Archive | September, 2011

Indian Summer at its Best

September 25, 2011

Every year Scott Sanchez (Chez) and I donate a day called “Fishing with Jeff and Scott” to the Jackson Hole One Fly. They auction us off and the money is used towards some sort of river rehabilitation project. This year a good friend and owner of Gros Ventre River Ranch, Tina Weber, purchased the trip and Scott and I put together a very special day of fishing.


I left Victor at 5 AM and met up with Tina and Chez in Jackson, Wyoming at 6. Then we drove to the launch and pushed off in a temperature of 37º. 37º sounds brutally cold, but for Wyoming in late September, temps above freezing at sunrise are considered warm. In fact, the forecast was for an amazing 80º, clears skies and little to no wind. No matter how chilly 37º felt, we knew it would get hot fast.


To begin the day, I took the oars and rowed us downstream. I know this river like the back of my hand. Today was a long float and I wanted to blow through some dead water so we could concentrate on the better water. Keep in mind, days are a heck of a lot shorter now and it gets dark around 7:30 – making the best of our time was essential. The row was nice for me because I warmed up quick and nice for Tina and Chez because they have never been here and got to take in some of the scenery, something you don’t do much once you start working those flies. And the scenery was spectacular to put it bluntly. All the leaves of the cottonwood trees, aspen trees and varieties of scrub bushes are about 3/4th changed to their fall colors. Reds, oranges and yellows gleaming amongst the remaining green leaves is a sight to behold. Then throw in the mountains and the rich blue sky – what a morning.


Before we got to where I wanted to begin, I had Tina and Chez start fishing. I know Sanchez can fish, but I’ve never fished with Tina. I know she fishes a lot but as the rower it really helps to do some observing. What I learned was that she can put not only one, but two winged Chernobyl’s exactly where they need to be.


Within minutes Chez attached himself into a fantastic brown that fell for his famous double bunny pattern. The size of this brown caught us all by surprise. He was truly huge and quickly pointed out a weak point in our equipment, our net was a “junk show”. Scott, who provided the boat along with the normal boat utensils, owns a net that gives the fish a true bonus opportunity to get away and leaves you helplessly tangled in its net bag. After my first swipe at Chez’s brown I found myself dreaming of my New Zealand weigh net in my boat back in my garage in Victor, Idaho. On my second scoop with the net I got the fish half way in then the net frame collapsed and ejected the enormous brown back to the river. By now my biggest concern wasn’t Scotts brown but rather will this go on all day and will it cost Tina the brown of her life at some point. On the third attempt I put the browns head in the net then tailed him with my left hand and handed the muscular thrashing trout to Chez to deal with. It was a true wrestling match and in order not to hurt the fish we released the trout quickly and I missed the photo opportunity.

Tina caught the next few big fish on her dry flies. On each one I rowed to the shallows, often beaching the boat so we could land the fish and without the net. She landed a nice brown of her own and several cutthroats. All the cuttys were hefty Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroats. I threw in the “fine spotted” part of their name because not only is this part of the full name of the species, but these particular ones have the finest spots you will ever see. To top it off, their gold coloring and orange fins are electric. They are truly unbelievable looking.

Her last cutty to this point was impressive. I was pushing us through a sandy structureless flat when I had to put the brakes on. As I was looking downstream, always scanning for fish even in the worst looking of water, I noticed the tip of a quality trout’s nose break the surface. I saw just enough to know there was a beast attached. I had Tina feed her flies down to the fish and in the most delicate sip you’ve ever seen a trout make, her size 8 Chernobyl vanished. She raised the rod and the cutthroat of dreams started to wind up.

Cutthroats get accused of being poor fighters and many of the subspecies are. But Snake River Cutthroats are a different breed. They usually put up a good fight and some, like Tina’s, will take you to the cleaners! It was all she could do to maneuver and land this trout. Once she did he was well behaved and we were able to snap a few shots.


After we released Tina’s big cutthroat I was thinking to myself that this was going to be the best fishing day of the season. Why not? We were only two hours into the day and less than a quarter of the way through our float. But the fishing went steadily downhill until dark. It literally went from fish crushing the fly till they were hooked, to nipping at it, swirling below it and then hours of absolutely no action at all. Luckily the forecast lived up to its prediction. We saw only a few tiny clouds. We had a breeze for only an hour. And the temperature went past 80º. In fact it went so far above; I went for a rare late September swim to cool off. Of course all this nice weather is probably what turned off our fishing.

As the sun set, the fishing improved slightly. It wasn’t nearly as good as it gets, but we managed to find some action. We nailed a bunch of little guys and I got one thick brown about 18 inches. Chez was playing around by swinging a couple soft hackles and caught two little browns at the same time. This is the second double I’ve seen this week! While our fishing improved the moose woke up and we watched five make their way from the willows to the river to begin a night of feeding on the last of the season’s greenery.

