Archive | May, 2015

Monsoon Currier Strikes New Hampshire

blog-May-31-2015-1-flyfishing-with-jon-blakeThirty-five years ago on any given summer Saturday night you’d find me in Back Bay enjoying the best chain pickerel fishing you could imagine with my cousin Jon.  Since those early days we’ve only seen each other about five times and only fished together once.  Today Jon drove two hours all the way up from Peabody, Massachusetts so we could enjoy a morning session of bass fishing together here in Wolfeboro, NH.  We lasted a mere hour on the water.

 

blog-May-31-2015-2-flyfishing-for-smallmouthA nor’easter has arrived.  Jon and I thought we’d deal with it so we pushed off in the very same canoe we fished out of as kids anyhow.  Things were relatively calm and only a drizzle was falling.  But when we rounded the corner from Wolfeboro Bay to one of my favorite smallmouth popper fishing haunts, gale force winds replaced calmness and a downpour replaced the drizzle.

 

blog-May-31-2015-2-jeff-currier-&-jon-blakeWe lasted just long enough to scrape up one smallie and laugh at ourselves then returned to camp soaking wet and shivering like we did many times together as kids.  The only difference was that our Grammy wasn’t there to make us hot chocolate.  Instead we made the hot drink ourselves and shot the bull for about two hours and watched the rain and wind from the comforts of the porch.

 

Jon left for home around noon and Granny and I are chilling out at the parent’s house with other old friends.  Apparently this storm is huge and fishing opportunities look grim for the next 48 hours.  Monsoon Currier strikes again.  Stay tuned. . . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Catching more than Fish in Back Bay NH

blog-May-30-2015-1-flyfishing-I heard more than birds at 4:45 AM this morning from my sleeping spot on the porch here in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  This morning I had two nieces trying to wake me with subtle noises as not to be so obvious.  Montana and her cousin Sierra were dying to get the day going at the crack of daylight.  Sierra had gymnastics and a softball game today so she wasn’t going fishing but up just sharing the excitement.  I couldn’t believe how early it was.

 

blog-May-30-2015-2-back-bay-wolfeboro-nhI put tired aside and got up.  Montana made my coffee.  Sierra helped put my sleeping bag away and carried my stuff down to the canoe.  Then Montana woke up her sister Sammy because she missed out on yesterday and soon Sierra was pushing Montana, Sammy and I off on our paddle to Back Bay.  Sierra was very sad she couldn’t go but I’ll get her out later this week.

 

blog-May-30-2015-3-sammy-currier-flyfishingWhen I got to Back Bay both girls wanted to fish bad and tried to do so at the same time.  In seconds two pink Ross Rod Outfits were tangled and I put the kibosh on two fishing at a time.  Each got fifteen minute sessions that I carefully monitored while the one not fishing kept asking what time it was.

 

blog-May-30-2015-4-montana-currier-nhWhile fishing for bluegill, pumpkinseeds and rock bass was excellent, it was the catching of critters that was best.  This bullfrog was undoubtedly the highlight for the girls.

 

For me, it was this painted turtle that I dove out of the canoe into nasty mud to catch.  I haven’t done that in a few years.

 

blog-May-30-2015-5-painted-turtleToday was it for Montana and Sammy as they head home in the morning.  There’s some bad weather in the forecast for the next few days but I’ll try to get out with my cousin Jon tomorrow.  Granny and I have another whole week of warmwater fishing here in New Hampshire.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing with Montana in Wolfeboro, NH

blog-May-29-2015-1-wolfeboro-nhIt was a long trip across country yesterday.  Granny and I arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire at 11:45 PM.  By the time we got our luggage and hopped in the car with my brother it was 12:15 AM and we didn’t get to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire until 2 AM.  I threw down my insulate pad and my sleeping bag on the screen porch of the family camp and slept where I slept every night as a kid during summers.

 

blog-May-29-2015-2-flyfishing-with-kidsDespite not getting my head down till 2 AM I heard the birds going off early at daylight and soon the church bell rang five times across the Wolfeboro Bay from camp.  I wanted to get up then but was too tired.  An hour later when the sun was up and six church bells went off I sat up to give waking up another try.  This time there was no way out of it.  Young Montana, my eleven year old niece, was patiently waiting, staring at me with her pink Ross Rod combo I got her for Christmas several years back in hand.

 

blog-May-29-2015-3-montana-currier-flyfishingMontana asked my permission to head down to the dock to do some fishing.  Before I could answer she graciously ran to the kitchen and made me a coffee and soon I was watching her tie on a bass popper I gave her a few years back.  Montana landed a rock bass on her first cast.

 

blog-May-29-2015-4-flyfishing-for-smallmouthI relaxed while Montana terrorized the fish around the dock.  She landed a heap of the nonnative rock bass, a few pumpkinseeds and a smallmouth.  As you can see the smallie was exceptional and the biggest fish of her life.  I was probably the most surprised!

 

blog-May-29-2015-5-jeff-currier-flyfishing-with-kidsLater in the day Granny and I got our licenses and I paddled Montana down to my old favorite haunt, Back Bay.  I had her casting Chernobyl ants to the weeds and she landed a bunch more bluegills, pumpkinseeds, rock bass and her first yellow perch.  We literally spent the entire day back there.  Montana seems to have taken to fly fishing the way I did when I was her age.  Needless to say I’m super stoked and tomorrow we’ll get at it again bright and early.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Bass on the Fly Tourney on Ririe Reservoir

blog-May-27-2015-1-ririe-bass-on-the-fly-tourneyNot only did I miss last years Carp Classic while I was in Bhutan but I missed the Bass on the Fly Tourney on Ririe Reservoir as well.  Not this year.  I love these events and today my team of Mark Kuhn and Cyndle Clift gave the bass competition our best shot.

 

blog-May-27-2015-2-ririe-reservoir-idahoThe weather was dreary but warm to start the tourney.  The annual Ririe Bass Tournament rarely sees a perfect day.  Today was perhaps the tourneys 8th year and I can only remember one that was hot and sunny.  This may in fact be why the smallmouth fishing is usually less than stellar.

 

blog-May-27-2015-3-flyfishing-for-bassOne of the highlights of the event for me is take off from the docks and today was no let down.  Tournament organizer and host Boots Allen shot off the start gun at 8:30 AM sharp and fifteen drift boats with 3-5 HP engines took off to their secret spots like wounded swimming cats.

 

blog-May-27-2015-4-smallmouth-fishing-ririe-reservoirThe way you win the tourney is to bring in five bass that weigh the most.  All must be alive and well for release after weigh in or points are deducted.   None of your bass can be less than 12” and sadly it’s hard to catch five bass of 12” in RirieSmallies aren’t native here and Ririe doesn’t exactly have ideal smallie habitat.  They grow slow and unfortunately the larger fish get harvested quickly.  That being said however there are lots of small bass and catching them on poppers is great fun.

 

blog-May-27-2015-5-ririe-reservoirAlthough the poppers brought in a few small fish, it’s the larger ones we needed so we fished streamers on sinking lines to get down to them.  I like two flies rigged.  My bottom fly is a badger colored Screamer and my upper fly is a chartreuse bugger with lead eyes.   Mark and Cyndle fished similar flies.

 

blog-May-27-2015-6-thunderstorm-on-ririeThing started slow for us.  We didn’t get our first measurable fish till 1 PM.  We were feeling bleak but then things picked up and we landed three more decent ones before 3 PM.  But then a thunderstorm from hell came and it rained and blew to dangerous near drift boat sinking conditions.  It was a chore to make the boat dock in time for weigh in at 4 PM.

 

blog-May-27-2015-7-bass-tournamentThe end result for us today was four measurable smallmouth. We had two at exactly 12”, a 13” and I lucked us into one that was 15”.  We ended up either fourth or fifth place.  If only we could have landed one more – even if it was just 12” we may have placed in the tournament.

 

I’ll continue to remain on the move with a run across country tomorrow for Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  Granny and I are headed there to visit my family and of course, spend some time warmwater fishingLake Winnipesaukee and its surrounding lakes have some superb fly fishing for both smallmouth and largemouth bass as well as a variety of smaller sunfish, perch and pickerel.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

An Old Friend Gone

blog-May-24-2015-jeff-currier-flyfishing-carsMy old friend the 1993 Exploder limped its way to Idaho Falls this weekend so I could turn it in to Pacific Recycling.  Luckily, the journey was intercepted when I was having my XM Radio System taken out at Best Buy.  The technician there took the old SUV off my hands for $130 and will fix it up and drive it more.  It has 270,000 miles.  My new rig, 1991 Exploder with manual transmission, will be on the blog from now on.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Blackfoot Reservoir Carp Tourney 2015

blog-May-15-2015-1-carp-fishing-blackfoot-reservoirI’ve done nothing but catch up on a million things since returning from the incredible adventure in Sudan, UAE and Oman.  Ten years ago not much went on when I traveled but these days – yikes!  I had over 200 emails to tend to, blogs to catch up on, yard work and you name it.  It’s been payback at its best.  But the last four days I went camping and fishing with some of my best pals to Blackfoot Reservoir for the annual Carp Tournament (Fly Only).

