Archive | 2015

2015 Fishing Year in Review

blog-Dec-30-2015-1-brooktroutI’m not sure every year keeps getting better, but for certain 2015 ranks up there as one of my best since I quit working the fly shop.  I continue to get busier with my business and I fish and travel more than ever imagined.

 

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-2-jeff-currier-denver-flyfishing-showMy year started with three months of speaking engagements at the famous Fly Fishing Shows in Denver, CO, Marlboro, MA, Somerset, NJ, Lynnwood, WA and finally Pleasanton, CA.  Between shows I picked up several speaking gigs at fly fishing clubs.  I was also the guest speaker at Chinook Waters Fly Fishing Club Conclave in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada and the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Open House in Harrisonburg, VA.

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-3-carpland-f3tWhat made my winter extra fun was that the same time I was touring, the F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour was touring.  I was a featured angler in the “Carpland” segment.  From there on, folks wanted to chat about fly fishing for carp, one of my favorite topics. Check out the “Carpland Trailer”

 

When I added up the actual single presentations I gave in 2015 they totaled more than forty ranging from PowerPoint presentations to casting demonstrations.  I was thrilled how the three month tour went but also exhausted when it was over.  It was time to fish.

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-4-jeff-&-granny-currier-flyfishing-omanOn April 2nd I traveled to Dubai and I spent the next five weeks fishing there, Sudan and Oman.  Granny joined me for the three weeks in Oman where we rented a car and lived off the beach.  Our family was concerned for our safety while in the Middle East but the folks of Oman were lovely hosts.  Not only did I add my 53rd country to my list but we made new friends and I racked up some new species on the fly as well.  If only I didn’t lose the Africanus!

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-5-jeff-currier-fishing-dubaiWhen I got home I was contacted by Voyages de Peche magazine in France.  It turns out the editor learned of my trip and asked if I would write a feature article about fly fishing out of Dubai.  I jumped on the opportunity and the four page article, “48 Hours in Dubai”, appeared in the October issue.

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-6-austin-trayser-photoThe travel never stopped.  I bass fished in NH, carp fished the flats of Lake Michigan and then found myself working with RA Beattie on a film for giant northern pike in Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.  This film will tour this winter as a segment of the 2016 F3T and the full feature film will be available as a DVD in April.  The title is “Turning Points North”. – Trailer.

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-7-granny-and-jeff-currier-flyfishing-labradorI fished locally when home but the travels continued.  Granny and I made our first trip to Labrador courtesy of Paul Ostiguy and McKenzie River Fly Fishing Lodge.  The brook trout were enormous and more impressive then ever imagined.  The surprise fish were huge landlocked salmon (ouananiche) that Granny really laid the wood too!

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-8-jeffcurrier-henrys-forkI ended the year with a fall full of action and travel.  In October I turned the big 50.  I celebrated on the Henry’s Fork with more than twenty of my best friends many whom flew in for the party.  A special thanks goes out to my friends at Trout Hunter for hosting us at their great hotel and restaurant bar.  We had the time of our lives.  To recover, two days after the epic bash Simms brought me down to the Florida Keys to test and photograph new saltwater fly fishing gear.  The bonefishing was fantastic!

 

I snuck in a couple more speaking engagements between fishing.  The most memorable was for the Henry’s Fork Foundation at a yacht club in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge.  They had a fantastic turn out and I knocked out a conservation program highlighting many rare and endangered fish species of the world.  The best part was hanging out with my longtime friend and mentor Mike Lawson.

 

blog-Dec-30-2015-9-flyfishing-for-tuna-with-jeff-currierSince November 9th I’ve been fishing and traveling.  Granny and I spent three weeks in South Africa and Lesotho.  This was a spectacular adventure that added two more countries to the list and a few more fish species.  After this trip I spent a mere week at home then spoke to the Bozeman Trout Unlimited and took off directly to Baja to fish with friends Sammy Vigneri and Grant Harman.  On this final trip I caught a long sought after new species on the fly, the yellowfin tuna.  My species total is at approximately 325!

 

2blog-Dec-30-2015-10-jeff-currier-blog015 has been a heck of a year.  My business grew, I made a new movie and I fished three new countries and caught ten new fish species.  If there are any regrets I’d have to say I did less artwork than in past years and I continue to be so buried keeping up with my blog that I’ve neglected my book, The First 50 Years.  But both regrets are because I’ve been fishing so much.  I think I’ll live!

