Archive | February, 2018

The Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show 2018

I’ll make this blog quick being my turn around from Indianapolis to leaving for California was less than 48 hours.  Furthermore, I’m driving through this leg of the tour because this trip entails speaking tonight at Tracy Fly Fishers presenting, “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum”.  Tomorrow I start the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show through the weekend.  Then, next Tuesday night I will be delivering “Fly Fishing in the Presence of a Man Eater” to the Fresno Fly Fishers.

 

Regardless of the fact that the 2018 speaking tour has no doubt caught up with me I’m excited to start up in CA tonight.  Here are my seminar and demonstration times for this weekend at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show.

See you there!

 

Friday

11:30 – Authors Booth

2:00 – Release Room – “Fly Fishing for Carp – A 20lb Fish near Home”

4:15 – Inside Pond – “Fly Casting 101”

Saturday

10:15 – Inside Pond – “Fly Casting 101”

3:00 – Release Room – “Streamer Tricks for More and Larger Trout”

4:30 – Authors Booth

Sunday

 

1:30 – Release Room – “Warmwater Fly Fishing – Bass, Pike, Carp & More”

2:30 – Outside Pond – “Casting in the Wind and the Double Haul”

3:30 – Authors Booth

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

More than Half Way Through the Tour!

Most of the events that I deliver my presentations at are specifically fly fishing shows and clubs.  But annually I speak at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Expo.  Its massive exposition with everything from boats and RV’s to hunting and fishing.

 

Though the show brings me in to do fly fishing seminars, fly fishing is a very small part of the show.  95% of the fishing visitors come to let their kid catch a trout from the indoor pond or learn about gear fishing for bass and jigging for walleye.  Here my talks are shadowed by the tournament pros.  This weekend included Kevin Vandam and Gerald Swindle.

 

Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do a winter speaking tour at a bunch of major sport shows.  They’re so big I get lost.  However, I enjoy doing Indianapolis.  The folks of the Midwest are always a pleasure to meet and I enjoy catching a few of these big-time guys speak between my own gigs.  But hands down, my favorite part of this weekend is watching the dog leaping contest.

 

I had a nice dinner last night with Indiana native and college pal Dave Kittaka.  Then was in my hotel just in time to catch the Indiana city landscape sunset.  I say there’s never a bad sunset.

 

I caught an early flight home today.  I’m glad I did because there were weather hang-ups all the way.  I got home two hours late but am now guaranteed for a cherished night in my own bed.  More importantly, enough time to get ready to leave again Wednesday to start my California tour.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show 2018

My show break is over and today I’m on the way to the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show.  This is not one of the “Fly Fishing Shows” I usually do.  This one has some fly fishing stores and manufacturers but is a more standard Sport Show with boats, trucks, hunting dogs and some big time bass and walleye fishing legends including Kevin Vandam.

 

My schedule for the weekend is as follows:

 

Saturday

11 – At the Blue Ribbon Pavilion – “Fly Fishing for Carp”

2:30 – At the Blue Ribbon Pavilion – “Four Seasons of the Yellowstone Trout Bum”

5 – At the Blue Ribbon Pavilion – “Improve Your Fishing Photography”

Sunday

11 – At the Blue Ribbon Pavilion – “Improve Your Fishing Photography”

2 – At the Blue Ribbon Pavilion – “Fly Fishing for Carp”

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Tip-up Ice Fishing for Northern Pike

For years I’ve been the only one to get up and ice fish on Sunday on this annual Wisconsin ice fishing trip.  I get out with the guides till around noon then we meet the others at the Pea Patch Bar for burgers and hours of pool shooting followed by dice games at Little Bohemia.  But today Larry joined me and the guides for exactly two hours of tip-up fishing for pike.

 

The location we fish Sunday morning is a walk and we don’t bring the ice shelters.  Once again the temperature was well below zero.  Two hours would be plenty.

 

Larry and I landed five northern pike on tip-ups.  The action was on.  The flags popped at least ten times.  I think with the cold weather the pike aren’t exactly crushing the minnows.  The tip-ups were set off several times where the minnow was fine and hardly any line got pulled off.  But the five we caught were fun fish all in the 20” to 25” size.

 

 

The pool shooting and dice games were fun as usual.  I learned how to play pool in my Ashland days up at Northland College and I must say the skill has come in handy over the years.  I even won in dice for the first year ever.

 

Today was my last day fishing until I hit Pyramid Lake on March 1.  That’s a long time for me to wait but its back to my show schedule.  Tomorrow its fly home and recover from this fun trip.  Then on Friday I’ll fly to Indianapolis to speak at the Indianapolis Boat and Travel Show over the weekend.  I’ve spoken here the last three years and am very much looking forward to it again.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Ice Fishing Wisconsin 2018

Our annual ice fishing trip to the Great Northwood’s of Wisconsin has two other purposes beyond the fishing.  Have a good time and eat well.  Our incredible host George Hillenbrand treats us to the best of the best when it comes to food.  Regardless of the feast last night, before heading to the freezing cold ice fishing grounds, our first move of the day was to gorge on a massive breakfast.

 

We returned to the same black crappie waters that we fished yesterday.  Last night ended slow but we had hopes that the morning bite would be on again.  Indeed it was but it was half what it was yesterday.  We each landed a crappie or two but then that was it.

 

Around noon when it was time for Joe Pestka to whip up our fresh fish lunch we were a bit leaner than yesterday on crappie to cook.  Not to worry.  Joe’s ice shack kitchen has plenty of alternatives including bacon and French fries.

