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Another Yellow Permit in Mauritius

After my 5:30 coffee with Ben and Scott I wandered around the island hoping to find a Picasso triggerfish or perhaps get a cast to Indo permit to but no such luck.  It was a beautiful morning however.  A great day to catch a sunrise.

 

Today I matched up with Ben and we fished with Nick Isabelle.  I met Nick in December while fishing in Farquhar.  He’s a chill soft spoken South African that knows how to find fish.  We headed off only ten minutes from the lodge to begin the day in search of bonefish.

 

I picked up the camera this morning.  I’ve neglected my photography so I followed Ben and Nick the first hour with hopes to get some bonefishing shots.  I got some casting and stripping but wouldn’t you know, the bones were not cooperating.

 

Naturally, once I put my camera away and pulled out my Winston a big school of bonefish appeared.  I couldn’t resist the opportunity to double up with Ben.  The bones were easy and we both hooked up quick.

 

 

 

These two bonefish behaved badly and our lines crisscrossed not once but twice.  Both of us had to slack off the fish in order to untangle the mess before the backings cut one another leading to a lost fly line.  Unfortunately Bens bone came loose so I did my hero shot solo.

 

 

 

 

 

It was around 10 AM and Nick felt it was a good time for us to move down the flat to where the Indo-Pacific permit should arrive when the rush of water began with high tide.  The flat is basically a long finger with a deep channel on both sides.  The idea was for me to walk down the side near an old shipwreck and Ben would take the other.  Nick would man the middle keeping an eye if either of us needed help – hoping it would be help landing a permit!

 

Ben and I both worked our edge of the flat more like blue herons than anglers.  The flat wasn’t long so I’d take a few steps then just stare hoping to see a fish coming.  I saw a few bonefish but passed them up.  I was focused on catching a permit rather than scaring him because I was fighting a bonefish.  That’s about when Ben yelled, “I think I have a permit!”

 

Nick and I happened to be chatting when we heard Ben.  We thought it seemed weird that he was unsure of whether he had a permit or not but it turns out he cast to a couple of shapes down deep off the edge of his flat.  When he hooked up the fish turned and he saw the flash of yellow.  He was dead correct on his assumption and I broke out the good camera to catch the action.

 

Once again, permit fight hard.  This was another 7lb yellow permit that looked like a twin to Scott’s fish on the first day.  It took Ben a good ten minutes to yank this one from the deep water up the ledge onto the flat for the net.  Three efforts were made without success.  We were nervous until finally the permit came up tired enough for Nick to fit him into the net.

 

One can’t explain the beauty of these Indo-Pacific permit.  I’ve known of them for many years.  I knew exactly what they look like from pictures.  I’ve seen a few swimming but neither does justice for how spectacularly fine-looking they really are when they are right before your eyes.  We admired Bens yellow permit for a couple minutes before releasing.

 

I was pretty pumped as I headed back across the finger flat to get to my perch again.  I was ready for my permit.  Only I didn’t get there before Ben was hooked up again.  This time it was the pretty island trevally, or as many would say, the yellow dot.

 

The fish were finally around and it was my turn to get busy.  I stared down my flat and off my edge until finally I saw some action.  It was a ray and I started dreaming of an easy permit hanging off its back.  I waded within reach and indeed thought I saw a fish hovering below looking for an easy meal kicked up from the ray.  The best approach is land your fly on the ray and let it roll off the back.  Then strip.  I did just that and for a second I thought I had my permit.

 

I struck this fish so hard he nearly jumped.  When he thrashed on the surface I saw yellow in the tail but the tail shape was too small.  After a hellacious battle on the 9-weight I landed a hefty brassy trevally.  Not exactly what I was dreaming but anytime you catch a fish like this will put a smile on your face.

 

 

 

After I released the green spot we didn’t see much.  Other than a few scrappy oddball fish like spangled emperors and pompano, after our three fish run between noon and 2 the fishing came to a halt.  There were no complaints for us though.  Benny Boy nailed a permit and we had some excellent side catches mixed in.  We had a few celebratory beers tonight and enjoyed the stories around the dinner table.  Stay tuned for tomorrow!