 

Such a fantastic year would not be possible without Granny who is a wife that lets me live my dream, incredible sponsors that make these trips possible and provide the best fly fishing gear made – R.L. Winston Rods, Simms, Scientific Anglers, Abel and Ross Reels and the best friends a fly fisher could have – Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa, McKenzie River Fly Fishing Lodge, Ocean Active, FlyCastawayRA Beattie Productions and a lot of great personal friends.

Here’s my growing 2016 schedule.  I hope to run in to everyone somewhere along the way!

Here’s to a healthy, exciting and prosperous 2016!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Ending Big on the Last Day of Fishing 2015

blog-Dec-18-2015-1-flyfishing-the-beachIt’s been a good time on Grants boat all week but today our feet were on the ground.  It’s Sammy’s and my last day here in Baja and we fished from the beach.  Grant, who was not guiding but rather fishing with us, picked Sammy and I up from Cerritos very early and we drove nearly four hours north towards Magdalena Bay.  Shortly after daylight we arrived on one of Grants top secret beaches.  A beach he never guides on and can count those he’s take here on one hand!

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-2-beach-driving-in-bajaWe hit the sand and converted to beach driving mode.  This means is we let some air out of Grants tires so we can drive on the sand.  Then we drove another half hour and arrived at a place where if we got stuck or broke down I’m certain we’d miss Christmas.  The day was cool and dreary but the swells of the ocean were gentle.  Perfect for fly fishing off the beach.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-3-flyfishing-surf-of-bajaNot only were the swells gentle but the wind was blowing from behind us making it easy to cast.  This is so rare that it almost felt unnatural launching 90’ casts with little effort into the surf.  Sammy was fishing my Winston 10-weight and I continue to love my new Boron III Plus 9-weight.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-4-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-pompanoIt didn’t take long to connect to some fish.  I was fishing a tan Clouser.  My preference of line would have been an intermediate sinking Tarpon taper but Sammy had that on the 10.  I was fishing the same 300 grain Sonar I fished for tuna.  It turns out this heavy sinking line helped get my fly down deep beneath the surf and I was picking up one of my Baja beach favorites, the handsome looking gafftopsail pompanos.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-5-flyfising-for-jacksMy luck didn’t stop with the pompano’s.  Mixed among them were a heap of small Pacific crevalle.  Some were tiny little guys that still pull pretty hard but it was the ones like this that really give you a run for your money.  Like the Atlantic crevalle these jacks can get big.  I’ve caught some over 20lbs off the beach near Los Barriles.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-6-roosterfishing-bajaSammy wasn’t having such good luck.  He caught a couple mini jacks but I was worried he wasn’t getting deep enough.  I switched rod outfits with him so he’d have my fly and the 300 grain sink.  Then I walked with him and showed him how to read the water so he could concentrate on the deeper troughs.  Then I turned him lose and naturally, as soon as he was off on his own I caught a glimpse of a large fish ripping through the shallows between the waves.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-7-jeff-currrier-roosterfishing-bajaThere’s not time to call your buddy over in a situation like this.  The streaking fish disappeared behind the next big roller wave so I launched the direction I thought the fish was headed.  It was no less than amazing how fast and hard the fish ate my fly.  He was on the instant my fly hit the water as if I hit him in the head.  And while some big fish sit there a few seconds wondering what’s stinging their lips, this fish took off with vengeance.  I was deep in my backing to the point of concern.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-8-jeff-currier-roosterfishingGrant came running to help.  He could see my bright orange 30lb backing streaking out to sea.  There wasn’t much he could do other than cheer for me.  Meanwhile with the concern of running out of line I started putting on the heat.  Luckily it seemed my fish had run the gauntlet and started coming in easy.  Five minutes later I was smiling with this unexpected roosterfish.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-9-lookdown-fishEvery good trip provides at least one great day.  What’s incredible about this trip is before today I’d already had two great days.  When next I started crushing the lookdown fish around an old dock piling on almost every cast the ruling became this was my third great day.  Sure, the lookdown fish isn’t a species to write home about and I’ve caught plenty before but what the heck, all fish are fun.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-10-raucous-gruntIn fact, my persistence on enjoying the cartoon-like lookdown fish led to some other species including several yellowfin croaker and a new species for me that has taken me all evening to identify.  I’ve concluded that he is the raucous grunt.  Another for the list!

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-11-no-fishingOut of nowhere on this beach protrudes a decrepit old dock.  It’s huge extending out a tenth of a mile.  The end of the rickety structure is easily sixty feet above the water.  Its railroad tie beams are rotted and not connected anymore making going on the dock treacherous which likely explains the no trespassing signs.  But that didn’t stop us.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-12-rod-hazardUnfortunately to get on the dock you pass through a large rusty old metal door.  I passed through no problem but as my rod came behind me the wind smashed the heavy door shut.  My Winston didn’t make it.  That did knock my third magnificent day down a notch!

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-13-school-of-corvinaAt first Sammy wouldn’t join Grant and I up on the dock and watched from the beach.  When he saw me shatter the 10-weight in ridiculously stupid fashion he insisted I take my 9-weight back and head out on the dock.  I was reluctant to leave him empty handed but at the same time the 300 grain needed to dredge out deep.  Once Grant and I made it out there we saw a school of huge orangemouth corvina.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-14-jeff-currier-corvina-fishingThere were so many corvina that it looked like we’d catch a fish on every cast.  But in fishing it seems whenever it looks easy it’s not.  Grant and I cast for at least a half hour before we both hooked up.  I got my eat when I switched to a chartreuse Clouser.  There was no way to land this fish off the dock with the 60 foot gap between dock and water so I walked this bad boy all the way back down the dock and beached him for the photo.  Sounds simple, but it was actually an absolute rodeo that I don’t have time to get into!

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-15-flyfishing-for-corvinaMy corvina was a monster fly rod corvina.  It wasn’t hard to convince Sammy to take the risk of heading out on the dock with me to catch a nice corvina for himself.  Now that we had the right fly, it only took Sammy about ten minutes to get his first hook up.  He lost that one but minutes later hooked into this beaut of his own.

 

blog-Dec-18-2015-16-orangemouth-corvinaWith a four hour drive to get back to Cerritos we packed it up shortly after the corvina action.  This has been a spectacular week in Baja.  And what a way to end a truly incredible 2015 fishing year.  Last day, last cast, a new species of corvina for the list and a big one at that.

 

We fly home tomorrow.  After Christmas I’ll rap up some of the highlights from this year.  There were lots so it won’t be easy.  But that’s a good thing.  Happy Holidays everyone.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

My Marlin on the Fly Curse Lives On

blog-Dec-17-2015-1-flyfishing-for-marlinThe day started very early at dawn under unbelievable skies with a quick dredge where we’ve been sticking the tuna this week.  I nailed my second yellowfin tuna on the fly.  Sammy picked up Grants fly rig and dredged with me.  He had his first yellowfin hook up on the fly but the screaming run was too much.  Another yellowfin broken off.

 

blog-Dec-17-2015-2-jeff-currier-marlin-fishingAfter an hour of tuna Grant dropped the hammer and we started our troll to tease me my first marlin on a fly.  I’ll keep this short.  We teased for six solid hours and not a marlin was to be seen.  Can you believe this marlin curse?  I’m up to between 25 & 30 days now over the last 20 years and still no marlin on the fly.  Sort of humorous in a sick way.

 

blog-Dec-17-2015-3-jeff-currier-&-sam-vigneri-flyfishingStay tuned for one more day down here.  Sammy, Grant and I are headed north to fish the beach all day tomorrow for roosters, corvina, jacks and you name it.  The beach fly fishing in Baja is my specialty.  And as you know from this blog, I love to end big.  Tomorrow is my last fishing day for 2015!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Bluewater Fly Fishing Day to Remember

blog-Dec-16-2015-1-flyfishing-tunaWhenever I add a tough fish to my fly rod species list the fishing days ahead are relaxing.  I didn’t come to Baja for a yellowfin tuna this week but I capitalized on opportunity and yesterday got a beauty.  If I don’t get my marlin this trip, so be it.  That great fish will come some day and it will be that much more rewarding.

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-2-jeff-currier-flyfishing-tunaSammy has rightfully fallen in love with yellowfin tuna these first few days and asked me if I minded doing the morning dredge again.  I was stoked!  The mystery that comes with dredging a fly down deep on the ocean blue always excites me.  While yellowfin tuna is the most likely fish we’ll hook, there’s a bunch of other potential fish as well.  Today I started us off with this fantastic black skipjack tuna.

