fork with legendary guide Mike Bean but fishing was even tougher than yesterday and he got 183 points.  Scott Sanchez, despite having the Moose to Wilson, a top stretch in the contest, had the wrong fly and racked up a mere 157.  Now Cooper however, fished a Chernobyl Deadmans to Moose and got 317 points – well done in his first One Fly.  The team stayed put after Day 2 and our finish was 18th place.

 

That’s all she wrote.  I’m exhausted again.  Exhausted all year in fact from fishing like a mad man.  I hope I’m tired for the rest of my life!

 

Next on the agenda, some relaxing camping and fishing with Granny – can’t wait!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Day One Jackson Hole One Fly 2014

Sorry for the lack of photos but in the tourney it’s extremely hard to put down the fly rod to take pics!

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-1-jackson-hole-one-fly5 AM came early.  Its pitch dark in Idaho at 5 now.  When I stepped out to feel the temperature our local great horned owls were chatting up a storm.  They’re about the only creatures enjoying the lengthening darkness.  It wasn’t as cold as the last couple mornings.

 

At 5:30 I headed for Swan Valley and the Angus for breakfast and to meet my South Fork guide, Cole Sutheimer and opponent Barbara Adams.  Today was day one of the Jackson Hole One Fly.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-2-scott-sanchezI’m a sponsored member of the Good Times Team, founded by friend Gary Eckman (a frequent angler on this blog).  There are forty-four teams and each One Fly team consist of four anglers that compete with only one fly for two days.  This year our team is made up of Gary, his son Cooper, Scott Sanchez and myself.   Last year our team finished in 5th place and I was the individual champ.  I have two thoughts in mind, help move our team up in the standings and do it by remaining the first place champ.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-3-jackson-hole-one-flyAfter a heavyweight breakfast Cole, Barbara and I launched at the Conant boat launch on the South Fork.  Even though nymphs have proven to be the most effective way to catch fish on the South Fork of late, I couldn’t stare at a bobber all day.  I went with a risky streamer.  I say risky because I practiced with a streamer here twice this week and it was extremely difficult to catch more than a few big trout.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-4-mountain-whitefishAt 8:30 the contest began and before we left sight of the boat ramp I scored four small trout.  Small trout don’t score well but catching them told me I had the right streamer.  I picked up a few more little trout while Barbara’s nymph got little attention.  At 10 AM I had six small two point trout but no measurable bonus fish and Barbara had only one uncountable whitefish.

 

At 11:30 AM neither Barbara nor I had a single measurable bonus point fish.  All fish under 12” score as two points only.  You can measure eight fish over 12” and score bonus points (e.g. 13” scores 20 points, 15” scores 40 points and 20” scores 150 points) for the six best.  If you don’t get at least six slots filled with bonus fish each day you will do poorly.  We were way behind and running out of time.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-5-south-forkCole rowed us into a side channel to wade fish and eat lunch.  Barbara nymph fished the main run while I walked upstream with my net.  The water upstream was skinny but each pool had a sliver of deep water.  That’s all good trout of the South Fork need to be happy.  I made a short cast in the first pool and landed a 13” cutbow.  I’d rather measure some bigger fish but at nearly noon I took my first measurable.

 

In the next pool I rolled a huge cutthroat.  He flat out refused my fly.  I cast again but nothing.  I inched my next cast up further and wham!  A much larger cutbow launched himself and ran me downstream.  I yelled for Cole and he ran my way.  My battle was a little chaotic but luckily I netted the fish as Cole arrived.  The slab was 17” for 60 bonus points!

 

Barbara’s nymph finally picked up a small unmeasurable trout but in general continued to catch only the odd whitefish.  I picked up a 16” cutthroat off a bank and we came to another wade place.  None of us had any lunch yet but with time against me I chose to skip it.  I worked my run while Barbara and Cole woofed down a few bites.  As I was unsuccessfully working my run I spotted a huge trout slowly cruising over a sandy spot in some weed beds below me.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-6-rainbow-troutI knew this was a one shot deal.  We had some clouds overhead and the trout was about to blend back in with his surroundings.  I launched a long cast that landed two feet to his right.  The trout spun and followed my streamer.  At first he showed no aggression so I sped up my retrieve.  That was it.  He crushed my fly and this time a wild leaping line stealing rainbow was on.  Minutes later I landed a 19” 125 point trout!

 

I snuck five more nice trout from this place.  I had my six now and could have filled my card and replace my 13” but chose to leave two spots open in case I caught a giant.  The rule goes that once your card is full you no longer can measure trout.  If the card was full and I landed a 23” giant, he would count for a measly 2 points.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-7-jackson-hole-oneflyBarbara’s fly continued to do awful.  I was shocked because I knew the nymphs were hot all week.  At last at 3:30 she landed and measured her one and only fish, a 13” cutbow.  Her lack of fish was by no means a reflection of her angling.  Barbara never missed a cast, a spot and quite honestly fished as hard as anyone of my friends.

 

blog-Sept-6-2014-8-Jacksonhole-OneflyMy last trout was another 15” and I used him to replace my 13”.  I’m not sure how many small ones I caught but my final score for today is 450 points.  All of our team kept their fly all day.  Gary scored 363 on the Snake, Cooper scored 159 on the South Fork and Sanchez scored 173 on the Snake.  Although my score is in good shape, we have a lot of work to do tomorrow as our team is in 18th place.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

One Last One Fly Warmup for Cooper

blog-Sept-5-2014-1-jackson-hole-oneflyYou need to be careful before the Jackson Hole One Fly tournament not to wear yourself out before it starts.  What I mean is don’t fish yourself into the ground beforehand by tiring out the body.  Yes, fishing hard works every muscle.  Furthermore, hard fishing exhausts your brain and a tired brain leads to simple mistakes.  In the One Fly, make the mistake of losing your fly and you’re out.

 

blog-Sept-5-2014-2-flyfishing-guide-boots-allenToday I broke my own rules by fishing for the third day in a row before starting the One Fly tomorrow.  Captain Gary Eckman wanted me to spend one more day helping prepare Cooper for his first One Fly by joining him on a guided trip on the Snake.  I so would’ve liked to rest around house but this guided trip was with top guide and friend, Boots Allen.  I couldn’t miss that.

 

blog-Sept-5-2014-3-flyfishing-the-snake-riverWe fished South of Jackson on the Pritchard to West Table section.  It was freezing cold when we started – 34°!  Luckily it warmed up fast.  I dabbled with the streamer but spent most the day kicking back encouraging CooperBoots had Cooper practice with dries and a nymph.  Cooper fished all techniques beautifully and he should be ready for the big weekend.

 

blog-Sept-5-2014-giant-waterbugOne of the highlights for all three of us was capturing this giant water bug.  This pic does not show his size.  He was enormous!  And I knew enough not to catch him by hand.  Thank goodness I stopped Cooper before he grabbed him with his hand.

 

There’s a lot more to a nice day on the Snake in September but Granny and I just got home from the kick off One Fly dinner and its now 11 PM.  I have to be at the Angus on the South Fork to meet my competition guide Cole Sutheimer at 6:30 AM tomorrow.  I need sleep.  Be ready for results and the One Fly blog Monday afternoon.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing