My First Coastal Cutthroat

by | Oct 12, 2017 | Uncategorized

The rain fell hard last night here on the Oregon Coast.  It continued this morning as Mike and I prepared for another day of fly fishing for Chinook salmon.  So much so that we dragged our feet a bit enjoying coffee and some homemade Mike LaSota breakfast burritos before bailing out the boat.


Around 9 AM the rain let up significantly despite the forecast for plenty more.  Back in Idaho a rain like last night would mud up our rivers, but here on the coast of Oregon, its good news.  It gets the salmon moving from the ocean into the rivers.


The river Mike took me on was one he’s never caught a salmon on yet.  He got some Intel saying it might have some fish.  It was a gorgeous stream full of seals and an assortment of birds.  The attractive river reminded me more of a musky river in Wisconsin than a salmon river on the coast of Oregon.  We motored upstream for an hour or so but never saw a salmon roll.


One of my goals on this jaunt to the Oregon coast is to land a new species for my list, the coastal cutthroat, also known as sea-run cutthroat.  Mike suggested I break out the streamer rod and fish the banks as we drifted back downstream.  I loved the idea and went to work as the sun shot through the clouds making this river more and more spectacular by the minute.


The fishing was slow as if not a fish existed.  Even the seals we saw looked hungry.  Slow streamer fishing often leads me to sink my fly deeper and deeper till I’m literally dragging bottom.  That’s about when I accidentally snagged this handsome Dungeness crab.





I had my shot at a couple random coastal cutthroats and missed each one.  I was starting to think adding this species might be like adding the elusive chocolate mahseer.  Mike joined the game and neither of us could catch a fish.  That is until Mike scraped this Pacific staghorn sculpin off the bottom with his Clouser.  I must admit, this would’ve been a new sculpin species for my species list so it left me a bit jealous!


“Currier” persistence always pays off and near the end of the day I finally caught my first ever coastal cutthroat.  Mike says this little guy is average size which surprises me.  I would’ve guessed ocean running cutthroats would be bigger than their completely freshwater cousins.  But in this case, size doesn’t matter.  I will happily add this new species to my list.


It’s time for the decisive game 5, Washington Nationals vs Chicago Cubs.  Hunt for Chinook salmon continues again tomorrow.


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!