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-3-sam-vigneri-tunaAt nearly the same time Sammy got that underwear ripping run on his first cast and it wasn’t the average yellowfins we’ve been catching.  This fish was the real deal providing a near spool clearing run followed by backbreaking battle that took Sammy nearly ten minutes.  We didn’t stop there either.  Sammy caught yet another nice yellowfin.  Then I got broke off.  I was ticked but when you play with the big boys **** happens.

 

 

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-4-jeff-currier-flyfishing-doradoThe ocean became calm for an hour.  I was making long casts letting my rig sink and stripping back to the boat.  As I was gazing at my second sea snake of the year (first was off Dubai in April) I hooked this acrobatic peanut of a dorado.  After a trout style hero shot I released her safely to make us more of this incredible fly rod fish.

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-5-finescale-triggerfishI added yet another new species for my list before we went looking for marlin.  Right after the juvenile dorado I kept getting whacked down deep and after three turns of the reel I’d lose the fish.  I was getting frustrated because I knew it was a mystery species and I had to find out what it was.  Finally, I kept one on all the way to the net.  This is the less than glamorous finescale triggerfish, but a new species nonetheless.

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-6-humpback-whaleIf the tuna, dorado and triggerfish bite was good perhaps the marlin bite was also.  It was hard to pull away from the dredging but soon the hum of the dual outboards was the only sound and teasers danced behind the boat.  We haven’t seen a ton of whales this week but today they were everywhere.  Something seemed different and my confidence was high.  But after one hour, two hours, and then three without a sign of a marlin I insisted Sammy take over.

 

Grant Hartman photo

Grant Hartman photo

Sammy was reluctant to take over marlin on the fly duties.  It’s the kind of guy he is.  Sammy truly wants me to get a marlin more than him.  But it didn’t seem right to keep wasting our time.  What if I really am cursed?  Sammy took over and in less than thirty minutes we teased in the hungriest striped marlin I’ve ever seen.  Sammy had trouble sticking the hook in him but after each unsuccessful try the marlin came back for more.  Finally, on the fourth attempt the line went tight.

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-8-flyfishing-for-billfishThis stripy was seriously crazy.  Once hooked he refused to take off and instead rather hung around the back of the boat looking for the teasers with Sammy’s fly sticking out of him.  Sammy had to hit him repeatedly before he realized he was in trouble.  Once he finally fought he jumped and unfortunately the fly came lose.  Sammy’s caught many striped marlin on the fly so despite losing this one it was all high fives for jumping one!

 

Thirty minutes and Sammy had a hungry marlin to cast to.  Three days and I’ve yet to cast.  It was my turn again and we went the rest of the day without seeing a marlin.  I do believe in curses but like I said to start todays blog, I’m at peace with this week with the tuna bite.

 

blog-Dec-16-2015-10-jeff-currier-flyfishing-doradoI must mention however that we enjoyed our second dorado blitz of the week.  We thought we had a marlin toying with our teasers.  Whatever it was hit hard and disappeared but came back a minute later.  Eventually we took the teasers out and I made a blind cast with the marlin fly.  Out of nowhere came a truly massive dorado and I nailed him.  And as I was fighting him Sammy hooked his friend.  Today was perhaps the most memorable bluewater fly fishing day I’ve experienced.

 

That’s all I can write.  The salt makes a man seriously exhausted.  Tomorrow is our last boat day and Sammy and Grant intend to break my marlin curse.  We’ll see. . . . . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Yellowfin Tuna on the Fly

blog-Dec-15-2015-1-flyfishing-for-yellowfin-tunaIf you know me, you know that I’m stubborn.  I love a challenge and I’ll stick to almost any challenge until I succeed.  I had my butt absolutely handed to me yesterday in a full day attempt to catch a yellowfin tuna on the fly.  While I tried, I watched Sammy catch a sailfish and three yellowfin tuna on bait.  Regardless, I didn’t budge from the fly and got right back to work first thing this morning.

 

blog-Dec-15-2015-2-yellowfin-tuna-flyI had some new confidence because Grant tied me a special fly called the Squiggly Squid that’s proven itself over the years.  Grant also told me he’s seen more tuna caught just dangling the fly rather than stripping it.  The truth of the matter is that tuna like the fly either ridiculously fast or ridiculously slow.  It’s much easier to do the slow.  The bottom line for catching a yellowfin tuna on the fly is get the fly as deep as possible and as you wind drift along add a slight twitch to the fly on occasion.

