Archive | September, 2013

Chasing Char on Jenny Lake

blog-Sept-28-2013-1-Lake-TroutIt was October last year that Rick Schreiber and I put the kibosh on the mackinaw up at Jenny Lake.  We found a spot that was absolutely loaded with toddler lakers cruising the bank – perfect size for eating.  Amongst these baby char were some true monsters.  There weren’t many, but every outing we laid eyes on several macks over 20lbs that just lully gagged along the drop off we were fishing.  I became possessed by these magnificent fish and drove to Jenny many early mornings determined to catch one but they were too smart for me.

 

blog-Sept-28-2013-2-Jeff-Currier-and-Greg-Gaddis

Two days ago I received an email from my long lost friend Greg Gaddis from Boise.  I tease him, he’s really not a long lost friend, and in fact we’ve stayed in touch.  Greg simply has a great family and he’s been busy for years.  I can’t even remember the last time we did more than sneak a beer together.  So when he emailed me a few days ago that he was in Jackson and wanted to go fishing, I made the time.

 

Neither of us had all day.  I am preparing for a huge October that includes a ten day speaking tour in Southern California then heading for Africa for three weeks (Yes, you guessed it, this blog will be plastered with tigerfish stories soon).  So we decided to hit Jenny Lake because it’s close to Jackson and we could fish a few hours in the morning.  I sent an email to Schreiber to see if he’d been to Jenny.  He hadn’t and was quick to first point out it was two weeks early but also to say don’t go without him.

 

blog-Sept-28-2013-3-fly-fishing-Jenny-Lake-Grand-Teton-National-Park

We didn’t make it an early one.  I picked up Greg at 8 and we didn’t launch the first cast till after 9.  But that was ok.  It was absolutely freezing cold with high winds and whitecaps.  This picture was during the one minute where I didn’t mind yanking out the camera – a moment of silence from otherwise heavy wind. Believe me, it was ugly out there!

 

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Fishing wasn’t bad.  Between the three of us we hoisted in about ten small lakers from the unsettled lake.  We’d of landed more but I had one of those flies that couldn’t handle the twisting battles from these little lakers, I lost at least another ten.

 

It was great to see Greg and the good fishing has Rick and I excited to hit Jenny again next week.  That is if the Government doesn’t shut down.  I know nothing about such a threat but Rick told me all about it.  My answer to closed gates – my mountain bike!  We’ll cross that hurdle if it comes.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Snow Fishing for Brook Trout at Kubswin

blog-Sept-27-2013-1-Big-Brook-TroutGary Eckman and I went to one of my annual favorites, Kubswin Lake.  Kubswin is obviously no relation to my baseball team the Chicago Cubs or it would most certainly be Cubslose Lake. Not only that, the fishing would have stunk today but instead, if you like big brook trout, it was no less than phenomenal.

 

blog-Sept-27-2013-2-Breakfast-burritosGary and I arrived at Kubswin at about 10 AM.  We didn’t rush to get there because we’re experiencing a blast of winter.  We enjoyed the white landscaped drive with a few cups of joe and stopped for some slick tasty burritos at a corner gas station.  As expected, when we got there it was freezing cold, there was stinging wind and two inches of snow.

 

blog-Sept-27-2013-3-Brook-Trout-fishingNonetheless we wandered down to one of my favorite beaches and immediately Gary and I each landed a pair of thick bodied brook trout.  Just as I popped a couple picks of Gary with one of his, in came Dede and Barb, Granny’s and my good friends that we often fish Kubswin Lake with.  I knew they were coming and soon the four of us were chucking leeches just past the weed line along the beach.

 

blog-Sept-27-2013-4-fly-fishing-in-the-snowFishing was great, the weather was a horror and the combo made for an incredibly fun time.  One nice thing about fishing with friends at Kubswin Lake is that you’re near enough to shoot the bull while stripping flies then help each other land fish and take photos.  And did we ever land fish.  Between the four of us we landed nearly twenty of theses fine brook trout in a snowstorm.  There were several memorable ones including a dandy that fell for my brown conehead woolly bugger.

 

blog-Sept-27-2013-5-fly-fishing-for-Brook-troutThat’s all for tonight.  I’m tired and need to settle on the couch for a few innings and a beer.  As promised, the blog is heating up and early in the AM it’s to Jenny Lake with old pal Greg Gaddis and we’ll be meeting other friend and master of Jenny Lake, Rick Schreiber.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Henry’s Fork – Home Again

blog-Sept-24-2013-1-Granny-Currier-on-the-Henry's-ForkEverything was all “Cool Dude” when we arrived at the Last Chance parking lot today.  The day was calm and overcast, absolutely perfect for excellent hatches in the famous Harriman Ranch of the Henry’s Fork.  And Granny and I haven’t been to the Fork since way back in June so it was good to be at our home away from home again.

