A Fresh Slice of an Old Favorite

by | Aug 17, 2019 | Snake River Cutthroat Trout

fish-wyomingOne of my favorite rivers has a canyon section I’ve always wanted to fish.  The hold back all these years was its rugged appearance with no obvious access points.  It seemed the only way to do it would be to take on the entire canyon from start to finish and I just never made the time.  Today I tackled the harsh piece of water with my visiting friend from South Africa, Garth Wellman.


Garth-Wellman-fishingGarth and I met nearly 20 years ago in Sweden.  He was competing for South Africa in the World Flyfishing Championships and I was on Team USA.  We hit it off and since fished together on Farquhar Atoll in the Seychelles and most recently in Gabon.  Garth’s had an open invitation to come and fish with me and this week he’s finally cashing in.  Today was day one of four.


At 10 AM I dropped Garth off at the bottom of the canyon then drove my car four miles up a dusty road to the top of the canyon.  Then I jogged back to him.  It took me about an hour to shuttle the car to the top then arrive back to Garth.  He was enjoying the first big run of the day and wasn’t disappointed.  When I returned he’d already landed his first Snake River Cutthroats and was smiling ear to ear!


Gros-Ventre-RiverSouth Africa has plenty of trout fishing.  You may remember I’ve fished there twice in the last year.  But where Garth lives in Johannesburg, most of his river fishing is for yellowfish.  The rivers are different and yellows act their own way.  As we proceeded up the canyon together I could see that Garth was in absolute heaven enjoying the unique fishing day.


cutthroat-troutI was in heaven too.  Here I was, finally on a piece of water that’s been a mystery to me.  The fish were crushing big dry flies and the scenery was to die for.  Furthermore, every time I fish in South Africa my friends there look after me so well it’s unreal.  It felt good to be returning the favor.


snake-river-cutthroatWhile the cutthroats were small, they were certainly plentiful.  After Garth landed more than a dozen, I broke out my 4-weight Pure and went to work myself.  I haven’t trout fished my home water enough this year and damn did it feel good.


fly-fishingThe best part about fishing new water for me is not knowing what’s around the next corner.  Every pool is different and I have no “pet” fish here.  We also didn’t know exactly how far or long it would take to get to the car.  I was thinking if it was a four mile drive the hike would be similar and we’d be done around 5.  But the terrain slowed us down as did the excellent fishing.  We got to my Exploder at 7 PM.  What a great fulfilling day.


fishingI’m twenty years young between the ears but my body aches tonight after today’s aggressive jog and hike of more than 8 miles.  It “hurts so good” but tomorrows plan will be much easier on the legs.  I’m taking Garth for a full day of dry fly fishing on Flat Creek.  I haven’t been in years and I’m as excited as Garth!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!