Archive | May, 2017

Last Day Flyfishing NH 2017

Granny and I head home tomorrow so we started the day visiting dad at the nursing home. He was extremely disoriented and I’m not sure he knew we were there. It was tough way to see him for the last time. I couldn’t wait to get to the camp and head out in the canoe fishing.

On a higher note, today is Granny’s birthday so despite another cold, clammy day, she opted to join me. We grabbed a six pack and I paddled us across Wolfeboro Bay and a few loons. Then, instead of going right into Back Bay fishing we stopped at Garwood’s for a killer lunch with mom.

After lunch I took us as far back in Back Bay as you can go where the Smith River flows in. As we approached I could see heaps of hatching mayflies along with numerous rises in mid current. I grabbed my new 4-weight Air and tied on a parachute Adams and handed it to Granny. I could see already the risers were bluegills and pumpkinseeds.

I’ve seen plenty of rising sunfish in my day but never packed like feeding trout nor have I seen them in such heavy current. It was wild and Granny had a field day catching one after another.

 

 

When the bluegill rise faded I made one more attempt to keep them up top feeding. I put on a big red-winged Chernobyl ant – true Jackson Hole style.  While it didn’t roust up anymore big bluegill, it brought up the smallmouth bass. And I mean up in the air!

 

 

In all my life fishing in Back Bay I don’t recall catching any smallmouth bass. Back Bay is a weedy place with few rocks. But in one spot where we got the first, Granny caught three more respectable smallies. My girl had an epic fishing birthday!

I have a rugged 48 hours ahead of me. Tomorrow we fly home. Thursday, I cut the lawn, pay bills and catch up on crap at home. Then Friday I fly to Portugal for the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships. You may recall last year in Ireland.

Here’s to keeping it real! Stay tuned for more fishing madness!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Kids Fly Fishing Day on Lake Winnipesaukee

We haven’t had a lot of nice weather this trip, but yesterday we had some and it was the most important day of the trip to have good weather.  It wasn’t for fishing.  It was mom’s surprise 75th birthday.  We had a fantastic time and mom was shocked.  Today, Memorial Day, it was back to the cold drizzly crap for taking the nieces and nephew fishing.

 

I probably love taking my nieces fishing as much as I do walking a flat in the Indian Ocean.  The girls are a hoot and Sierra and Montana are still young enough that being with “Uncle Jeff” very well may be their highlight of the month.

 

After making sure the girls were dressed warm enough I rigged up a pair of Winston’s.  A 6-weight for trolling across Wolfeboro Bay in hopes to catch a rainbow trout or salmon.  The second one was my new 4-weight Air for bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish in Back Bay.  Off we went.

 

Trust me, it was colder than these photos show.  The girls were having such a good time to start they didn’t notice.  Instead of trolling up a salmonid Montana trolled up this smallmouth bass on a Kreelex Fly.  It wasn’t the only one either.  We caught three.  What was strange was that they came in the middle of Wolfeboro Bay from about 40 feet deep.  Just when you think you understand a fish!

 

When we got to Back Bay the girls wanted to keep the “troll” on because we caught three bass.  What the heck.  Back Bay is too shallow in most areas but there is a waterski channel I cut through on the way to my bluegill hole.  I’m glad we trolled it because Sierra caught her first yellow perch on fly.

 

 

 

 

We caught a few more perch, bluegill, pumpkinseeds, rock bass and I caught a tiny chain pickerel.  The girls had an absolute blast.  But the cold and drizzle sunk in after the second hour and as much as they loved being out, they were ready to go in.  I paddled us up to the Back Bay Tavern dock and we met the family there for lunch. . . . and hot chocolates.

 

If you thought my day was done – guess again.  There’s one more kid that hasn’t made it out with Uncle Jeff yet, my sisters boy Eli.  It was colder and raining but he didn’t care.  Eli heard enough from the girls catching fish.  Granny gave me a hand with the little guy and we got him a few bluegill of his own.

