November 20, 2009

It’s possible this was the last day of float fishing for 2009. For when we hit the boat takeout at dark this evening, we felt the temperature plummeting and smelled snow in the air. Winter may finally be arriving.

This was a special day on the water for more reasons than the fact that it could be the last this year. I was fishing with two close friends and long time guides of Jackson Hole Wyoming, Paul Bruun and Tom Montgomery. Both men descended on the Jackson Hole guide scene in the 70’s and to this day are considered the best in the business. Furthermore, Tom is a professional photographer whose photos grace the covers and pages of magazines and catalogs. Paul is a well known sports writer for our local paper and writes for various national magazines. I’m proud to say, Paul even wrote the foreword to my first book, “Currier’s Quick and Easy Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing”. Fortunately for me, both my older friends took me under their wing back in the 80’s when I arrived on the Jackson Hole scene and have shared knowledge and friendships ever since. I have been very lucky to have such mentors!

Tom has been sick as a dog for a week. Today was his first day out of the house so we took it easy on him with a casual start of about noon. We went to my November favorite, the South Fork, the river I’ve been reporting on this blog just about daily. Temps weren’t bad, about 45 degrees, but the wind was awful. It was blowing steady at about 20mph with gust recorded up to 40mph. Sounds like a rough day to cast, but just imagine rowing in it!

Nevertheless, veterans like us are fearless and after a shaky launch at the Irwin Slide we were on our way. Although there were fish rising in slicks between whitecaps, this was a streamer day and with Tom on the oars Paul and I were launching heavy bugs into the wind in no time. I was tossing streamers on my 6-weight Ross fly rod. However, had I known when leaving the house that it would be this windy I’d of stepped up to a 7-weight. Just a little extra backbone for this kind of wind would have been nice. But without the option, I simply shortened my leader and went for it.

It turns out, today was the slowest day of fishing I’ve experienced this week. Between the three of us, we caught a total of about ten fish. However, slow as it may have been, this was truly another bonus fishing day. I need to keep pinching myself – THIS IS LATE NOVEMBER!

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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!