Despite the mediocre fishing, today was just one of those memorable days. I don’t think I’ve experienced a prettier one in years. And we squeaked out a few incredible trout and I got to fish with two friends, one whom I hardly ever get out with anymore because we are both so busy these days and one whom we’ve been trying to fish together forever.


I’m not sure what’s next on my fishing agenda. On Wednesday my folks come out to visit then my schedule in October gets insane. I’m not saying I won’t be fishing in October, that’s far from the truth. In fact I’ll be supplying some very exciting stories with a few days down in Arizona for grass carp and a week in Wisconsin for musky. But the next ten days is uncertain.


One thing I do know for sure is that on October 7th I’ll be in Bozeman, Montana for the premiere showing of the Confluence Film, “Connect”. This is the movie where I was the lucky guy to do the segment filmed in Tanzania for giant tigerfish. If you didn’t see my photos and blog for this trip last November go there now. You absolutely will not believe the fish we caught and the stories that went with it. And the movie! I did voiceovers in July and got a glimpse of the near final product on a small laptop screen – this is a fly fishing movie you don’t want to miss!

A Great Ending to a Great Week!

September 19-20, 2011

One of my favorite trips to do in late September with friends is an overnight float trip through the canyon of the South Fork of the Snake River. This normally busy river has little traffic, the mahogany duns are hatching and the colors of the changing leaves scattered up the canyon walls is as stunning as it gets. The problem however it that my drift boat only takes three, me as the rower and two friends, so when I have a crew of college buddies like I do this week, the South Fork isn’t feasible – unless we rent another boat.

Renting a boat isn’t often a smart idea either because rowing the South Fork is about as demanding as float fishing gets. This river cranks out the water flow. This September is especially high flowing at nearly 9000 cfs. Of course, every angler says they can row. And many can row. But honestly, there’s a big difference between rowing lakes and small slow flowing rivers vs. the South Fork. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can get killed out there in a blink of an eye. So before I threw out the idea of renting a raft so all six of us could do the overnighter I really thought it over.

Mike Birmingham, one of my college pals on this trip, is one of those guys that is good at everything. One night over the campfire I mentioned the South Fork float and quizzed him on his rowing skills. My gut feeling was that he could handle the challenge and when I tossed the idea out he was all about it as were the rest of us. On Monday morning we found ourselves pushing off from the Spring Creek Highway Bridge beginning our 26 mile float trip to Byington on the South Fork of the Snake.

Although I was confident in Mike, I believe Travis and especially Mark, his passengers were a little uneasy as their fishing raft took off in the heavy current of the South Fork. But Mike was good. He simply floated behind my boat and followed my every move and my advice that I gave him on the drive over. My best piece of advice to him was to avoid danger from afar. Basically, rowers should be looking downstream (rather than staring at their friends fly) and always have that boat pointed towards anything that can wipe you out – rocks, rapids, overhanging trees off the bank, sleepers and strainers. By pointing towards them you can always in an instant begin back rowing away from them. What gets every rower in trouble is not seeing these dangers soon enough and then rather back rowing away from them; they try to push forward and away. Pushing forward to get away often times gets you to the danger faster. Most humans are much stronger back rowing rather than forward rowing so spin the boat and back row. After about three hours of following our boat, Mike was rowing excellent and everyone was at ease.

Fishing was hot right out of the gates. I had Howie and Mark (Rieser) in my boat. Howie was up front rigged with two small dries about three feet apart. One was a cinnamon ant like I used in the One Fly last week and the other was a size 18 mahogany dun. Rieser had a big black streamer. I clued them in on the sneaky places trout live at on the South Fork. Anglers not familiar with this river have a tendency to cast to the banks and outside turns from start to finish. Sure these are good places at times and on most rivers, but on the South Fork, these places can have so much current that the fish actually move more to the inside turns and shallow gravel bars. It didn’t take long for Howie and Rieser to become believers as they each pulled fish from literally 8 inches of water.

Our favorite catch of the day was when I rowed Howie into one of the most unsuspecting fish holding areas on the river. While fishing a spot upstream I noticed a trickle of water leave the river and meander into the forest. Ten minutes later, on the same side of the river there was a slough of dead water – no current and full of weeds. The spot didn’t look like much. However, I thought to myself that somewhere back at the top of that slough well out of sight that perhaps that little trickle I saw leave the river might enter. Anywhere there’s current there is usually a fish. So I rowed us up there. Sure enough before we even saw the trickle enter we could hear it. I told Howie a big fish lived in there. I rowed the boat forward and Howie methodically dropped his dry flies in every inch of the in flowing water. Then just where the shallow met the deep, wham! A beautiful cutthroat inhaled Howies fly and soon after I netted a nice 16 incher.

