Archive | June, 2017

Art to be done & Travel to Prepare for

The blog shouldn’t go dead in summertime but I fish in bursts and I work in bursts.  Since my Henry’s Fork Marathon I’ve been glued to my artwork catching up on several big projects.  This giant trevally Sharpie art will be used on the new FlyCastaway Seychelles T-shirts.  I also did a bonefish crushing a crab fly for their St Brandon’s T-shirts.  I take care of my South African friends because they always take care of me when I’m on the other side of the world.


I’ve also been busy drawing up fly boxes.  During the winter months I take orders at the shows and from my website.  The problem is, folks that ordered in April or later had to wait months for their boxes because since April 5th I’ve barely been in the country.  Luckily everyone was patient and now their boxes are done including this mustache triggerfish for Jarod.


I did a lot of boxes but two others were new for me.   First this Atlantic salmon on a black box.  I’ve done plenty on the yellow Cliff boxes but the black boxes are a new thing and they look sharp.  This one is for my friend Ingo of Icelandic Fly Fisherman.  If you read the blog you know Ingo because I’ve had two incredible trips to Iceland with Ingo (2014 & 2016).


Last, I need to show off this false albacore.  This is a gift so I won’t mention who it’s for.  I’ve painted several fat Alberts over the years and even did one in pastel but this is the first time I drew one on a Cliff Box.


I’m packing to leave the country next week.  Stay tuned!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Henry’s Fork Marathon 2017

Nick Kelley/Yeti Photo

The longest day of the year shouldn’t be wasted.  A great way to spend it is fishing.  For more than 25 years I’ve managed to spend it walking more than 12 miles over a 14 hour period through the planets most fabled and beautiful dry fly water, the Railroad Ranch (Harriman) of the Henry’s Fork.


My long day of fishing has taken on the name “The Henry’s Fork Marathon” (Marathon 2016) and gradually old friends and new friends have started joining me.  This year we had twelve of us including photographer Nick Kelley.  Nick was here not only to enjoy the day but shoot a photo essay for Yeti, a company I’m very proud to be an ambassador for.


For me my Marathon starts waking with Granny from the back of my Explorer at around 5 AM in the gravel pits on the lower reaches of the Ranch.  Some of the recognizable peaks are catching the first rays of sun and the birds are going off like an orchestra.


It takes Granny and I a few minutes to right ourselves after the evenings campfire party but once organized we migrate to the Last Chance parking lot for coffee and breakfast.  That first hour of daylight from 6 till 7 is relaxing.  Also, a reunion takes place as friends I haven’t seen in a while arrive to do the same.


We used to leave the Last Chance lot at 7 AM sharp.  Now that my life is in the second half, I have a much more relaxed approach.  After visiting with friends and today, even a morning beer to celebrate the start, we didn’t leave for the river until almost 8.



It’s a busy time in the Ranch and this year more so than others.  We had massive snow pack in the Yellowstone Country and most rivers aren’t ready to fish yet.  The Henry’s Fork is one of the largest spring creeks and its clear water is ready.  Despite the crowd, everyone respects one another and their space.


The Ranch opened less than a week ago.  This was my first trip in.  Things are green here and the flowers are overwhelming.  I get as excited for this day as I do chasing exotic fish anywhere in the world.


It didn’t take long to find rising fish.  In fact we skipped a few at the top of the Ranch near the parking lot simply to put some miles down.  A true Henry’s Fork Marathon entails walking all the way to the Osborne Bridge on Highway 20.


There were lots of Pale Morning Duns on the water.  Mixed in were caddis and the occasional Green Drake.  There were all forms from duns to spinners to cripples.  I like to force feed fish with a good presentation and a parachute Adams.  Most of the others match the hatch while a couple veterans go right for the juggler with an ant or beetle.


Everyone’s strategy worked.  During that first hour nearly all of us hooked up.  These big rainbows aren’t easy to land so despite the hook ups only three came to hand.  This was a nice one by Josh (Sicket) Gallivan.






Things got slow after the short morning hatch.  It was a hot one on the Ranch.  Temperatures were predicted for 83° but it felt hotter to all of us.  Not a problem though.  We all had cold beers in our backpacks.


Nick Kelley/Yeti photo

And this day isn’t just about the fishing.  It’s a get together with friends.  We had more than one beer session on the banks of the Henry’s Fork.  I smoked a cigar.  At 2 PM it was so hot we all submerged in the river to the top of our waders to cool off.