 

We’ve been busy as heck this month so rather than charge out on the water we kicked back and ate some fried chicken and leisurely drank a beer.  Life was good.  Then we geared up and I was quick to realize that other than some oversized Chernobyl Ants and streamers stuck in my car ceiling, all my flies were at home.  For most this would be a disaster.  I drove up to the Trout Hunter and found friend and owner Rich Paini and he generously loaned me a box of small dries out of his vest.  Granny and I were all set.

 

blog-Sept-24-2013-2-Henry's-ForkHowever, all this extra time taken allowed weather havoc to set in.  Overcast and calm turned to rain and fierce winds and gusts which were recorded at 45 mph.  The conditions were so bad Granny said she was staying in the car – that’s not an option.  We went for it and for five fun hours we got pumbled by rain and wind on the Ranch.  Miraculously I found one respectable riser in a wind protected slick and despite getting him to eat, I farmed him!

 

blog-Sept-24-2013-Jeff-Currier-on-Railroad-RanchGranny would beg to differ but I thought it was a fun afternoon.  The Equinox storm has arrived and instead of camping we find ourselves back home in Victor.  It’s raining like a banshee and I expect to see some significant snow in the mountains once this clears.  Snow up high will be a great thing to see as it will be the official start of building up snowpack for next summer’s water.

 

Expect my fishing to get back on track on Friday.  Friday I’m headed for Kubswin Lake and then next week Granny and I have a big float planned that usually leads to some special fish!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Moose Alert on the Might Sveum River

It’s not often that I don’t set up a rod on a float trip.  Okay, this was the first time ever but my folks didn’t even want to go for a float at first.  But it was such an incredibly nice day they finally stepped up as long as it was less than four hours.  In order to meet the time frame I had to row hard downstream most of the float.  Pushing makes some noise and we awoke some resting wildlife.

blog-Sept-20-2013-1-Cow-MooseI have moose explode across my bow a few times each summer.  Dad has seen it before.  But Mom was a little scared.

blog-Sept-20-2013-2-Cow-MooseThe first moose was a good size cow.

blog-Sept-20-2013-3-Moose-calfThen out splashed her calf.  A cow and a calf of any species always gets your attention.

blog-Sept-20-2013-4-Bull-Moose-IdahoThen exploding out came the bull!  Spectacular!

blog-Sept-20-2013-5-Sue-Currier-drinking-Rainier-BeerAfter all that, Mom needed a Rainier.  Despite the lack of fishing it’s been a great week with the folks in town!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Honoring Our Veterans

blog-Sept-19-2013-1-Honoring-Our-VeteransWhen I was fishing against my opponent and friend Paul Bruun in the Jackson Hole One Fly our most important discussion was about a group of wounded veterans that were coming to Jackson, Wyoming to learn to fly fish.  “Who teaches them”, I asked.  All Paul knew was that he and his wife Jean were but figured they might need others.  First thing after the contest I contacted Sandra Bockman, the head of Jackson Hole’s “Honoring Our Veterans”, and signed on as an instructor.

 

blog-Sept-19-2013-2-Teaching-fly-fishing-to-wounded-veteransThe rewarding experience took place today.  I frequently donate to charitable organizations including Healing Waters.  Usually it’s a print or a “Currier” coffee mug.  But donating my time was far better.  To meet the folks in need and spend a day with them was much more beneficial for them and honestly, far more enjoyable for me.  What a fantastic day!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Dad is Back

blog-Sept-18-2013-1-YellowstoneIn 2012 my Dad’s Parkinson’s was so bad he could barely function.  Life was so awful that he decided to receive a type of brain surgery that might relieve the symptoms.  Despite the dangers of brain surgery, to Dad and our family it was worth a shot.

 

Dad had the surgery on August 22, 2012.  I flew back to New Hampshire to be with him for the surgery.  Believe it or not, the surgeon said he’d be out of the hospital in two days and hopefully enjoying the success of the surgery in a couple weeks.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  Dad didn’t get released from the hospital for nearly three weeks and instead of going home he was sent directly to a nursing home.  A long story short, Dad didn’t return home until late October.