The wind howled the rest of our day. Birmingham and I rowed hard against the wind and the rest powered their casts into the teeth of the wind the best they could. At 5 PM we settled into a campsite in the upper canyon near the entry of Pine Creek. During cocktail hour we enjoyed watching a group of moose including two huge bulls. They were across the river feeding on willows and silver berry. There is no more velvet on the antlers of the bulls.

As usual we had a feast. Tonight we cooked kabobs with steak, pork and chicken on them mixed with mushrooms, onions and green peppers. It was scrumptious to say the least. For me, there was no need for a tent because skies were clear. Howie joined me and we slept on a high bank inches from the river. Our only fear was getting stepped on by a moose. There were several moose on our side of the river and we got to watch them graze around camp during dinner. But we lucked out; we weren’t sleeping on a moose trail.

I got the boys up early on Tuesday. Sometimes streamers and enormous dry flies can be deadly before noon. We made our coffee and skipped breakfast altogether. As we broke down camp we had a crazy cow moose meander right into us. I say crazy because she gave us the “google” eye with her ears back – something they love to do before they charge you. I was a bit uneasy but she finally moved on out. Then once on the river the fish were biting as expected.

We had great action for about two hours. Howie and Rieser each landed a handful of nice 14 to 16 inch cutthroats and a scattering of browns and rainbows. By 11 the sun was high and it was hot like a summer day and unfortunately the fishing slowed down miserably. Our boat probably landed less then three fish from 11 till about 3 PM. It was really surprising. Luckily, at about 3 the hatches started and I mean big time. There were pale morning duns, mahogany duns, tricos and a few stoneflies out. Once again the fish returned to feeding on the riffles and even on the slow banks. Howie, who has much less fly fishing experience than Rieser, put on one of his best fly fishing performances of his life. While fishing from the back of the boat he threaded the needle and dropped his flies into nooks and crannies that trout don’t expect a fly to land. The result, Howie beat the heck out fish in the final hours of the trip. I’m not sure if he just drank the perfect number of beers or what, but Howie was in the zone that anglers get in only once in a very rare while.

The highlight wasn’t Howie putting on a clinic however. The highlight was watching Rieser land two brown trout on one cast. Rieser was in the front of the boat fishing two small dry flies. I saw some shallow water towards the middle of the river and suggested he drop a cast over the gravel. His flies drifted along about ten feet then one got eaten. He set the hook and a small brown leaped. He was hooked on his upper fly. Then Rieser said there was another trout chasing the one and acting very strange. After a few days ago when I had that huge trout eat a trout off my line I stood up hoping we were about to have some similar excitement. But this was different. The chasing trout was the same size and he wasn’t chasing the other hooked trout at all. He was chasing the trailing fly. And he got it. “You have a double!” I shouted.

Rieser and Howie had never heard of such a thing but it happens. I actually see about a double a season. The hard part is netting the two. If you net the top one you have to hand over hand the bottom one and you usually lose him. So on this one I lifted the top fish up over the net and scooped up the bottom one. The upper fish was still on so then I dropped him in the net. It was really an awesome catch for all of us.

The boys left this morning. We are all exhausted from seven days of fishing in a row and six nights of camping. We played hard, slept little and had a great time. Actually we had the time of our lives. It’s amazing that after 25 years we are all still such great friends. And the six here this week aren’t all of them. There were about another six that couldn’t make it. All I can say is I hope they read these latest blogs – they’ll surely find a way to make it next time! We’re getting too old not to!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing web site

Fishing Far Surpassed Expectations

September 15-18, 2011

We woke up to clear skies and the thickest frost I’ve seen in years last Thursday.  In fact, remember that wet meal we ate Wednesday night?  Our plates were solid ice blocks when we woke up.  Even the flies on our rods were frozen popsicles for fish.  We had to chip them loose from the rod guides.  But the sun was out and things could only get better for the rest of the week.

Once things thawed, including us, we pounded the fish around camp until about 2 PM that day.  Although most the fish were small browns, everyone managed to catch at least one 16 incher and they were all on dry flies.  You can’t beat that!  By then it was 70º already and we broke down camp and migrated north into the Bridger – Teton National Forest where we could fish the headwaters of the same river.  This area also gave us access to many tributaries and even some lakes.  There’s no way my college pals could get bored or run out of water even in the four days we had left. 

