First “New Life” Fishing Day Happens on the Ice

by | Mar 31, 2022 | ice fishing | 4 comments

flyfishingI won’t elaborate at this point, but Granny and I made an offer on a house here in Wisconsin.  It’s not the town we planned on and it’s by no means a dream house, but it’s a quiet neighborhood, we have friends in the area and there’s plenty of job options for Granny within walking distance.  Best of all, the nearby fishing is off the charts!


icefishingI promise to end the suspense as soon as our new home becomes official.  But for now, its business as usual, which means I headed out fishing after we completed our home-buying paperwork.  While Granny opted to stay behind at the cabin due to horrendous wind, Howie and I made a casual departure for an afternoon of ice fishing on Lake Superior.


icefishing-Chequamegon-BayThe part of Lake Superior is Chequamegon Bay.  It’s a huge bay that the towns of Ashland, Washburn and Bayfield all have ports on.  Ashland is home to Northland College where Howie and I were roommates.  I spent all four years fishing the bay at least a couple days week.  It meant a lot to get back on the waterbody today with Howie – some 35 years later!


ice-fishingHowie ice fishes a ton and was able to provide everything for me as far as jigging rod, fish finder, chair and etc.  He also has a nice sled to cart out all the goods including a seriously needed tent for our weather conditions.  All I had to do was get my annual nonresident WI fishing license.  I was able to get a “Couples” license that includes our Great Lakes Salmon/Trout stamp and Inland Trout stamp.  It’s an affordable $85.


lake-SuperiorIt was a chore with the wind to get Howie’s tent set up.  But we succeeded.  I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but my shoulder got so bad I received a cortisone shot.  Luckily its working or I wouldn’t have been much help.  We drilled holes then Howie fired up the propane heat and set the fish finders and soon we were jigging.  Our main target was lake whitefish.  Though similar, they are a different species from mountain whitefish out west.


winter-fishingNot a fish passed through the finder in our first hour.  Howie got restless and left the tent and drilled holes all over.  He dragged his finder with him and was galivanting for at least an hour.  I stuck with my usual patience believing a fish would come by and I’d catch him.


Currier-icefishingI was right but the first one to come out smarted me.  Soon after another appeared on the screen.  I could see him moving up and down expressing interest in my jig.  I tried a few maneuvers but the one that finally succeeded was when I dropped it to bottom and bounced there five times.  Then I reeled up fast and stopped.  First twitch there and I hooked and landed my first whitefish of the day.


ice-housesI called on Howie to come back and he was ready.  The cold and wind hadn’t stopped.  We spent the next couple hours catching up on old times.  The shack was so warm the jackets and gloves were off.  I’d go on to catch two more including a 20” slab.  We harvested all three for tonight’s dinner.


lake-whitefishWhen I moved to Jackson Hole in 1987 I ate mountain whitefish from the Snake on occasion.  They’re a chore to fillet due to numerous bones.  But Howie is a master at cleaning them and tonight the four of us indulged on a few tasty whitefish chips and several tacos.  A splendid way to begin the new WI fishing life!


ice-fishingToday was so much fun we may go again tomorrow.  We’ll change it up and chase pike and walleye on the bay in a different area.  And if all seems good with our house buying and there’s nothing left we need to do in WI, Granny and I will point the Ruby Van for NH on Saturday.  I fly out of Boston to the Seychelles on April 15 to host a Yellow Dog trip.  More on the upcoming adventure and house buying in the next blog.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tad


    Best of luck with the house!


  2. Jeff

    Thank you Tad!

  3. Matthew Norton

    Great fishing with you Jeff! Clearly you haven’t forgotten how to use a short ice rod. Those were some finnicky fish. Much much more fishing to go. Safe travels and looking forward to some new adventures!

  4. Jeff

    Thanks Howie. And the ice rod will always have a place in my hands and heart!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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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!