Archive | July, 2016

Let the Games Begin – Flyfishing in Kendjam Brazil

blog-July-31-2016-1-kendjam-flyfishing-campI was dang near shivering when heaps of jungle birds began to sing at 5:30 AM.  The night temps dropped to the low 70°’s and perhaps even upper 60°’s.  Not only is this place paradise from the scenic point of view but its the perfect climate here at the Untamed Angling Camp of Kendjam on the Iriri River in Brazil.  Hot in the day and cool at night.

 

blog-July-31-2016-2-untamed-angling-rodrigo-sallesAt 7:30 we left camp in two boats downstream for fishing and filming.  Ben and I were in one and Untamed Angling founders Rodrigo Salles and Marcelo Perez in the other with their film crew.  The idea this week is to make a segment for the 2017 International Fly Fishing Film Fest and also a piece so that Untamed can promote this incredible fishery here in Kendjam.

 

blog-July-31-2016-3-augustin-bastons-flyfishingEach fishing boat consists of a trained fly fishing guide and two Kayapo Indians to handle the boat.  They do this with a motor, paddles and handmade push poles.  Today our guide was Augustin Gacia Bastons.

 

 

 

blog-July-31-2016-4-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-pacuWhile many imagine the Amazon drainage to be nothing but monster rivers and muddy water, the Iriri river is small and crystal clear.  You can drift and fish from the boat or wade this beautiful river casting big streamers on an 8-weight rod for peacock bass and wolf fish (trairão).  Then, in a blink of an eye you can change it up and fish a 5- or 6-weight with dry flies just like on a trout stream back home but for pacu, matrinxã and other fun species.  This place is a dream for anglers like myself that like to mix up the day with different fish and unique challenges with the fly rod.

 

blog-July-31-2016-5-flyfishing-the-iriri-river-brazilTen minutes into our day Augustin suggested Ben and I make some casts as the boat drifted.  One side of the river was deep with overhanging branches.  Ben hit there with a large streamer for peacock bass and hoped for his dream fish, a payara.  I fished the shallow riffle water and floated over the drop-offs with a Chernobyl Ant.  My target fish was the pacu-borracha that hangs in the rapids and feeds on drifting algae and fruits.

 

blog-July-31-2016-6-flyfishing-for-pacu-borrachaIt didn’t take long.  While Ben attracted looks from peacocks I finagled a lucky cast and drift with a Chernobyl Ant just off a riffle onto a drop.  Up came a pacu.  My heart pounded as the round fish twisted and followed my fly for a few feet.  His eyes were wide and so focused on my fly he didn’t notice me watching high on the boat deck.  Once he decided it was food he lifted like a huge brown trout and sipped the fly.  One major difference however is that as he sips, you’re heavily distracted by his sparkling nut crushing molar-like teeth!

 

blog-July-31-2016-7-pacu-fishing-KendjamBecause of the teeth I was using a short piece of 20lb wire to the fly as a shock tippet.  My leader is one of the new Scientific Anglers Bass leaders with 18lb tippet.  18lb sounds heavy but if you ever wondered what it would be like to catch a 5lb bluegill – this is it.  Only the pacu-borracha also jumps.  I can’t tell you how stoked I was to catch this guy so quickly.  Check out the crazy long rays on his dorsal fin!

 

blog-July-31-2016-8-wolf-fishAs Augustin and I were photographing my pacu, Ben jumped from the boat and waded downstream with his streamer.  It didn’t take him long before he had a fish of his own.  This was a different fish.  It was large and snake like and made few jumps of his own.  Rather than peeling off line like my pacu this guy bullied Ben until he could grab him.  It wasn’t an easy grab because Ben had his first trairão and this fish too has a mouth full of teeth and extremely strong jaws.

 

blog-July-31-2016-9-jeff-currier-ben-furimsky-fishingIn a matter of fifteen minutes or so, Ben and I caught the pacu and the trairão along with several black piranhas (Piranha preta) (Serralsamus rhombeus) each.  We got a strike almost every cast.  Then we got in the boat to catch up with the other guys.  Naturally we pumbled the water as we went.  I switched to my 8-weight Winston Jungle rod to try for peacocks and within minutes Ben and I were posing with this double trouble bunch.  The Iriri is teaming with fish.

 

blog-July-31-2016-10-jeff-currier-flyfishing-bicudaWe chased down Rodrigo and Marcelo and they were filming some trairão.  We stopped and watched a minute then I decided to rip a popper through a speedy tailout.  The area was less than two feet deep and with strong current I wasn’t expecting much.  But I’ve now learned, this is where the biggest of all the bicudas (Boulengerella cuvieri) live. When my popper splatted down a wake came charging and bicuda attacked my fly. These barracuda like fish scream line off your reel while jumping all the time.  With a bony mouth full of teeth, they are normally very hard to keep hooked.  I got lucky and the peculiar jungle fish made for nice photo.