I hate to put four days of fishing in one blog, but with more camping and fishing days ahead without internet access its best I get this done tonight.  All I can say is these last four days far surpassed my expectations.  I simply wanted to show my Midwestern college friends a good time with some reasonable fishing in a gorgeous place.  On the very afternoon we arrived at our new camp we had great fishing.  This is a camp I’ve stayed at before and it’s absolutely spectacular.  It’s right on the river, there are peaks in every direction, the elk are bugling and fish rise all the time.  This week was no exception and before we even set up the tents we observed several nice rainbows feeding.  Travis of Iowa was first to pursue the risers.  He waded right out and on the third cast he hooked and landed one of the nicest trout of his life.  It was a thrill not only for Travis, but the rest of us enjoyed watching the whole experience unfold before our eyes as we sat in our lawn chairs sipping beers.  Fun!

That was Thursday.  On Friday morning Mark, also of Iowa, climbed from his frosty tent and made some casts to warm up.  The sun had barely risen and most of us were still hunkered down in our sleeping bags.  Sure enough, Mark got rocked by a nice brown.  Again, these guys from Iowa don’t have trout fishing like I’m spoiled with and this chunky brown will go down as one of his most memorable. 

Friday night got about as cold as I like to deal with when it comes to camping.  Call me a wimp, but as I get older, temps in the teens aren’t that appealing for sleeping out.  I tell you, walk ten feet from the campfire and it aint fun.  And in the morning, good luck getting your waders on.  They are always frozen solid.  But once the sun rose Saturday the temps skyrocketed and before we knew it was back in the 70ºs. 

Mark Rieser and I fished together all day Saturday.  We actually planned to fish a mere four hours then return for lunch with everyone, but the fishing was so good our four our jaunt turned into a ten hour full day of fishing and hiking.  The situation was simple, the first hole that I fished produce a huge rainbow of about 18 inches.  The fish absolutely smoked my 4-weight Ross rig up and down the river with several jumps mixed in.  Once I got him beached I couldn’t help but stare at how pretty he was.  His speckles were amazing to say the least.  There were millions of them and they were all over his body including his pectoral fins.

That rainbow wasn’t the only great fish yesterday.  Mark and I just kept on walking – probably four miles of river.  And every pool, run and bend produced a surprise.  We caught several more nice rainbows, a couple of big browns, a huge cutthroat and even a fall colored brook trout.  This place has everything.  However, the most memorable moment of the day was not catching fish, but rather witnessing some serious fish carnage.  While I was rapidly stripping in an 8 inch trout that I had on, a huge trout, likely a brown but possibly even a monster cutty, ripped him off my fly and ate him.  Just seeing this massive trout whirl effortlessly through very fast shallow water and maneuver so easily will leave an impressive little memory in the back of my mind for a long time.  What I’ll never forget was that his eyes were as big as nickels and his tail like a broom.  He was so focused on stealing my trout off my line it was incredible!

Naturally, after my heart settled and I could think clearly again, I tore through my fly boxes in search of some sort of massive streamer.  I didn’t have one.  My streamer box was nowhere to be found. So instead I put on two huge Polish nymphs and started dredging the run in hopes I’d hook up with him. But no luck.  Evidently, once this big guy showed himself in the area, all trout went into hiding.  For the rest of the day I found myself doing terrible things like really taking my time to land the all the small trout I hooked and I may have even dangled one through a deep pool accidentally on purpose! 

After a few hours of fishing this morning, we are back in Victor, all cleaned up and ready for a night on the town.  Remember, this is a celebration with college buddies.  We graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin 25 years ago and we are still great friends.  The plan is to search out a big dinner in a warm room under a roof after our four nights of camping in the cold and good bit of rain.  Then it’s up early in the morning so we can head to the South Fork of the Snake where we will do an overnight trip through the Canyon.  Expect a good report as I believe these college buddies have really brought along some fantastic luck!

That rainbow wasn’t the only great fish yesterday.  Mark and I just kept on walking – probably four miles of river.  And every pool, run and bend produced a surprise.  We caught several more nice rainbows, a couple of big browns, a huge cutthroat and even a fall colored brook trout.  This place has everything.  However, the most memorable moment of the day was not catching fish, but rather witnessing some serious fish carnage.  While I was rapidly stripping in an 8 inch trout that I had on, a huge trout, likely a brown but possibly even a monster cutty, ripped him off my fly and ate him.  Just seeing this massive trout whirl effortlessly through very fast shallow water and maneuver so easily will leave an impressive little memory in the back of my mind for a long time.  What I’ll never forget was that his eyes were as big as nickels and his tail like a broom.  He was so focused on stealing my trout off my line it was incredible!

