First Trout Fishing Day of the Year

by | Mar 27, 2013 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

I had the privilege of meeting and fishing with some future fishing guides over at South Fork Lodge the last two days.  South Fork Lodge is amidst their annual Five Day Guide School.  I was invited over Tuesday night to give my talk “The Evolution of a World Traveling Fly Fisherman” then today I helped with a couple classroom discussions before we all hit the river together.

This five day course teaches the skills needed to be a fishing guide.  Everything from boat safety to people handling along with fish catching techniques and best ways to instruct fly fishing are taught from veteran fishing guides of the South Fork Lodge staff.  I came in after day three and I must say that the students already impressed me with not only what they’ve learned but also their eagerness to gain knowledge of more. 

Today after morning classroom discussions all students and instructors headed for a float on the South Fork.  A surprise snowstorm rocked Swan Valley all morning but by the time we hit the Slide Boat Ramp around 1 PM the squirrely weather turned pleasant.  Temps rose to jacket shedding comforts and our fly rod guides stayed clear of ice.  

We had five boats including nine students and five guides.  That left me a seat and I got to fish while at the same time critique and add input as to what I expect out of a guide.  It was really nice visiting with those I was able to.

The fishing started slow but ended excellent.  I’m not sure if my rusty three-fly-stroke with slinky kinked fly line from four months of no use caused me havoc or if the fish really weren’t hungry at first.  It certainly wasn’t my student guide Allen because he displayed instantly that he’s had some previous rowing and water reading experience. 

My first fishing partner was South Fork Lodge friend and manager Ian Malepeai.  Ian insisted I take the front of the boat, a spot I’m unfamiliar with as I like to keep an eye on things from the back.  Nonetheless I took the bow with a smile and our fishing went from the occasional small cutthroat to some rod jolting rainbows like this one pictured with Ian and Allen.

The big fish while fishing with Ian and Allen was this robust net stretching brown trout.  As you know from this blog, off season on the South Fork is one of my favorites.  I often post quality browns but this chunky trout was a lot fatter and larger than most.  

I ended the day riding with longtime friend Zach Peyton and student Brandon Stickley.  I’ve known Zach since before I even knew he was a top fly fisher and fishing guide – at least 15 years.  Zach really knows his stuff and I cherish the few times I’ve actually fished from his boat. 

Brandon is entirely new to this type of fishing and grabbed it by the horns.  He heads back to his home and office position helping with bookings for Natural Retreats in Virginia on Thursday.  Let’s just say I suspect it will be a long flight and a return to Idaho for Brandon is in the near future.  Brandon not only tossed nymphs like a true professional and landed several nice trout, but he also posed for me with his first quality mountain whitefish.  Whitefish are not desired by many pro fly fishers, but I can appreciate a true Pinocchio nosed whitey!

It was a great two days and an enjoyable opportunity to be a part of the South Fork Lodge 2013 Guide School.  I take pleasure in being a part of teaching and encouraging others to not only fly fish but enter the fly fishing business.  Many thanks to Ian and Jonathan Lancaster for inviting me to help with the school and of course get that first trout fishing day of the year under my belt.  For info on the next Guide School and upcoming Fly Fishing Schools for all levels feel free to Contact Me or Natural Retreats.


  1. Erik Moncada

    Sounds cool Jeff! Your tarpon on that iPad case was fantastic!

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!