 

Although this may not seem like an obtainable adventure – actually it is.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Two New Species from St Brandon’s Atoll

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

It was November while fishing a yellowfish river in Lesotho that Gerhard Laubscher asked me if I was available this coming April.  With most people you first ask, “Why?”, but with Gerhard, you just say “Yes”.  “Yes”, because with Gerhard chances are something good is brewing other than the coffee.

 

Being available in April was fortunate alright.  Gerhard had plans to head to his own FlyCastaway destination of St Brandon’s Atoll to see the opening week of the season and spend some time with his friends and guides.  I got the invite and here we are. Today Gerhard and I fished with guide Craig Richardson.

 

Lucky for me I’m pretty good friends with many of the FlyCastaway guides and it so happens that Craig Richardson spent last summer in my home town of Victor, Idaho.  I took him for his first trip on the Rizzo River and had the pleasure of watching him catch his first big cutthroat trout.

 

 

 

 

Both mornings so far started out looking like bad weather is coming.  Fortunately as the sun rises the clouds break up.  It was another mostly sunny day with 15 mph wind and hot temperatures between 85° and 90°.  We took a 45 minute boat ride to the first flat.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

This was another massive flat but upon arrival it was lower than Craig anticipated.  Low tide was at around 9 AM but this was so low there weren’t any fish yet.  We had to kick back and wait an hour before bothering to fish.  Once the slack between low and high ended in came the rush of water – exactly what bonefish love.

 

But it wasn’t a bonefish that came first.  We spent at least another hour looking for them before along came a lone fish.  The fish was colored like a bonefish from a distance but moved much differently.  More erratically.  As you know, different when it comes to fish always excites me.  It could be a new species for my list.  The fact that this fish was moving unpredictably meant I needed to move fast before the fish got out of range.

 

Off I went crossing the flat as fast as I could yet remaining stealthy at the same time.  Eventually I had to give the stealth part up or not get close enough for a cast.  So I ran and launched a sloppy 80-footer that luckily landed close enough.

 

Close enough is a loose statement.  For bonefish I’d have been too far off.  The fish however turned out to be the aggressive brassy trevally (Caranx papuensis), also known as the green spot trevally.  No doubt this fish heard the splat of my crab fly and ran there and found it.  Despite his size, the brassy gave a great fight running me three times in the backing.  I landed my first new species of the trip!

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

We thought the green spot was the start to good things to come.  I released the pretty fish and stood up for more.  But this flat was sparse of fish.  We walked slowly searching but it was another hour before the next fish came.  Patience always pays off though in fishing.  I landed this beautiful bonefish that St Brandon’s is famous for.

 

I was releasing the bone when Craig shouted here come goldens!  I spun around stripping line off my Bauer.  Sure enough there were twenty flashing tails.  They went down and we could see the school of fish moving quickly to the next grassy area.  Tails up again then gone again.  Just like the green spot and most trevally for that matter, the goldens feed erratically and there was no time to waste.  I jumped out of the gates in full sprint.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

It turns out there’s another trevally here that feeds and moves just like a golden trevally.  He has bluefin trevally-like fins, faint bars similar to the golden and yellow dots.  Craig yelled, “Yellow dots!”

 

I’ve never caught a yellow dot, better known as the island trevally (Carangoides orthogrammus) and I picked up the pace.  This school was fast moving and changed their travel direction completely at least five times sending me twisting and nearly falling several times.  There’s no doubt they were escaping when by pure luck they turned and charged me.  I landed my crab on the grass and first strip a yellow dot was on.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

The yellow dot was no slouch on the 9-weight Winston either.  He hesitated at first as if he didn’t know he was hooked.  It’s believed that they may not have much feeling in their proboscis mouth which helps them when snuffing out crabs but after I pulled for a few seconds it dawned on him that something was wrong.  Another wild trevally battle ensued before I landed my second new species of the day!