Naturally, after my heart settled and I could think clearly again, I tore through my fly boxes in search of some sort of massive streamer.  I didn’t have one.  My streamer box was nowhere to be found. So instead I put on two huge Polish nymphs and started dredging the run in hopes I’d hook up with him. But no luck.  Evidently, once this big guy showed himself in the area, all trout went into hiding.  For the rest of the day I found myself doing terrible things like really taking my time to land the all the small trout I hooked and I may have even dangled one through a deep pool accidentally on purpose! 

After a few hours of fishing this morning, we are back in Victor, all cleaned up and ready for a night on the town.  Remember, this is a celebration with college buddies.  We graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin 25 years ago and we are still great friends.  The plan is to search out a big dinner in a warm room under a roof after our four nights of camping in the cold and good bit of rain.  Then it’s up early in the morning so we can head to the South Fork of the Snake where we will do an overnight trip through the Canyon.  Expect a good report as I believe these college buddies have really brought along some fantastic luck!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing Website

Who Knows What We’ll Get Into

Undoubtedly, today is the beginning of a pretty rowdy and fun six days. My college buddies have arrived. We all graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin back in 1987. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Anyway, we keep in touch like brothers and after all these years we continue to get together and fish.

Matt Norton (Howie) of Minnesota and Mark Rieser of Iowa arrived in Jackson, Wyoming this morning by plane at about 10 AM. They gave me a ring and I met them at the Albertsons Grocery in Jackson. Just as I pulled in the lot they were coming out with two full carts of food. There was no doubt we would eat well! Once the coolers were loaded with food we filled all remaining space with beer. Oh, and another cooler as well.

We drove about an hour south of Jackson and met our other friends that drove out from Iowa. From my directions earlier this week they had settled into one of my much loved camps on one of my favorite rivers. Although a nice day when we left Jackson, now it was windy and cloudy here in the mountains and we could see thunderstorms on the way. After a few celebratory orange whips the rain and wind started. It was so bad I thought for sure it was the fall equinox storm. Then the temperatures dropped and we even had some sleet. However, rather than getting us bummed out and force us to sit in our cars we all wadered up and sat in the rain over another orange whip. Then, we rigged our rods and while most fished around camp Howie and I walked upstream.

Howie (Matt Norton) was my roommate in college. He fly fishes just enough back in Minnesota to get in trouble. Howie has fished with me out here before and he can cast well and is actually a pretty darn good fly fisherman. I had Howie rig up with two winged Chernobyl’s about 4 feet apart from each other.

By now it was more than just raining. It was flat out pouring. We could only hope that this wasn’t the way our weather will be all week. Nonetheless, Howie and I worked our way upstream. Howie tends to work his fishing very slow and methodically. I don’t mind this when fishing is great and fish are everywhere, but typically on this river you need to move fast covering the good water and skipping the bad.

In fact there’s an old saying, “When fishing’s slow, fish fast. When fishing’s fast, fish slow.” And this is a perfect theory for this river. But Howie tends to fish slowly no matter what so I had to keep pushing him along.

In no time we both forgot about the rain because we started to catch fish. It seemed that every rock I threw behind produced either a small brown or rainbow. I felt like I was competing in a Euro tournament because how fast I was catching these little guys. Howie was catching a few but he wasn’t doing as well with the wading. This river is boulder strewn and fast moving. If you not used to gliding across the rocks all the time they can be a challenge. He did his best though and kept up by covering some ground on the bank. What slowed down Howie more than anything was the beauty of each and every one of these nice little trout. I always admire them but not like Howie was. He just doesn’t get trout fishing like this back home.

When the rain and wind was at its worst Howie and I found ourselves working opposite sides of a deep pool below a fast rapid. I landed two nice browns about 17 inches on my first two casts. Howie was hooting and hollering as my fish leaped all over the place. I was really wishing he had caught them rather than me because I knew he’d go even crazier. Then just as I released the second brown, Howie hooked up his own. I began a fast wade across to him but Howie landed and released his fish so fast I never got a picture. He was in absolute awe! All I can tell you is that it was a beauty from a far and I wouldn’t be surprised if he topped out at about 18 inches – large enough to make Howie’s trip even if he doesn’t get another!

The rain is miserable as I write from the back of the Explorer. We just finished our dinner over the campfire in pouring rain. My plate literally had water sloshing around my steak and potatoes. This is not too cool. And unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be clearing up. Also, I have few photos to show from today just because I was afraid to take my camera out for more than a second at a time. The last thing I need is a trashed good camera.