 

Dad wasn’t well for months, but to our family’s relief, Dad finally recovered and remarkably his Parkinson’s symptoms were far less torturing than before the surgery.  Three months of hell paid off.  In fact, the surgery paid off so well that Mom and Dad are out visiting Granny and I here in Idaho.

 

blog-Sept-18-2013-2-Silver-Gate-MontanaAlthough Dad didn’t give fishing a crack these past days, we had a wonderful time cruising through Yellowstone.  The weather was a horror that included the first mountain snow of the fall, but it was just fantastic to have Mom and Dad back out Yellowstone.  Being in Yellowstone is Dads favorite thing.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Playing Catch Up

blog-Sept-16-2013-1-Jeff-Currier-Cliff-Fly-Box-Grayling-artI’ve been a little rowdy with the fly rod for a long, long, long time.  Going back to about April 1 when finished up my speaking tour.  It’s been incredible but now its time to focus.  There’s art to do, an unfinished new website to work on and its time to organize my travel circuit for 2014.  If your organization is looking for a speaker, have a look at my schedule and the enormous list of presentations I offer on my new website.

 

blog-Sept-11--2013-2-Barnes-Holes-Madison-RiverI actually snuck out last Wednesday.  I went to a meeting in West Yellowstone on the banks of the Madison in the Park.  After a quick chat I made two passes through Barnes Hole #2 but picked up only two small fish.  Late summer continues to be unseasonably warm, exactly the opposite weather needed to trigger migratory browns and rainbows from Hebgen Lake.

 

blog-Sept-16-2013-3-Bonefish-art-on-Cliff-Fly-box-Jeff-CurrierAs for art, I had orders for seven Cliff Fly boxes that needed decorating.  That led to complete lock down over the weekend.  I turned on the big screen, watched and listened to September baseball and got all done.  Here’s a couple to check out.  The first one up top is an Arctic Grayling scene and is on its way to Alaska and this one is a tailing bonefish headed for New Zealand for my good pal, Peter Carty.

 

I’m always taking orders.  Get me while I’m hot!  Contact Jeff

 Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Bad Day to Forget the Bear Spray

blog-Sept-9-2013-1-Jeff-CurrierI spent too much time in the boat last week.  Indeed it paid off with the One Fly victory but today, if Granny and I were going to fish, it had to be unique.  We went for some Idaho brook trout in the middle of nowhere.

 

The middle of nowhere took us on a tiny unnamed stream lined with willows twelve feet tall.  A place in the Yellowstone Country you should never wander.  If you’re insane enough to be there, the bear spray better be on your belt ready to fire.

 

blog-Sept-9-2013-2-Brook-trout-fishingWe forgot out bear spray, and as we plucked 5” brook trout from under the overhanging gold tinged willows I got that feeling.  It’s a terrible feeling that we were being stalked.  It raises every hair on your body.  It’s a sense I’m lucky to have in my arsenal as it’s saved me several times.  We couldn’t see the grizzly or smell the bear but I knew.  It was time to roll.

 

blog-Sept-9-2013-3-Grizzly-Bear-tracksWe made a bunch noise and busted straight back down the center of the tiny stream to the Explorer.  Once in sight of the truck we both got that sigh of relief.  Everything was cool.  I guess my instincts were wrong this time.

 

As I broke down Granny’s Ross Rod there it was next to my tire, fresh grizzly tracks that weren’t there when we got there an hour earlier.  I wasn’t wrong.  That was a close one.  Don’t forget your bear spray!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Winning the Jackson Hole One Fly 2013

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September 7 & 8, 2013

 

As the sun pokes over the mountains the body isn’t feeling so good.  I fished as hard as you physically can the last couple days followed by a lot of celebrating last night.  The house is shambles.  A puddle surrounds my wading shoes on the kitchen floor.  There’s mud.  There are loose flies.  There are half eaten snacks lying about.  It’s an absolute mess.  But there’s a plaque.  The Jackson Hole One Fly 2013 is over.  The Good Times Team took 5th place I’m the individual champ.

 

September 7 – Day 1

 

blog-Sept-7-2013-2-Ed-EmoryAs you know by now I’m one of the four contestants on my friend Gary Eckman’s Good Times Team in the Jackson Hole One Fly.  I left the house for the South Fork at 5:30 AM with my opponent and friend Eric Dobkin to compete.  Eric and I fished with Ed Emory.  Ed is also a good friend and a long time guide on the South Fork River and served as our guide and judge for the day.

 

blog-Sept-7-2013-3-Eric-Dobkin-Jeff-CurrierEric has far less fly fishing experience than myself and despite the fact that we were competing against each other I helped him in any way I could.  I was fishing a marabou muddler streamer because it worked so well for me on the South Fork on Wednesday and therefore advised Eric to go with a streamer too.