 

 

 

 

Even I was frozen by the end of this afternoons fishing.  Granny and I took mom to Meredith for drinks and dinner.  Tomorrow the weather continues to look bad but it’s our last day.  We’ll fish hard for sure!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Another Morning Flyfishing in New Hampshire

My brother Greg doesn’t give two dangs about fly fishing but he likes to hang out.  The weather was cool but dry and reasonably calm at 6 AM so he headed out in the canoe with me.  He did the same a number of years ago and we had an epic morning.

 

Best of all for me is that he does all the paddling and controlling the canoe.  This allows me to fish that Ben Byng popper more efficiently.  Sometimes the wind drags it a little when I’m paddling and fishing at the same time and it doesn’t pop correctly.  With Greg holding the canoe I can get the pop that drives smallmouth bass crazy on every cast.

 

Needless to say, I smeared the smallies once again.  I guess after fishing Lake Winnipesaukee for nearly 50 years now I finally have it down.  Here’s yet another beautiful smallmouth bass.  One of three.  Now Greg and I are off to see dad.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing with My Teenager Niece

Granny and I had no interest in having kids but we like borrowing.  For years I’ve been taking my nieces fishing.  They’ve made annual appearances on the blog and it’s been cool watching them grow up.  This year the oldest, Sammy, is 15 and soon to become 16.  My brother arrived at camp here in Wolfeboro, NH last night with Sammy for the Memorial Weekend and tonight I took her fishing.  I’m not sure she was 100% on board for this Uncle Jeff adventure in the drizzle and cold!

 

But Sammy was a sport.  She and I paddled to Back Bay and rousted up a few nice sunfish.  They were far and few between with the cold temps but twitching a small size Chernobyl ant still put a move on a few of them.

 

Most of the fish we caught were bluegill like this one here.  Not bad fish at all.  Mixed in we got some pumpkinseed sunfish and a few rock bass as well.  Sammy and I warmed up at dark at the Wolf Trap fish restaurant then paddled home in the dark.  Probably not the safest move but worth every bit because the loons and peeper frogs sang us all the way home.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Smallmouth Bass Fever in New Hampshire

My dad has suffered with Parkinson’s for over 15 years.  This horrible disease worsens with time and the medicines that help with the symptoms have side effects beyond belief.  They can make you tired, depressed, confused and the list goes on.  It’s been a bummer for him, my mom and the family for years.

 

In August of 2012 dad got a special brain surgery to further help reduce the symptoms.  It was a tense time for dad and the family but he pulled through and managed a few good years.

 

It seems that eventually Parkinson’s takes back over however, and in dad’s case it came back with Dementia.  The last three years has been a living hell for dad and possibly more so on mom because she was taking care of him.  In February we moved dad to a nursing home and this week is the first time I’ve seen him here.  It’s been a tough year but no doubt he’s in great care now.

 

I fished Lake Winnipesaukee for a few hours this morning with my brother in law Don.  Don is a doctor in Alton, NH and with his family he has little time to go.  He was a few minutes late after 6 AM to meeting me but he made it.  We were pressed on time because a big storm was moving in.

 

Just two hours was all we expected but we squeezed out three before the wind gales started.  Once again the fishing was fantastic.  I have yet to take off my Ben Byng popper this week because the smallies are going bananas for it.

 

I brought six nice fish to hand.  None were larger than about 15” but here on Lake Winnipesaukee these are more than respectable.  If you live in a place with smallmouth bass opportunities on fly rod I hope you take advantage.  They are one of the greatest freshwater fly rod game fish in the world.  Don got blanked this morning because he’s out of practice.  He has not been taking advantage even though he lives here!

 

At 9 AM the big lake got hectic.  The wind started as did the rain.  I’d hoped to head for Back Bay with Granny this afternoon but there was no chance.   Instead I caught up on the blog and went and visited dad again.  I’m sad to say, the forecast looks dreadful for tomorrow morning..