I doubt I’ll be able to post again till Sunday or so. That’s when we will return to Victor and regroup for another two days of fishing. As of now we plan to stay on this river and next week float the South Fork and do an overnighter on Monday and Tuesday. Be ready for more stories and pictures soon!
Jeff Currier Global Flyfishing web site

Tough Luck

Day 2 of the Jackson Hole One Fly started brilliantly for me in doing my part to help the Good Times Team finish solid. Just like yesterday, I fished a cinnamon ant, only today’s ant was a size smaller, an 18 because I was on the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho. Here the trout eat small stuff regularly and reject flies if they are too big.

Now remember, if you lose your fly you’re done. Or if the pattern falls apart and looks so bad that you can’t catch fish anymore you’re basically done. I wasn’t worried about losing my fly, I’m confident in my casting skills and I also managed to squeeze 1X through the tiny eye. But damaging the fly with all the fish I planned to catch was a worry.
At 8:30 AM our boat pushed off. My guide, Rollie Towler was a young 20 year old Swan Valley, Idaho local that knows the South Fork as good as most veterans. My boat mate and competitor of an opposing team, Phil Rever, was a cool guy from Florida in about his mid 60’s. When I say cool, he had the same attitude as me – the best thing for our boat was that we both kick butt and have a great day of fishing together. Phil fished Rollies recommendation of a PMD emerger size 18.
It took less than three minutes to land my first fish and an hour later, I had nearly a dozen and Phil had a big fish, a 17” brown that gave him considerable bonus points. Things were going exceptional. What was especially great for us was that morning fishing on the South Fork is considered poor because the hatches don’t start till about 1 PM. So here we were doing well early and the good fishing had yet to start.
By noon, I too had some bonus fish. Basically the way the scoring works is that all fish are worth two points (by the way, all fish are released). In addition to the two pointers you’re allowed to measure eight fish, six of which earn you bonus points. The bigger the trout, the more bonus points you receive. Phil’s 17 incher earned him 80 points. My bonus fish so far were 16 inches (60 points) and 15 inches (40 points). These nice cutthroats came so easy that I released two nice fish around 15 inches without measuring them because I just knew I’d catch six more much bigger. I was truly out to make the kill today!
Around noon Rollie and I spotted a huge bank feeding cutthroat. If this fish was less than 18 inches I’d be surprised. He was such a beast that he would earn me at least 100 points if I caught him. Rollie dropped anchor and I leaped out of the boat. On my pursuit after him I stumbled into a large rainbow. Good news for me right? Well, sort of. Rainbows fight harder than the cuttys and this guy was no exception. With no fear of breaking my 1X tippet I put the heat on him and brought the feisty fish near the net in seconds. The bow was in heavy water below me and I could hardly move him. Rollie made a move with the net and the rainbow surged and got off. A bummer I thought, but not the end of the world. I still had a huge cutty to catch. And my ant was working so good there would be plenty more for big fish for me to catch. Remember, the good fishing hadn’t even started.
Little did I know it, but that spirited rainbow damaged my fly. In the next ten minutes I hooked and lost three more big fish. I hooked them, fought them for about ten seconds and they were off – talk about frustrating. I flipped my fly to my hand to check it and the hook gap was opened slightly. It was from the massive pressure I put on the “not ready to land” rainbow. Not cool, but a situation that happens and you simply bend the hook back. So, I pulled out my forceps and delicately began the procedure and with hardly any pressure at all my hook snapped. My hook snapped! I was finished!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a competitive dude. Breaking my hook in my own little hands was a tough one to swallow. But as I get older I realize how little these things are. Sure I was incredibly bummed, especially because my team was counting on me, but it happened and I couldn’t look back. I popped back to back beers from the cooler and an hour later I tied on another of the same fly. Of course my results wouldn’t count but it would be cool just to see how I “would have done” had my hook not broke. Well, that ant absolutely crushed the big fish. I hardly fished as to stay out of Phil’s way so he could have chance to kick butt, but every nice fish I cast the ant at ate it. I would have absolutely destroyed the fish today and led the team to glory. Damn!

Granny and I just got home from the One Fly celebration party. The One Fly is now officially over. I’m so exhausted I can’t explain it. Competitive fishing is as fun as it gets but it really takes it out of you. And it’s not just the fishing. I get so amped up with the fun of seeing old friends that come to Jackson, Wyoming just once a year for this great event. What a great time. I will work and rest for only a couple days, then on Wednesday my best friends from college arrive for a week of camping and fishing. Stay tuned. . .

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

One Fly Day One

The Good Times Team is in the middle of the pack after day one of the Jackson Hole One Fly Contest. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow if we are to get in contention to win the One Fly.

As for me, I had a great day on the toughest stretch in the competition. I fished South Park to Prichard on the Snake and although it was a struggle I managed to land 30 fish, four of which were “measurable” for bonus points. My score was 2nd overall for that stretch.

