A Thousand Casts a Day Pays Off

by | Mar 11, 2022 | fly fishing for walleye

Columbia-RiverToday was the walleye fishing day on the Columbia River we were hoping for.  We woke up to sunshine and the warmest temps of the week.  It was at least mid-40°s at sunrise and it went up fast from there.  Though the clouds would move back in throughout the day, our high would reach 57°.


Granny-CurrierWe launched Mike LaSota’s boat from White Salmon at 10 AM and made a short jaunt upstream to where I caught the walleye Wednesday.  While Granny and Mike grabbed spin rods and jigged, I took the bow and went to work launching an extremely heavy two fly rig that consisted of a chartreuse weighted fly on the point and a brown Wooley bugger dropper.


Currier-smallmouth-bassI casted with confidence.  That’s saying something being we’ve caught one fish in two days.  But that’s the way I always fish.  Fishing is one of those things where miracles do happen.  Sure enough an hour in, as I stripped my rig along I felt a thump.  When I set there was a head shake, a tug and some weight.  From the 39 degree water came a lethargic but sizeable smallmouth bass.  No matter the fight, it was my first smallie of the year!



I’d continue to cast but with no more luck.  We saw a few fish on the fish finder but they wouldn’t eat.  It wasn’t a total blank however for the rest of the morning hours, Mike went tight on a Columbia River native and landed the predacious northern pikeminnow.  Pikeminnows are cool fish but unfortunately hated because the prey upon steelhead and salmon smolt.


sturgeonNoon passed by.  Then 12:30.  Then 1.  We nibbled on lunch.  I took a casting break and then realized I didn’t pack a single beer.  Mike got me a case of Stormbreaker and I sadly forgot to pack a couple.  I went back to work casting but nothing.  It was Mike that came tight again at around 3 PM.  His rod was in the holder and the drag started to scream.  We thought it was snagged.


white-sturgeonOnly he wasn’t snagged.  Mike felt some give and sure enough he had a fish on.  The rod was bent so deep that we knew right away he had a white sturgeon.  He went to work pumping the rod deeply and Granny grabbed the net.  Lucky for us it was a tiny one because Mike’s walleye rig is small and only rigged with 10lb test.


sturgeon-fishingMike knows how to fight a fish and Granny can work a net.  Before I reeled in they landed the modern day dinosaur. It turns out the sturgeon didn’t eat the jig at all but rather Mike snagged a mess of fishing line that the poor sturgeon was tangled in.  We quickly clipped the line away then Mike posed for a pic and we let the creature go.  A special situation where we released the fish back better off than it was to start.


Currier-walleye-flyfishingNext we moved.  As we were passing an area, Mike pointed out some rocks and told us about the smallies he catches during summer.  I was watching the fish finder and could see a nice drop off and suggested we give it a try for walleye.  It was a good move.  Though we didn’t see much on the fish finder we saw one fish.  My fly was deep at the time and lucky for us, the walleye ate and I landed him.  The picture doesn’t show it but this was a dandy of a walleye.  Especially on the fly!


sturgeonWhile my day was over after that walleye, Mike’s rod would hook up again.  And again it was resting in the rod holder.  This time we knew he had a fish because it took off.  Mike had another sturgeon and after a great battle we were snapping a few pics.  This guy was about 3 feet long.


Columbia-RiverWe worked hard to catch fish today but it was fun.  I’m used to working hard because many of the fish I target are tough to begin with.  Though my fish were awesome, I don’t get to set eyes on sturgeon very often.  Hands down, for me they were today’s highlight.


walleyeWe packed it in late.  We didn’t crank the boat on the trailer until after 6.  We returned to Mikes house and you guessed it, we had one heck of a walleye dinner!


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!