 

blog-July-31-2016-11-jeff-currier-flyfishing-kendjamWe never saw Rodrigo or Marcelo and the film crew again until we tracked them down for lunch.  This is the Amazon so it’s scorching hot at midday and we relaxed in the shade and ate and sipped cokes.  Our lunch was delicious and consisted of a couple peacock bass and a piranha.  The second we finished we hit the water to see what other interesting fish I could catch.

 

 

 

blog-July-31-2016-12-flyfishing-for-piranhaThe fish were out in full force.  Though we caught a lot of things the black piranhas were aggressive.  Ben and I nailed several of them which is good and bad.  The good is they fight like mad and are so cool to look at when you hold him.  We’ve all known about piranhas since we were kids.  But the bad is they bite chunks from your flies whether you catch them or not.  It can get extremely expensive at times.  This big one actually came on a stonefly nymph while I was messing around drifting from the boat.  I use old flies from the past when the piranha bite is on.

 

blog-July-31-2016-13-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-piranhaWhat’s funny about this piranha is that while I was fighting him off one side of the boat, a big turtle was laying on the bottom of the river on the other.  I could see one of the locals eyeballing the sleeping turtle.  The Kayapo love eating them.  Despite the fact that I was fighting a big piranha he dove overboard to get his dinner.  Here we are both holding our prize.

 

blog-July-31-2016-14-snakes-of-the-amazonblog-July-31-2016-15-amazon-watersnakeWe’d seen a few electric eels throughout the day and while casting I thought I caught a glimpse of another but the colors were striking unlike the dull brown eels.  The creature lifted its head to breathe.  It was a substantial snake with an almost coral snake pattern on his body.  This snake was about 6- to 8-feet long – long enough it took me two photos to fit him all in.  Unfortunately, this is as close as I got just in case he was deadly.  If anyone can identify him, please let me know.

 

blog-July-31-2016-16-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-matrinxaThe nonstop action continued.  Ben and I reefed on about fifty peacocks.  I have no idea exactly how many but there were a bunch.  We also caught a few more pacus and many matrinxã (Brycon falcatus).  The matrinxã is a true omnivore and comes for a look almost every time your fly hits the water.  They hate wire so usually they don’t eat it.  But today they did and I caught the biggest one of my life while breaking my skin protection rules working on an Amazon tan.

 

blog-July-31-2016-17-ben-furimsky-payara-fishingThe Iriri River happens to have some decent payara in its system but none were caught on fly during last year’s four weeks of exploration.  I’m not sure what it is about the vampire fish but they simply don’t take flies well and I can say this based on experience in Venezuela back in 1996.  There were tons there, but in ten days I managed about five good ones in total.  Ironically, Bens goal on this trip was to catch a payara and this afternoon he did.  This is the first payara taken on fly at Kendjam.  I say it often on this blog – keep your fly in the water!

 

blog-July-31-2016-18-flyfiishing-in-iriri-river-with-jeff-currierAt the end of the day we settled on a braided section of the Iriri River.  There were riffles and runs and boulders and deep holes.  It was an adventurous fly fisher’s nirvana.  I’d caught more than I imagined at this point so I grabbed my 6-weight Boron Plus and went to work with a Chernobyl Ant to learn more about catching the pacu-borracha.  Honestly, other than the warm water racing against my skin, I could’ve easily been on the Madison River in Montana.

 

blog-July-31-2016-19-flyfishing-for-pacu-with-jeff-currierI caught a couple of unique pacu (Myloplus asterias) on Chernobyl’s years back in northern Brazil but they lived in slow water.  This fast water pacu-borracha fishing seemed strange – a big round fish living in a rapid?  But I fooled one this morning from the boat so I expected to find more.  Sure enough I got a pacu to rise to my fly at the head of almost every riffle.  While I lost a few I landed three more.  One was this beast which I never expected!

 

 

 

blog-July-31-2016-20-flyfishing-KendjamI don’t like to go overboard on the hero shots on the blog but today was no less than a remarkable day of angling.  Ben and I caught so many cool fish and so many big fish that if it weren’t for my photos I wouldn’t believe it.  Kendjam on the Iriri River is no less than some of the finest fly fishing on the planet.

 

blog-July-31-2016-21-fishing-with-kayapo-indiansIt was long trip back upstream back to camp but we didn’t notice.  It was beautiful.  There were so many colorful birds including three types of macaws.  Seeing these oversized parrots in the wild like we see robins on the lawn at home is something to behold.

 

Stay tuned for tomorrow.  We’re going even further into the wilds of the Iriri to blow up our Dave Scadden Rafts to camp further down the Iriri River.