 

Like yesterday, I got my fly down and when I gave it that first twitch I got rocked.  The strike happened so fast and the tuna tore away so rapidly that I broke him off.  Despite a life time of knowing what to do with a big fish I messed up.  I’m not exactly sure where my error happened but my 22lb tippet broke in the mono of the loop knot to my fly.  The same as yesterday, disaster happened on my first cast.

 

blog-Dec-15-2015-3-sam-vigneri-tuna-fishingAs my mind twirled replaying what happened I re-rigged.  My hands shook from a combination of anger with myself and the simple fact that I was rattled.  Twice my new knot to the fly failed my test.  About the time I was ready Sammy’s live bait got eaten and line scorched off his spin reel.  I watched in awe thinking this could be the same fish that escaped me.  Sammy had absolutely no control for five minutes and then his too snapped the line.  We had some big fish around.

 

blog-Dec-15-2015-5-jeff-currier-grant-hartmanYou can’t look back.  Today’s break off and yesterday’s sea lion mishap were in the review mirror.  I recomposed myself and my 300 grain line with the new Squiggly plunged back down to the tuna haunt.  Five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes went by.  About when the thought of the old “first cast” jinx entered my mind I felt a light tap.  I braced myself and then it happened.  Line screamed off my Abel reel and in three seconds my 30lb backing was hissing into the depths of the Pacific.

 

I cranked my drag a couple clicks when the tuna stopped.  Then I wrenched and reeled fast and hard.  22lb tippet is strong stuff when you have a bent 9-weight and a full fly line and backing between you and a fish.

 

blog-Dec-15-2015-6-jeff-currier-yellowfin-tunaGrant thought it was funny to yell sea lion each time the tuna ran again but I was watching and the coast was clear.  Faster than expected I gained back my fly line then got close to the leader.  We looked down and there was that famous blue color all fish have when coming from the deep.  Then the true colors formed and we saw the yellow.  I had my yellowfin tuna!  Soon Jacob scooped this gorgeous king of the bluewater in the net and I hoisted him with a massive smile.  Not only a new species for my list but a long sought after one as well!

 

blog-Dec-15-2015-7-marlin-fishingSammy connected with another shortly after and this time he landed his as well.  But then like the flick of a switch the tuna bite was over.  At around 10 AM it was time to search for marlin on the fly.  Remember, the theme of this trip is to break my marlin on the fly curse.  Unfortunately, we trolled teasers for an exhausting six hours and never raised a single fish.  This curse is looking more like the Cubs trying to win a World Series!

 

blog-Dec-15-2015-8-cerritos-mexicoTonight was more sushi and tuna steaks and a few beers at Sammy’s.  Life is good down here.  Tomorrow will be a short session to try and get Sammy his tuna on fly then hardcore teasing for marlin.  This curse must be broken!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

War Declared on Cabo Sea Lions

blog-Dec-14-2015-1-flyfishing-for-yellowfin-tunaWord on the street of Cabo San Lucas last night was that the yellowfin tuna are in just outside the harbor.  Without a sighting of a single marlin yesterday we decided to give the tuna a try for the first few hours of the day and try marlin in the afternoon.  Years ago at Christmas Island I trolled up yellowfin after yellowfin on flies but I’ve never actually cast and caught one on the fly.  I’d love to add the amazing species to my list while they’re around.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-2-jeff-currier-fishing-yellowfin-tunaGrant made it clear that yellowfin on the fly is a patience game and suggested one of us fish dead squid down deep on the spin rod.  This was Grants way of saying catching a tuna on fly was doubtful.  Sammy had no problem fishing squid so I took the bow with my 9-weight Winston Boron III Plus Jungle rod and fed my 300-grain down deep with a small size 6 chartreuse and white Clouser.  As I was watching Sammy lower his squid bait I made my first strip and to my disbelief line screamed off my Abel.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There was no doubt I’d stuck a yellowfin tuna on my first cast by the speed of his takeoff.  I had him hooked solid and survived his first couple smoking runs.  I was thankful I do pushups before trips and pumped him up with relentless pressure.  With the excitement I didn’t feel the pain of the rod butt bruising my belly or the quivering of my muscles as they strained to fight this fish.  But the joy was interrupted by the weirdest thud and a release in tension.  It seemed as though my tuna was going to jump, something they don’t do.  Suddenly an enormous boil came to the surface the fly lines length from the boat and there was a sea lion with my yellowfin tuna in his mouth.  “No ******* way!”, I yelled.