Tomorrow I fish the Upper South Fork and I should be able to to do well. Its a far better draw than today. If I do well and the rest of the team does to we will be right back in this thing. Expect a full report on Monday.

Let the Games Begin

All One Fly Contestants know where they are fishing and the names of their guides. My draws are doable. I got one of the worst stretches on the Snake in Wyoming – South Park to Prichard for Saturday. This is the most heavily fished section of the entire river. Big fish are far and few between and unfortunately big fish are what you need to be competitive. You get what you get and make the best of it. And the truth is, someone on our team was going to get this stretch so why not me. I will make something good of it. Sunday however, I drew the Upper South Fork in Idaho. Even if I do poorly on Saturday I should be able to do very well on the Upper South Fork.

That’s it. Kick back and watch folks. I’m really excited. I miss my competition days of the past on Team USA Fly Fishing. This weekend will be great fun!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Choosing the One Fly


If you haven’t noticed yet, I don’t travel far in September. September is absolutely the most spectacular time to fish in and around Yellowstone Park. The weather is almost always a perfect 75º with very few clouds in the sky. We have plenty of PMD’s, Mahogany Duns, drakes, hoppers, fall stoneflies and the list goes on of trout foods. That’s why the Jackson Hole One Fly always occurs in September, the weekend after Labor Day.

Gary Eckman and I decided that today we needed to nail down our One Fly fly choices. That’s right – one fly. In case you’re not familiar with the famous Jackson Hole One Fly Contest, it’s a contest where contestants get only one fly a day. Not one pattern, but rather one fly. You lose it. You’re done. You pick a fly that can’t catch fish. You may as well be done. And with all the trout foods around in September there’s a lot to choose from and you need to make the best choice in order to win.

I’ve been involved with the One Fly for over 25 years. Until last years One Fly I rarely got to fish in the contest because there’s a huge entry fee. Lucky for me, Team Captain and great friend Gary Eckman generously sponsors me to be on his team, so rather than work for it, I compete in it.

Today Gary hired guide and long time pal Zack Payton from over at South Fork Anglers to float us on the Upper Section of the South Fork. Zack was top guide in last years One Fly so no better guide for us to fish with. All we really wanted to gain from today was to make a final decision on what fly pattern to use when we have our competition day on the South Fork. What makes the decision hard is that the riffles on the South Fork team with rising cuttys every afternoon. They rise for PMD’s and Mahogany duns but rarely eat the big terrestrials just because so many terrestrials drift overhead with hooks in them. So you might think the decision is easy, just fish a size 18 PMD, right? Wrong. It’s not that easy. Remember, you get one fly. Have you ever tried to fish one size 18 PMD for an entire day? It’s hard to keep and not lose the small fly at least a couple times in a days fishing, tougher yet, if you don’t loose it, will the fly stay together after you catch a dozen or more trout?

I think you get the idea. Luckily we had a nice day of fishing and Gary and I caught a bunch of quality fish. We were able to switch through some patterns and hear Zack’s opinion on their results. And I think we’re set on our decisions. I will be fishing a cinnamon ant size 16, the very ant that nailed that beast of a brown for me on Quake Lake ten days ago. You believe in a fly and it will do well for you – that’s my theory.

Tonight Gary and I and the rest of our team will find out what stretch we drew on not only the South Fork but also the Snake River in Wyoming. And we will find out who our guides are and the contestants that we will directly compete against. It should be a fun weekend. I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated. What I can’t update you on this weekend I’ll finish up on Monday. Stay tuned. . . .

Large Leopard Browns & Cart Wheeling Cutthroats

Granny and I just returned from another blockbuster weekend (Granny’s weekend of Tuesday & Wednesday) on the water. Monday night we headed north to the banks of the Lower Nunya for the second time this year. Mother Nature did everything she could to discourage our pursuit. The forecast was for high wind, thunderstorms and rain. When we left Jackson it was high wind, thunderstorms and rain. But we went. And although we saw some wind, heard some thunder and experienced some rain, it was far less than predicted and on our two day 35 plus mile float we caught a lot of fish, saw a ton of wildlife and relaxed and truly got away from it all.

There’s really no highlight. The entire weekend was out of this world. We caught only one rainbow but plenty of nice brown trout and an unusually large number of big healthy cutthroats. I do mean healthy. Cuttys rarely jump when hooked but many of them cart wheeled across the Nunya into bushes and log jams. The browns were solid. I can’t think of a fishery on the planet with so many girthy 16” browns that destroy a hopper pattern. And the condition and the way these browns looked. They are fat, amazingly spotted; all jump the second they are hooked and burned that GPX Textured line through our hands like you can’t believe. Oh, and we got a few bigger than 16” too!