Even when it’s hot and there are few bugs on the water you keep a watchful eye for the nose of a rising rainbow.  Trout are like people.  If a good snack finds its way on to a plate we’re going to eat it.  On the Ranch there’s always the likelihood that some type of insect will float by and the trout is going to eat it.  If you’re watching the water it’s an opportunity to locate a fish.  Jack, our New Zealand guest for the Marathon, spotted this beautiful rainbow while sipping an IPA.


Most of us tagged the Osborne Bridge at 3 PM.  I say most because not everyone that started the Marathon made it here.  It’s the halfway point and it’s already 6 miles of walking and fishing.  It may not sound like a feat but the terrain is rugged.  Many of us hadn’t landed a decent fish yet at this time.  We joked that it was time to get serious and off we went.


Mother Nature tossed us a hurdle between 4 and 6 PM.  It had been not only hot but also a relatively calm day.  Calmness in the afternoon is an unusual circumstance on the Ranch and we cherished it.  But ominous clouds moved in and brought some heavy wind and threats of rain.


Nick Kelley/Yeti photo

The rain came on hard at 4:30.  There were rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightening.  Granny and I are well armed with Simms rain jackets but lightening scares me.  Fortunately this storm never grew to this size they often do on the Henry’s Fork.


By 8 PM, 12 hours into the longest fishing day of the year, a rainbow reflected on Bonefish Flats of the Ranch.  If you’re a serious angler but never experienced fishing sunset on Harriman’s then you’re missing out.  Its nights like tonight that will have me coming here till the day I can’t.


Nick Kelley/Yeti photo

Sure enough with the tremendous evening light came the caddis hatch and a spattering of brown drakes.  The insects were enough to bring up the rainbows.  The river was dead calm and rings from rises could be seen in every direction.  It took me some time but eventually I landed a fish.


Nick Kelley/Yeti photo

I didn’t exactly tear up the fish tonight despite risers in every direction.  The one I caught was only about 16”.  That’s a great trout most places but on the Henry’s the bar is high.  I went from this trout on a hunt for a monster for Nick’s camera.  I hooked one and had eats from two others but didn’t get the job done.  I guess I used up my fish god credits in Portugal last week!


The 2017 Marathon is in the books.  The day took place exactly on the Solstice making this one special.  The days started getting shorter at exactly 10:24 PM.  I was just getting out of my waders while enjoying the after sunset lightshow that we get nearly every night on the Henry’s Fork.


Nick Kelley/Yeti photo

I’m exhausted but it’s been a great one.  Today will probably be my best trout fishing day of the year.  If you enjoyed reading this then perhaps you should join me next year.  I’ll announce the date by April 2018.  It’s usually the Tuesday either on the Solstice or after.  Everyone is invited.


Time for the final event – burgers and beer at the TroutHunter!  Life is tough!


A special thanks to Yeti and Nick Kelley for some of these incredible photos!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Celebration of Life and Fishing on the Henry’s Fork

Being home for a change is the greatest thing in the world.  For me it’s like vacation from vacations.  And best of all its Henry’s Fork time and the best dry fly fishing of the year.


It’s also when I spend time with some of my longtime friends.  Many of my Henry’s Fork pals are much older then I, ranging from their early 70’s to late 80’s.  They’re amazing people that still enjoy the troutbum life and living out of their trucks.


Unfortunately each winter it seems one of our ole Henry’s Forkers passes away.  This year two did and last night we had a celebrations on the banks of the river for them.  One friend, Bob Jones was in his 80’s and one of the nicest people you could ever meet.  Friend Brad Smith was only in his 60’s.  Many of you met Bradly when you shopped at the Grub Stake for a sandwich or a drink right there in Last Chance on the Henry’s Fork.  Bradly and his wife Dionne own it.


The famous Railroad Ranch opened to fishing today.  Instead of fishing Granny and I left camp at 5 AM to get home.  Granny had to work in Jackson and for me, after being gone nearly since March, I have catching up to do on many things.


It’s important for me to get everything done because Tuesday is my annual Henry’s Fork Marathon.  I hope to see you there in the Last Chance parking lot at 7 am for the longest day of fishing of the year!  All are invited!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Team USA Fly Fishing Takes Home the Bronze

It was a magnificent day in Covilha, Portugal.  Team USA Masters Fly Fishing Team takes home the bronze medal.  We’ll be flying all the way home tomorrow with the medals proudly around our necks.

Raising the flag with the National Anthem playing for us – unreal feeling.

My highlight was to win a World Championship Medal for Joe Humphreys.  His first.