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fishing Partner Cancellation Ends in My Favor

I heard the first bird chirp and sat up in my sleeping bag on the camps porch and looked out across the lake and Wolfeboro Bay. The sight was stunning with amazing pink skies and absolutely no wind. It was a mere 4:10 AM but things were perfect to start fishing. Unfortunately, last night I told my sister we were going fishing at 6 AM. Reluctantly I rolled over and tried to return to sleep. No chance. At 4:45 I French pressed some coffee and sipped it from the porch swing and waited.

At 6:10 my sister still wasn’t there. I was getting restless. Granny was already heading out on her paddle board to enjoy the morning. About then my brother in law Don entered the camp to let me know my sister cancelled because of a stiff neck. I was pretty bummed and launched off in the canoe by myself.

I paddled out of Wolfeboro bay towards the broads of Lake Winnipesaukee. Most of the time there’s too much wind to canoe here but it was still calm. There’s nothing like it. I was a kid again. There were no other boats and all I heard were birds. Most the birds were loons. I caught a nice smallmouth bass on my first cast.

I was fishing my 5-weight Winston LS. This rod is as light as a feather and in hand you might think it’s too little for tossing the Ben Byng popper. But not only does it cast the big fly well, I could land the hard fighting smallies in less than a minute.

I’ve found that whenever someone cancels fishing with me at the last minute I have a better than average day. This morning was one of my best smallie days ever. I landed eight fish, all in that 13” to 17” range and one that may have topped the scale at 4lbs. Every fish sipped the popper.

The only drawback to this morning is I don’t have much in the way of photos. Fishing by yourself in a canoe makes the photography thing hard. Nonetheless I clicked off a few and this was one of my favorite shots of the morning of a nice 14 incher.

I packed it in early to spend some time with the family today. In particular, mom and I are heading to see dad. He wasn’t doing too well when we visited him at the nursing home Monday but hopefully today will be better.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Black Flies and Bass

Granny and I have another lake near Wolfeboro, NH we like to fish that has some pretty dang nice largemouth bass.  We must load the canoe in my dad’s old pick up to fish here.  Unfortunately, the truck won’t start without being jumped.  I jumped it at mom’s house then the deal was that when we finished fishing we’d call and she’d drive to the lake to jump us again to get home.  That’s a cool mom if you ask me.

 

It’s wet around NH this spring and our weather looks shaky for the ten days we’re here.  That being said today wasn’t too bad but the signs of big rains are everywhere.  As we launched the canoe I spotted many of these red-spotted newts in the shallows.

 

 

We weren’t on the lake more than fifteen minutes when we were attacked by black flies.  While I’ve seen them much worse they were more than uncomfortable.  I can deal but Granny, like most women was getting hammered far worse than I.  She wanted to leave ASAP but I made a deal with her to fight it out for two hours.  She called my mother for a 2 PM pick up which gave us enough time to try some of my favorite spots.

 

 

The fishing was slow.  No doubt the cool spring has delayed fishing conditions.  Most of my lily pad areas had none at all indicting it’s too cold.  We scraped out only one small largemouth on the popper.

 

The wind kicked up strong at 1:30 making it hard to control the canoe for fishing.  We didn’t mind so much only because it lessened the impact of black flies.  I rarely catch smallmouth bass on this lake but Granny boated this handsome chunk of bronze.

 

Mom arrived promptly at 2 PM.  We loaded up and returned to camp and relaxed a few hours.  Tonight we took the canoe downtown to meet mom and my sister at Nolan’s for dinner.  I had Granny hold my 6-weight Winston and we trolled a flash Kreelex fly for landlocked salmon down deep on my Sonar Uniform Sink fly line.  Granny got rocked and after an insane fight landed this rainbow.  This is the first rainbow trout I’ve seen caught on Lake Winnipesaukee in my life.  They must be stocking them.