 

A special thanks to my friends Rodrigo and Marcelo of Untamed Angling for making this incredible journey possible.  If you too would like to experience a similar trip to Kendjam feel free to contact me.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A New Part of the Amazon with Untamed Angling – Kendjam

blog-July-30-2016-1-untamed-anglingBen Furimsky and I arrived in Manaus, Brazil last night and settled in the Caesar Business Hotel for yet one more overnight layover before reaching our final fishing destination in the Amazon.  This is my fifth time to the Brazilian Amazon.  My past trips took me north of Manaus to tributaries of the Rio Blanco.  This morning we headed south of Manaus to the Kayapo Indian village of Kendjam on the beautiful Iriri River for species endemic to this watershed.

 

blog-July--30-2016-2-iriri-river-brazilThe 500-mile-long Iriri River weaves from the south near the Bolivian border northward through the Kayapo Native Reserve.  The Reserve is the largest untouched piece of rainforest left in the Amazon.  Its home to the Kayapo Indians and like the land they live on, their culture has hardly been interfered with by outsiders.  The fact that I find myself at another of the planets most inaccessible places is truly unbelievable and my thanks this week goes to Rodrigo Salles and Marcelo Perez of Untamed Angling.

 

blog-July-30-2016-3-rodrigo-salles-marcelo-perezOver the last three years Rodrigo and Marcelo researched the area, negotiated with Kayapo Chiefs and explored the possibilities of running an adventurous fly fishing program in the area.  We can only imagine how difficult a mission this was but both guys have experience in such an endeavor.  Rodrigo and Marcelo are the founders of Tsimane golden dorado fishing in Bolivia where I fished in 2013.  A place where the indigenous tribes benefit from bringing in high paying tourists fly fishers.

 

blog-July-30-2016-4-flyfishing-kendjamThat tells you where we are and why we can be here.  You can read more by clicking the links I’ve provided especially the Untamed Angling website.  Furthermore, not only will you get to read about this trip on my blog over the next week, but we have a South American film crew with us to create a segment for the 2017 International Fly Fishing Film Festival which will tour throughout North America and many parts of the world.  If you make a trip to one of the Fly Fishing Shows this winter, you can catch the movie as an evening event on either Friday or Saturday depending on which city you’re at.

 

blog-July-30-2016-5-meeting-of-the-watersToday began with a painfully early wakeup call.  Manaus is three hours ahead of Idaho so when the call came at 5 AM it was more like 2 AM.  I didn’t know where I was for a minute but rounded myself up like many times before and Ben and I boogied for the lobby where we were met by a vehicle that transferred us to a charter plane airport.

 

blog-July-30-2016-6-itaituba-brazilAt the airstrip we met up with Marcelo and the rest of our group that consists of three clients and a film crew.  We boarded a Cessna Caravan C-280B and flew 2 hours to Itaituba.  At this off the beaten path town we refueled.  I stretched my legs on the runway then took peek inside the remote terminal.  Hanging on the wall was this bizarre photo.

 

blog-July-30-2016-7-kendjam-brazilWe continued our flight another two hours to the Kayapo village of Kendjam (Kendjam is the name of this Untamed fishing program).  The jungle below us was so thick we never saw the ground the whole way.  Well before the village came in existence this incredible rock protruding from the jungle was named Kendjam.  It appeared out of place as we circled around on our landing approach.

 

blog-July-30-2016-8-kendjam-indian-reserveWe landed on a dirt strip barely wide enough to serve our plane.  I’ve landed on a lot of hairy runways in my time but the way we bounced and swayed at 200 mph before coming to a stop was unnerving.  We endured and were immediately greeted by curious Kayapo Indians who made quick work of removing our gear from the plane on wheel barrels to awaiting boats on the Iriri River.

 

I wasn’t in Idaho anymore.  As you know I travel the world and see a lot, but in an instant I felt far far away from home.  It’s a good feeling however, I promise you.  One that makes you realize there’s still a lot of wild in this world despite the fact that we often feel as though there’s nothing left at all.

 

blog-July-30-2016-9-kayapo-chief-kendjam -1One amazing thing was to be greeted by the Chief of Kendjam.  He was in full headdress and his face was painted.  He doesn’t speak a word of English however a greeting is greeting.  He was polite yet at the same time very quiet.  He shook my hand firmly and stared deep into my eyes.  He could clearly see I was in awe of him and I’ll never know what he thought of me.  Rodrigo then appeared.  Remember, he and Marcelo know the Chief and villagers well and it turns out he was already here a week.  He smiled and shook my hand and said, “So Jeff, how do you like it so far?”