Blogs could be a little brief for a week or two. I’m amidst a true fishing rampage. If you go back on my blog to mid August you’ll see I’ve been fishing or traveling even more than the norm and I don’t see it stopping soon. I’ve blogged every event to the hilt and neglected what pays the bills. So rather than cut out fishing days, please forgive me being short in words and long in pics until I’m caught up in art, o
rganizing my winter tour and get in some serious fall fishing!


Granny and I just returned from another blockbuster weekend (Granny’s weekend of Tuesday & Wednesday) on the water. Monday night we headed north to the banks of the Lower Nunya for the second time this year. Mother Nature did everything she could to discourage our pursuit. The forecast was for high wind, thunderstorms and rain. When we left Jackson it was high wind, thunderstorms and rain. But we went. And although we saw some wind, heard some thunder and experienced some rain, it was far less than predicted and on our two day 35 plus mile float we caught a lot of fish, saw a ton of wildlife and relaxed and truly got away from it all.
There’s really no highlight. The entire weekend was out of this world. We caught only one rainbow but plenty of nice brown trout and an unusually large number of big healthy cutthroats. I do mean healthy. Cuttys rarely jump when hooked but many of them cart wheeled across the Nunya into bushes and log jams. The browns were solid. I can’t think of a fishery on the planet with so many girthy 16” browns that destroy a hopper pattern. And the condition and the way these browns looked. They are fat, amazingly spotted; all jump the second they are hooked and burned that GPX Textured line through our hands like you can’t believe. Oh, and we got a few bigger than 16” too!
Blogs could be a little brief for a week or two. I’m amidst a true fishing rampage. If you go back on my blog to mid August you’ll see I’ve been fishing or traveling even more than the norm and I don’t see it stopping soon. I’ve blogged every event to the hilt and neglected what pays the bills. So rather than cut out fishing days, please forgive me being short in words and long in pics until I’m caught up in art, organizing my winter tour and get in some serious fall fishing!
Granny and I just returned from another blockbuster weekend (Granny’s weekend of Tuesday & Wednesday) on the water. Monday night we headed north to the banks of the Lower Nunya for the second time this year. Mother Nature did everything she could to discourage our pursuit. The forecast was for high wind, thunderstorms and rain. When we left Jackson it was high wind, thunderstorms and rain. But we went. And although we saw some wind, heard some thunder and experienced some rain, it was far less than predicted and on our two day 35 plus mile float we caught a lot of fish, saw a ton of wildlife and relaxed and truly got away from it all.
There’s really no highlight. The entire weekend was out of this world. We caught only one rainbow but plenty of nice brown trout and an unusually large number of big healthy cutthroats. I do mean healthy. Cuttys rarely jump when hooked but many of them cart wheeled across the Nunya into bushes and log jams. The browns were solid. I can’t think of a fishery on the planet with so many girthy 16” browns that destroy a hopper pattern. And the condition and the way these browns looked. They are fat, amazingly spotted; all jump the second they are hooked and burned that GPX.
Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

One Fly Practice


I’ll make this short and sweet because I’m behind in everything do to this fishing problem I have. Gary Eckman, my One Fly Captain, and I fished Moose to Wilson on the Snake River today in Grand Teton National Park in order to get a little practice in for next weekends famous Jackson Hole One Fly Contest. Gary has been on the Snake several times this season but I’ve yet to get over there. Sure, I’ve probably floated it 300 times the last 25 years, but every year it’s different. There are different channels and hatches and every year you simply need a tune up.

This morning was the coldest morning of the summer, a nippy 25º when we launched the boat at 8 AM. I was in shorts and Tevas and already wet wading. That will wake you up! Needless to say, our fishing started very slow. During the first hour streamers didn’t work at all but then gradually produced a few fish. Gary landed three nice ones during my first session on the oars including this Snake River Cutthroat.

In the afternoon things warmed up and it felt like summer again. I decided it was a good idea to test some big dry flies. I tied on the classic original Chernobyl ant and caught numerous fish right away. In fact several were very nice up to 18 inches. Our assessment of today is that the Snake is just beginning to fish great and next weekend during the One Fly should be spectacular. Our “One Fly” choice should not be that hard as many flies worked today. My guess is the weather during the tournament will determine whether I go dry fly or streamer.

I have a busy week of fishing. Granny and I are doing an overnight on the Nunya Tue and Wed. Then on Thursday it’s to the South Fork with Gary. Gary hired guide Zack Payton and I’m the lucky guy that gets to take the back seat and fish away. On Friday I’ll rest up and prepare for the One Fly and fishing in the contest takes place Saturday and Sunday. Should be a great week!

preloader