 

When you use one fly for an entire day it needs to be durable.  Teammate Scott Sanchez always ties my fly.  Regardless of how many fish I catch, bushes I hook or casts I make, Scotts bombproof fly always stays together.  Eric didn’t have such a fly so I provided him a brown hackled bugger Scott tied me for the contest years back.

 

We were on the lower canyon stretch of the South Fork where the competition began at 8:30 AM.  There were about six boats and therefore ten other contestants on the same water.  Ed had a good strategy for us of staying ahead of everyone else as much as possible.  This way the fish would be unmolested and be more likely to eat our flies.  The plan went well and by 9:30 I’d put five quality fish on the score sheet ranging from 15” to 20”.  Eric had three up to 17”.

 

blog-Sept-7-2013-4-Ed-Emory-guiding-the-South-ForkTo succeed in the One Fly it’s absolutely imperative that you get six measurable fish on the score sheet.  The way the first hour of fishing went it seemed Eric and I would blow the six fish goal away.  But I’ve not seen fishing shut off like it did today.  By the time the clock struck 10 AM it went from a fish every couple minutes to absolutely nothing.  From 10 until 3 Eric and I landed a mere three small 2 point fish.  It was unbelievable how the fish stopped feeding.

 

Competition time ends at 4 PM and your score is complete for Day 1.  At 3:15 I was sweating the fact that my score sheet was still short a fish.  I’d been pounding away the banks and drop-offs like a mad man in search of this one sizeable fish but nothing.  Then at last a huge brown ripped out from an undercut and ate my fly.

 

I stuck the 20” plus brown good and like many big browns his fight didn’t start immediately.  If you’re not about the fight (In the One Fly less fight is better) and you work fast sometimes you can get a big brown like this to the net so fast he doesn’t know what happened.  I tried to do exactly that because we were just starting to float down a fast narrow shallow chute with fallen trees on both sides.  But when I got him close enough to net Ed had to man the oars and couldn’t get him for me.  I attempted to do it myself and I got the net within inches of the brown but then he took off and all hell broke loose.

 

After the close look it appeared the massive brown trout was 23” or more.  A fish of this size would score hundreds of points and perhaps also win big fish of the competition.  I had to get him.  By now we were drifting fast and sideways down the chute.  We were sideways only because Ed let the oars go for a second to try and help.  Unfortunately the brown took my leader around the oar and then the boat went over the top of him.  I got that sick feeling and seconds later my monster fish was gone.  Luckily I still had my fly.

 

I only allow myself five minutes to be upset about something like this.  Today I didn’t have five minutes to dwell on it so I checked my leader and started casting again.  At 3:30 I hooked and landed an 18” cuttbow and saved my day.  I scored 587 points which puts me in 4th place over all and helped our team to the top ten.

 

September 8 – Day 2

 

blog-Sept-8-2013-5-Jackson-Hole-One-FlyA year ago after Day 1 in the 2012 Jackson Hole One Fly I was in 1st place.  I had a good chance to win but unfortunately Day 2 dropped me to 7th overall.  After Day 1 this year I found myself in 4th.  The difference this year is that today I was going to Pacific to Deadman’s on the Snake River, a section where I had a good chance at some big high scoring fish.  I was also matched up with long time friend Paul Bruun as my opponent and friend Travis Taylor as our guide and judge.

 

blog-Sept-8-2013-6-Paul-Bruun-Jackson-Hole-One-FlyOn the drive up to Pacific Creek Paul, Travis and I discussed our strategies all of which circulated on whether to fish a big dry fly or a small one.  Then we saw the Snake and we were sad to see it was brown with mud.  There goes our fishing we said – we’re screwed.  There went my chance to win the One Fly.

 

blog-Sept-8-2013-7-The-One-FlyThe mud was coming from the Buffalo River and Spread Creek, both of which received some big rain upstream last night.  Dry flies and muddy water don’t mix.  Paul and I shifted gears and opted to fish streamers.  Paul went with a shiny bright colored kreelex and I put back on the marabou muddler.  Rather than go with the olive and white I fished yesterday I went with a black and yellow, colors that show up nicely in mud.

 

Pacific Creek boat launch is about ¼ mile upstream of where the muddy Buffalo River dumps in.  What this meant to us and the other five boats and contestants was that we were going to enjoy this short section of clear water as long as we could.  At 8:30 the bell went off and boats shot to the bank and we all drifted down tossing our bugs.  It appeared almost everyone went with a streamer of some sort.

