Back to the Rizzo River

by | Aug 20, 2019 | Fly Fishing

Teton-RiverIt’s been a really fun time fishing with my friend Garth Wellman of South Africa.  My venues have worked out.  Garth has seen a lot of country.  And the fishing has been superb.  To top off his four days we ended with a float down the Rizzo to meet some of the most challenging dry fly fishing Idaho has to offer.


fly-fishingI say challenging because the Rizzo is a spring creek with slow slow water.  Trout have nothing but time to study your fly and see the tippet.  Furthermore, these fish eat only the tiniest of insects – Pale Morning Duns, Trico’s and miniature flying black ants and beetles.  So it’s a tough one but the fish are strong and sometimes big so the reward is there.


fish-onAs I eased the boat downriver Garth went to work.  He’s never fished from a drift boat before so this part was all new.  But seeing finicky rising trout was not.  South Africa has its share of fine trout rivers.  Once Garth got used to casting from the boat he hooked up with his first fish of the day.


rainbow-troutThe first few fish of the day were spunky little rainbows.  These fish sip natural insects so gently you can’t believe how they come to life once hooked.  Rizzo River rainbows smoke you in an instant and then jump numerous times in an attempt to free the fly.


Garth-Wellman-fishingWhile we never hooked any massive rainbows, we caught a handful of these perfect little 14 inchers.  Garth was enjoying a bamboo rod made by a friend of his back in South Africa.  Bamboo is no match for the action of today’s modern technology fly rods but when you know how to cast them, they can be tremendous fun.  My man Garth was in absolute heaven once again!




bamboo-fly-rodIf you asked Garth before we left my house this morning what his “last day fishing goal” would be, hands down he’d say, “I’d like to catch one more nice cutthroat”.  The Rizzo has its share of natives and as we went downstream we got more into their territory.  Cutties like structure.  While the upper part of our float was open water, the lower part of our float has lots of trees and willows dipping in the river as well as undercut banks.


cutthroat-troutWe started hunting for subtle rises around these structures and sure enough they were there.  Best of all, cutthroats typically aren’t as fussy as the rainbows so once we found them we caught them.  Garth went on to catch not only one nice cutthroat but several.


Teton-River-IdahoWe rapped it up around 4 PM and returned to my house for a beer on the back porch to celebrate the day and the fact that we were able to get together this year.  We live so far apart that every time we say goodbye we realize it could be years before we fish together again.  At 6 PM a taxi retrieved Garth to take him back to Jackson to spend his last day here out west with his family.



photo by Nick Kelly

What a great four days it was.  It got me out and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Next in line it’s finally off to the Henry’s Fork only I won’t be doing the fishing.  I’m an instructor for the Advanced Dry Fly Class put on by the School of Trout.  This will take place Monday through Thursday.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

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!