 

It was a tug of war for a minute until my tippet broke.  Tuna blood squirted everywhere and I could hear the bones in my tuna crunching with every sea lion bite.  I prayed for a great white to appear but there was no such luck.  My yellowfin tuna on fly would have to wait at least another cast.  But often when you hook up on the first cast, it’s your only chance.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-4-deepsea-fishing-bajaOnly chance it was.  That Clouser was my only one that size and color.  I tried tan of the same size, larger ones in chartreuse but the tuna wouldn’t cooperate.  I hooked another fish but lost him.  It didn’t tug like a tuna so I suspect it was this strange fish because Sammy and Alex reeled in a few of these on squid.  The shape and color reminds me of the lyretail of the Seychelles.  He would’ve been a nice addition to my species list.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-5-sailfish-at-caboOther boats around us were catching tuna.  They were using small live baits.  Grant rigged Sammy with our smallest green jack and sent it overboard.  The active live bait annoyed me by continuously swimming into my fly line and tangling me.  But perhaps it was swimming actively for a reason.  Sammy went tight and out leaped a Pacific sailfish!

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-6a-saifishing-in-caboWe were due for a good fish and this was a grand fish.  We weren’t expecting to hook up with a sailfish with Cabo in sight.  Sammy reefed on the billfish as hard as he dared.  The bills of billfish are sharp and abrasive and normally you have 100lb shock tippet to withstand rubbing against it.  Sammy only had 50lb line so chances of landing the fish were slim.  But he stayed steady and soon Grant hoisted the bill for a quick photo before release.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-6b-yellowfin-tunaThe sailfish was the beginning of a tear for Sammy.  He hardly had the next bait back in the water when his spin reel screamed off line nearly pulling him out of the back of the boat.  Sammy had his first yellowfin tuna on and like anyone who hasn’t fought them before, the power shocked him.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-7-flyfishing-for-yellowfinTuna are built like torpedoes.  Their shape excels through water like no other fish.  They are made of pure muscle and their tails are like a pair of 250 hp outboard motors.  Their pectoral fins are like the wings on an aircraft but when they really need speed they fold up inside the body eliminating any drag at all.  They’ve made many a man sweat, cry and give up the fight.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-8-sam-vigneri-yellowfin-tunaSammy wasn’t exactly about to give up on his yellowfin but I can assure you he sweat.  Five times he had the tuna to the net only to get smoked all the way back to bottom.  Atlas he held the powerhouse fishes head up long enough for Jacobo to net him.  We had our sashimi and tuna steaks for tonight.  Sammy posed with his first tuna and was surprised after battle that the handsome fish wasn’t larger.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-9-jeff-currier-green-jackOur afternoon marlin on the fly session went by the wayside.  Sammy stuck about four more yellowfins and landed two more.  He also caught a hefty black skipjack tuna to add to his insane day.  Meanwhile I tried every tuna fly from my box and Grants but the only fish I landed was a green jack, the same species we use for live bait.

 

It was a tough day for me.  I was relentless in my attempt for a yellowfin tuna on the fly but my one chance was taken from me by a sea lion.  The longer I went without a tuna hook up the more that sea lion incident haunted me.  I don’t hate many animals but I can assure you next time Discovery Channel shows sea lions getting munched by great whites or killer whales I’ll be sipping red wine with a smile.

 

blog-Dec-14-2015-10-fresh-tuna-sashimiThis yellowfin tuna bite is special so we plan to try again first thing tomorrow morning.  Grant wants my persistence to pay off and plans to tie me up a special tuna fly.  I can’t let this rare opportunity get away.  Tomorrow I will get it done.  Now it’s time for fresh unfrozen sashimi!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Time to Break the Marlin on the Fly Curse