 

Joe cooked up about ten pounds of bacon and fries to go with our fish.  It was a treat.  Undoubtedly, when I get home starts with a huge hike, ski or biking!

 

The afternoon continued slow.  We moved to a new spot and at first that didn’t produce.  George, Rick and Dave headed back to the Chippewa Retreat while John, Larry and I continued to jig.  It was so cold that I gave up my outside chair to jig inside one of our heated tents.  At 4 PM, as if a switch went on, the crappies arrived.  In the last half hour we landed about 20 black crappies.

 

Patience is always a key in fishing.  We had a slow day but made up for it in the last 30 minutes.  It was an amazing sunset in the north of Wisconsin.  The sun doesn’t get very far up in the horizon here but the days are lengthening fast.

 

We’re just back from yet another epic meal.  Tonight we hit another Manitowish Waters favorite, Little Bohemia.  Dinner and deserts were outstanding!  We have one more day on the ice.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Crappie Fishing Through the Ice

Friends and I woke up to the Great Northwoods of Wisconsin this morning to begin our annual three days of ice fishing.  The thermometer read an invigorating -17 below zero.  Back in my college days up in Ashland, Wisconsin, -30 hardly made me flinch.  These days I’m smarter.  After we read the temps we lollygagged through breakfast at Chippewa Retreat and it wasn’t until 9 that we drove to the frozen lake.

 

The beauty of this trip is we have guides.  Our friend George who hosts us on this trip annually hires three guides, Joe Pestka, James Pestka and Brett Jolly.  These guides aren’t just guides but over the years have become terrific friends.  When we arrived at the lake they already had holes drilled, ice shack with full kitchen rigged and jigging tents all up with heaters running.

 

Usually we fish tip-ups for northern pike but today was a full-on pursuit of black crappie.  When ice fishing for crappie we use tiny rods with 4lb mono.  Each angler is allowed three lines so each of us balanced two rods with minnows on a Joe creation while jigging tiny spoons or jigs on the third rod.

 

I love jigging through the ice for panfish.  Although it was still -10 I decided against fishing inside the tents and found a snug spot against the ice shack in the sun and actually got quite comfortable.  I had a beer and a cigar and soon the stresses of my busy speaking/show tour were long forgotten.

 

When we first arrived the crappie bite was on.  All of us dropped the jigs down and hooked up.  We each landed about four of the handsome panfish. Then as fast as the action started it stopped.  The crappie schools were gone and replaced by tiny perch that were more of a hassle than fun.

 

In my fly fishing life, I’m a catch and release guy.  But when it comes to catching crappie through the ice I enjoy the harvest.  As soon as the action slowed Joe filleted the crappies and at noon sharp we were gorging on one of the tastiest freshwater fish I know.  Early this morning they were alive and swimming.  At noon they were a mouthwatering lunch!

 

Although we continued our jigging efforts, the afternoon produced a mere couple more crappies.  Crappie can be this way.  They’re a schooling fish and once they leave the area it can be for good.  Shortly after 4 when the thermometer began to plummet with the dropping sun we headed in.

 

Day one was successful thanks to the morning bite.  We enjoyed a beer at the White Oak Grill at Chippewa Retreat then headed to one of our favorite Manitowish restaurants, Smokey’s.  We ate enough that we probably could’ve slept on the ice in light sleeping bags without ever getting cold.  George treated us to a true feast.  I can hardly move as I rest my head.  Back after it tomorrow.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Return to the Hardwater’s of Wisconsin

Several friends laugh at me for going to Wisconsin every February for a few days of ice fishing, but honestly, this is one of my favorite trips of the year.  I’m certain there’s a few of you readers scratching your head as well thinking, “This guy fly fishes all over the world.  How can ice fishing in Wisconsin be so great?”

 

First of all, this is an annual event going back at least 15 years.  My Jackson Hole friend Rick Schreiber and I go as guests of our friend George Hillenbrand.  George once hired Rick and I as his fishing/tour guides for his trips to Jackson, Wyoming.  We became great friends and now George includes us on a trip a year ice fishing at Chippewa Retreats in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.

 

Furthermore, I’ve always enjoyed ice fishing since my childhood winters growing up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Then I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.  Hands down, four years in Northern Wisconsin treated me to some of the best ice fishing on the planet.

 

In those four college years I learned a ton about the feeding habits of numerous warmwater species ranging from Northern pike to walleye.  It doesn’t matter if you learn a fish through ice fishing or open water, the knowledge I gained helped make me a better fly fisherman.

 

I love coming to Wisconsin.  It brings back fond memories of college and all the great ice fishing trips Rick and I have had with George and his crew.  And the folks of Wisconsin are down to earth fun to be with people.  I am pumped to be back

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Home Sweet Idaho

I’m not home often these days.  It’s weird.  It wasn’t planned this way.  It just sort of happened – a career in fly fishing that includes an annual show/speaking tour then months of fishing and travel.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything but at times I miss my home in Victor, Idaho.

 

I’m amidst and entire week home.  The stopover is all about catching up on stuff and getting ready for the next run of travels.  One of the main things I catch up on is my art.  This week included painting this fine permit caught in Belize on Christmas day 2017. (A week after I was there suffering through brutal weather and no permit!).

 

On Thursday I’ll begin life on the road again, only it doesn’t start with work.  Friday I’ll be ice fishing around Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.  This is an annual trip with friends to my old stomping grounds in the Great Northwood’s.  I love it up there and I love this trip more than most.

 

Northern pike, perch, walleye, crappie, bluegills and perhaps a musky – look out!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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