 

I’ll be back on the water with my sister early tomorrow as the weather looks good tomorrow for popping for smallies.  Stay tuned. . . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Rainy Day Smallies

I sleep out on the porch at the cottage and have since I was a kid. There’s some great sounds such as the loons at night and the song birds in the wee hours of the morning. At 2 AM this morning however the sound was of rain.

 

 

We had heavy rain and wind right up until about 6 AM. Prior to the storm I planned to take Granny on Lake Winnipesaukee at 5 to toss poppers for smallmouth bass but with the rain we didn’t exactly jump out of bed early. Instead we slept till 6 then sipped coffee until 7. The rain subsided quite a bit during coffee hour so at 7 we bailed out the canoe and went for it.

 

 

 

It wasn’t exactly comfy out there on the water and at first the bass were nowhere to be found. It’s been a cold spring in New Hampshire and the warmwater fly fishing is behind schedule. Smallies love hovering off rocky shelves and sunken hollow logs but most the places I know were dead.

 

 

 

 

After about two hours on the water Granny suggested we call it but I hadn’t touched my most reliable fishing spot yet. Sure enough a nice smallmouth was waiting. He sipped my popper smoother than a big rainbow on a small dry fly and when I sunk the hook he was instantly airborne.

In the last 15 minutes or so I stuck three nice smallmouths all on the popper. I’m certain we could have carried on and caught more but Granny was done and we have some plans today. In February we put my dad in a nursing home and this afternoon was my first visit to see him there.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Back to the Old Stomping Grounds of NH

When I promised the blog was about to spice up after my last speaking gig of the winter season back in late March, I was serious.  Since April 5th I’ve been home a mere seven days and traveling and fishing the rest.  After Baja Granny and I spent two days home then I traveled cross country to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and Lake Winnipesaukee.

 

We’re here to visit the family, do a little warmwater fly fishing and relax at the family cottage on the lake.  We didn’t get out fishing right away by any means today but after purchasing groceries and fishing licenses we were on our way.  Because Sunday isn’t a school day, my companion was my ten-year-old niece, Sierra.

 

Sierra has her own fly rod that I got her several years ago.  She’s pretty proficient with her little 7-foot pink outfit and she went to work on the local sunfish population.  I rigged her up with a Chernobyl ant and she twitched the edges of newly growing weed beds and caught about a half a dozen bluegill and a half a dozen pumpkinseeds.

 

Fly fishing for the smaller sunfish species with top water is one of my favorite pastimes.  No doubt, its these small cooperative fish that helped me develop my basic skills of fly fishing.  There will be plenty more sunfish days to come this week along with some of the larger species like smallmouth and largemouth bass.

 

We ended day one with a kick ass barbeque with mom and some friends.  There’s a store here in Wolfeboro that sells delicious kabobs of about whatever meat you want.  Kabobs and Redhook ESB beer and this vacation is underway!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Heavy Wind Blows Final Day Away

The last day of Baja 2017 (unless I return in Dec) was a full one but a bust.  The wind cranked in our face all day from the beach and we saw one roosterfish and no jacks.  Granny will have to come back for her first roosterfish.  In general, major fish were slim pickings.  We got two roosters and two jacks.  At least this Pacific jack crevalle from last night was as big as some GT’s!

 

Overall it was a fantastic trip but next in line is a trip to NH mainly to see family.  Next weekend is Moms 75th birthday and it will be good to check in and see how dad’s doing.  I can promise some days in Back Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee and plenty of warmwater fishes.

 

And, its official, my annual Henry’s Fork Marathon will be Tuesday June 20th, the second longest day of the year.  We will meet in the Last Chance parking lot at 7 AM.  Or if you want some campfire time Granny and I will be camped in the gravel pits on Monday night at around 8 PM.  Everyone is welcome to join on this fun long day of fishing that will end around 11 PM Tuesday night with beer and good food at TroutHunter.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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