Fly Fishing in Minnesota

by | Jun 11, 2020 | fly fishing in Minnesota | 1 comment

Matt-Norton-Jeff-Currier-fishingI can’t think of many friends I’ve gotten into more mischief with than my old college roommate Matt Norton, known amongst us as “Howie”.  I guess you could say we grew up together being we were both on our own for the first times in our lives at the same time.  It was pretty dang awesome and even better that we’re still friends and find time to fish together every couple years.


flyfish-MinnesotaThen there’s Andy Thompson, a native Minnesotan.  Andy and I have been friends since our college orientation trip to the Sylvania Wilderness area of Michigan back in 1983.  We all fish together still and today we took two boats on Lake Mille Lacs.  Howie and I hopped in with Andy.


Mille-LacsWhile Howie has gone crazy over fly fishing the last few years, Andy plays around with fly rods for trout.  Though he has intentions of getting into the bass and pike, he’s been procrastinating.  And he never even considered a walleye on the fly till today and in fact wanted to pick up a bucket of live leeches so he could bobber fish.  But I talked him out of it convincing him that I’d help get him into some fish with the fly rod.


three-mile-reefThe waves were up again.  Though we had full sunshine the wind was blowing hard.  Perhaps it was a few mph less than yesterday but it was easily 15 mph and there were stronger gusts.  Nonetheless, Mike decided we’d go for it and bust our way through the chop to a rocky reef called Three Mile in the middle of the lake.


walleye-Mille-LacsThe idea behind the grunt boat ride was the search for some bigger walleye.  While Mike and I hoisted in a bunch on the Clouser’s yesterday our biggest were only 18” despite the fact that Lake Mille Lacs has plenty of monsters.  Mike knows that Three Mile produces many of these monsters.  He wasn’t the only one, when we got there a few other boats were already at work.


fly-fishingHaving other boats around just makes it fun for me.  Lake Mille Lacs has hundreds of boats on it on any given day and not a one is fly fishing.  No doubt every cast we made turned some heads.  It was pretty fun to watch the heads turn but also how good my boys were casting.


Currier-walleyeAn hour into our morning on the second drift I could tell Andy was wondering about this fly casting in the wind stuff.  He was doing well but it wasn’t easy.  Luckily I broke any doubt of fly fishing failing and landed the first walleye of the day.


Minnesota-flyfishingOur depth at Three Mile varied from as shallow as 2 feet to about 15 feet.  After my walleye I handed Andy my rod with the sinking line to replace his floater.  Then I set up my 7-weight Winston Air for Howie and put a Sonar line on for him as well.  When I was setting it up Andy went tight!


huge-smallmouth-bassThis was a fun battle to watch.  Honestly, the waves were so big it was hard to stand up – especially if you’re fighting a fish.  It was hilarious because both Andy and Howie were on their knees trying to get this in.  Once in the net however we knew why, Andy had a 19.5” smallie!


walleye-on-the-flyOur boat was full on sold on fly fishing at this point.  And Andy went on a tear.  Evidently the set up I gave him had the perfect depth and fly.  Andy caught a couple smaller smallmouth bass and topped it off with his first every walleye on the fly rod.


Matt-Norton-fishingWhile I scratched out another walleye and few smallies too, I was mostly concerned about seeing the guys catch a few more.  While most of us took it easy yesterday, it turns out Howie was actually extremely hungover.  Like all friends do, Andy and I kept on him and allowed him no rest.  At one point Howie nearly puked but we wouldn’t let him stop casting.  Sure enough he banged a dandy smallie himself.


Danny-Zilker-fishingIt was such good fishing we had to drag ourselves in at 6 PM.  Mike and his boat load of other friends that arrived headed in much earlier.  That was mainly due to a motor issue and also the guys were planning a night shift on the lake for walleyes.  Plus they nailed some big bass as well.  Here’s a beauty from Danny Zilker.


When we returned to the cottages we had yet another amazing feast.  Tonight was Howie’s homemade lasagna.  It was fantastic and after a few brews I found myself in bed once again, before midnight.  Tomorrow will be another swell day on the water and best of all, the wind is supposed to slow down.



Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Howie

    Ahh, the good ol days and the great current ones. Great seeing you my Friend. To more mischief and many more fish on the fly in the future!!!! Cheers!

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!