 

blog-Sept-8-2013-8-Paul-Bruun-&-Travis-TaylorTravis dug the oars deep allowing Paul and I a shot at every inch of water.  We were really going to milk this clear water for all it had.  I picked up a small non measurable 2 pointer and Paul stung a good fish but that was it before we got to the Buffalo.

 

The muddy Buffalo comes from river left.  It takes about a half mile for the mud to mix with the Snake completely giving us clear water on river right and crystal clear water going into the famous Osprey Channel.  The Osprey Channel is narrow so it’s tough from a boat, especially for me in the back but nonetheless it was still our best choice.

 

An amazing thing happened right away.  Travis dropped anchor and Paul and I cast and swung our streamers through the hole below us.  I hooked up to a 12” brown.  As I stripped him in a monster cutthroat well over 20” tried to eat him!  Unfortunately the beast slipped back down in his pool and despite our efforts to catch him he never showed himself again.  Many of us have seen this before only its usually the brown eating the cutthroat.

 

At the mouth of the Osprey Channel to the Snake it widens up significantly.  Paul opted to dredge the middle of the river and left me the bank.  I popped a risky cast under a leaning conifer and hooked and landed a 21” cutty – I was on the board with a huge one!

 

That was it for the channel and inside I kind of figured that big fish would be my only.  We reentered the Snake and started floating down through the dirty water.  It didn’t seem as bad as an hour earlier which meant it was clearing.  To my delight I quickly picked up and 18” cutty.  That proved my fly worked in the mud and it was game on.  I knew I was going to fill my score card.

 

And fill my score card I did.  Travis worked his butt off for Paul and I right to the bitter end.  At the end of the day I scored 22 fish and measured seven.  Four were big fish, the 21”, 18”, 20” and 17”.  I scored 604 points for the day.  The only bad news was Paul had a tough day.  His kreelex didn’t work well at all and then disaster struck when Paul lost his fly around 1 PM.

 

blog-Sept-8-2013-jeff-currier-wins-the-jackson-hole-one-flyI had excellent stretches, superb fishing guides and great boat mates this year.  And sure enough it added up to success.  Team Good Times got 5th place and I won the Jackson Hole One Fly by a large margin.  I also got the big fish award for Sunday with my 21” Snake River Cutthroat and this was cool because Granny and I put $100 on me for the big fish pool.  We won $1000!!!!!!!!!!!  Sweet!

 

Perhaps more exciting then me doing well in the One Fly is that our friends Andy and Jessica won the Grand Raffle Prize, a Hyde drift boat package valued at nearly $10,000!  It’s truly a boat that they could never afford and we are so happy for them.  So me winning the One Fly, Jesse and Andy wining the boat – a huge group of us Victor, Idaho folks had to celebrate at the Knotty Pine till the wee hours.  Thus I’m not feeling so great this morning.  But that’s life.  I’d do it all again in a second!

 

I think I’m putting the rods away for a few days.  I fished my butt off lately and need to recover.  We’ll see.  There is some talk of chasing the carp this week.  Stay tuned. . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The 2013 Jackson Hole One Fly Kicks Off

blog-Sept-5-2013-1-Jackson-Hole-One-Fly-2013Jackson Hole One Fly officially began tonight with the annual cocktail party.  I’ve been anxiously waiting for tonight because once again I’ll be fishing on Gary Eckman’s Good Times Team and the cocktail party is where we are given our stretches and guides.  I’m happy to say my stretches are good as are my guides.  Both guides are good friends, Ed Emory and Travis Taylor.

 

In each boat there are two anglers so I have a member from another team that I fish directly against.  My opponents for each day are also friends.  On Saturday I fish against Eric Dobkin who I met in Bolivia last month (small world) and Sunday I fish against my long time pal, Paul Bruun.  No matter what happens this should be a very fun weekend.

 

I dabbled on the Snake River today with Gary.  We floated the less than productive South Park to Pritchard stretch south of Jackson.  Normally I draw this difficult stretch in the tourney so I thought it was a good idea to check it out.  We caught a lot of small fish but only one that would have measured as a high scoring fish in the One Fly.  I found out tonight I did not draw this stretch.  My stretches are Saturday the Lower South Fork Canyon and on Sunday I’m Pacific Creek to Deadman’s on the Snake.

 

Fishing starts Saturday so tomorrow it’s chose a fly and check all those knots.  I’ll hope to update Saturday night but if not expect the full Jackson Hole One Fly story here on Monday afternoon.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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