The trophy!

It’s going to be a nice flight home with this around my neck.

Next report will be from the Henry’s Fork.

My Henry’s Fork Marathon will be Tuesday June 20th.  Everyone is invited.  Meet at the Last Chance Parking lot at 7 AM.  Hope to see you there!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Time to Turn Up the Heat – Flyfishing World Championships

It was already a hot day at 5:30 AM when the alarm went off.  That’s perfect because it was time to turn up the heat.  Team USA was in 3rd place with three teams tight on our tail.  One blank, bad score or bad luck could move us out of medal contention.  This was an unacceptable thought in my mind.  To me it would be like going to Guyana and not catching an arapaima.  We have two members on this team that have never won a medal on the world stage.  Our Captain, Joe Humphreys at 88 years old and our long-time manager and angler, Jay Buchner at 70.  It was time to get it done.


I wasn’t particularly happy with my contribution to the team on day one.  I scored excellent on my lake session 2 but session 1 was one to forget.  In my heart, it was my duty to make up for it.  And good news, I had the morning beat on the upper Zezere River and the afternoon on the lower Zezere River.  I’d put my river fishing skills against anyone in the world and now I had my chance.


I drew beat 2.  A slow moving, crystal clear 500 meter run of the tiny upper river.  According to my research, this beat produced twelve fish in session 1 two days ago.  I wasn’t sure about session 2.  But that didn’t matter.  Somewhere in these 500 meters there were twelve fish that had been caught and I had to assume a few more as well that weren’t caught.  I had to vacuum this place.  Before the gun even went off I set my goal high.  I was going land fifteen fish or die.


Armed with my Winston 4-weight Air and my Mastery DT line, I crouched to the ground and attacked my beat.  The way I do it is I lean on my net with my left side and make very short casts with my right.  I literally keep less than a foot of fly line out the rod tip.  My leader is 9’ to the dropper and another three to my point fly.  My flies were a Yellow PMX size 10 on the point and a size 12 Elk Caddis on the dropper.  These gorgeous browns are small so when a fish takes my fly I don’t fight them.  Fighting them only increases the likelihood of losing them.  Instead, my short line and leader system allows me to lift back with the rod on the hookset and keep on going.  The result, the fish in the net in less than one second!


Imagine this fishing tactic and crawling (crawling in order not to spook a single fish) up a river for three hours.  It’s painful on a guy in his 50’s.  My back ached, my knees throbbed and my shins bruised.  But if there’s fish to catch, and there were plenty, you catch almost everyone.  I caught twenty-five brown trout all on the system described above and won the beat.  I scored what Team USA desperately needed – a perfect “1”!




Lunch started good.  How could it not?  I was feeling fantastic about my score and in my brain envisioned Team USA moving to second place.  Sadly, halfway through my plate of oversized sardines I got news that Jay blanked on the big lake.  And while Mike scored well with a “3”, Scott was in the middle of his group.  Ugh I thought.  Disaster.  Sure enough, instead of moving up we dropped to 4th.


I wasn’t feeling too confident for the team after lunch.  My mind calculated what needed to be done to move back up in the standings.  I’m an angler not a mathematician and I could only gather one thought – win again – this time on my lower Zezere River session 4.


My 500 meters of lower Zezere were deep and slow.  The piece of water was quite intimidating to be sincere.  My controller was a local man with an amazing smile but not a word of English.  I couldn’t tell if he was trying to tell me my beat stunk or was great.  It didn’t matter either way.  I had to make it a great or Team USA wouldn’t medal for sure.




During the next three hours I felt no pain despite crawling and wading up to my neck in the river.  There was no pain because I found plenty of brown trout.  When you compete in the world champs there’s no time for photos so I’ll keep this short.  I caught twenty-three browns and won again.  The closest angler to me was the Spaniard with seventeen.  Bam!  If my teammates had good session 4’s also we should be back in this.


The tournament was over now and all I could do was wait for my teammates results.  My group of competitors and I were bussed back to the hotel.  Jerry, Joe and Mike were waiting.  They hugged me because they already knew I had two perfect scores today.  Mike scored well in his session 4 with a “2” and it came down to how Jay and Scott did on their lake session 4’s.




The lakes are a long way away so it wasn’t until 9 PM that we heard the rumble of the busses returning.  We left our beers at the bar and ran outside.  We could hear Scotts voice echoing loud amongst his fellow competitors.  Humans talk quiet when they fail.  Scott scored an impressive “2”.