 

The full moon was two days ago and the tides are still fluctuating fast.  It wasn’t long after I landed the yellow dot when there was then too much water on the flat.  Gerhard and I picked up a couple more bonefish then watched for Indo-Pacific permit while Craig retrieved the boat.  We had no luck and by the time Craig returned it was time to move to the afternoon flats and search for permit.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

I mentioned yesterday that my permit luck could use a lift.  Gerhard and I chased permit with Craig all afternoon with only two legitimate shots.  The first was barely legit.  We saw a big permit while we were driving in the boat.  He was close and coming straight at us.  Craig cut the motor and I leapt over the side in thigh deep water with my 9-weight and yanked off line as fast as I could.  I made one of my better permit casts dropping my fly a foot in front of him but he sensed the boat and turned at the same time and that was my only shot.

 

Gerhard Laubscher/FlyCastaway photo

Two hours later after Craig and I walked together on one the favorite permit flats I had a second shot.  This one I wish I had over.  We were looking upwind only because of the angle of the light and spotted an aggressively feeding permit.  We could only see him when he tailed but that happened consistently about every 20 seconds or so.  Problem is each time I anticipated his next appearance I was wrong and never got a cast close to him.  I must admit, the wind shortened my cast more than it should have.

 

While my fishing was going on Gerhard was on another popular flat and never saw a single permit.  For some reason they simply aren’t around as much as they normally are here at St Brandon’s.  At 4 we headed back to the lodge.

While Gerhard and I had a less than average fishing day I was stoked with my two new species.  Better yet, the other guys in our group had superb bonefishing.  In fact, Ben landed this magnificent 9lb bonefish that makes his trip.

 

Although this may not seem like an obtainable adventure – actually it is.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing St Brandon’s Atoll

We had a nice evening around the lodge last night here at St Brandon’s Atoll.  There are four other anglers all from South Africa.  We had a yummy dinner and a few Phoenix Beers with them before retiring to bed.

 

This morning Ben, Scott and I got up before sunrise for coffee.  Then before breakfast I grabbed the camera and enjoyed the sights outside the room.  These are some curious white terns (often confused as fairy terns).

 

Hot breakfast comes out at 7 AM and after last bite you can make the short walk down to meet your guide.  I matched with Scott today and we were lacing up our Simms Flats Boots by 7:15.

 

I know most the guides here from fishing in the Seychelles and today I was with old friend Brendan Becker.  Brendan was with me for my first ever bumphead parrot on Farquhar in 2014.  We’ve also chased yellowfish together in Lesotho.

 

This is the first week of the two month long season at St Brandon’sFlyCastaway offers another season September-November.  The weather is perfect in mid-April.  The temperature runs about 85° with winds averaging 15 mph.  Skies today were mostly sunny which is essential for sight fishing the flats.  There’s one problem however.  We were warned a few days ago the flats are unusually warm due to lack of wind the last few months and an El Niño situation going on down this way as well.

 

We motored about 40 minutes to the south end of a massive flat named Julies.  It was miles long and I was out of the boat with my 9’ 8-weight Jungle Winston and hunting my first fish before Brendan had the anchor secured.  Scott hasn’t fished the flats in five years so I left him to kick things off with Brendan.  FlyCastaway guides are superb and Brendan went right to work to make sure Scott’s leader and fly were perfect.

 

St Brandon’s is rapidly being recognized as the finest bonefishing location on the planet.  It took me about five minutes to spot my first ghost of the flats.  He was a rascal to see as he was patrolling turtle grass.  I was persistent as usual and I nailed him quick.  Add my 59th country to my fishing list – Mauritius!

 

Brendan soon had Scott in the bonefish game as well.  They were plentiful.  Some travelled in schools and you only needed to get your fly near.  The individuals were more challenging and often bigger.  Over the first couple hours Scott and I nailed about ten each and doubled up several times.

 

We moved around through the morning to several different bonefish flats.  We caught more every spot we stopped.  To me these are quality bonefish – most bigger than the average fish in the Caribbean.  But to Brendan, today’s bonefish were smaller than what they are accustomed to catching here.  Our biggest was 5lbs and St Brandon’s usually produces a fish of 8lbs every session!

 

The incoming tide was kicking around lunch time.  The incoming is what brings in the Indo-Pacific permit which is a cunning fish I hope to catch this week.  We left the bonefish flats to move to prime permit areas around 1 PM.