blog-Dec-13-2015-1-sam-vigneriSammy Vigneri and I became pals back in 1987 when we worked together at the fly shop in Jackson Hole.  Sammy was just starting college and I was beginning my career in the fly fishing business.  Sammy went on to be OBGYN doctor.  By the time he started his practice I’d been running that fly shop for years.  We took different paths but kept in touch and fished together when we could.  Ten years ago I sent Sammy fishing to Mexico with my friend Grant Hartman, owner of Baja Anglers.  Sammy didn’t look back.  He had the time of his life fishing with Grant, bought a condo on the Pacific Ocean and now the three of us fish together down here in Baja often.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-2-cabo-san-lucasSammy and I arrived here tired yesterday.  I’ve been traveling like mad all fall and working hard at home the last ten days.  Sammy always works an ungodly amount of hours.  It wasn’t easy to get up at 5 AM today to make the Cabo San Lucas Marina to meet Grant and his boat crew by 6:30, but we made it and soon we were exiting the harbor past the famous rocks.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-3-flyfishing-for-marlinWe were after marlin on the fly, a fish that hasn’t been particularly kind to me.  I estimate that I have over twenty days on the water fly fishing for marlin dating back to Costa Rica in 1993.  I’ve since spent a week for white marlin in Venezuela, a trip to the Galapagos and a minimum of ten days with Sammy and Grant here in Cabo.  I’ve made less than ten casts and Sammy caught the only marlin I’ve seen landed on a fly.  That was this striped marlin exactly two years ago.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-4-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-marlinI have a “marlin on the fly” curse but this trip we aim to end it.  Grant says the marlin fishing has been good lately so my chances are high.  Furthermore, Sammy announced first thing this morning that it’s my turn at the 14-weight and it’s my turn until I get one.  That’s a big time friend because Sammy is flicking the bill for the boat and I promise you it isn’t cheap!

 

The way you find a marlin for fly fishing is to tease them in to fly casting range.  There’s tons of ocean out there and you don’t just head out and start casting.  There’s two ways for teasing: you can troll hookless teasers and dead baits or you can submerge a live bait behind the boat and motor slowly along or drift.  Most boats were trolling so we chose to submerge a live green jack down deep.  I had my marlin popper fly ready to cast and kicked back and waited.  It didn’t take long.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-6-flyfishing-for-striped-marlinIts havoc when the bait gets hit.  It could be a 500lb black marlin, a 150lb striped marlin or a doradoGrant goes bonkers and Captain Alex and his mate Jacobo go into action to bring that fish to casting range.  It’s a talent to keep the fish interested long enough to come near the boat.  This fish was a dorado and he came in hot.  I cast the marlin fly, stripped it once and the dorado was on.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-7-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-doradoDorado have tough mouths so I gave a couple hard strip sets.  On my second jab there was an awful pop and my line went limp.  It turns out that the leader snapped up in the butt and what remained showed signs of previous damage.  This was Grants boat rod and he wasn’t happy with his crew.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-8-jeff-currier-dorado-fishingThough this was Grants 14-weight I was irritated with myself for not checking everything.  Let this be a lesson to us all.  Luckily it wasn’t a marlin and fortunately we didn’t wait more than five minutes for the next green jack to attract another dorado.  Everything went perfect this time and ten minutes later I was posing with one of the most common bluewater fish of the ocean.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-9-flyfishing-for-doradoDorado, known as mahi mahi in Hawaii and dolphin fish in field guides, provide the most action of any fish found in the oceans bluewater.  They’re found all over the warm waters of the world and I’ve caught them in many places.  Although I caught this first one on the 14-weight marlin rig, when I hunt dorado I use my 10-weight Winston SX and a floating line with a popper.  Like most large saltwater fish, dorado have abrasive mouths and gill plates so it’s crucial to have shock tippet of 40lb mono or heavier.  These colorful predators aren’t bashful over tippet size.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-10-flyfishing-for-mahiTwo “marlinless” hours went by before a dorado blitz. We teased in several dorado.  I waited for Sammy to cast my rigged dorado rod.  When Sammy hooked up the other dorados went into a frenzy and I tossed out the marlin fly and Grant grabbed my second dorado rod.  Within seconds all three of us were dodging each other giggling with three dorados screaming line across the Pacific.

 

We landed all three of the dorado.  If dorado are known for anything its losing the life out of them within minutes.  They’re also known for violent thrashing after you land them making a quick release not only difficult but extremely dangerous.  I’m happy to say we were able to release two of the three.  The third made a delicious meal for us tonight.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-11-warpaath-fliesWe had one other run with the dorado but the marlin weren’t around.  The last three hours of the day reminded me of my many fly fishing for marlin days of the past.  When I’m after them they must be in another sea.  I’ve heard every excuse in the book and today was that it was too cold and too rough.  No doubt the temperatures didn’t leave the 70°s and it was so rough Sammy nearly got sick and Grant admitted tonight that he was hurting at one point as well.