Holly cow we were close.  I was nervous waiting for Jay to come off his bus.  But he had a smile and he was twisting the ends of his cowboy mustache.  Looks promising I thought.  Sure enough, Jay scored a “4” but more importantly, his Spaniard had an awful session and scored a “7”.


We had a chance.  Without a shower or even shoving our gear in our hotel rooms we waited at the bar for the final results of the Worlds Masters Fly Fishing Championships.  At 10 PM they came.  Team Italy – gold medals.  Team France – silver medals.  AND TEAM USA – BRONZE MEDALS!!


There was a bit more to party over as well.  I was declared the individual bronze medalist.  Two medals around my neck in the World Championships – how freaking cool was that?  But wouldn’t you know.  My triumph only lasted until about 11 PM when the organizers broke the news of a miscalculation.  I was dropped to 4th overall by one placing point.  That means I needed one more fish or if I caught one 3 cm longer fish.


My drop to 4th bummed out my team more than it did me.  Sure, I’d love to be getting two medals on the big stage tomorrow but honestly, I didn’t think a team medal was possible on the plane ride over here.  But here we are.  All is good.


Tomorrow I’ll end the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships report with photos from the podium.  This is an awesome day for the USA.  And its time to ice the knees and party all night!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Day 1 of the Worlds Masters Fly Fishing Championships

Day 1 of the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships here in Covilha, Portugal yanked me and my teammates out of bed at 5:30 AM this morning. It was official competition time and Mike and I each had two lake beats and Jay and Scott were headed to the Zezere River. All fishing is done from an assigned area from the bank. Even on the lakes. The assigned area is a random draw so you have no idea where you’re actually going in advance.

The way the scoring works in the Worlds is this: Each team has four members. Competition consists of four three hour sessions – two on lakes and two on rivers. Each team member is assigned a letter – A, B, C or D. I’m D and today I competed in two sessions against all the other “D” folks from other teams. Meanwhile my three team members fished against their matching letters from other teams.

In order to score a fish he must be 20 cm long. It’s best to catch lots of fish rather than a couple big ones. There are eight teams so scores after each session range from 1-8. One being the best you can score and eight the worst. The idea is to have the fewest points at the end. So, if you win your session amongst your group you score a 1. If you’re second you score a 2 and third scores a 3 and so on. If you’re the big looser you score a horrible 8! Or if you don’t catch a single fish, even if half your group doesn’t catch a single fish, you and they score an 8. The bottom line is you absolutely must not blank in a session because if you score an 8 its hurts the team terribly.

The team with the least amount of points in the end wins and the angler with the least amount of points wins the individual. This is an Olympic style event so winners receive medals with grand champs receiving gold. It’s an incredibly challenging yet fun event. And I can tell you, I competed against many of these Europeans back in the day and some are the best anglers in the world.

After the early wake up we consumed breakfast as a team then split up on buses and took off to our first venue. I drew the big lake Comprida first, the one I feared after I saw it the first day here in Portugal. Without any chance to fish it or information to study the lake beforehand, this session was a total punt.

I was prepared for anything a lake may present me with. I had a 4-weight dry fly rod rigged, a 5-weight double nymph rod and on my 6-weight I had my Stillwater Intermediate fly line and a long leader with three flies. I had a heavy bead head olive wooly bugger on the point. My second dropper was a lighter black bugger and my top dropper was a tiny unweighted tan minnow pattern.

When the gun went off at 9 AM the games began. I had three hours to hammer as many fish as possible. On a big scary lake like this you dream of catching that first. Time management of tactics is critical. My plan was 15 minutes with the dry fly. If I had no success then try the nymphs then start the casting and stripping with the Intermediate line. After I saw the Scotsman catch two quick fish on his Intermediate line off in the distance ten minutes in, I put away the dries early and grabbed my 6-weight. Paying attention to what others are doing is essential.

It didn’t take long for me to catch that first fish on the Intermediate. It’s a wonderful feeling to get him to net. My controller (judge) ran down to the edge of the lake and took what appeared to be a stocked rainbow from me. He measured then released it. Then I initialed the sheet with the time and length of my fish.

I was back at it hard within seconds. Ten minutes later I had my second. It was a thrill because the Finland angler on my left on beat 6 and from what I could see, the Italian on beat 7 and the Portuguese angler on beat 8 remained fishless.