 

When moving you keep watch.  There’s always a chance to see other fish such as when birds are diving or when you spot a big sting ray or even a large shark.  We saw a huge shark as we were running and stopped to find it was a massive 10-foot long plus tiger shark hunting sea turtles (one of their favorite foods).  Often times these sharks have a giant trevally hiding behind them so I made a cast.

 

Balancing on the bow of a skiff is never a problem for me.  But I must admit, doing it in the presence of a turtle-shell-crushing man-eater does make you wobbly.  The giant fish didn’t have a GT with him so instead, he decided to chase the fly.  I heard Scott and Brendan let out a squeal.

 

The tiger lit up meaning he went from a lazy black shape to a fast moving lighter colored monster fish, visibly flashing the stripes that earned him his name.  He put his huge face an inch behind my fly and followed.  Sadly he lost interest in what would have been a tiny meal for him.  Had he eaten I doubt I had any chance in hell to land him but damn it would have been fun to try!

 

We walked a couple permit flats but saw very little.  I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised.  I’ve caught a few permit, but if you calculate the hours it took me to catch them, the stat is unbelievable.  Basically, when I’m around the permit aren’t.  And when I get my rare opportunity I usually botch my cast.  If I send a good cast the permit spooks or ignores my fly.

 

It was the last flat of the day.  This was a massive sand flat where you could spot a permit coming a mile away.  Sure enough, along came three towards Scott and Brendan.  I ducked out of the way and Scott launched his cast.  His crab imitating fly landed about four feet to the side of the weary permit.  It’s amazing how well these fish blend in with the sand but I could see the yellow of them, a color the Atlantic permit don’t have.

 

The next thing that happened wasn’t permit like at all.  This finicky species usually ignores a cast unless it hits them between the eyes.  But this time, to our delight, one of the permit charged Scotts fly and devoured it!

 

Scott set the hook and in a blur the permit took off.  It should’ve ended right there.  Scott’s line tangled and wrapped around the butt of his rod.  Wisely, he charged forward fast enough that the permit didn’t break him off and he eased the tension enough to undo the near disaster.  The fight was on with no dangers such as coral heads in sight.

 

Permit fight hard.  Bonefish are impressive but they are no match for a permit.  Jacks, shaped just like permit fight hard but I say the permit fight harder.  Scott had his hands full for the next ten minutes.

 

All went well and soon Brendan netted Scotts permit.  This was his first Indo-Pacific and the first I’ve had the pleasure to see get caught.  In all my trips to the Indian Ocean I never caught one nor anyone I was with.

 

Apparently the Indo-Pacific permit doesn’t get as big as our Atlantic permit.  Scott’s fish weighed 7lbs and was as gorgeous as any flats species I’ve ever seen.  The yellow changes when you tilt the permit under the sunlight.  Some angles he gleams yellow but most are different shades of gold.  This handsome yellow permit was no less than stunning!

 

After we released the permit we took a breather on the beach.  We had a lot to celebrate.  Then Brendan and I walked the rest of the flat but there were no more shots to be had.  We packed it in and headed for camp to relax for the rest of the evening.

 

 

It’s been an epic start to this extended trip to St Brandon’s.  I can’t get my mind off the incredible bonefishing we had to start the day and then the permit – WOW!  We celebrated with a few brews tonight over some fresh grouper sashimi.  Seeing Scotts permit crush his fly gives me confidence for my first this week and perhaps more than just that.  Time for some rest!

 

Although this may not seem like an obtainable adventure – actually it is.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Crossing to St Brandon’s Atoll of Mauritius

This saltwater fly fishing adventure began today.  To remind everyone, I’m with friends from back home, Scott Smith and Ben Smith, on a fishing trip to St Brandon’s Atoll in the southern Indian Ocean.  St Brandon’s belongs to the country of Mauritius which is a small island nation east of Madagascar.  St Brandon’s is quickly being recognized as the worlds top bonefish destination and home to one of the largest populations of Indo-Pacific permit (yellow permit) in the world.

 

St Brandon’s is a FlyCastaway destination and this adventure wouldn’t be possible without my South African friends.  If you follow the blog you met several of my FlyCastaway friends when I was fishing in South Africa back in November.  My main host and friend of that excursion was Gerhard Laubscher and he’s with us this trip as well.