 

blog-Dec-13-2015-12-jeff-currier-flyfishing-bajaAfter marlin fishing Sammy and I made a few casts from the beach in front of his condo during the sunset.  After our fishless beach session, we mowed through 3lbs of our fresh caught dorado.  Yes, you heard me correct, 3lbs!  At Sammy’s condo complex in Cerritos there’s a phenomenal restaurant and Sammy is friends with the chef.  The chef fried 1lb and grilled the other 2lbs.  We froze the rest and we’ll each take a few pounds home at the end of the week.

 

That’s all she wrote.  It’s on the dock at 6 AM tomorrow and we’ll start the day searching for sashimi because the yellowfin tuna have moved in near Cabo.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Madison Gallatin Trout Unlimited

blog-Dec-10-2015-1-yellowstoneI’ve been running wild since returning from Africa.  I’ve been drawing on Cliff Boxes for folks for Christmas gifts, shipping coffee mugs and getting ready for a very intense speaking tour for 2016.  To really put the pressure on myself, a couple months ago I accepted my annual gig to speak up at Madison Gallatin Trout Unlimited in Bozeman, Montana which I did last night.

 

blog-Dec-10-2015-2-snow-drivingThe reason I accepted the gig is because I love seeing the folks in Bozeman and as always it went very well and I had a blast.  I presented a brand new show that I’ll also be taking on the road with me this winter called “Tricks and Tactics for Fly Fishing the World’s Best Flats”.  I’m always excited when I get to present a new show and even more so that the new program was a hit.

 

blog-Dec-10-21015-3-quake-lakeI drove to Bozeman.  After flying for 40 hours last week, the freedom you feel driving your own car is incredible.  I had the radio blasting and took in the winter scenery along the Henry’s Fork and Madison much of the way.  But coming home today in a snowstorm on icy roads – not so nice.  I decided to take the back way along the Gallatin River through the outer part of Yellowstone National Park in hopes to see some wildlife and to peek at Hebgin and Quake Lake.  Instead it was a white knuckler that took almost six hours!  Nonetheless I made it and did get a look at a cold frozen Quake Lake and even stopped for a visit with my friend Kelly Galloup at the Slide in.

 

That’s life in the fast lane.  Next on the fishing agenda – Baja with Sammy Vigneri on Saturday!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Memories from South Africa and Lesotho

blog-Dec-1-2015-1-jeff-and-granny-currierIt’s the end of an absolutely special trip through South Africa and Lesotho.  Granny and I are presently somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on one of the longest flights in the world – Johannesburg to Atlanta enroute home.  We left Sterkfontein Dam Sunday with Tim Babich and Ryan Hammond and drove to Johannesburg.  The guys dropped Granny and I off at friend Gerhard Laubscher’s and we spent the remainder of that day and today with he and his wife.  We had an absolute blast and enjoyed a night on the town at one of their favorite restaurants.

 

All we can say is we shouldn’t have waited so long to visit our South African friends.  We had the best time imaginable and we can’t thank Craig and Coreta Smith, Edward Truter, Rob and Keith of Tourette Fishing and Gerhard, Tim and Ryan of FlyCastaway for all the generous time you spent with us.  PLEASE come visit Granny and I so we can show you guys our fantastic backyard – because we’re coming back!

 

Here are a few more pics from the trip.

blog-Dec-1-2015-2-knysna-elephantsKnysna Elephants

blog-Dec-1-2015-3-craig-smith-jeff-currierMe and Craig Smith getting ready to fly fish for kob and Garrick

blog-Dec-1-2015-4-fishing with Ed TruterEdward Truter with a largemouth bass on the Gourits River

blog-Dec-1-2015-5-craig-smith-jeff-currierMy first dusky kob on fly

blog-Dec-1-2015-6-fishing-for-yellowfishSmallmouth yellowfish on the Swamp Donkey fly

blog-Dec-1-2015-7-lesotho-yellowfishMakhangoa Community Fishing CampTourette FishingLesotho

blog-Dec-1-2015-8-flyfishing-lesothoSmallmouth yellowfish from Lesotho

blog-Dec-1-2015-9-smallmouth-yellowfishSmallmouth yellowfish

blog-Dec-1-2015-10-sterkfontein-damSterkfontein Dam with FlyCastaway

blog-Dec-1-2015-11-knysna-south-africaSunset on Knysna the first day of our trip

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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