At 10 AM the gun went off to signal a switch. The way they do the lake is every hour you move up three beats. I went from beat 5 to 8. I got unfortunate news during the switch. Beat 8 produced 0 fish. However, the Scotsman on beat 4 that I could see caught four. And beats I couldn’t see (1, 2 and 3) had plenty of stocked trout and the anglers that had the lucky draws caught well over five fish each. I was already far behind.

At 10:30 the gun went off and I fished beat 8 for an hour. I knew it produced nothing but fished it just as if it did. Miraculously during my hour I scraped up a fish putting me at a total of 3. At 11:30 the gun went off and I moved from beat 8 to beat 3.

Beat 3 produced ok from 9 to 10 AM with four fish. From 10:30 to 11:30 it only produced one. Fish get smart and like on beat 8 I had a serious challenge. My end result from noon to 1 PM would be one more fish.

Total up my fish from all three hours and it was a mere four. I drew a tough one not getting a chance in beats 1-3 early on. The end results for all competitors in the session were totals of 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4 and 1. Unfortunately my four fish were smaller than the other competitor with four and my final score for session 1 was a miserable “7”.

This wasn’t a good way to start the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships. But I always tell myself that when you draw for positions four different times expect one bad, one good and two that are average. I my mind my bad one was in the rearview mirror and I had to do better in my next three sessions.

We boarded the bus around 1:30 PM and drove an hour to session 2 which was the other lake – Lake Rossim. We had lunch at a bar with beer and wine. This is a fun event and I made sure not to stress over my bad start. It was hot and sunny and I tuned up my gear for Lake Rossim and enjoyed the sun. At 4 PM session two began.

Lake Rossim was fished in the morning by all the “A” competitors. Word of mouth spread news of how each beat fished in the morning. I started on beat 7 then on to 2 and I finished on beat 5. Rumor had it that beat 7 was horrible and beat 5 was excellent with 2 being average. Before things started I felt like I had a bad rotation again. But I told myself it is what it is and fished my heart out.

The difference between this morning’s Lake Comprida session vs this afternoons Lake Rossim session was that this afternoon I had some rising fish. Dry flies are my specialty and despite my unlucky rotation, I was able to prevail. During the three hours I landed thirteen fish and scored a superb “2”.

I could breathe again after session 2. The “2” score not only brought my individual score back to a respectable number but it also helped Team USA mightily. When back to the hotel at 10 PM (LONG DAY!) I quickly learned Team USA was in 3rd place.

The team was carried today by Mike. He scored a “3” and a “4”. Scott was second best with a “4” and a “5” then me then Jay. Honestly, we are lucky to be where we are after three of us doing mediocre at best. We need to do better on Friday during sessions 3 and 4 because 4th – 6th place teams are only a few fish behind us in 3rd place.

Tomorrow is a rest day. We may go on a tour but I think its best we stay back and strategize for Friday so we can hang on to at least the bronze medal. Stay tuned!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Official Practice at the World Masters Flyfishing Championships

The competition hotel we moved into after fishing yesterday is spectacular, Luna Hotel dos Carqueijais.  The newly built accommodation sits so high up on the side of a mountain you can get dizzy drinking your coffee let alone a few beers after fishing because below the balcony is such a drop.  It’s really cool the places I’ve gotten to stay at in Europe over the years thanks to taking part in the World Fly Fishing Championships.


Today was official practice day.  Its practice for anglers that want a free bus ride to a practice water venue.  It’s also a chance for the hosts of this great event to test their logistics to see if they can get us on the busses and to the place without a hitch.  Team USA and several other teams fished the practice lake and everything worked out ok.


The lake was up top of the mountain that the hotel is built on.  At the hotel it was about 75° and calm.  Up top at the lake was about 50° along with cold wind.  None of us were prepared for the plummeting temps so we hid behind rocks to break the wind while we set up our rods.  We were miserable.


The fishing was fun but the fish we caught were less than glamorous.  We caught about six small rainbows all of which were recently stocked.  It’s too bad because after some research this lake has some monster resident brown trout I’d rather have seen.  Their probably down deep eating these rainbows!


We used our afternoon to sort through our gear and make final preparations for tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the first two beats of official competition of the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships here in Covilha, Portugal.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing in Portugal – World Championships 2017

Today was the first day of the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships here in Covilha, Portugal. This is a weeklong event so the break down is like this: today opening ceremonies – tomorrow official practice – Wednesday official competition Day 1 – Thursday relaxation day – Friday official competition Day 2 and Saturday the award ceremony and event closing dinner.