 

 

 

St Brandon’s is a destination available to everyone and we book it at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.  There’s a catch to every trip to St Brandon’s however.  That’s getting from main island Mauritius to this beautiful atoll.  After two days flying to Mauritius from the US, there’s another 28 hours by boat to get from the main island of Mauritius to St. Brandon’s Atoll.

 

28 hours on a boat may not sound like a big deal.  A boat.  Vacation. Ocean blue.  How nice!  But I promise you, crossing a 280-mile chunk of open ocean in a 50-foot sport fishing boat is far from fun.  The crossing went like this.

 

April 22

 

We left the Address Boutique Hotel at 9:30 AM by taxi to the Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis to meet Gerhard and other members of our group.  When we arrived two 50-foot Sport Fishers were docking to load our tackle and supplies for a week’s visit to St. Brandon’s Atoll.  We were planning on leaving the dock at 11:30 AM, but, like so often in foreign countries, clocks tick at a different beat.  There was waiting for fuel, paperwork, supplies and customs to deal with.  We left for St. Brandon’s at exactly 1 PM.

 

The ocean was beautiful and flat as we left the shores of mainland Mauritius.  There was actually some light rain to cool us off.  The port city of Port Louis has plenty going on with boats and buildings.  It was nice to say so long.

 

Once at sea, all you see is a stunning landscape of beaches and villages with lush green and mountains for a back drop.  As we broke away from the mainland we passed a few massive rock islands.

 

We were four hours into our long boat ride before the last glimpse of land disappeared.  Then things got lonely.  And hot.  Ben sunburns easily but with temps too hot in the cabin he had to sit outside and be creative with covering up.

 

The Indian Ocean remained pleasant but keep in mind you’re still on a boat in open ocean.  Even gentle rolling waves force you to hang on and the constant rocking can get to you.  If it doesn’t make you seasick you fall asleep.

 

I don’t get seasick thank god.  Gerhard brought one of his employees, Keegan, to do some filming and he came close to barfing over the side.  Fortunately, he was able to regain his seaworthiness and sort himself out before puking.  He too went into a deep sleep.

 

 

In case you get seasick or fear seasickness you should know there are some tricks.  What helps me if I feel queasy is salt.  I love peanuts, chips or crackers.  If this doesn’t do the trick there are drugs for seasickness.  Look into Dramamine, a popular over the counter drug.  Ben, Scott and Keegan all said Dramamine made the difference for them.

 

Once lands gone there’s nothing.  You might catch a glimpse of a flying fish spooking from the boat but soon we were too far from shore for the peculiar baitfish.  The open ocean isn’t much different than that of a desert and no matter who you are boredom takes over.

 

There’s only so much conversation to be had even with the best of friends.  As the afternoon passed we ate sandwiches and sipped a beer each from up on the bridge until early in the evening.  But we were clock watching as the sun was setting.  To me it seemed like we’d been on the boat for days.

 

The sound of the diesel engine and the slapping waves became monotonous.  The seas were just large enough that I couldn’t work on my computer or read a book.  I simply stared at the clouds and daydreamed about our upcoming fishing.

 

At 7 PM it was officially dark.  I thought about going to bed but I was afraid I’d be up by midnight and further bored out of my mind.  I forced myself through another very tedious two hours before climbing down below the deck to a bunk.

 

In the bunk the sound of waves slapping the hull is far louder than anything heard during the day.  You even get tossed around in your bed.  I was lucky and the ocean put me to sleep.

 

Even though I tried to avoid it, I woke up for the first time around midnight.  Rather than suffer being awake I popped half a sleeping pill which pushed me deeper into the night.  The next time I woke up was 5 AM.  It was still dark so I lay there in my bunk.  Would we ever get there I thought to myself.

 

April 23

 

At 7 AM I returned to the bridge for sunrise.  The captain said we were lucky to have such gentle seas overnight.  This being said, I promise you after 18 hours on the boat small waves or big waves, it didn’t matter.  The crossing was getting old.  We muscled through another four hours then finally St. Brandon’s Atoll came into view.