 

blog-May-15-2015-2-scott-smith-ben-smith-flyfishingAlthough the tourney is Friday and Saturday, I, Scott Smith and Ben Smith met at our usual camp spot on Blackfoot Reservoir Wednesday afternoon.  I haven’t seen Ben in over a year and last time I fished with Scott was in Thermopolis last October.  Although we had daylight to do some fishing, we didn’t even put on the waders and instead made a monster fire and caught up over beers and dinner till the wee hours of the morning.

 

blog-May-15-2015-3-carpfishing-with-scott-smithNone of us felt red hot in the morning (fishing boys will always be fishing boys), but we gathered ourselves, wadered up and walked a carp flat near camp.  Night temperatures have been cold so not a carp stirred.  We lasted a mere hour or so before heading back to camp and Scott treated us to a massive and delicious breakfast.

 

blog-May-15-2015-4-jeff-currier-flyfishing-carpAround noon fellow Victor resident Boots Allen arrived.  While Scott napped Boots and I walked the same flat that we were on in the morning.  Despite a horrible change in weather where wind gusts approached the 30 MPH mark and the arrival of horizontal rain, I managed the only carp caught today.  This beautiful fish of perhaps 12lbs had three huge scales on his side reminding me of the dots on the side of a peacock bass.  If only today was as nice and warm as in the Amazon!

 

blog-May-15-2015-5-grand-teton-flyfishing-scott-smithAt 6 PM the weather changed back to partly sunny.  More friends arrived and next thing we new the fire was blazing again.  Beers flowed and Scott whipped up yet another amazing meal of stuffed duck breasts.  While Ben unfortunately had to pull out because he got booked to guide the Henry’s Fork tomorrow, Scott and I hung around the fire till 11 PM when the big rains started up again.  I crashed out in the back of my red Exploder and stayed happy and dry all night.

 

blog-May-15-2015-6-blackfoot-carp-tournyDaylight came early.  Unlike yesterday, Scott and I were in good shape and it was the rest of the crew that was struggling.  I brewed some top notch coffee while Scott fed us yet again then we registered for the carp tournament and headed out.

 

blog-May-15-2015-7-blackfoot-carp-tourneyThis was the eleventh year of the Blackfoot Carp Tournament.  I missed last year because I was in Bhutan but I’ve been a regular since 2007 (See 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013).  Evidently, last year at the award ceremony the organizers announced that they were no longer going to arrange the event.  Rumors spread quickly that the tourney was over but this is completely untrue.  I and my crew can’t live without the Blackfoot Carp Tourney and friend Tim Brune has already taken over organizing duties.

 

blog-May-15-2015-8-blackfoot-carp-classic-2015Naturally because of the rumors attendance was low.  Furthermore, the weather was forecasted to be horrific (and it was) so half those who intended to show up didn’t.  We had a small group of about twenty folks and a dog and we made the best of it.

 

Fishing was horrible.  All of late April and May produced excellent carp fishing but when the bulk of the storm struck at about 10 AM on Friday, the carp bite shut off.  Only two fish were landed both days.  So we not only had the smallest attendance but also the worst fishing results ever.  I don’t know the names of the winners but one angler was from Twin Falls and the other from Shelly.

 

blog-May-15-2015-9-carpfishingThe Blackfoot Carp Tournament will continue for years to come.  Those who thought it was over – its not.  Over the years the tourney has raised good money for those in need and that is reason enough to continue this great event.  I hope to see everyone back next year for some great fishing and for what I think is one of the most fun get-togethers with friends of the year.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Return to Victor

blog-May-5-2015-1-victor-idahoAfter not seeing a drop of precipitation in five weeks and hardly anything green for that matter either, coming home to water saturated Victor, Idaho was a welcome sight.  The word on the street is that it’s rained for three straight weeks.  This is good news because we didn’t get enough snow during the winter.  To fight the jetlag from the long journey home from the Middle East and the exhaustion from the ten hour time change I hiked up to the top of Mud Lake.  Our house is in this picture almost dead smack in the center of beautiful Victor.  It always good to be home!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Memories from Sudan, Dubai and Oman – 2015

blog-May-3-2015-1-camel-crossing-in-omanI have to slap myself to believe I’ve been saltwater fly fishing for five straight weeks out of Dubai, Sudan and Oman.  This has been no less than insane.  No doubt there were ups and downs and fishing overall was tough.  But saltwater fly fishing is always tough especially when you go this far from home.

 

blog-May-3-2015-2-largespot-pompanoA very sincere thanks to Tourette – Fight it in Africa for bringing me back to Sudan, Nick Bowles and Ocean Active for providing all the great fishing in Dubai and giving Granny and I the opportunity to fish Musandam, Oman and to our new friends Ray and Kerry Montoya who not only gave us great advice on self-travel in Oman but also loaned us all the camping gear to do it.

 

blog-May-3-2015-3-winston-simms-scientific-anglersLast but not least, one can’t fish the ocean for five weeks without the best gear in the world.  Thanks very much R.L. Winston, Simms Fishing Products, Scientific Anglers, Abel and Ross Reels!

 

Here are a few more photos from the trip

blog-May-3-2015-4-talang-queenfishGranny with a nice talang queenfish from Dubai

blog-May-3-2015-5-crab-fly-patternCrab fly pattern for largespot pompano

blog-May-3-2015-6-bluefin-trevallyBluefin trevally

blog-May-3-2015-7-osprey-in-omanOsprey living in Strait of Hormuz

blog-May-3-2015-8-queenfishingJumping queenfish!

blog-May-3-2015-9-musandam-roadsA remote road in Musandam, Oman

blog-May-3-2015-10-ocean-activeNick Bowles of Ocean Active still battling his queenfish

blog-May-3-2015-11-jeff-currier-blogHundreds of hours and many late nights to keep up with this blog!

blog-May-3-2015-12-parrotfishParrotfish on the fly

blog-May-3-2015-13-camping-in-omanGranny sleeping in missing the morning beach walk for permit

blog-May-3-2015-14-golden-trevallyGolden trevally – one of eleven new species caught this trip

blog-May-3-2015-15-jeff-and-granny-currierPartying down in Dubai last night

blog-May-3-2015-16-dubai-fountainsDubai Fountains

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

End Big and Fly Home – A Golden Last Day Fishing Dubai

blog-May-2-2015-1-spice-market-in-dubaiIt wasn’t the end of the world not fishing yesterday.  Cameron, Granny and I traveled from Musandam back to Dubai in the morning.  We got to Nick Bowles house and relaxed.  We visited the spice market, fish market and Nicks Ocean Active fishing shop then I caught up on the blog.  Then I did my presentation “Fly Fishing Through Midlife Heaven” for a few of Nick’s friends and customers before yet another scrumptious barbecue feast.

 

blog-May-2-2015-2-flyfishing-in-dubaiThis morning Granny slept in and continued to relax.  Nick and I went fishing one last time out in front of Dubai.  Although Granny has fished her butt off this trip and deserves serious RR the last few days here in Dubai, I wish she came.  Fishing was absolutely silly!

 

blog-May-2-2015-3-flyfishing-for-queenfishFirst of all, today’s queenfishing was the best I’ve ever seen.  We got a very early start.  Conditions were calm and fish were busting all over the place. Schools of baitfish were flying through the air looking like mini light shows everywhere you looked.

 

blog-May-2-2015-4-nick-bowles-ocean-activeNormally Nick doesn’t fish and I was beginning to wonder if he knew how to fly fish.  Today because it was just he and I, he broke out the goods and yes, he can fly fish.  Nick can fly fish well and he dropped a sweet cast on the first bust we reached and landed this dandy queenie!

 

blog-May-2-2015-5-jeff-currier-flyfishing-dubaiNick and I went back and forth for the next two hours and brought ten queenies to hand.  That’s not to mention another dozen or so we jumped and lost and laughed because the fishing was so unreal.  I tell you man, these are the days you live for.

 

blog-May-2-2015-7-flyfishing-for queeniesFishing for queenies was so good we started leaving fish to find more – perhaps find some golden trevally or even the yellowspotted trevally.  Each place produced more birds and more queenfish.  But then we did see something special.  As Nick was watching a queenie dart side to side behind his fly, behind it and slightly deeper was a golden trevally.  His gold glow, dark stripes, broader shape and elongated pectoral fins gave him away.

 

blog-May-2-2015-6-golden-trevallyThe golden wouldn’t eat Nicks fly and sank out of sight.  I had the same thing happen one hour into this trip on Day 1 back on April 4.  Since then the image of that fish hasn’t left me.  That day Nick told me my best chance for a golden was to go deep and strip slower.  Golden’s have a reputation of being lazy and the queenies beat them to the fly every time.  The idea is to get your fly below the feeding queenfish so the golden’s don’t have to compete for it.

 

I lost a tremendous golden trevally in Christmas Island twenty years ago and have wanted one ever since.  Right then on Day 1 I took Nicks advice seriously.  I switched from my queenfish catching intermediate line to my 300 grain Streamer Express and let it sink after each cast.  Then I stripped at a slow trout-like pace and hoped.  I sacrificed catching queenies, but I’ve caught plenty, I wanted a golden.

 

I didn’t get that golden we saw on Day 1 but I tried and tried.  Then the next day out with Mike LaSota (fishing with Mike seems like years ago) I caught a few queenies then went back to the 300 grain and continued to try for that golden.  I even tried with Granny last week.  But the elusive fish eluded me again.

 

Today I purposely pushed the golden out of my mind so I’d bang up some fish on the final day.  I fished my intermediate all morning and caught a bunch of queenies.  But when that golden showed up behind Nick, that was it.  Out came my 300 grain and the dredge began – unsuccessfully for over an hour.

 

blog-May-2-2015-8-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-golden-trevallyNick and I were literally finished and were heading back.  In order to get back we had to pass where Nick had the golden follow.  Nick asked if I needed anymore casts and I said the usual, “Ok I’ll make a couple more then let’s beat it”.  It was a good call, on my first cast, as my fly was plummeting I got a thud.  That’s all it felt like at first.  A thud.  But then the thud took off.  I’m no expert on queenfish, but this didn’t feel like a queenfish!

 

I rarely let a queenfish take me into my backing.  Whatever this was got me to the backing quickly.  Not only that, he easily took fifty feet of backing with him and was running deep.  My Ross Momentum LT 5 was cranked and the pull of the fish actually turned the boat.

 

blog-May-2-2015-9-jeff-currier-golden-trevally-dubaiIt’s key not to let a fish get too far away if you can help it.  When you hear someone say, “The fish took me 300-yards into my backing” that angler either lost that fish or is an expert on exaggeration.  I don’t know what kind of snags lay in the bottom of Dubai Harbor but I’ll guess whatever I had on did so we stayed close as possible.  I tightened my drag after the first big run and Nick fired the engine and followed.

 

The consistent pressure on my fish began to pay off.  Within minutes my fly line was back on the reel and Nick had me directly over my fish.  I could tell I had a member of the jack family because I could feel the fish swimming in circles down deep and he was using his wide flank to make my lifting difficult.  But what kind of jack was this?

 

blog-May-2-2015-10-flyfishing-for-golden-trevally

After a long wait we saw him.  It was a jack alright.  A full size golden trevally.  His stripes were faint as was his golden glow but his extra wide body and long pectoral fins gave him away.  I held back my happiness remembering the disastrous ending I had with an Africanus two weeks ago.

 

blog-May-2-2015-11-jeff-currier-fly-fishing-for-golden-trevallyI hoisted with my 9-weight and Nick got ready to pounce.  I got the hefty golden to the surface and in one quick sweep Nick clenched the boomerang sized tail.  I landed a new species – a long sought after species – the golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus)!

 

blog-May-2-2015-12-golden-trevallyMy persistence paid off.   There’s nothing better than working hard for something then finally succeeding.  And best of all, like many times before, this was a last day fish.  In fact this would be my last cast of the trip.

 

blog-May-2-2015-13-jeff-currier-in-dubaiTo say Nick and I were pumped up doesn’t hardly describe it.  We were ecstatic.  So excited we went directly by boat to the Dubai Yacht Club for beers.  Unfortunately it was too early.  They don’t begin serving alcohol till noon.  We’ll remember that for our next celebratory fish which will hopefully happen again soon.

 

blog-May-2-2015-14-nick-bowles-ocean-active-dubaiI officially broke down the Winston’s and packed away the Ross and Abel Reels.  I have tons of salt to clean off at home in a few days.  Granny and I fly home late tomorrow night and get in the front door in exactly 50 hours.  Jet travel is incredible.  Now we’re headed out Nicks door for the Dubai Mall to check out the aquarium then out to party down on our last night.  Tomorrow I’ll close the books on Sudan, Oman and UAE with some final photos and thoughts from this incredible trip.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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