Archive | August, 2017

Fly Fishing for Tarpon in Costa Rica

I apologize in advance for the limited photos.  Sometimes when working on a filming project there’s little time to grab my own camera.

 

I arrived in Costa Rica this morning at 7 AM.  Hard to believe Granny and I woke up in the back of the Explorer yesterday at Blackfoot Reservoir to the sound of a loon.  I was absolutely knackered from lack of sleep because I stayed awake almost all-night during my flights writing Tuesdays carp blog and catching up on other things before heading off the grid.

 

After going through customs, I met up with one of the others from our crew, Dylan Rose.  Dylan and I had a driver waiting for us and for the next five hours we traveled in a car northward to Jungle Tarpon Reserve.  We made a couple food stops and arrived at 2 PM.

 

At the lodge we were greeted by Grant Wiswell, the filmmaker behind “Atlanticus” (a film about the passion of fly fishing for tarpon), and Tom Enderlin, the founder of Jungle Tarpon Reserve.  Grant and Tom had a few days together to organize what needs to be done for the shoot we’re doing.  So you know, “Atlanticus” will be one of the films for the FT3 film tour starting in January 2018.

 

Grant has been working on “Atlanticus” for three years.  Most Fly Fishing Film Tour fans have no idea the amount of work that goes into these short movie presentations but I can tell you, to produce a good one takes a ton of heart and soul.  Grant has filmed for his tarpon movie in the Key’s, Mexico, Panama, Gabon and this will be the second shoot here in Costa Rica.  I hope to catch a nice fish for the film however most of the fishing parts have been shot.  I’m here mainly to be interviewed about my tarpon experiences.

 

Tom Enderlin is a well-traveled hardcore fly angler.  He’s lived in the US, parts of Europe and mostly in Costa Rica.  He presently lives full time in Costa Rica and spends the entire tarpon season (August to December) running his fishing program here at Jungle Tarpon Reserve.  His fishing program is three years old and they have plenty of success with big river tarpon.

 

You may remember I mentioned you don’t sleep much on these film shoots.  I meant it.  By 2:30 we were in the boats off to chase tarpon for the big screen.  The hunt started with a 45-minute boat ride downstream on a twisting river with banks intertwined in rainforest then cattle ranches.  Along the way Grant gave us the rundown on the plans for filming.

 

We arrived at a classic jungle river pool nicknamed “The Arena”.  The river appears muddy but is actually much clearer than it looks.  It wasn’t more than a few minutes when the first tarpon rolled.

 

Costa Rica tarpon fly fishing is done with 12-weight rods – period.  This tiny Central American country holds gigantic fish.  Tarpon of 150lbs are common and you could hook a 200lber any day.  The unique thing here at Jungle Tarpon Reserve is how small the rivers are.  Imagine hooking a 200lb fish in a river the size of your home trout river!

 

As usual, squeezing afternoon fishing in upon arrival wasn’t successful.  But I’ll always do the same fishing routine because although we didn’t catch a fish, we’ve worked out the bugs.  I have an idea what to expect tomorrow and my gear is rigged and ready.

 

It was a long boat ride home because it was straight upstream and through a major thunderstorm and torrential rainstorm.  Luckily, when we returned to the lodge in black dark, cold and wet, a dinner of fresh jaguar guapote was waiting.  Jaguar guapote is a beautiful fish that alive reminds me of a black crappie.  It’s been years since I caught one myself but hopefully I’ll catch one to show on the blog in the next few days.

 

Until tomorrow. . . .

 

A special thanks to Grant Wiswell and Castaway Films for inviting me along and to Jungle Tarpon Reserve and Tarponville for making our visit possible!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Tarpon Fishing in Costa Rica

August  30, 2017

Back in April I got a call from fly fishing filmmaker Grant Wiswell, producer of Castaway Films.  He wanted to know if I’d be willing to do an interview for his upcoming tarpon film, “Atlanticus”.  I’m always thrilled for these types of jobs and honored to be asked.  Grants next question was if we should do it at my house in Idaho or “On Location”.  You know where I chose!

 

The original “On Location” was the Republic of the Congo.  Getting into the Congo is always sketchy and unfortunately we couldn’t obtain our proper filming VISAs and permits.  That trip has been postponed.  However, Grant made a quick adjustment and during the next four days we’ll be filming in Costa Rica.  Our first two days are at Jungle Tarpon Reserve and the last two are at Tarponville.  Both places look to provide mind blowing tarpon fishing!

 

I had little time to research for this trip but I know how to pack for the jungle and have plenty of tarpon experience.  I knew the gear to pack.  This includes three 12-weight Winston’s armed with Bauer RX7’s and 6’s and a variety of Scientific Angler lines.  It’s been almost exactly 25 years since I was last in Costa Rica.  This should be an incredible adventure.

 

I seriously doubt there will be internet access on this trip but as always, the day by day accounts of our fishing will post upon my return.  This ride should be sensational!

 

A special thanks to Grant Wiswell and Castaway Films for inviting me and Jungle Tarpon Reserve and Tarponville for making our visit possible!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Help YETI Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

I’m not much to pay attention to the news.  To me it’s seems like it’s always bad or propaganda crap or even as Trump says, “Fake News”.  But when catastrophes happen I hear about them.  I’m just in the door from a few days of carping and am now well informed about Hurricane Harvey.  My heart goes out to the folks of Texas especially those on and near the coast and all other victims in this terrible storms path.

 

What’s wonderful however is what one of the companies I represent is doing to help.  Even better, because of them we can all help.  YETI will be donating 100% of all online purchases this Friday September 1st.  If you’ve been waiting to treat yourself to the best coolers in the world or to some of their amazing accessories such as the Rambler or Rambler Colster, Friday is the time.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Back to Blackfoot Reservoir for More Carp

I’m leaving the country again on Wednesday.  This time for Costa Rica to be a guest angler for Castaway Films latest project – “Atlanticus”.  Should be incredible.  The one thing I like to do before an intense film shoot is relax with Granny.  I picked her up from work Monday night and drove for two hours back to our camp on Blackfoot Reservoir.  We listened to the victorious Cubs the entire way on my XM and arrived to this dazzling sunset.

 

Everything was looking peachy until I was unpacking the Explorer and noticed I didn’t screw the lid tight on our water jug.  Oops!!  We had a gallon of water soaked into our sleeping bags and mattress in the back of the truck.  When you look at the folks suffering in Texas this was a laugher that thanks to the fire we were able to fix anyhow.

 

You don’t get much sleep on these film projects so I’m building some sleep stock.  Granny and I didn’t crawl from the back of the Explorer until nearly 8 AM.  It was a gorgeous partly cloudy day.  With temps predicted to be 88° a few clouds were welcome despite the need to see the carp to do well.

 

The clouds were thin enough we could still see the carp.  Blackfoot is slightly off color most of the time even at its best anyhow.  The technique I use most often to find Blackfoot carp is to see puffs of mud coming up from the bottom created by carp feeding.  This was happening big time.  So much so I could see the puffs from my lawn chair while drinking my coffee.  Along with the puffs was this gorgeous western leopard frog hopping through camp.

 

Any form of crayfish fly pattern is a good choice for carp.  In fact, Blackfoot has a ton of big trout in its waters as well.  They too eat a crayfish any chance they get.  The first fish I caught was this plump 15” rainbow.

 

While the rainbow was welcome my focus was more tuned for a 25” to 35” mirror carp.  I switched my fly to a heavier bonefish type fly that sank down into the puffs of mud quicker.  I cast to a bunch muds before I finally connected.  I believe carp have a tough time seeing the fly when buried in those muds.  You just keep trying until finally you hit one in the nose.  When I did there was no question I had a carp by the awesome backing pealing run.

 

This here is an average Blackfoot Reservoir mirror carp.   I’ll estimate him at around 12lbs.  There are plenty of fish up to 25lbs and I’ve taken a few closer to 30 but never confirmed this with a scale.  Regardless of all that – these fish are huge!

 

While normally Granny fishes with me, she’s suffering from a pulled muscle in her back.  Fighting a monster carp would surely make it worse.  However, the glassy conditions created by not a wink of wind was too hard for her to ignore.  She took over fishing in front of camp and hooked another rainbow.  A rainbow isn’t a quarter the fight of a carp yet the fish caused her new pain anyhow.  This would be Granny’s one time fishing all day.

 

I ended up landing only three carp all day.  I fished hard and conditions were perfect.  But fly fishing for carp is challenging and no matter how much you know about fooling them, somedays they simply don’t come easy.  Twenty years ago I’d have been very happy with three carp on the fly in a day.  And I’d have been ecstatic to have caught one the size of this last one I caught this afternoon!

 

 

 

After releasing that last carp there was plenty of time for more fishing.  However, at 6 PM the Cubs game started so we took for our chairs and had a pleasant cocktail hour.  Remember, the idea was to relax not fish myself into oblivion like I often do.

 

Naturally around 9 when it was time to prepare dinner a storm brewed.  One of the things about Blackfoot Reservoir is that the weather is unpredictable.  Be sure to be prepared for rain and cold at any time of year.  Lucky for us we only experienced light rain but the wind was horrendous.  Worth the trade however for the amazing skies.

 

The journey towards monster tarpon in the Costa Rican jungle starts tomorrow. . . . Stay tuned!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Total Carp Eclipse

August 22, 2017

 

It was early to bed early to rise after the Total Solar Eclipse yesterday.  Then today Granny and I took the family to Blackfoot Reservoir for a night of camping and carping.  For years this annual camping trip has steered up the Gros Ventre River but I felt it was time for my nieces and nephew to see what a big fish looks like.

 

It was the usual, a beautiful August day.  There was hardly a cloud in the sky.  The temperatures hovered in the high 80°s all day.  It was perfect for carp however the past few days must have been windy at Blackfoot Reservoir.  The water was extremely off color and it was impossible to see the fish or even their feeding mud trails.  Our only option was to fish blind and hope.

 

The kids have their own fly rods.  Ely has a colorful 71/2’ blue rod and the girls have the same in pink.  But these rods have no chance conquering the pull of a Blackfoot mirror carp.  This meant I provided the gear.  Because I was essentially guiding four kids (it ended up only three because my 15 year old niece wasn’t into it), I was a bit nervous having four Winston rods rigged.  Instead our arsenal included only two Winston’s, a 5- and 6-weight along with a spin rod.  I thought the spin rod would be great for them but instead they tangled the line beyond repair.  I guess this was their way of saying. “We don’t like spin fishing Uncle Jeff!”

 

Carping with the fly can be slow and in no time Ely dropped out.  It was just the girls, 10 year old Sierra and 13 year old Montana.  They both have a life history of never giving up when it comes to fishing.  Hours went by without a bite.

 

But then, as it always does, it happened.  Who cares if I was the one casting and stripping, the girls were wading by my side when the small carp struck.  I handed the rod to the nearest niece which happened to be Montana.  The fight was on.

 

If you haven’t caught a carp on fly yet I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.  The fish species snobs are really missing out.  It took the girls a mere 15 seconds to ask “Why don’t we always fish for carp Uncle Jeff?  This fish is huge!”  After about five minutes of coaching I stepped from the water and asked Sierra to help Montana land the carp so the mirror carp could be their prize together.

 

The young ladies would fish together deep into the evening.  I let them do their thing which included falling in the mud and undoing tangles.  But you need to learn some things on your own.

 

We adults settled into our camp chairs and beers just fine.  My brother enjoys his campfires so he tended it with the same enthusiasm I have walking a saltwater flat.  We ended the great day with a feast.

 

 

August 23

 

I sprung from the back of our explorer early this morning.  I was surprised to see thick clouds and rain to the south of us.  Knowing my family was leaving after breakfast I prepared some early morning coffee then woke Sierra and Montana for fishing.

 

More surprising than the rain were the trout feeding voraciously on emerging Callibaetis.  I quickly rigged a size 6 Grand Hopper like it was an indicator and put a gray Hare’s Ear Nymph three feet below and stripped them at a snail’s pace.  I stuck a couple and handed the rod to the girls but they never got one all the way in.  Then out of the blue, a monster mirror carp ate the Grand Hopper!

 

I like handing over the rod to the kids but it took me a half a second to realize the kids were no match for this fish.  My fly line sizzled off the reel fast followed by 50 feet of backing.  So fast I had to slap myself – where am I?  Then it was all I could do to hoist and turn this beast back towards shore.

 

The kids were asking for my Winston.  Sierra had waited so patiently to reel in a carp like her cousin Montana did last night.  But I made a decision – this fish had to be landed so the kids could see what a big carp looked like.  We were running out of time.  I kept the rod and told Sierra she was in charge of grabbing the golden fish and carrying him up the beach when the time came.

 

From my hopper to my nymph was 3X Scientific Anglers Flouro but to my Grand Hopper was 0X.  0X is amazing stuff and it was time to put the heat on Mr. Mirror.  In less than five minutes on my 5-weight Boron III I had the giant carp grounded on his side.  One nice thing about Sierra – when you ask her to do something she gets it done!

 

I made the right choice being sure to get this hefty carp in rather than let the kids have at it.  No doubt they were in awe that such fish exist in Idaho.  After some fantastic photos the kids up righted the carp in the shallows and gave him a nudge.  Seconds later all three were doused by the rooster tail the massive carp left on his return to Blackfoot Reservoir.

 

It was mission accomplished.  The kids got to see a spectacular creature they are sure never to forget.  After the family left Granny and I hoped to fish ourselves but the rain came and that’s useless for sight fishing carp.  We headed home.

 

I’m not sure if I’ll get out again this week.  As usual, I be packing.  Next week I’ll head for Costa Rica to be part of an amazing Castaway Films project titled – Atlanticus.  Stay tuned for what is sure to be another action filled week of blogs!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Total Solar Eclipse from Victor, Idaho

The hype for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse started in 2014 here in the land of the Grand TetonsTeton Valley Idaho and Jackson Hole Wyoming were in the path of 100% totality.  All hotels within 100 miles were booked three years in advance.  Locals were renting their homes for ungodly amounts of money.  No doubt we were to be inundated by millions of people for this once in a zillion year event.

 

Well good news folks – millions of people didn’t come to Teton Valley. Sure, it was busy.  But isn’t it always busy in August?

 

Of course, with all the buildup businesses were prepared for the onslaught of people.  Some of the restaurants here in Victor, Idaho limited their menus.  This messed up my dinner plans with family one night.  And much worse, greedy gas station owners jacked up their price .40 more cents per gallon.

 

Regardless of how many people really came to Victor for the Total Solar Eclipse, Granny and I were prepared for possible challenges.  Our gas tanks were full and we had plenty of food and beer to enjoy the phenomenon.  Best of all we had my brother and sister and their families.

 

 

Though my brother suggested we watch from the Gros Ventre months back, Granny and I kept the family right here on the property of downtown Victor.  This way we wouldn’t have to deal with traffic had there been millions of people.  Plus we wanted to celebrate.  And when it comes to celebrating there’s no place like home.

 

The actual Solar Eclipse started in Victor at 10:16 AM.  To be honest, I thought I knew exactly what to expect and so did most people I talked to.  The thing is though, I’ve never been through one of these nor had anyone I talked with.  The experience was quite different.

 

First of all, when the eclipse started I expected it to begin to get dark.  Instead the light change was hardly noticeable even though you could easily see the moon blocking out the sun.  I’d say it didn’t start to become darker until at least half the sun was blocked.

 

When ¾ of the sun was blocked, it still was by no means dark, but there was a strange light across Teton Valley.  It wasn’t like going into sunset like I anticipated.  The lighting was just plain bizarre and photos don’t accurately tell the story.

 

When we were five minutes from totality is when it finally got darker.  It’s plain and simple – you had to be here.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

 

At 11:34 AM the totality occurred for more than two minutes.  I’ve seen and experienced many things around the world but I promise you, the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse completely blew my mind!

 

The moon was wholly and perfectly blocking the sun.  There was the glimmering white glow around the dark circle.  As you stared in utter awe you began to notice some planets as bright as in the night sky and then the stars.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and nor could anyone else.  All bird life went silent and cheers echoed throughout the valley.  Once again, unexplainable.

 

The last insane unexpected thing that happened was the drop in temperature.  Victor went from 80° to 60° in less than five minutes.  Then it took at least an hour before the heat came back.  Getting cold makes total sense but putting on a sweatshirt at noon never crossed my mind.

 

I made sure to be home for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.  My smartest move in a long time.  I know everyone around the US experienced this marvel, but if you weren’t in the 100% totality zone you missed out.  Once again, this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Pine River in Michigan

Dave Barkman and his wife Amy started D-Loop Outfitters in 2012 based in the heart of Michigan’s Manistee National Forest.  Their business includes the comfortable lodging we’ve used the last few days, a fully stocked fly shop and a guide service permitted to guide the waters and forests of the area.

 

Dave guided this area many years before D-Loop became his own business.  Terry Wittorp has known Dave since his early guiding days and they’ve become excellent friends.  Today Dave took the day off to take us fishing down one of Michigan’s treasured trout waters, the Pine River.

 

Originally the Pine River was a tributary to the Manistee River where we’ve been smallmouth bass fishing the last two days.  Now a reservoir separates the two.  Above the reservoir the Pine River is considered a top trout fishery.  We launched Dave’s drift boat around 10 AM and pushed off and drifted under the highway.

 

It’s truly a spectacular little river.  Where we started was scarcely wide enough to maneuver the drift boat and there was barely enough room for a back cast.  Most of this upper river gets fished by wade fishers and casual kayakers and canoers with spin rods and lures.  Gradually the Pine widens enough to dig the oars and hold a boat.

 

Dave told us before we even left for the river, “The Pine is either on or it’s not.  There’s no in between.”  Well, wouldn’t you know, we hit the Pine when it was off.  Other than one small rainbow and a few of these colorful little brownies our trout fishing wasn’t happening.

 

But when I’m fishing, every outing brings a little of the unexpected.  First of all, Terry caught a largemouth bassDave has never caught a largemouth on the trout fishing section of the Pine.

 

The next odd occurrence, Dave sees about one pike a year on this section.  Sure enough, I tossed into the perfect brown trout lie only to stick a pike.  With no steel leader this was like yesterday, try to gently lead the toothy critter into the net before he knows he’s hooked.  We succeeded and this turned out to be one of the prettiest northern pike I can recall.

 

The fishing my not have been great but it was another fabulous day.  There’s certain places I fish on this earth that I know I’ll return to – the Pine River is one of them.  Not only is this river one of the most beautiful but I can see the potential for some huge wild brown trout.

 

It’s been a wonderful four days here in the Midwest.  A very special thanks to Terry Wittorp who made this all happen.  Now it’s time to head home and hunker down for the long awaited solar eclipse.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Worlds Ugliest Pike Wins the Day

We got smart today up here in the Manistee River Country.  One of the guys bought nine thick juicy steaks along with potatoes and veggies for our dinner tonight in case we get off the river late.  Last night we limped through no open restaurants when we got off.  There’s no way we hungry fishermen could do it again.

 

We launched the boats half way through the stretch we floated yesterday on the Manistee River and pulled out about three miles below where we pulled out last night.  Though our fishing was by no means red hot yesterday, smallmouth are moody fish.  I compare them to brown trout.  Just because yesterday was a slow day doesn’t mean today will be.

 

One of the guys, Don, was so confident he tossed out a bet of $50 per boat for biggest and most fish.  All species counted.  After the shuttles were complete our three boats pushed off casting hard in hopes to win a little cash.  Two hours in, we had the first meeting of the minds because no more than a few tiny smallmouth bass were landed.

 

Fishing was tough again.  Perhaps it’s the beautiful weather.  Maybe it’s the August doldrums.  Slow fishing happens on every river in the world.  Best plan of all is to keep right on a casting.  That we did and I pulled in the first “chunker” smallie for our boat of 14”.

 

Our three boats hung together most of the morning.  Andy, Jeff and Don were team Amish Trout.  Amish Trout is actually Andy’s Fly Fishing Outfitting business based out of IndianaCheck out his website and you won’t believe some of the fishing he offers.  These guys caught on fire and soon had eight fish to our four including a 14 incher to tie our big one.

 

Watching the Amish boys tear it up lit a fire under me.  At first that didn’t help much.  Somehow even fishing behind us they continued to rack up numbers.  They got it up to ten fish to our four.  That’s when I punted and put on one of my all-time favorite trout flies, the Red Winged Chernobyl.  The first bank I twitched it down put this perfect specimen 16” smallie in the net.

 

Terry, Steve and I began to rack up some numbers of our own.  While most the smallies we caught were only 10-13” – they counted – and honestly, on the topwater flies – any 10-13” fish are a ball no matter the species.

 

Soon our boat had 13 fish and numbers wise we were only a couple behind the Amish boys.  Our third boat was far behind.  But, each boat now had a 16” smallie so big fish title was up for grabs again.  As evening set upon us Terry and Steve worked off the front of the boat with the biggest bass poppers they had in their box.  I fished from the back of the boat with my standard two streamer rig.  We were in search of that big fish.

 

My point streamer was a size 4 copper and gold flashy Kreelex.  I had hopes that the flash might attract a hook up with a steelhead or salmon.  I knew a 30” steelhead would win big fish with ease – if I could land it.  But out of the weeds came a pike.  With no steel leader landing this toothy fish seemed grim.  But my 0X SA Flouro withstood the short battle.  Instead of a glamorous salmonid, I posed with the ugliest pike in the world!

 

That long ugly pike won big fish.  It was a laugher for sure.  And we tied Amish boys with 17 fish in each boat.  Big fish put us over and Terry, Steve and I took the money.  The small wager among friends made for a fun day.  We pulled the boats out at 9:30 PM and headed back to the D Loop cabins for an amazing dinner.

 

We ate steak and sipped good wine until 1 AM.  When with friends, going to bed on time is always hard because it’s so fun hanging out.  I got some exciting news tonight as well.  Dave Barkman, owner of D Loop Outfitters offered to take Terry and I to a float down the Pine River.  The Pine is a top trout river in Michigan.  I’m looking forward to this amazing treat!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Smallmouth Fishing the Manistee River

The Manistee River in Michigan is likely best known for its steelhead and salmon fishing.  But the rage of fly fishing for smallmouth bass is flowing strong throughout the Midwest.  To many, the Manistee River is king for smallies.

 

After giving my full day seminar yesterday down in South Bend, Indiana, Terry Wittorp and I and seven friends drove straight north to Wellston, Michigan.  We spent last night here in the comfy cabins of D Loop Outfitters and today we floated on the Manistee River.

 

Along with all the goods for yesterday’s seminar I packed my Winston Boron III Plus 5- and 6-weight rods along with a small box of smallie flies.  Although a Clouser minnow nearly guarantees a smallmouth bass under any conditions, I couldn’t wait to tie on a Ben Byng hard bodied popper.

 

With nine of us this was a three-boat trip.  The scene reminded me of the end of the year party I have with my old boys of Grand Teton Fly Fishing on the Wind River in Thermopolis each November.  We had heaps of beer and food and one common goal beyond the fishing – have a great time.  After some organizing and a massive breakfast we pushed off around 10 AM.

 

To describe the Manistee River as beautiful is an understatement.  Compared to a western trout river the Manistee is slow moving and its banks are covered with hardwood trees and flowers.  Its edges have rows of aquatic weeds and there are sunken logs throughout.  This gorgeous river provides perfect habitat for smallmouth bass.

 

We had huge expectations but fishing started slow.  I racked up three tiny largemouth bass (unusual on this stretch) and between all three boats only about three less than average sized smallmouths caught before noon.  It was a head scratcher trying to crack the code with different colored poppers and streamers.  I stuck to my druthers and kept my same popper popping.

 

Finally, I dropped my fly in the right spots and picked up a couple decent smallies up to 14”.  Terry’s friend Steve nailed a nice one of his own.  It was good to have some action but clearly the guys were surprised not to find a few bigger fish.  Then, despite the flurry of hungry bass, the Manistee smallies turned completely off and not a fish could be found.

 

I’ve learned there’s a universal move anglers make when fishing is slow whether in the Yellowstone Country, a saltwater destination or here in Michigan.  If guys are truly about having fun – you take a break and eat, drink and have a laugh together.  When things didn’t pick up much by 3 PM we anchored the boats side by side and crushed a few tasty Michigan brews and delicious snacks and shared some stories.

 

Late afternoon turned to evening and everyone got serious.  This is when big fish generally happen whether its trout, pike, crappie or in today’s case, we were hoping it would be smallmouth bass.  Here the evening light lingers and the scenery on the Manistee came to life.

 

Terry, who rowed much of the day, took the front of the boat and went to work with one of his own green poppers.  I stuck with the popper but downsized it to a size 8.  No doubt the bite returned and we each picked up a few small smallies.

 

The highlight of the day came around 8:30 PM with the last glimmer of sun squeezing light through the trees.  It was a great looking spot and Terry’s and my poppers weren’t six feet apart gurgling along a deep bank.  His got slammed hard and he went tight.  As I watched his hook up unfold the same happen to me.  A couple minutes later we were posing with double trouble!

 

You should know by now for me it’s not how many big fish I catch but rather how much fun I had with the people I’m with.  My first adventure on the Manistee River was a fine one.  We ended up pulling the boats out in the pitch dark after 10 PM.

 

We were starving and craving that “after fishing all day burger”, but all restaurants and bars in Wellston were closed. It’s Sunday night.  Instead we returned to our D Loop cabins and ate tomorrow’s lunch snacks.  Terry opened a couple bottles of good wine. It’s now a little after midnight and time for bed.  Tomorrow it’s back on the Manistee.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Full Day of Fun for St. Joe River Valley Fly Fishers

John T. Law photo

It was a fun day down in South Bend, Indiana delivering a full day fly fishing seminar for the St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers.  The weather was beautiful.  There were a few clouds but hardly any wind and a comfortable temperature of 80°.  We had a wide variety of students ranging from beginners and intermediates to men, ladies and kids.

 

John T. Law photo

The day began by entertaining the 40 students for 45 minutes with “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum”.  This PowerPoint presentation always gets the blood flowing.  I needed it.  We began at 9 AM sharp which for me was like 7 AM.  From there we headed outside where I gave my “Fly Casting 101” casting demonstration.

 

John T. Law photo

When I give full day seminars everyone brings a fly rod.  After my demo about 30 of my students spread out on the lawn and worked on their casts.  Some of my students already know the basics so they helped me work with the group.  I’m pleased to say everyone had the basic overhead cast and false cast down wonderfully.

 

John T. Law photo

The organizer for the big event and longtime friend, Terry Wittorp, had the grill going while I was teaching.  At noon sharp the bell rang and we reeled in the casting class for a scrumptious pork tenderloin lunch.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is that most fly fishing clubs do it up right at the meetings that I speak at.

 

After lunch I broke into knot tying class.  I’m always amazed how much folks enjoy this.  Even the intermediate and advanced anglers like knots because I teach how to rig two flies.  While many have a way of doing this I think the way I teach it works best.

 

My full day seminars generally include five presentations.  After knots I demonstrated “Tricks for Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul” then went back inside for one more PowerPoint presentation.  I like to blow everyone out of their seats with “Fly Fishing Through Midlife Heaven” to end the day.  Beginners especially can’t believe all the amazing species and destinations there are out there in the world.  Today I showed pics from Tanzania, India, Sudan, Guyana and a few polar bear and Arctic char photos from last week up at Ungava Bay.

 

John T. Law photo

After I finished Terry and I along with seven other club members headed north – north to Wellston, Michigan where we’ll smallmouth bass fish on the Manistee River.  We stopped along the way at the famous Barski’s Restaurant and Bar for burgers in Baldwin.

 

Keep on movin.  Life in the fast lane is fun!

 

If you need a guest speaker at your club contact me for a full day seminar or a one-night presentation.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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