 

Setting eyes on St Brandon’s brought us new life.  We were going to be on the ground soon.  But even after the first view of St Brandon’s came we traveled another four hours to the north end of the St Brandon’s Atoll where we settled on Rafael Island and where the FlyCastaway Lodge is built.  These last four hours nearly killed me!

 

We anchored the Sport fishers then got shuttled to shore by the guides on small boats.  After the traditional welcome drinks and an orientation Scott and I tossed our crap in our room and dove into our tackle.  It was time set up some rods with hopes of an afternoon walk on a nearby flat.

 

The truth of the matter is that we arrived at Rafael Island at 3 PM.  By the time we were settled it was 5 PM and we’d run out of fishing time.  Most of us still made a walk around the island.  I enjoyed the walk for the sunset as much as the fishing.  I actually got a cast to a permit which makes me confident to reaching this week’s goal.

 

That’s it for now.  I’m exhausted and dying to get a good night’s rest before fishing tomorrow.  We’ll have seven straight days to enjoy.  Stay tuned!

 

Although this may seem like an unobtainable adventure – actually its obtainable.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

While I’m Out Of Reach

Sorry if you expected a blog for St Brandon’s today but that’s not possible.  Instead I organized this post a few weeks back and wanted it to sit while I was gone.

I am looking for two more anglers to join me for a Yellow Dog Hosted Trip to Farquhar Atoll in the Seychelles November 15-22, 2017.  Two things you need to know.  This week is excellent tides for GT’s and the 23rd is Thanksgiving (you can have a late TG dinner after you get home).

The annual “Currier” yard sale will be Saturday April 29th.  This year the fishing theme will be Saltwater fly fishing stuff and of course Granny will offer tons of clothes, cooking gear and more.  If you’re targeting an item feel free to Contact me for a preview after April 22 when I get home from St Brandon’s.

I’m fishing hard in St Brandon’s and hopefully landing my first yellow permit!

Stay tuned till the first report around April 21st!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Killing Time Before Fishing in Mauritius

Scott, Ben and I spent yesterday and today touring around the small island nation of Mauritius here in the boonies of the Indian Ocean.  We’re killing time before we head fishing to St. Brandon’s Atoll.  It’s been a fun two days meeting the welcoming people of Mauritius, checking out markets, beaches, beer drinking and good food but now we’re ready to “Let the games begin”.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, the games still won’t begin until Tuesday afternoon.  This is because we have a 28-hour boat ride that still separates us from St Brandon’s.  This boat ride begins tomorrow morning at 11:30 AM.  The ride has a reputation of being brutal due to high seas and wind.  We’ll see.  I think most of the brutal part comes from waiting another day to start fishing.

 

This may be my last post until the trip is over because we won’t have internet.  This trip to St Brandon’s is what they call an “Extended Trip”.  We will not be back to civilization until April 21st.  HELL YEA!  But not to worry, as usual I will document every day and every cool fish from this trip and share the day by day accounts when I return.

 

Although this may seem like an unobtainable adventure – actually it isn’t.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Arrival in Mauritius

It was all smooth sailing from Victor, Idaho to Port Louis, Mauritius.  Our last flight was Paris to Port Louis and took 11 hours 40 minutes.  The journey from my door to door took 39 hours.

 

 

We arrived at the Address Boutique Hotel in Port Chambly at around 1 PM.  It’s a beautiful place and we relaxed around the pool and sipped ice cold tall draft Phoenix Beer.  Its good stuff and light enough you can drink a few.  We will base out of here through Monday morning then head for St Brandon’s Atoll to start fishing.

 

Mauritius is 10 hours ahead of Idaho time so the jet lag started to hit us around sunset.  We managed to stay awake until 10 PM which if you want to beat jet lag fast is the thing to do.  Get on the local schedule.  No naps.  No messing around.  After feasting at a local Japanese Restaurant we called it a night.   Tomorrows plan is to check out the town.

 

Although this may seem like an unobtainable adventure it’s not.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Rock On Spring Snow – Off to St Brandon’s

I may not have fished the last ten days since the Wisconsin Driftless but I was home, happy and packing for what should be a top adventure.  Tomorrow I’ll be headed to St Brandon’s Atoll which belongs to the country of Mauritius.  I’ll be fishing with a few buddies from the states, Scott Smith and Ben Smith, and several of my South African friends including Gerhard Laubscher, Craig Richardson and Brendan Becker, all of which were hosting me in South Africa back in November.