 

blog-July-30-2016-10-kendjam-brazil -1Fishing was the last thing on my mind as we followed the Chief into the village to enjoy a welcome dance.  It turns out we’re the first visitors here since Untamed Angling ran an exploratory trip last August.  For that reason, we were a big deal for the 80 locals.  The ones not dancing stared.  I can’t describe how culturally unique this experience was.

 

blog-July-30-2016-11-winston-rods-brazilAfter the ceremony we headed for the boats.  There were few items remaining to cart down.  My Winston’s always stay with me but this cool Kayapo kid insisted he carry them for me.  What was particularly nice was he didn’t ask for money like locals in so many other “remote” places.  He simply wanted to be a part of the ordeal with the arriving aliens.

 

blog-July-30-2016-12-flyfishing-brazilAs if we weren’t isolated enough.  Our boat ride downstream to the Kendjam Camp took another three hours.  I’m not sure what my travel time from Victor, Idaho was but it was approaching the 60-hour range.  That’s a big one.  But I never noticed because the beauty of the rainforest was mesmerizing.

 

blog-July-30-2016-13-Kendjam-untamed-anglingWhen we arrived at camp I was extremely surprised and impressed.  I envisioned sleeping in a pop tent on the ground with a campfire to cook on.  Instead Untamed has a comfortable room to relax and dining area and luxury tents with toilets and showers per two anglers.  And I should make note, we are the first ever group to stay in camp.

 

blog-July-30-2016-14-jeff-currier-untamed-anglingNothing has changed since my first big international trip to Belize in 1989.  After greetings from the camp staff Ben and I ripped open our duffels and put together a rod.  I took my Winston 8-weight Jungle rod with a streamer and headed for the river.  I lucked into a small peacock bass – a species of them I’ve never caught before and only found here – (Chichla melaniae).

 

blog-July-30-2016-15-jeff-currier-amazon-kayapo-indianIt was dark before 7.  Steaks were ready by the time we returned to camp.  I was starved.  I could have used a beer as well but there is strictly no alcohol on in Kendjam by request of the Kayapo.  Instead we had fun getting painted up like Kayapo warriors.  I just learned this tattoo lasts for about a month.  Hmmm. . . .

 

blog-July-30-2016-16-flyfishing-the-amazonIt’s been an amazing day.  The travel here has been long but no doubt worth the time in gold.  I’m tired and just finished my mandatory tent inspection.  This is the Amazon and critters do exist.  Luckily our pets are friendly tonight.  Tomorrow the games begin!

 

A special thanks to my friends Rodrigo and Marcelo of Untamed Angling for making this incredible journey possible.  If you too would like to experience a similar trip to Kendjam feel free to contact me.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Flight Layover Leads to Flyfishing Key Biscayne

blog-July-29-2016-1-ben-furimskyI arrived in Miami last night around 10 PM and began the 18-hour layover before heading for Brazil today.  After collecting my luggage, I tracked down my friend and partner on this trip, Ben Furimsky.  Ben has never been on the blog because despite being friends we’ve only worked together and never fished.

 

blog-July-29-2016-2-guide-martin-corranzaBen runs the famous Fly Fishing Shows where I present numerous of my fly fishing seminars during the winter months.  Ben was finishing up dinner with our mutual fishing guide friend Martin Carranza.  It turns out Martin generously volunteered to take us fishing for a few hours before our flight tomorrow (similar to my layovers in Dubai on my way to Sudan or Seychelles).

 

blog-July-29-2016-3-flyfishing-biscayne-bay6 AM came early.  For Ben and I it was like 4 AM with the time change and that’s after a long day and a late night.  But like any fishing day, once I get the coffee going all is good.  And Martin indeed got us some good coffee at a tiny hole in the wall Cuban café.

 

blog-July-29-2016-4-fishing-biscayne-bayWe launched Martins Beaver Tail skiff into Biscayne Bay.  Of all my trips fishing in Florida this was my first time here.  It was a calm and peaceful morning despite being before the huge city of Miami.  While the highways were clogged with traffic, Biscayne Bay was void of much human life.

 

blog-July-29-2016-5-bonefishing-key-biscayneMartin fired up the engine and after fueling we headed out.  Like any guide he stopped almost immediately and had us poke a few blind casts in a sand divot along a beach for bonefish.  Martin picked out a slick little bonefish fly and Ben tied it on.  I think it was the usual old “lets warmup my dudes for the day and see if they can cast”.  Nevertheless, it was fun to loosen the casting arms.

 

blog-July-29-2016-6-poling-the-flatsMinutes after the first casts Martin said let’s make a run.  We traveled fast for about a half hour and came to two islands and a strong current from the dropping tide dividing them.  Martin poled us straight into the current and through the cut.  We came to a beautiful sand flat and I got several casts at bonefish that were right up there with some of the biggest I’ve ever cast too.  Unfortunately, they wouldn’t cooperate.

 

I know when it’s time to pass the rod so I asked Ben to take the bow and dove into my morning sandwich.  I hardly took a bite before Ben was dropping a cast a mere 25 feet to 11 o Clock.  “There he is”, shouted Ben.

 

blog-July-29-2016-7-bonefishing-with-ben-furimskyIt was just that easy for Ben.  Once cast one bonefish.  Although not a Biscayne Bay lunker the silvery torpedo bolted off most of the fly line before Ben turned him to us.  Soon Martin had the pretty fish to the net for a classic “flight layover catch”.  Life was good!

 

blog-July-29-2016-8-jeff-currier-biscayne-bayI got back to the bow and had one more good shot at a school of big bones.  They were close before we saw them and although my cast looked decent I made one strip and they all took off for the deep.  I may have been stripping too fast or perhaps they sensed the boat.  Regardless, my bonefish magic didn’t work out so when a school of blue runners began to terrorize pilchards within my casting range I plucked one off just for fun.

 

blog-July-29-2016-9-bonefishing-in -Key-BiscayneWe ended the perfect morning on the flats with shots at baby tarpon but had no luck.  It may have very well been too calm by that time.  Calm enough that the fish were on full alert.  At 11 AM we headed full throttle back to Key Biscayne.  Ben and I collected our bags and went to the Miami airport smelling like fish.  We checked into our five-hour flight for Manaus Brazil on time.

 

That’s how I like to do a layover.  Ben and I are presently 37,000 feet over the Venezuela Brazil border.  We land in Manaus in about an hour than its to the Tropical Hotel for a short night of sleep before an early morning charter flight to Kendjam.  The next post should be full of cool looking peacock bass and other exotics!

 

A special thanks to my friends Rodrigo and Marcelo of Untamed Angling for making this incredible journey possible.  If you too would like to experience a similar trip to Kendjam feel free to contact me.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Kendjam Brazil Here I Come!

blog-July-27-2016-1-flyfishing-kendjam-brazilNo, it’s not the popular time to be heading fly fishing in the Amazon, but it’s the best time for the region of Kendjam.  This beautiful area is home to its own peacock bass species, various pacus and PLENTY more cool fish that I must catch before this party we call life is over.  This trip is possible because of my good friends Rodrigo Salles and Marcelo Perez of Untamed Angling and I’m thrilled that they will be on the trip as well.

 

blog-July-27-2016-2-flyfishing-kendjam-untamed-anglingI’m presently traveling to Miami for the night and after a few hours on the permit flats of Biscayne Bay early in the morning, I’ll be headed for Manaus, Brazil.  My American partner on this adventure is Ben Furimsky, director of the Fly Fishing Shows.  In addition to the extraordinary fishing we’re expecting to experience, we’ll be getting filmed by a South American film company that will be submitting their work for the 2017 International Film Festival (IF4).

 

I’ll have more details about our trip before leaving Manaus for the fishing Saturday morning.  This should be some interesting blogs.   As always, I may not be able to post blogs while on the trip but they will post daily upon my return.

 

A special thanks to Untamed Angling and my fantastic friends from Yellow Dog Flyfishing AdventuresWinston Fly RodsBauer ReelsYetiSimmsScientific AnglersCosta SunglassesKate’s Real Food

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Big Carp Bash on Blackfoot Reservoir

blog-July-26-2016-1-bauer-flyreels-jeff-currierThe last thing I should’ve been doing today was fishing because I’m headed for a unique part of the Amazon in 30 hours and I’m not ready.  But I couldn’t waste Granny’s day off packing.  Instead we took off for a long day of carp fishing beginning at one of our secret spots followed by Blackfoot Reservoir.  The forecast was for the 90°s and little wind.  Much like ten days ago when Tom Hansen and I both got skunked.

blog-July-26-2016-2-fly-fishing-for-carpAfter a hefty-unhealthy-carb-fat filled breakfast we hit the first carp spot of the day.  Here requires no waders.  Only my 6-weight Boron III X, 75 yds. of backing on my Bauer RX 3, a SHARKWAVE floater, a Chernobyl Ant and a nymph dropper.  Because I should be packing rather than writing, I’ll just tell you in photos, the mirror carp were hungry and in an hour we landed four of these fine-looking fellas despite the screaming traffic behind.

blog-July-26-2016-3-jeff-currier-blackfoot-reservoir-carpIf the carp bite is on here than it should be on Blackfoot Reservoir as well.  The unique fish are larger there so at 11 AM we pointed the Explorer and went.  Granny opted to be staff photographer and I went to work dropping a friend’s ingenious crayfish pattern in the many puffs of mud from feeding carp.  It didn’t take long for intense action to begin.

blog-July-26-2016-4-mirror-carpIn two hours I hooked eight of these strangely scaled oversized minnows.  Landing fish of this size in a weed filled lake from shore is another story.  I landed only half what I hooked.  But I promise you.  Four beautiful mirror carp on the fly on Blackfoot Reservoir in only a few hours is true success!

blog-July-26-2016-5-jeff-currier-flyfishing-for-mirror-carpA fish like this 100 feet from the Exploder – I’ll take it any day. . . .

blog-July-26-2016-6-baby-carpThe rare but cute baby mirror carp.

blog-July-26-2016-6-mirror-carp-fly-fishingEvery mirror carp has his own spectacular scale pattern worth photographing.

blog-July-26-2016-7-bauer-reels-for-carpSo long Idaho.  It’s off to the unknown for more amazing fish species!

Stay Tuned

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

First Fire of 2016 Throws Wrinkle into Nunya Trip

blog-July-19-2016-1Flexibility is a crucial mindset to have if you fish.  Whether it be while traveling 8,000 miles from home or at home, things can happen that mess up an original plan.  You can freak out and waste your time sulking or make a change in plan and do the best you can.  Granny and I planned on floating the Lower Nunya this week.  We were well organized and packed for the thirty-five mile two day float.  But on Sunday afternoon a thunderstorm set the region on fire and the road to get there closed.

 

blog-July-19-2016-2-jeff-currier-IdahoNo doubt we were disappointed.  Preparing for such a float takes days and we were ready.  Furthermore, the Nunya float is one of our all-time favorites and with a hectic schedule in weeks to come we may not make it this year.  But I tossed my frustration aside and broke out my Idaho Gazetteer and decided this week we’d go for a drive to new territory.

 

blog-July-19-2016-3-Idaho-sceneryWhen exploring I bring my 4- and 5-weight Winston’s, floating lines and one box of dries ranging from caddis to hoppers.  I stick in a few nymphs and call it good.  The forecast was for temps in the 90°s so no waders but rather the Simms sandals.  We sleep in the back of the Exploder so less is more on a trip like this.  We had our grill and all the dream food we had planned to enjoy on the Nunya.

 

July 18, 2016

 

blog-July-19-2016-4-flyfishing-idahoGranny got off work and hopped in the truck and we listened to the Cubs game on my XM and headed west then north for three hours.  When the sun set we drove down a dirt road until there were so many darting jackrabbits I couldn’t see straight anymore.  We pitched our camp chairs and enjoyed a couple cold ones then climbed in the truck and slept till 7 Tuesday morning.

 

July 19, 2016

 

blog-July-19-2016-5-flyfishing-with Jeff-currierIt’s cool when you drive into an unfamiliar place in the dark then wake up and see where you are.  I lit up the stove and put on the water for coffee then looked around.  We’d found ourselves in a beautiful spot with sagebrush plains surrounded by massive Idaho peaks.

 

blog-July-19-2016-6-flyfishing-idahoAfter coffee we continued our drive.  It was a 55 mph zone but I was so enthralled with the new place I was doing 35.  The poorly paved road was ours and we came to a public fishing access sign.  The tilted sign said the access was .5 miles down some dirt so we went and found a small murky stream.  The place was so intriguing that though it wasn’t even 9 AM we went for it.

 

blog-July-19-2016-7-jeff-currier-flyfishing-idahoI grew up on small streams and I love small streams and I don’t fish them enough.  It seems my life is all about finding bigger better badder stuff.  I wasn’t ten minutes into that ice cold water and felt as though I’d died and gone to heaven.  It wasn’t about the scenery anymore nor catching fish.  It was all about tuck casting, curve casting and accuracy to get my fly into the nooks and crannies.  Its great fun and a skill of mine that needs some honing.

 

blog-July-19-2016-8-idaho-rainbow-troutThere were lots of hungry rainbows to catch.  They couldn’t keep their lips off my yellow stimulator.  I came to several deep pools and after I picked off the top water hunters I put on a nymph and Euro styled it through a few times hoping for some bigger bows.  But to no avail – just a heap more par marked gems like this one.

 

blog-July-19-2016-9-jeff-currier-yetiGranny and I lost track of time and before we knew it we were under the afternoon sun.  I reeled in then took one more look at the Gazetteer and we drove straight into the mountains to find another small stream with a gorgeous camp spot to spend the night.  This doesn’t take long in the boonies of Idaho.  When we got there we kicked back for lunch and a cold one before trying our new stream.

 

blog-July-19-2016-10-flyfishing-small-streamsThis stream was made of cascading pools, slippery rocks and tree covered banks.  There were lots more small rainbows eager to eat.  I was in 4-weight paradise.  I tried to hand off the rod to Granny but she’s not into the small streams like me.  She eventually left to relax in camp and prepare dinner.  I wandered for another three hours and caught about thirty more little rainbows.

 

blog-July-19-2016-11-camp-cookingGranny’s camp dinners are to die for.  Tuesday night was fresh Chinook salmon on the grill with some sort of scrumptious pasta side she made at home.  I kept her drink full with plenty of ice.  By now missing out on our Nunya float was so far in the past we didn’t know the plan once existed!

 

 

July 20, 2016

 

blog-July-19-2016-12-granny-currier-flyfishingFor us we slept late today.  At home we’re up at 5:30 this time of year.  But we camped in a canyon and the sun didn’t rise on us till 7 AM.  Then we took the leisure to roll over a few times and I didn’t have the coffee done till almost 8.  We soon found ourselves on the headwaters of this unknown creek bow and arrow casting into waters so small and tight you would think a trout couldn’t live.

 

blog-July-19-2016-13-jeff-currier-bauer-reelsLike yesterday the rainbows were eager.  It was a blast sending each one of them airborne before my slightly opened barbless hooked caddis released them.  There was no need to put a good fly on as there’s no need to land every one of these fish.  Just the occasional close up was all we needed.

 

blog-July-20-2016-14-small-streamsAs my fly floated into a deep pool a trout took a nonchalant look then laid flat tight to bottom.  There were glowing white rims on his fins that led me to believe it was a 12” brook trout. I love small stream brookies and changed dries three times to try and entice him up and back out of the pool but no luck.  Finally I tied on a mini leach and lobbed a backhand cast through the tree branches.

 

blog-July-20-2016-15-bull-troutThe small char couldn’t resist.  I hooked him and after a weak twisting fight I brought him to hand.  Wow!  This fish turned out to be only the second bull trout of my life and my first ever on fly!  Bull trout are a protected species in Idaho and it’s illegal to target them.  Once I identified the rare jewel we made sure to leave him in the water and take only one quick photo.  Then off came the streamer and it was dry fly only for the remainder of the morning.

 

blog-July-20-2016-16-flyfishing-idahoWhat a weekend salvaging the cancellation of our favorite trip down to the Nunya.  Had this not happened we wouldn’t have experienced some of the great small streams of Idaho.  We wouldn’t have caught a hundred colorful rainbows and I wouldn’t have added a new species to my list.  Often times you look back in the mirror and it’s the unplanned adventures that are the best.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Out Smarted by the Huge Carp of Blackfoot

blog-July-15-2016-1-flyfishing-carpEverything seemed right before I left Victor to meet my friend Tom Hansen for a day trip of fly fishing for mirror carp on Blackfoot Reservoir.  The forecast had sunshine, light winds and temperatures in the 80°s, absolutely ideal carp conditions.  When we arrived at around 9 AM to rig up the massive waterbody was glassy calm.

 

blog-July-15-2016-2-blackfoot-reservoirFrom our first parking spot we could see the carp.  We were up on a bluff looking down and there were at least five of the big boys working slowly in the weeds.  Only these weren’t weeds after all, it was the grasses.  Blackfoot Reservoir was at least two feet higher than normal and places I normally drive my Exploder were underwater.  Even campsites were a foot deep!

 

Once down to lake level it was tough to see.  I opted to stay in one place while Tom eased his way along.  Sure enough a couple carp came to me but it was so calm I literally lifted my rod and they spooked.

 

blog-July-15-2016-3-flyfishing-for-carpI put on a crayfish fly given to me at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show from my friend Chuck Furimsky.  The thing looked great so I put it out about twenty feet and let it rest.  I crouched low and waited.  Soon enough an uneasy acting mirror carp came through and though he didn’t appear hungry, I gave Chucks fly a twitch and the carp surged for it.  I’m sad to say he hit so hard that as I struck I broke him off on 2X.  Sh*********!  That was my only fly like that.

 

blog-July-15-2016-4-flyfishing-blackfoot-resIf you fish a lot you know how the story goes from here.  When fishing is tough and you’re given an opportunity you must not screw it up.  I retied on another crayfish pattern and proceeded to fish the next six hours without another decent chance.  No doubt the high water gives the carp an excessive extra amount of space to hide in and food to eat.  Furthermore, the dead calm conditions are so unusual at Blackfoot that the mirrors were on high alert.  I’m sorry to say neither Tom nor I hooked another carp all day.

 

blog-July-15-2016-5-mirror-carpIt was a good time regardless.  Carping tunes the skills and in today’s case my saltwater flats fishing skills.  Coincidentally Tom will be on my hosted trip to the Seychelles in December.  I recon we’ll get back here a few more times this summer till we get it right!   Next in line – Grannies and my annual Lower Nunya trip!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Annual Ladies Day on the Bryant River

blog-July-12-2016-1-flyfishing-idahoI needed a tranquil day on a river after my grueling twenty Cliff Fly Box art weekend.  Was taking the girls on the Bryant River really the relaxing answer?  Probably not exactly, but nonetheless, my annual ladies day on the river with Granny, Jessica Chitwood and Pam Parkins is always a blast.

 

blog-July-12-2016-2-yeti-coolersWe got an early start in order to put the two hour drive behind us and still put on the Bryant early.  It’s not always easy organizing the ladies this time of day but they were so pumped they were ready to rock as planned.  We hit the boat ramp shortly after sunrise and loaded my Yeti with orange whips and food and pushed off.

 

blog-July-12-2016-3-floating-under-bridgesThe water was so high that the first bridge we hit required chairs folded and all hands on deck.  And I mean flat on deck like a turtle.  The front of my boat cleared the bridge by less than one inch.  It’s a good thing the Yeti was full and we all ate a big breakfast so the boat floated low.  It was a bit unnerving and probably not the wisest move of 2016 – but we made it.

 

blog-July-12-2016-4-ladies-flyfishing-dayFishing was poor for us.  A couple other boats passed stating a few fish were caught but this was one of the slowest ladies days for fish numbers I can remember.  Perhaps I wasn’t cracking the whip hard enough?

 

blog-July-12-2016-5-ladies-day-on-the-riverThis being said however we caught a few.  Granny put my 4-weight Winston Boron III LS to work and landed a number of small rainbows and the occasional baby brown trout.  We probably could have tossed some streamers but catching wasn’t all what today was about.  It was fun with the gals we got it done.  It’s back to serious fishing come Friday when I head for monster fish waters with friend Tom Hansen.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Man of the All-Nighters

blog-July-11-2016-1-jeff-currier-flybox-artNot sure why but when I have a massive assignment I can’t go a minute without thinking about it.  It’s in my DNA.  About a week ago I took on an unfathomable task of decorating twenty Cliff Bugger Beast Fly Boxes with my Sharpie art for the Sweetwater River Conservancy in Alcova, Wyoming.   Not on just one side of the fly boxes but BOTH (forty drawings).  Furthermore, with delivery required by July 20th!

 

blog-July-11-2016-2-jeff-currier-clif-flyboxWhen I hung the phone after saying “yes I can do these” I got worried.  Making it worse, I couldn’t start ASAP because I had to wait for my blank Cliff Boxes to arrive.  They were in route when I was fishing with my South African friends.  I continued my uneasiness feeling so much that when I got home from fishing Friday and saw the blank boxes had arrived I decided that’s it, I’m sitting down and doing them all.  I started Friday afternoon at 4 PM and finished them at 9:30 Sunday night.  I took three naps and watched a heck of a lot of baseball but the job is successfully done!

 

Ladies day on the river tomorrow!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Camera Time and Cutthroats

blog-July-8-2016-1-yellowstone-cutthroatPlans to fish the Rizzo today with my FlyCastaway pals from South Africa cancelled.  To make up for it arapaima king Tim Brune and I did a short day on the technical dry fly water of the Rizzo with another South African friend, Craig Richardson.  Craig is a FlyCastaway guide and spends most of his work year on the flats of St. Brandon’s.

 

blog-July-8-2016-2-flyfishing-idahoCraig arrived only 48 hours ago from South Africa.  Last night was the first time we met, however Craig guided Tim in St. Brandon’s last year.  While being guided Tim invited him to Idaho to fish and he’s here for almost two months.  It’s my style of travel – show up – make it happen – and figure out how to pay for it later.  Life is not a dress rehearsal!

 

blog-July-8-2016-3-fly-castingI must say I was more focused on relaxing and taking some photos.  This is the time of year when I update my PowerPoint presentations.  Tim is one of the best casters I know so I flicked away some cool shots like this one here.

 

blog-July-8-2016-4-flyfishing-idahoCraig has never been to the western USA so the main goal was to get him some cutthroat trout.  There was a good PMD hatch and a few heads of rainbow and cutthroats sipping the small yellow mayflies.  These fish are not easy to catch and Craig had to adjust his St. Brandon’s flats fishing techniques to accommodate our style.  It didn’t take long and he was rod bent.

 

blog-July-8-2016-5-craig-richardson-fishingCraig ended up catching several of these beautiful cutthroats.  Our fishing was excellent despite some wind and heat.  Now it’s back to work.  My fishing time will be lean the next couple weeks because I took an order for 20 Cliff Fly Boxes with art on BOTH sides due on July 20th.  Furthermore, I have some exciting international fishing starting hot and heavy at the end of this month.  Details on this in coming days!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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