The opening ceremony was scheduled late today giving us time for some morning fishing. Me and the team headed out for three hours to the practice section of the upper Zezere River. Not only was this nice to get the gear out and organized but also to have an actual look at what’s hatching on the river with a fly rod in hand.

While I was rigging my new 4-weight Winston Air I spotted some stonefly shucks on some of the rocks. During further examination I stumbled into an adult stonefly hiding under a rock. He’s remarkably similar to our golden stones back home so I tied on a yellow Parachute Madam X.

As I mentioned yesterday, the trout here are mostly a unique strain of brown trout nick named the “zebra browns”. I’ve fished them twice before – in Spain in 2003 and again here in Portugal in 2006. What I remember most is how incredibly small and wild and how spooky they are. Hands down, my best success came from literally crawling up the river on my hands and knees casting straight upstream so they couldn’t see me.

Because it was just practice, today I didn’t try any crawling. Those crawling days I mention were 20 years back. Its gonna hurt when I have to do it in the competition later this week so I saved the body for now. Instead I watched the other guys crawl. This was fun for me but unfortunately there still were very few fish caught.

After the three hours of four of us fishing, a mere five zebra browns were caught. Mike caught all of them while Joe, Scott, Jay and I got blanked. Good thing it wasn’t tournament!

I’m not worried. I casted from stand-up position and spent most my time observing and preparing my plan of attack for when my time comes. I saw several of those stoneflies scurry across the river and made note of that. I also caught a bunch of chubs reminding me that during tournament I need to up the size of my flies in order not to be burdened with a fish that doesn’t score for me.

Tonight all Teams and competitors kicked off the Worlds with a parade through the streets of Covilha. The parade is similar to in the real Olympics where teams wear their uniforms and carry their flag. It was a blast and my first chance to catch up with my European friends from other teams.

Should be a good tournament. Stay tuned for more!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Team USA Masters Arrive in Portugal

I arrived at the Luna Hotel here in Covilha, Portugal late last night.  I’m here to fish for Team USA in the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships.  The event starts tomorrow so I probably should have arranged to arrive here a few days sooner to practice but as you know I was enjoying New Hampshire with family.


My teammates are Capt. Jerry Arnold, Coach Joe Humphreys and anglers Jay Buchner, Scott Robertson and Mike Sexton.  With the exception of Mike, we all fished the Masters last year in Ireland.  We came close to a medal but not quite with a 5th place finish.  This year we hope to do better.


Scott and Jay have been here practicing.  Over an early breakfast they gave the team the run down on the weeks fishing tactics.  Overall their fishing hasn’t been good.  This is likely due to an intense heatwave but also, the practice waters have had a ton of pressure.  Many of the nearby European countries have been here practicing.


The good news however is that the actual competition water has been closed for 60 days.  Perhaps the comp fishing will be good.  Instead of wasting time fishing practice water we drove around and looked at the competition water.  This region of Portugal is called Serra da Estrela stunningly beautiful.


The competition consists of two lake beats and two river beats.  In the morning we looked at the two lakes, Rossim and Comprida.  Rossim is a small and beautiful lake with rising trout all over.  I had no time to research this trip but it turns out I fished this lake in the 2006 Worlds.  I have full confidence our team will tear it up here.


Comprida on the other hand is a huge lake and there were no rising fish.  The guys saw a few trout swimming down deep but all I saw were European chubs.  Chubs don’t count in tournament and the bottom line is, Comprida could cause us some grief.


Both river beats are on the Rio Zezere.  There will be an upper river beat and lower.  We looked at both and I am stoked with the upper.  It’s a tiny crystal-clear creek and supports small spooky brown trout.  These are browns unique to this area and are found in Spain also and known as the Mediterranean zebra browns. I fished for them when I competed in 2003 where I won the individual bronze medal.  I should be able to kick butt here for the team and can’t wait for that session.


The lower Zezere River is much different.  This is big deep water with lots of stagnant pools and little current.  There’s also weeds everywhere and living amongst them are more chubs, dace and cool fish called the barbel.  Again, the guys spotted a trout from a bridge but I didn’t see any.  I suspect this section won’t be easy no matter how good you are.


The Worlds is always a great time.  I get to see my teammates.  We come from different states and don’t get to hang much.  Furthermore, I’ve made many European friends during my competition days and I get to see them as well.


Tonight, Jerry took us to dinner at one of the top steak restaurants in Covilha.  The fancy restaurant, Quinta da Amoreira, was one of those hole in the walls that was hard to find in the old part of town.  You guessed it, the steak was one of the best I’ve ever had in my life!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing