Cutthroats of Dreams

by | Aug 21, 2018 | fly fishing for cutthroat trout | 3 comments

Cutthroat TroutThere’s one thing my fly fishing blog hasn’t storied in years – immaculately conditioned, gorgeously colored, stunningly wild, hefty cutthroats fooled by ridiculously large dry flies.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to go catch these gems.  It’s because they’re not as easy to find these days.


fly fishing the Snake RiverDon’t misunderstand me.  No doubt big cutthroats continue to thrive here in the Yellowstone Country. But most of the true dandies are educated by numerous anglers and don’t succumb to the oversized dry fly anything like they used to.


Furthermore, because most big cutthroats live in the same place all season and sometimes for years, they get caught and released numerous times.  Thank goodness for catch and release but when I know a fish was held many times before me, that fish isn’t as wild if I was the first to catch it.  And many of these fish wear hook scars from careless anglers that still use barbed flies!


fly fishing WyomingToday, Granny and I set out to find a few untamed oversized cutthroats.  The quest began Monday night on the back porch dissecting the pages of the Wyoming Gazetteer.  I traced the flows of many lesser known streams.  We finally settled on an area and this morning we got an early start on our adventure.


fly fishing for cutthroat troutThis is how Granny and I found most our fishing secrets over the last 30 years.  But they don’t always come easy.  We’ve had far more bust weekends than successful ones.  Our first stop we were surprised to find another angler.  The next few stops produced a few small cutthroats but if the monsters were there, they were hiding.


backcountry fly fishingWe Curriers however aren’t easily deterred.  Although our morning produced no big finds we had faith in our afternoon.  We slowed the search down however.  At 2 PM we pulled off the dirt road along a small river for a Rainier break.  Our perch gave us an excellent view of a brush pile protruding from an undercover bank.  Half way through our beers I heard the sip – the rise of a cutthroat!


Granny Currier dry fly fishingPatience is the virtue when catching big trout.  While many would drop the beer and head for the fish, Granny and I continued to watch.  It wasn’t till after Granny’s last sip of beer that she eased closer and hid in the tall grass for a nearer look.  There were several nice fish.


Winston Fly RodsYou know for sure when you’ve found unmolested cutthroats on your first cast.  Granny chucked a size 6 tan bellied Chernobyl Ant for old time’s sake.  The fly barely hit the water and she was hooked up with a good one.  While many claim cutthroats don’t fight hard – this one did.  Any cutthroat fights hard the first time they’re caught because they think they’re going to die!


fly fisher women Granny CurrierThe good news is eager trout will eat a fly on heavy tippet.  Granny was using my Winston 5-weight Air and her Chernobyl was tied to 1X Scientific Anglers tippet.  Despite the dogfight Granny was hoisting her beauty for the camera soon.


Wyoming Cutthroat TroutAs you know I fish a bunch.  Though Granny kept trying to give me a turn, I refused.  Watching her pummel big cutthroat is a pleasure for me.  Granny caught six of these beauties ranging from 14” to 17”.  We found our spot!


parachute hopperAfter Granny’s six she insisted she got them all and was done.  I’d been watching the pool closely and there were a couple unscathed cutthroats she was unaware of.  One was huge.  I took off her Chernobyl and speared the 1X tippet through the eye of a size 6 Parachute hopper.


big cutthroat troutAs Granny peered from behind I sent my hopper along the far bank.  I landed the fly in a gap close to the bank and let it drift down far under an overhanging bush.  I was either going to hook a fish or get hung up on a branch.  Lucky for me a cutthroat of dreams sipped my hopper and I heaved hard and pulled him from his home.  Downstream he went.


Jeff Currier Cutthroat TroutLast year in September I landed a huge Yellowstone Cutthroat on the Yellowstone River.  This is my best since then.  Knowing my big fly and heavy tippet I put the pressure on and soon landed this beast cutty of my own.  What a day!


Exploring new fishing places is one of my favorite things to do which is why I devote most of my life to traveling the world.  But there’s nothing better than discovering a new fishery right near home.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Janet

    You very clever kids ! Am green with envy ! So wish I was there. NEXT YEAR ! Must say have never caught beauties like that xoxoxo

  2. Jeff


  3. Tad Einloth

    Beautiful fish in a perfect setting!

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!