 

Located in the Southern Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, St Brandon’s will officially be the furthest I’ve ever been from home.  The distance is over 11,000 miles from Victor, Idaho making it nearly our Antipodes.

 

Our travel goes like this.  Tomorrow a 5 hour drive from Victor to the Salt Lake City Airport.  At 9 PM fly to Amsterdam arriving Thursday afternoon.  Then fly to Paris.  At 9:20 its Paris to Port Louis Mauritius for an 11 hour flight.  We will be in Mauritius Friday morning.

 

We’ll kill off the jetlag and check out the sights of Mauritius Friday, Saturday and Sunday then Monday morning we board a boat for St Brandon’s.  The boat ride is a 28 hours and has a reputation of being horrible.  Should be fun.  Should be a wild blog!

 

As usual, I’ll go dark for a while.  I will not have internet services most of the trip.  Regardless, I’ll load the blog with my day by day accounts as soon possible.

 

My goal of this trip – catch the Indo-Pacific permit once and for all!  I’ve had a few unsuccessful casts to them in the Seychelles and spent two weeks hunting them off the beaches of Oman with no luck.  THIS IS THE TRIP!

 

Although this may seem like an unobtainable adventure it’s not.  Feel free to Contact Me and you can book this incredible trip to St Brandon’s with us at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Trout Fishing in Wisconsin

We took it a heck of a lot easier last night here in the Wisconsin Driftless Area.  I recon we were all asleep at 11 PM.  Sunday night took its toll on this group of 50+ dudes.  After yet another giganticus meal of a breakfast we all drove an hour to new waters.  The main river in the area is Timber Coulee Creek but Mark took me to a sneaky little tributary.

 

It was mostly clear, cold and windy.  We were bundled up to the hilt.  Thank god I packed several layers of Simms before I left home.  Regardless of the cold, Mark made his way up to the second good run and laid into a beautiful 13” brown trout.

 

I mentioned this yesterday.  The fish here don’t average nearly the size they do back home.  But they’re wild and you don’t have to look up to see if you’ll be sharing your pool with someone else at any minute.  The Driftless Area of Wisconsin is remarkably untouched and as you can see here, even the small browns are like a piece of stunning jewelry.

 

I wouldn’t have expected it but a hatch of March Browns began at 10 AM.  By 11 the captivating looking mayflies were thick and the trout started rising.  The trout were easy to fool with my size 16 Parachute Adams.  But only if you made a good cast followed by a perfect no drag presentation.  Again, these trout may be small but they are wild and know how to survive.

 

Around noon Mark had to leave for home in Iowa.  Man how these visits pass quickly.  We said our goodbyes then I decided to fish my butt off as if competing in the World Championships on some remote European trout stream.  I worked slowly.  I sat and observed.  I crawled.  And I caught more than thirty gorgeous little brown trout.

 

I don’t wade fish a trout stream on my own enough these days.  I don’t trout fish enough these days.  It seems my travels have me on distant waters most of the time.  Furthermore, when I am home chasing trout I get caught up in the float fishing.  Wading a stream has become much less a part of our trout fishing culture these days.  I think I’m gonna bring it back for me.  Today was no less than exceptionally enjoyable.

 

I fished my way up to a bridge arriving at sunset where Mark arranged for my other buddies to pick me up.  I fished nine straight hours mostly by myself crawling nearly the entire way in order not to spook these wily wild browns.  My back and hips were killing me but the pain makes me smile because it means I fished hard.

 

Today was trout fishing the way it’s supposed to be.  I released the last fish just below the bridge and gave a salute to the Wisconsin Driftless Area.  I’ll be making sure to return here soon.

 

Tonight me and the boys are at a different house that we rented for the night.  It’s cold as hell outside yet the barbeque is loaded with chicken and beef.  We’re eating and drinking like its freshman year at Northland.  We’ll never learn but we’ll never stop living life to the fullest.

 

 

Tomorrow it’s the long trip home.  I’m happy though.  This time its home for a couple weeks and I won’t be preparing for the next show.  This winter show season is over and it’s all fishing in my future.  I hope to get a couple more spring trout fishing days in then in April I’ll head back to the Indian Ocean salt to fish with my South African friends.  Get ready to read about the first insane adventure for 2017!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing the Wisconsin Driftless Area

Morning came early today in the Wisconsin Driftless Area with my college friends.  Most of us haven’t seen each other since my 50th on the Henry’s Fork back in 2015 so we got a little excited last night.  So excited we stayed up until 4 AM playing cards and catching up.  It was a heck of a good time but this bunch of old guys were feeling it today.  Nonetheless we’ve been down this road together and after a breakfast to die for we headed out on one of the most little-known trout fishing regions in the USA.

 

The Driftless is an area that encompasses North East Iowa, South East Minnesota and mostly South Western Wisconsin.  I lived in Wisconsin for four years and return to fish almost every year yet I’ve never fished the Driftless.  The secret of the region is that its home to some excellent, overlooked trout fishing.  My friends fish here often and have been inviting me for years.  With speaking in MN over the weekend this was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.

 

We’re somewhere an hour south of La Crosse, WI staying in a house my boys rent often for fishing here.  Due to the number of us we split up in groups.  I went with Mark Rieser and Dave Kittaka both of whom have fished with me back in Idaho several times.  Mark lives in Iowa and fishes here often.  Dave came up from his home in Indiana.  We drove a short ways and must have crossed four different tiny rivers.

 

Normally there would still be snow on the ground but Wisconsin’s winter has been mild.  The leaves haven’t popped on the trees yet and the grasses are still dead.  Things look more like late November than springtime.  But when we stopped to rig up the sounds of singing birds brought the place to life.  No doubt it was spring.

 

Mark led the way down to the river and went into action.  As I always do in a new fishing place, I kicked back and observed to begin my day.  Mark was chucking two small nymphs below an indicator.  He was fishing at the base of a riffle dumping into a deep hole.

 

It didn’t take long.  Marks indicator dove and he set the hook.  I didn’t know whether to expect a huge Wyoming size brown or a brook trout.  In came a handsome little brownie that reminded me of fishing on a European trout stream.  I love fish like this and after the photo I went to work.

 

I was using a new Winston today.  I was fishing the 9’ 4-weight Air.  This is the ultimate dry fly rod so rather than nymph I opted to toss a dry fly.  I’m rusty so I tied on something I can see – a size 16 Parachute Adams.  This time of year, no matter where you fish there are blue-winged olives and March browns.  The Adams covered that and sure enough, in the first fishy looking lie I landed a brown of my own.

 

The brown trout here are mostly small but all wild and gorgeous.  Mark and the others that fish here have indeed taken a few 20” beasts over the years, but in general, the trout here run 10 to 12 inches.  The small size doesn’t bother me at all because there were no other anglers on the stretch we were fishing – a situation so uncommon these days out west on my waters.

 

Me and the fellas moved slow today.  We were undoubtedly hurting from our craziness last night.  But catching fish wasn’t what this was all about.  We took turns watching each other fish.  We drank a couple beers and smoked cigars.  Life was good.

 

We fished till 7 PM which is about an hour before pitch dark.  It was an unseasonably warm day which I’ll take with a smile.  But when the sun set the chill took over.  I took some photos like this one of Dave on the last pool.  Then we headed for the house.

 

 

At the house, yet another college friend arrived, Brian Ezman.  I haven’t seen Brian since May of 1987 the day I graduated from Northland College up in Ashland.  Brian and I were partners in a five-week outdoor skills class where we paddled canoes straight through the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and the Quetico of Ontario.  It was an incredible test of survival skills that neither of us will ever forget.

 

We ended the brilliant day with an insane feast of smoked beef brisket brought by Brian.  Brian works with the WI DNR but also has his own catering business with access to the finest of foods.  Let’s just say, it doesn’t get any better than this!

 

We’re fishing again tomorrow.  A different river about an hour drive away.  Should be another special day for sure so be ready for some new pics and stories.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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